This is the feeling we all avoid: dangling. Caught between two worlds. Transitions. Good-byes. There’s something about shifting from one world to the next that causes us all (and yes, I am going to be so bold as to say ALL) of us to go unconscious, like taking your eyes of the road to change the channel. In that brief second anything can happen, and it does.
Think about it. There’s a reason we can’t find our keys, our phone, or where we took off our shoes. Copious amounts of books have been written about how to be ‘present’. Why? Because transitioning is a challenge on multiple levels:
- THE BRAIN. Our circuitry doesn’t do blended thinking. We’re not a margarita, we’re a seven layer dip. We stack one thought on top of another, piled onto another one. We may have multiple thoughts all at once, but it’s seriously, despite what you may think, our brain doesn’t mash together like pastry dough. You can’t gently knead it from one form into another. It doesn’t work that way. Did you know your capacity to have a ‘mix’ of multiple thoughts isn’t even physically possible until you’re five to seven old? Seriously… so all of us parents have to chill out a bit with our Kindergarten expectations. Our kid’s brains can’t hold two thoughts at the same time for awhile. Those of us seven years old and up reading this, barely can too. We don’t blend our thinking, we switch tracks. _____________________________________
- OUR FEELINGS. Enough said. While feelings are also a bi-product of our physical body in connection to the imprints and neuro-pathways we’ve created in our brain, they have been known to swoop in, dive bomb us with mini explosions, sometimes flooding us with a challenge to learn how to swim in the waves. They feel all mixed up. They do not seem like a seven layer dip, they feel like the aftermath mess of a holiday party. _____________________________________
- OUR EXPECTATIONS. We arrive home. In one moment we are turning our car off. In the next moment we are reaching to remove the keys from the ignition and we already have a thought in our head. Right? It’s probably something like: Did anyone think about dinner or do I have to? or Damn, I forgot to…, or Yay!!! I’m home!!! I’m so tired… or Okay, don’t forget to do this… this… and this… before you go to bed. There are other, harder thoughts you may be having too. This thing called life is one long list of to do’s and measure-ups and our expectations keep us moving. It’s not just our body which is tired when we hit the pillow, our brain is too.
These are the everyday reasons why transitions can challenge us, and there are bigger, more dramatic ones too:
- and many more.
There are multiple reasons why we choose to slip away from one moment into the void of a next one without acknowledging the micro-transition we are in, and that’s what change is, a series of micro-transitions.
One breath to the next.
One feeling to the next.
One noticing to the next.
One one one one one – on to another – one one one one one – to another one one one one one. That’s what change is.
Some days like New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Week, we enter a forced transition. One year closes and within a micro-transition we are thrust into the fireworks of a new one. Some of us don’t like being told what to do so time becomes a ‘construct’, others of us love structure and in light of the New Year, we’re on the hunt for the best day-timer ever, some of us choose to not invest at all, in any of it and we just go to the party.
Not attached, nor detached.
It’s something that happens every year on this human plane called our life – two stories collide called New Year’s Eve (and week) and some of us get lost in it for very personal and logical reasons.
Here’s what I want you to know: You’re okay. You’re good. You’ve got this. You are not your feelings, or time, or your thoughts. You are YOU, and there’s a hell of a lot of shit going on inside of you during a transition.
I got you right now, which means you got you too.
Happy New Year.
Because given a choice between saying: Shitty New Year! or Unconscious New Year! or Scary New Year! I am choosing, in this micro-transition to wish you a HAPPY one.
I got you.
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TinaO is a Writer, Story Coach, and Host of the TinaOShow, collecting and telling Stories from the Core. She’s the co-owner of The LEAP Learning Lab with Gina Best, and the other half of The Writer’s Compass with Meribeth Deen. She says: Stories are like toddlers, they will follow you around, tugging, hanging off of you until you listen to them.