Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions. Primarily, how we show up in the “in-between” moments.
What do you do when you’re waiting in the grocery store line? Peruse the magazines, scroll through your phone, or stare impatiently at the checking out process ahead of you? What would happen if you took each used those in-between moments to take a deep breath, notice the life happening all around you, and chose to just be?
Not looking at a phone, not mentally going through a to-do list, but to just BE. It’s possible to let being itself be the activity in these moments. In doing so, you have the opportunity to change your experience.
I find that when I do this, it’s as if I have more time in my day. When I spend my transitions engrossed in the future or mindlessly filling up space, I am wishing away the present moment. This especially comes up for me around my toddler. She’s getting better at entertaining herself, so every once in a while I find myself not having to “mom” for a moment.
When I choose to breathe deeply, observe her play, and take in the present moment, I am usually filled with gratitude for that pause. When I immediately grab my phone and start looking for ways to be productive, that moment is lost. Her next toddler-y demand seems to happen more quickly, as does my frustration with the interruption to my so-called productivity.
My physical yoga practice shifts as well, when attention is given to transitions. When I let the moments in between poses be as important as the poses themselves, I can access a sort of continuity that helps my attention to stay focused.
The 10 minutes before class, when I’m waiting for the practice to start can be an opportunity to deepen my breath, practice being still, or completely and generously listen to the person beside me sharing about their day.
The gathering up my stuff and leaving the studio after practicing, becomes a mindful experience of how the practice has shifted my energy instead of a rush to do the next thing.
In any in-between moment is an opportunity to add more fullness to our lives, not be doing more but by being more ALL THERE.
Catherine currently teaches at Victory Power Yoga in Clayton, NC. You can find out more about her practice and teaching at www.catherinestriegel.com.