June has been full of transitions. For one, Golden Bridges School graduated our first 8th grade class. For most of these students, the transition into High School will be their first major school transition. A whole slew of "new" is on the horizon - friends, teachers, commutes, expectations, tests! In speaking with them the week they graduated, they articulated a healthy balance of nervousness and excitement. They are ready for this transition. It's has a date and time and they are prepared.
Also this month, two of my best friends lost their mothers to disease. While each died sooner than anyone had hoped and the grief will ripple and surge over time, they had what was described as a "good" death. There was time for sentimental and earnest goodbyes. Family and friends were able to visit and share good wishes. They were prepared.
And as happens every year at Golden Bridges, we say goodbye to colleagues and families who are packing up their lives and moving out of San Francisco. One family who moved told me they had known they would move out of the city eventually while another said they thought they would see their children grow up in this city where they were born. But circumstances are drawing them away, their bags are packed and after months of planning and preparation, off they went.
Developing awareness and personal practices to move through transitions can bring grounding precisely when the ground is moving.
Do you have any physical or spiritual practices that keep you grounded when you are in the midst of a major transition? Do you tend towards routine as a grounding or do you throw yourself fully into the whirlwind? Do you find that you react differently when a transition is sudden versus decided on and planned?
Personally, I have a find myself revisiting prior transitions as a new one approaches. I recall the impermanence of the transition itself and remember that there is another side to it. In the present moment, it's often hard to imagine what life was like before that transition. The most obvious example for me was giving birth. That transition to becoming a mother took one day. ONE DAY! January 5, no baby. January 6, baby! Of course, that wasn't a surprise but nevertheless, unimaginable.
The past is hard to remember and the future is unimaginable. Standing in between is sometimes so uncomfortable. But it's now. It's where we are. All we can do is take a deep breath and trust that the path we've taken to get to this point has prepared us for what is to come.
See you on the other side.