12 Steps for a Smooth Transition During Challenging Times

This summer my son Robbie and I spent a week tent camping in Mt. Rainier National Park. We camped in an old growth forest, a place called Ohanapecosh, a Native American name thought to mean “standing at the edge”.

I thought about Ohanapecosh again today. We as a society are at our edge right now, as a whole and inside each one of us. We are at a time where we can move forward and blossom into a new way or fall into a deeply grooved pattern of fear and disconnection. To move forward requires us to stand at the edge. This edge has been calling many of us for far too long.

1Photo credit: National Park service, Ohanapecosh Campground

It can be frightening to not know the next steps, to stand at the edge of our unknown future. For years, when working with people with chronic pain, I would ask the question, “who are your without your pain” (fill in the blank…job, relationship). Many had difficulty imagining who they were without it. Learning to let go and be in the pure potentiality of not knowing, to be in the space of standing at the edge of a new life and live with a new pattern became so threatening that at times, pain was more secure and easier to cope with. Every one of our cells has a living flowing charge designed for pure potentiality, working together ready to do our bidding, consciously or not.

Our new edge is a vibrant flowing charge we can all connect to at any given time. Below I have included 12 practices to stay connected and stay at the living edge as we transition during this time:

1. Gratitude practice – before bed, name 3 things  that you are grateful for during your day. You can also do this throughout the day by telling others your gratitude for them or as a means to acknowledge something to yourself.

2. Metta or loving kindness work – wishing yourself wellbeing and happiness and others has been found to change brain structure and increase happiness after just several weeks. Please see blog post on this website for instructions.

3. Eat plant based foods, minimize processed food and sugar. But you know that! Just try to get your sugar from fruit, your carbs from plants, with some protein at every meal.

4. Minimize chemicals on your skin and in your food – the skin is the largest organ in your body. Parabens are estrogen mimicking substances in lotions and shampoos, effecting our hormones and waterways. Use only the purest substances on your skin whenever you can.

5. Use alternative fuels to decrease our dependence on fossil based companies and get rid of the need for pipelines is essential.

6. Get outside everyday, the waters of your body are fed by sunlight. Vitamin D is made by skin and eye exposure. Contacts block the necessary light from entering your eyes to help make vitamin D. Getting out during middle of the day in the winter is the best time.

7. Let go of people, environments, and places that do not help you stay in balance. Or spend regular time with people, environments and places that nourish you: nature, temples and churches, friends.

8. Be selfish to be generous. This means, know yourself and your needs and answer them first before serving others. Entering into relationship with others requires we must learn to hear ourselves before we hear others. Your oxygen mask first.

9. Movements that cultivate calm. Running and high intensity exercise is only good for certain times of day and depending on what you are using it for. Learn to reduce cortisol in the body by doing high intensity exercise only in the morning or waiting several hours after eating. True fitness is not just measured by your aerobic capacity but by your ability to keep your parasympathetic and sympathetic systems in balance. If you need more help with that, schedule a consultation time with me.

10. Diaphragmatic breathing -instructions found in this blog.

11. Regular pattern of sleeping – same time of night going to bed and time of morning to get up. Turn off all media an hour before bed. Keep televisions out of your bedroom.

12. Drink purified water. Say a prayer over the water first, thanking it. Water is life and consciousness, it carries within it the vitality that will feed and merge with ours.

Enjoy the list and the transition…a new garden of vitality and living awaits!

2Photo credit: Steve Redman, The Ohanapecosh River Valley seen from the Naches Peak Loop Trail near Tipsoo Lake.