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Managing Turbulent Transitions

Managing Turbulent Transitions

As many of you know this is a time of turbulent transitions, including those that are personal, societal, global, climatic, experiential, internal, external, physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental. In other words, just about every way possible.

Some of us don’t handle transitions well, finding them frightening, exhausting, trying, and challenging. Some of us find them exciting, energizing, interesting, or even fascinating. Child psychologists, parents and teachers tend to notice differences in children with regard to how they handle transitions. Some don’t mind much and others mind a lot. What are these transitions that we are referring to? Well, for a child it may be the transition from waking to sleeping or waking up after sleeping. They may be extremely grumpy, fussy, or even screaming in protest. Another transition children experience is being dropped off to day care or school and for some it is being picked up after they have settled in to their new surroundings. These days of so many divided families or joint custody situations children are often asked to spend weekends with one parent and weekdays with the other parent or some other such agreed upon schedule. Sometimes the parents have remarried and have started a new family or have a family they married into – making the whole transition even more challenging, especially if there are complications like conflict, manipulation, or resentment.

How children handle these transitions can be extremely trying for everyone involved. There may be tears, clinging, clutching, screaming and a whole range of rather unpleasant reactions. Afterwards there may be no problem at all or there might be acting out like withdrawal, hitting other children, refusing to participate and the like. Some children grow into adults that have the same patterns of difficult transitions and some children completely get over it and welcome changes later on in life. Obviously, a personal sense of safety and security is involved but in some cases the child comes from a very supportive environment and has no external or obvious cause for behaving in these ways. Out of a family of four children only one might have difficult transitions.

Now let’s look at transitions and soul age. Toddler souls tend to seek life situations that have less difficult transitions built-in. They may live in small towns that remain mostly unchanged over many generations or seek out employment in the local factory or industry where they stay until retirement many years later. During certain times a career in the military or government often promised such stability. Belonging to a local church for many years similarly offered stability when other social changes could not be controlled. There are many country songs about going back home to the small town where things were good and stable.

Mature and older souls tend to welcome change or at least accept it as a part of life’s greater challenges that cannot be avoided. They could always find change in their choice of work, travel, educational opportunities, and lifestyle. In the past they were the ones who left home to seek out growth opportunities. Child level souls often would break out to seek out influence, power, fame, and fortune.

Depending on where one lives in the world there are long periods without change or disruptive, massive changes having to do with war, pestilence, slavery, famine, conversion, climate change, and local catastrophes like earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and volcanic eruptions. Younger souls simply have not fared well in these kinds of events and situations. Right now, we have entered into perhaps the greatest time of change that the human race has ever seen. Every institution is affected, every country, every society is subject to global media, social media, and instant news broadcasts that impact the entire world. In other words, there is no place to hide anymore. There are increasing effects of climate change, the threat of nuclear war, economic earthquakes like intense inflation influencing the whole world, supply chains disrupted, food insecurity, governments collapsing, political change, and disruptions of every kind. These are the beginnings of the most turbulent times of transition that the world has ever seen and that is saying a lot because there are have been many times the whole world has been intensely impacted.

How do we cope? The world’s population is much too big now for any one person to change the impact on hundreds of millions of people. Many will be disrupted, many will die untimely deaths due to uncontrolled circumstances. When there is an earthquake or an avalanche one just has to wait it out and cope with the aftermath as best as one can. Some will not be prepared for such dramatic and sudden changes and will perish or go by the wayside. What can be done? Actually, a great deal can be done if one is prepared and not resistant to change.

Here are some ways to be prepared and ways to cope with the unthinkable:

  • Always accept what happens as if you had chosen it, even if you disagree with it.
  • Do what you can to help in a local way but realize you cannot save the whole world or the masses.
  • Accept transitions as part of the greater transformation. There is always birth and death, sometimes more of one than the other.
  • Make a habit of blessing everyone and everything as often as possible.
  • Refrain from judgement as best you can. None of us knows the ramifications of each decision made.

Regarding those things you cannot control, realize its only a movie played on the screen that is not influenced by what is playing on it. You are not the movie, only the screen.

Get some distance from the whole drama. Be as neutral as you can. Open your heart, find kindness and generosity there, as well as compassion and forgiveness. Cultivate gratitude no matter how awful the event seems.

Be as present as possible during every waking moment. Be aware that the current moment is eternal. What is occurring is passing out of reality.

Pay attention to your awareness, consciousness, presence. They are the only things you can count on, the only stability, the only reality in a world of illusions. They are what connect you to everyone and everything, even to what appears to be your most bitter enemy.

There is no crisis to the one who sees no crisis.

Be aware of how you frame things, how you interpret the world around you. Be aware of your choices in how you judge things.

Remember that anger is sourced in fear and fear is sourced in the illusion of separation. Fear is suffering, unnecessary and never justified.

Adrenaline is not necessarily fear but a call to action.

Be fearless and strike (make your choice) like lightning when the time is right.

Share what you have with whomever needs it. There is always more.

Physician heal thyself. Do not be blinded by the light. Look at your shadow to heal yourself.

Where you stumble, there your treasure lies. You stumble where you are not looking or paying attention.

Stay in your own lane. Ask if another needs help, but do not mettle.

Do not find meaning and self-worth in others’ dramas or in your own.

Sound can heal when used appropriately. Avoid excessive clamor. Seek Peace within.

Look around and see that there is nothing outside of Spirit. God is.

Laugh often, play often, sing often.

Do not refrain from pleasure. Just don’t need it to be whole or gratified.

You do not have to do anything about love. Let it be strong. Let it be full. Let it be.

Some of the greatest transitions happen within, having nothing to do with external changes.

Transitions may require letting go of the known, letting go of what you have become attached to even if that has been a prison. There is loss, yet there is something greater awaiting, something that is unchanged, just neglected, waiting to be embraced again. Perhaps it will become known to you. It is what is always true. Always true.

Be someone who transitions well. Accept it. Integrate it. Look for the opportunity in it. It is not other than you, rather it is also you.

If you cannot, that is okay too. Perhaps it is not the right time yet. The unclear will become clear and you will know how. Meanwhile there is always something to celebrate.

If you grumble, if you complain, if you are critical, just notice. Just observe. Feeling unhappy is never fun. Behind that you do feel good, very good, just temporarily out of focus. See if you can bring it into focus and you will perform what seems like a magic trick. Amazing!


© All rights reserved. www.thepowerpath.com 

You may make copies of this writing and distribute it in any media you wish so long as you do not charge for it or alter it in any way. You must credit the author and include this entire copyright notice. While the text may be shared, no audio files including lectures, music and/or sound meditations may be posted on any site for any reason without written permission from the Power Path.

José Stevens PhD is an international lecturer, corporate team builder and organizational coach, consultant and trainer. A psychologist, licensed clinical social worker and author of more than twenty books and numerous articles, he is also co-editor for A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism and a board member of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners. He is the founder, with his wife Lena, of the Power Path School of Shamanism and The Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating youth in indigenous cultures. He has completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol Maracame in Mexico and has studied with the Shipibos of the Amazon and the Paqos of the Andes for the last thirty years.

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