It has been a very productive couple of months and I have had some great reminders of taking the time to mark transitions from one thing to another. I have experienced the beauty and flow of doing so and the push and effort of not doing so.
On a macro level, at this time of the year, it might mean taking some time to transition into the New Year. Reflecting on what has past, the great stories and the not so great stories of the year. The looking toward of 2015. The journey behind and the journey ahead. It’s not about resolutions, though goal setting can be useful for some, it’s more about acknowledging an end and embracing the next beginning.
On a micro level, and sometimes a more powerful and profound level, it’s about knowing when to take a breath between daily moments.
How many times have you found yourself in the 4th meeting of the day without taking a breath between and reflecting, pausing and taking heed of what has actually gone down and giving yourself a moment? How many times have you jumped in the car to pick up the kids straight from an intense moment at work and found yourself irritated before they’re even in the car? Or gone from a strong family moment where you were deep in ‘discussion’ with your teenager then finding yourself in the supermarket car park having an overreaction to the person who got the space before you? Or the transition from work to home now there’s one I’m sure could do with some attention.
The key here is awareness. Mindfulness if you like. In all the busyness (business) of the day and the lives that we live, it can sometimes be tricky to remember to take some transition time. Bus’i’ness is a serious thing in most people’s worlds. Barrelling on through the bus’i’ness without marking transitions can be responsible for a build up of stress, of inattention, forgetfulness, hurried judgments and decisions … the list is endless and can often have disastrous consequences in our lives.
Taking time to learn some tools can help. Mark the end of one meeting with some breathing, a cuppa, a short walk, a loo break (consciously).
Breathing is the most helpful skill you have. We all know how to do it. Learn how to do it consciously to mark a transition. Alternate nostril breathing is great or just taking 3 deep breaths. You’ll be amazed how much time frees up.
There are many other tools and tips from mindfulness and meditation techniques that really work. Take some time to learn some. Or just simply begin by ‘noticing’, noticing the end of something and acknowledging it before you transition to the next thing.