Mindfully Managing Life’s Change and Transitions

Greetings fellow mindful travelers!

Happy July!  It feels like big transitions are in the air as we move into July so I am inspired to write this month’s newsletter about managing life’s changes.

For some, change can bring up a multitude of fears and worries – about the future, what is going to happen next, how things are going to turn out.  And for others it is an exciting time of anticipation.

Whatever shows up for you around transitions, pause, breathe, and notice.

Change is an inevitable part of life.  Even the cells in our bodies are continually dying and being replaced on a regular basis.

And yet we often long for a sense of stability in life.  A place where things are predictable, safe, and unchanging.

Unfortunately, as soon as this moment arises, another one comes, and everything is different.

As Carl Rogers said: “The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.”

There is a powerful mindfulness metaphor I love that helps when looking at the ebbs and flows of life.

It goes something like this:

Imagine you are on a beautiful beach on a nice day.  You are sitting on the warm sand facing the ocean.  You feel the sun on your skin.  You see the waves on the ocean build up, arch, and crash onto the beach.  You hear the sound of the waves crashing in rhythm.  One wave comes, crashes, and then is sucked back into the ocean, only to be replaced by the next wave.  All the while, you are on the beach, just noticing, watching the waves coming and going, crashing and returning.

How was that?

The waves here could be anything: relationships that come and go, people, jobs, where you live.  Even your thoughts, feelings, and body sensations come and go like waves in the ocean.  Nothing is permanent.

The idea is to just be the observer of them.  Not trying to hold onto anything.  Not trying to control the waves in any way.

Just letting the natural process of change and transition take place in our lives.

Maybe there are things in your life you are holding onto that need to be let go of.

Maybe there are things you need to allow to come into your life you have been pushing away.

The idea is that when things change and transition, we don’t have to fight it.

We can even grab a surfboard and ride the waves!  Enjoy the change.

And we can be kind to ourselves when things get hard.  If we feel vulnerable in transition, knowing that we can always come back to our self-compassion practice.

Change is not always easy.  But if we can bring our mindfulness practice to these times of transition, we can cultivate some inner peace amidst the ever changing aspects of life.

So this month, may you ride the waves of change and transition with ease.

Until next time,

Ellis Edmunds, Psy.D.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with anxiety and could use the support of a professional, it would be an honor to be of service.  I offer Individual Therapy and Mindfulness Workshops in Oakland, California.

P.S. Next month I’m giving away a copy of my new card game Drop the Rope!  So check that email next month to see if you’ve won.