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The position of transition

I know that summer’s not yet over, and I also know that it’s no longer really summer because we don’t have that sense of long days and far-away deadlines and demands like we do at the threshold of the hot season.

In yoga classes, I ask students to be fully present in the position of transition after savasana, and before sitting back up to close the class. I ask students to be in that position on their sides long enough to stop the effort it took to roll over so they can again feel the ease of no work, while being in the momentum to return to whatever lies ahead for them for the rest of the day or evening.

I believe this awareness of, and appreciation for, the transition, is a practice in patience; it is a practice that teaches us to allow for the depths required of all our human experiences. We usually resist our transitions, or don’t even notice that we are in a transition. We want to rush on to whatever is next, especially when we are leaving something painful; or we waste our transition dreading something unwanted.

This, mid-August, is our transition between summer, and the routines of Fall that follow. I recently heard myself say that I couldn’t start a project yet because it was still summer, and also feeling anxious for the calendar to turn so I could get on with the planning and execution of that project.

There I was, between knowing that nothing else is coming in the “summer” and believing that I couldn’t really move on because, after all, it’s still August!

Those things we anticipate at the dawn of summer are either done, or they aren’t going to happen this year. Yet, the cooler crisper air that marks the season’s change and the stuff we love of Autumn feels so far away. (I mean, geez! I’m still hot and sticky!) I was feeling stuck and frustrated.

Our social constructs and the natural ways of the seasons are designed in a way that offer us the chance to be in transition, if only we could recognize that. My practice on the mat allowed me to pause and take notice.

Realizing my own numbness to the opportunity of the transition, I did 3 things.

1) I sat down and reflected on the recent weeks and months – what worked, what didn’t, what do I want to savor, and what do I want to release

2) I took note of how I was feeling at that precise moment so I could see what shifts I needed to make in my perspective and in my body

3) I prepared to make the most use of the rest of this month by making lists, prioritizing, and cutting away the clutter.

Ahhh, deep breath in and beautiful sigh to let it all go.

How do you feel in mid-August? Lamenting what didn’t happen in the summer? Dreading darker, shorter days? Looking forward to the colors and activities of Fall? Excited? Hopeful? Stuck?

What do you require so that you can pause and be in the transition with comfort and ease?

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