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Mindful : October 2014
Transitions Are Triggered by Changes You can bet good money that you will experience changes. I’ve obser ved there are five Ds that propel us into reconsidering our lives: Death, Disaster, Disease, Divorce, and Downsizing. They are the ha rbingers of tra nsition because they sig na l that something familiar— a role, a way of living, a rela- tionship—has come to an end. In a culture like ours that sees time as a straight line moving from past to future, these changes seem like finalities, the end of the road. Endings ca n come with despair, g rief, and a sense that a future is impossible. A ten-year old girl from a well- to-do family comes home from school in El Salvador to find her 40-yea r-old father has died. The family plunges headlong into wrenching change. Her mother leaves her a nd her siblings behind to work as a maid in America, sending money back home for a decade. Eventually the fa mily is reunited. The little girl grows to be a successful finance executive, but says her father’s death ended the sense of safety, security, and fa mily she had known. Not all cha nges are gloomy. Graduations, births, and promotions are also moments when the old and familiar dissolve into something new and unknown. These are the changes that can take us by surprise because even though they are ostensibly “positive,” it means that some sort of reformatting is taking place and with that an old way of life passes into history. Maybe you miss the quiet days before children or the frivolity of student life or the flow-like pleasure of con- tributing to an organization without the heav y responsi- bilities of being a manager. It may come as a mystery as to why you’re feeling sullen or longing for some previous way of being despite moving into a new and wider world. Endings need to be acknowledged. We need to give them attention, accept that they are taking place, and appreciate the experiences that led to them. They ask us to bring things to closure. Instead of seeing time as a straight line, if we see life as a series of cycles of growth, maturation, and death fol- lowed by rebirth, we better understand why endings are necessar y for new beginnings. CONTEMPLATION Do you have a pattern in how you deal with endings? Do you just keep moving or make space to mourn or acknowl- edge what was lost? Do you accept that something or someone has passed? What endings are incomplete? How can you create a way to bring closure to unfinished business? → October 2014 mindful 73 in practice insight Bring Mindfulness to Life “The Mindfulness Without Borders’ curriculum is wonderful, not only its content, but also the audacious vision behind it.”— Jon Kabat-Zinn MINDFULNESS NewCourses MINDFUL 365: In five online classes, you will explore the core concepts of social-emotional learning (SEL) and everyday mindfulness practices as they relate to self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, attention, and stress management. Open to all. No meditation experience required. CEUs available. Cohort 4: Tuesday Evenings, Sept. 9- Oct. 7, 2014 Cohort 5: Tuesday Evenings, Oct. 21- Nov. 18, 2014 MINDFUL EDUCATORS: In six online classes, you will get certified to facilitate the Mindfulness Ambassador Council – a 12-week, evidence-based intervention that addresses strategies individuals need to support their healthy development and unique potential. Your online experience includes lesson plans, home assignments, instructional videos, small group dialogue and down- loadable mindfulness practices. Prerequisite: Mindful 365. CEUs available Tuesday Evenings, January 20- February 24, 2015 Save 10% when you register Discount code: mindfulmag www.mindfulnesswithoutborders.org/online-learning Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org