The movement and progression from one situation to another is easily summarized as a transition. Our life is full of transitions. Some transitions are short and optimized, some transitions can be heavy on the heart, while others can be fun and uplifting. Transitions can be forced upon on us – death, job loss or relationship unravelling – or an imminent transition we know is on the horizon, it’s looming, either in our personal or professional life, but it’s usually up to us to initiate it.
All transitions carry the potential for mixed reactions based on our current health, mindset, support system and previous life experiences. Our perspective is what contributes to our response.
I know these transitions all too well in my personal and professional life, as a significant career transition is what has brought me to Prairie Sky Integrative Health.
A few months ago while on Vancouver Island, I was mountain biking on Maple Mountain and came across a beautiful arbutus tree, that was much larger and thus older, than any other arbutus tree I have seen before. It exuded wisdom and stability. A closer look revealed a few of its branches were completely dead, pale and lifeless. Our eye somehow travels to notice what is wrong, instead of what is correct. Pausing to reframe my perspective, I noticed near each dead branch, was a new creation of a limb that was viable, full of colour and thriving.
As I pondered this unique dichotomy of living and non-living branches on the same tree, I see the parallel in my own life where relationships terminate and new connections sprout. I stared at the root of that arbutus tree, in awe, at how many transitions it must have weathered and it hit me; that in order to cope, withstand and thrive through a transition, we need a stable root.
Ashtanga yoga speaks about 8 limbs, and the importance of a confident base to move from. Our root is likened to our boundaries, or parameters for what we will tolerate and what we will no longer endure. As we become wiser with age, we really start to understand ourselves, and we sense what cellularly aligns with our soul. Authenticity is the word I like to keep near.
So what is my root? It’s a valid question, and I recognise the answer changes as I progress through life and accumulate experiences. We each have a different idea of what makes us rooted, grounded, happy and wholesome. Sometimes roots get pulled out, and this can be difficult to replant.
During life transitions the physical, mental and emotional body often wavers. Sleep, pain, nervous system dysregulation and digestion upset are common signs and symptoms. These times are when patients are more likely to seek treatment of a physical nature, or sometimes even just to talk. Through conversation, the finer details of life’s decisions become evident. I think this is the value of having a trusted health care practitioner in your corner, an independent influence perhaps, to help realign the systems of our physical body to allow our intuition to symmetrically connect with the mind.
A few transition questions that can lead to clarity:
- Who am I today, and does my current environment align?
- Why am I feeling the impulse to make a transition?
- Have I felt this feeling before?
- If so, how did I act?
- When I acted, what was the outcome?
- What are my support outlets to gain clarity?
- When do I have to decide?
- Is it an internal pressure, or one from an external source?
- Where do my fears originate?
Every transition has a unique set of circumstances. Our life will perpetually have transitions, we cannot run from them, nor should we try. If we can slowly develop and get to the root of who we are today, we start to feel more confident in our ability to adapt. More confidence leads to less pain, better eating habits, more physical activity, improved sleep, and more authentic relationships. Whether you tackle a transition solo, or with a team approach, clarity lies on the other side of a difficult conversation.