There are many beginnings and endings. We see them in the seasons, in the plant world, friendships, relationships, goals and more. As our children returned to school this week, I have reflected on the end of summer and beginning of a new school rhythm. Our son has a new teacher this year and a few new children in his class. Our daughter has new children attending her school while some of her older friends moved on to 1st grade this year.
The night before his first day back, our son shared with me his thoughts about what might be expected of him and his classmates, what he might like to share in his journal and his apprehensions about certain unknowns. As I sat with him at bedtime, in the dark, I was grateful for his willingness to share his sensitivity and vulnerability.
How do you respond with transition and new change? As day turns to night, summer turns to fall, and change is in the air, opportunities arise to allow us to view our lives differently.
As we pray for peace around the world, a taming of the raging fires, we are taken out of our personal moments of transition. However, in working with finding our own peace within, we are part of the web to create peace. As a web spreads and grows so do seeds that are planted. Whether these are physical plant seeds, dreams, intentions, prayers or hopes.
Sweets have always been a place I return when stressed, in transition, or with apprehensions of the unknown. I find myself doing this less and less, though I still “enjoy me some sweet foods.” I still get “the revved up feeling” and can follow that thread or I can STOP.
In the Jewish tradition, this time marks a new year. A sweet new year is honored with apples dipped in honey. What would happen if we looked at transitions as “new years” or new. The solstices and equinoxes mark endings and beginnings. Creating rituals that are meaningful to you can help ease times of transition and find your own sweetness.
We are all busy and multi-tasking, whether we are parents or not. We can even be busy in our heads and “working” there, which is exhausting. Whether my own insecurities, fears and apprehensions are highlighted (A.K.A certain times of transition) or I’m living my multi-tasking life, here are some tips I have found helpful:
1. STOP. Literally stop. If you are walking around your house, stop. At your desk, stop typing or staring at the screen. Feel your body. Wait to feel it slow down, even for a moment.
2. Drink water. Use a straw to sip and savor or for more fun.
3. Have a green juice or smoothie. (Check out earlier posts for some ideas).
4. Use an essential oil. Some of my favorites include lavender, vetiver, rose, jasmine and sandalwood. Put a dab on your wrist or under your nose.
4. Walk outside. Even just step outside and listen for 1-2 minutes. Hear a different buzz in your ears (other than your self-chatter). Step barefoot on the earth.
5. Listen to devotional/intentional music such as chanting. These are non-denominational. Some choices I like include: Krishna Das, Deva Premal and Snatam Kaur.
6. Drink nettles tea. I love mixing it with some rose petals too.
7. Sharing candidly with friends how I am thinking about what is happening. Observing my thoughts as thoughts only. Share your sensitivity and vulnerability.
8. Hang out with our new dog. Pet her and connect.
9. Doing something opposite. For instance, when I get stressed, I often follow my pattern of “doing more.” To do the opposite I tweak this to “doing nothing or at least doing less.” It feels unfamiliar, uncomfortable at times and yet a breath of newness and fun and surrender. Ahhh…..
I hope you enjoy these for now. I encourage us all to find peace within and pray for peace all around. Dip some apples slices in honey, or dark chocolate in nut butter. Embark on new patterns for yourself. Below is a peace prayer sung by Tina Turner with children for your enjoyment.