by Megan McDonough
Spring in New England is always a touch-and-go war between the seasons—especially this year. Last week, we had snow—not just a few flakes, but real snow. This week, it was sunny and near 60. Spring is a messy, in-between time. Our closets are way too full as I try to make room for winter coats while digging through packed-away clothes to find lighter garb for the warm weather. It makes for a congested house.
Transition times are awkward. Old stuff is still there; new stuff is moving in. Both demand attention.
Similarly, when you’re doing the ongoing work of shifting from automatic responses to making conscious choices about how you want to be, it can be awkward. Old, familiar patterns are overlaid with new, unknown roles.
Here are a few tips for approaching this in-between season:
Accept the mess. Life won’t be as neat and predictable as it was before; it’ll be messy. Since you are trying to change ingrained patterns of behavior, frustration and stress will inevitably crop up. Temper it with the knowledge that the mess is a natural part of the process.
Trust the process. Despite the mess, know that patterns and new order will prevail. Just like sap turns to maple syrup, your conscious actions will eventually have an impact. It won’t stay messy forever.
Let it go. You’re not superhuman. When you take on a new way of being, you simply cannot do it all at once. Just do the best you can.
Take it on. It’s sometimes easier to stick with the known rather than enter new territory. Grab onto the new challenge of changing your intentions with at least curiosity, if not enthusiasm.
The Tao Te Ching, a 2,000-year-old book of poetry and guide to spiritual development, states, “To realize that our knowledge is ignorance, this is a noble insight.”
And there’s nothing like a grand transition to remind us of our own ignorance. But when the closets are all cleaned, and the transition is complete, you’ll have found new treasures to take with you for the next seasonal cycle sure to come.
This post is excerpted from Infinity in a Box: Using Yoga to Live With Ease, ©2003–2009, by Megan McDonough.
Find out about WBI’s Living with Ease course, a 30-Day Practice based on Infinity in a Box.
Megan McDonough is CEO of Wholebeing Institute, an educational organization co-founded with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar. WBI is committed to spreading ideas and practices that can help individuals and groups live life to its fullest.
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