As living beings, we are constantly in flux. From one moment to the next, we enter and exit present circumstances, leaving the current now for the next current now, adjusting and adapting along the way.
We make plans for our futures, we negotiate potential scenarios, assess the outcomes of one possibility to the next. We want to know what we’re doing, what we need to get there, how we’re gonna get there, and we want to already be there, now. We are assertive and we are impatient. These are productive uses of our imaginations, when we plan, mentally preparing us for what could come and “getting the gears going” to put said plan into action.
With planning also comes the constant state of not knowing. Particularly when waiting on someone/thing else to finalize before any of these plans can happen, these planning moments can cycle endlessly, not getting us any closer than before, and exhausting us in the process. These moments of transition accompany feelings of dis-ease. Anxiety rises as uncertainty takes front seat.
Don’t forget to breathe.
Remember to breathe.
Exhale fully. Inhale slowly through your nose. Feel the inhale expand throughout your body, from your head to your toes. Feel your breath fill your lungs to your abdomen. Expand your breath as much as you can, holding for a second at the top, then exhale slowly through your mouth or nose.
Do this for 5-20 breath cycles, any time of day as many times a day as you need.
Your breath is your life force. These deep, cleansing breaths nourish the whole system, increasing circulation and filtering out waste. Let go of toxic thoughts that do not support you during this transition. Uplift and encourage yourself through these periods of discomfort. Grasp what you need to hold on to and let go of what you don’t. Be as proactive as you can be, then practice trust. Let go of what is no longer serving you and trust yourself, that you’ve got your back.
Enjoy the ride. It’s cliche and overused, but it’s true. Be happy that your ride is still in service. One way to practice enjoying the ride, particularly during times of uncertainty, is through meditation. Incorporating a state of mindfulness into your everyday may make those moments a little easier to handle. Micozzi (2015, p. 123) describes meditation and mindfulness:
“The goal of mindfulness is to become more aware, more in touch with life and what is happening at the time it is happening, in the present. Acceptance does not mean passivity or resignation. Accepting what each moment offers provides the opportunity to experience life more completely. In this manner, the individual can respond to any situation with greater confidence and clarity. One way to envision how mindfulness works is to think of the mind as the surface of a lake or ocean. Many people think the goal of meditation is to stop the waves so that the water will be flat, peaceful, and tranquil. The spirit of mindfulness practices is to experience the waves.”
Mantras to remember when in limbo:
Be where you are now.
The only way out is through.
Be it preparing for a new job, searching for living conditions, finishing a degree program, finding your tribe, or uprooting altogether and doing them all at the same time, remember to enjoy the process. Try not to get caught up in the nausea of the pot being stirred; instead, take in the new scenery and find joy in awaiting opportunity.
Practice implementing these mentalities in the uncomfortable moments of transition. If you can sit in meditation for 5-10 min a day, great. But you can begin practicing mindfulness by becoming more aware, by experiencing your present moments more fully.
Be kind to your self, to your body. Honor your place in life and accept what you cannot control. Embrace the waves and find strength in knowing you will come out of it the other side, because it’s what you do.
Honor where you are now - it’s the only time you get to be there.