All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy;for what we leave behind is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
~ Anatole Franc
What a great word to describe the sensations that often arise with major changes in life. Like all things that feel uncomfortable, we often deny the bitter as an opportunity to be felt.
However, if you don’t allow the stringent and melancholy to be felt; cradled in arms of comfort and care, then you will not be able to fully step into the sweetness of the change. There will always be a part that lingers with a backward glance.
If you miss fully experiencing that delicious excitement and joy of change, then you miss the moment of now. You miss savouring this start of this new journey in your life.
I learned of this when I moved from Melbourne to Moscow. Goodbye Vegemite, good bye yoga studio, bye bye veggie garden, good bye one piece bathing suits! See you over the computer family and friends.
So here is how to give a full-body hug to change:
- Allow yourself to reflect on the regrets. Bid tata to what is passing. Raise your glass and shed a tear for what was.
- Be patient with yourself if your emotions spill over and get all mixed up in a puddle. Comfort yourself like a small child if you have a meltdown or just feel a little blue.
- Physically move your body. It doesn’t matter if it is an interpretative dance (gotta love ’em), a heart pumping run to deal with a slamming wall of anxiety or a dedicated yoga session. Allow your physical form to process the change and the passing of what was.
- Remind yourself of what is to come and if you can’t see the joy or the possibilities—then start a list of great benefits that will come with this change. How will it bring you closer to your authentic self? How will it benefit others?
- Revel and learn from the actual transitional stage from one life to another. Witness everything from your language, your thoughts and your bodily responses. Become aware of how you are dealing with the change. This is your opportunity to learn how you cope with major change and stress. It provides the opportunity for you to treat yourself as you need to—with more rest, more positivity, or by bidding farewell to the past.
Then finally, step into that change fully. Look around you. Take a deep breathe and enjoy the bittersweet.
Zali is an Australian writer and yoga teacher living in Moscow for a few years. You can get your pearly-whites into more of Zali’s articles at her website and blog Path to Contentment.