by | Jan 5, 2023 | 2 comments

New year is a pretty common occasion for connection and reflection. Whether this occurs in solitude or whilst discussing a popular year-end ‘Top Ten’ with friends, whether this results in a list of formal resolutions or a quiet inner acknowledgement, many people mark this time by tuning in and taking stock.

Transitions often have this effect on us. Moments in which we move from one thing to the next – from this to that, from that to this – encourage us, in very conventional language, to simply take a moment.

I remember being immersed in a flurry of meetings, for instance. These were six or eight in number, I believe. They were back to back in my schedule. In the gap between a couple of them, I recall spontaneously slowing down and taking a breath. In a very body-oriented way, I gazed back at what had happened, felt ahead to what was coming. For the briefest of instants, I settled into how this was for me.

A swell of appreciation rose up in that settling. Appreciation for the opportunity to do what I was doing. Appreciation for the circumstances allowing me to engage such work. Appreciation for the people I was interacting with. I was surprised by this. I remember feeling refreshed and renewed by the experience.

While appreciation is not the inevitable outcome of such occasions, surprise and renewal often are. A few moments connection and reflection are often enough – though certainly not always enough – for a fresh perspective to blossom in our lives. They are often enough for something unexpected to perforate a previous frame of reference. Like a brisk spring breeze that brings a slightly startling sense of wakefulness and inspiration.

Good news, then, that ‘from this to that’ transitions occur with some frequency in our lives. There is the already acknowledged turning of the years, of course. There is the often embraced shifting of seasons. And there is so much more…

A gap between meetings can be a transition if we welcome it as such. The moments before we begin meditation practice and the minutes immediately afterward offer transitions as well. Time spent in a bank line or a grocery checkout can be transitions. As can waking up or falling asleep, standing on the street corner waiting for the light to change.

When we really look, myriad movements from this to that arise in the course of a day. There are lots of transitions available to us; we don’t have to wait for new years or solstice. We can embrace our lives as they are right now. Take advantage of what they offer in this instant. In a few minutes, for example, I will complete the first draft of this essay. I can then place my hands on the desktop, sit up straight, release a long easy breath, and settle in. Then see what awaits.

– Neil


  1. Noticing the transitions is the trick, isn’t it? and even more than that, not just noticing them, but being aware of what they carry. I manage to notice them sometimes, but so often still with a sense of ‘oh, this is a transition, let’s stop and breathe, right check that box and let’s move on now”, which is not exactly the point.

    • Interesting points, Eadie. Perhaps it’s something like meditation practice in which we turn toward and settle in (aka: noticing the transition), and then receive the wisdom of the moment (aka: being aware of what they carry). Very interesting points…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Stay Connected