The courage to embark on a transitional experience happens when the desire to change is equal or greater to the need to stay in the familiar”
– Mylène Bergeron, Deep Flow founder and teacher
I got invited to Bali this summer, to work on a project. In the months leading up to it, all I could do was fantasize about it: a new adventure, a fresh experience in a new country, a boost to my career. So when I finally got there, I was surprised to find anxiety coiled at the base of my gut. And every time I was alone, I had to fight the urge to cry… and sometimes even fight the sinister questions:
’do I want to be here? Have I made a mistake?’
This was not what I was expecting, arriving in paradise. I didn’t understand it, even resisted it for a few days- until I learnt that even if your mind can understand and welcome a transition, it can take some time for your body and soul to adjust.
Our nervous system has to tune into its new environment, our breath has to reshape to the new space within. Our psyche needs time to adjust the people around us, creating a new identity to it all…
Mylène explained it to me this way: “transitions are like walking in a tunnel: we can look back to what we left behind, and maybe see the light to what we are going towards, but the transitional period itself – when you are still in between what was and where you are going, is somewhat sombre, unfamiliar and unsettling. Whether it’s transforming a living environment, changing a job or reshaping a relationship.
Most people avoid such experiences because of how awkward and uncomfortable they feel, when really, transitions – although they feel rugged in sensations – are an opportunity to press the reset button, change skin and renew.”
After hearing this, I let myself experience the discomfort of transition fully, I even let myself cry a few times, and each time I felt like I was equalizing myself, coming back into myself, reset and renewed.
Slowly letting this new environment, pace, routine, and people settle upon me. There is no perfect way to transition but to experience the full range of emotions it entails, even if they don’t make sense. Even if they’re uncomfortable as hell.
Because you’re in the tunnel now, and going back is not an option. Your desire to change is now greater than your need to stay in the familiar.
If you are going through a transition right now, give yourself time, allow yourself to adjust slowly, and I promise you’ll be out the other side of the tunnel soon enough.