Transitions happen all the time. Schools out. Summer’s here. Vacations, camp, back-to-school, moving, sleep schedules, birthdays, illness. All of these shifts can throw a person off kilter. Trying to get back to center where equanimity reigns can feel like an uphill battle.
So many of us instinctively push away our strong feelings because they seem scary and uncomfortable. Tara Brach talks about meeting life where it is. She shares that interestingly, the best way to navigate change might be to simply notice what you are feeling.
I like to think of this as becoming more awake. Some people call it mindfulness or being in the present moment. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose in the present moment and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.
Maybe our goal doesn’t have to be to get back to where we were when things were good or easy or known. Instead, we can start to notice what we feel and where in our body we experience our strongest emotions. Knowing we don’t actually have to “do” anything, fix it, or be “better” can come as a huge relief.
Tara Brach’s book, Radical Acceptance outlines this practice beautifully. Experimenting with connecting thoughts to sensation and feeling can help us live in this moment even if it is a moment of transition.