I started saying this to my students several years ago, as I was growing into my teaching style. Observing my class one day, I noticed the beauty of each person "choosing" how they moved from one pose to the next. I saw some take a pause before moving, while others would add a modification, such as, moving to the knees before pressing into downward dog, while others added a little "flourish" as they moved their arms between poses. It was a moment of pride as I saw each person creating their own practice and not just doing what the teacher was doing. So, I started reminding them that there is beauty in the transition and our transitions are unique to each of us.
As we move through life, the same is true. How are we transitioning in our daily lives? I'm currently reading High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard and this just happens to be part of the chapter on the habit of energy. Now, before some of you stop reading because of the title of the book, let me reassure you this is a book about creating habits that are essential to our well-being and showing up as your best self everyday, in every aspect of your life. It's not about achieving success, it's about creating habits that will carry us through whatever our path is with clarity and energy. It has already given me so much insight in just the first two chapters. I find it kismet that the subject of transitions is the first part of maintaining energy.
Think about the transitions of your day. I'll share my examples. I wake up in the morning and I transition from rest to action. I transition from quiet to noise as I go about making coffee, letting the dog out and greeting my husband. We chat for awhile before he's off to work and I transition from activity and noise to my time in meditation and prayer. When I prepare for my classes I transition from being alone in my studio space to the energy of my students and then reverse the action after class. These are just a few, but you get the idea. So how do I transition from one to the next? Am I rushing? Do I carry over tension from one activity to the other? Do I set a clear intention as to how I want to show up for the next activity? What is my energy level?
How can we make the transitions in our day more mindful? How can we show up as our best self? I believe the most important transition of our day is how we rise from sleep. Does the alarm immediately bring a sense of anxiety to you? Does your heart rate increase as you wake and think about all the things you have to accomplish in your day. So much to do, right? How can I even think about taking time to relax through the transition of it all? The simple beauty of the process is that it will remove so many of the negative obstacles that you create during the day.
I invite you to take a moment to close your eyes for a minute. Gently breathe through the nose and repeat to yourself the word release, over and over. Releasing the tension in the eyes, jaw, neck and shoulders (same as we do at the beginning of each class). When you feel the release of tension, set your intention. How do you want to achieve the next activity in front of you? What energy do you want to bring with you? Asking these questions or something similar begins the process of mindfulness. For example, you are going to transition from the moment when you are standing in your kitchen holding your morning cup of coffee, enjoying the quiet, knowing your kids are about to wake up. You know that getting ready for school in the morning can be challenging for all involved. Take a moment, holding that warm cup of coffee in your hands, close your eyes and prepare yourself for the transition into the next activity. How do you want to show up for your kids? What energy can you bring to them that will help shape their day? If you woke up tired and dreading the day, you're likely already envisioning the battle ahead of you. Can taking just a few moments to release, change the entire outcome? Let's try it! Close your eyes and release! RELEASE TENSION, SET INTENTION.
Here are some prompts from the book ~
Take a moment to write down the transitions you will experience in your day.
What causes you the most tension each day?
What could you do to remind yourself to release that tension throughout the day?
What would you do if you had more energy?
How do you want to start the next activity?
And my favorite ~ How would I show up if I were as energized as my best self?
I'll leave you with this. Life's journey offers so many wonderful opportunities to rise up and be the person God created you to be. I for one, would rather show up as that person, than get "lost in transition". When we are lost we end up just going through the motions of life, with no energy, no joy. We all have the ability to rise! I am grateful for the whole process, most of all, the transitions, which bridge the day to day into something amazing!
source High Performance Habits, How Extraordinary People Become That Way --Brendon Burchard
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