Jeffrey Preiss, Manager of Development & Communications
September may feel like a month of rapid change with the start of the school year, the end of summer vacations, and a return back to structured routines and schedules.
In September we say farewell to summer and hello to the fall; we witness trees losing their leaves and flowers going into hibernation. For those of us on the West Coast, we witness the return of rain and grey skies and say farewell to long afternoons on the beach.
September is a month of endings and beginnings.
William Bridges, an organizational consultant and author of Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, draws a line between the fact of change and the process of transition. Change is a particular situation that happens. Transition is the process that we go through to acknowledge and integrate change.
We can name change moments and events in our lives, like starting a new school year, but the experience of transition is much more attuned to our feelings and emotions. It is during transition that we must pay attention to what is going on in our hearts and minds: excitement, fear, anticipation, loss. It may mean we need to seek additional support.
When transition feels overwhelming, one of the mindfulness practices we use as a staff team at the Crisis Centre and in our training programs is S.T.O.P.
S – Stop. Literally, stop.
T – Take. Take a few deep breaths to help refocus on the present.
O – Observe. Pay attention to what is going on in and around you. What are you feeling? What sensations are you aware of? What thoughts do you have? What is your body telling you?
P – Proceed. Go on with what you were doing, being mindful of and incorporating what you just learned about yourself.
As you experience transitions, leverage the S.T.O.P. practice to help you find your centre. We are also available to listen. Our volunteers and staff are ready to pick up the phone or chat with you online.
William Bridges, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, Rev. 25th Anniversary Ed., 2004.