Transitions: Invitations of Initiation

Transition Tool: The Power of Perspective

Today’s post offers a perspective of transitions: transitions as an invitation of initiation.

During transitions we each come face to face with a choice point of letting go. Of releasing our “grip” on what was. This can be prompted by external conditions and yet the real work of responding occurs more deeply inside.

This experience may present as a deep sense of restlessness, an unease, a series of sleepless nights and a pursuit of topics we’d never even considered before.

A search begins and before you know it, we look different, sound different and begin to sense all is no longer as it was. An ending has begun. We have entered the domain of transition.

Layers & Cycles

There are many layers of transition. I have found it helpful to hold a perspective of cycles and layers when working with my own transitions & in my work in supporting others. Whether as individuals, groups or teams, cycles have core phases and many layers. Each requiring a level of participation, whether we are aware of it or not.

Let’s look at seasonal transitions. For those of us who deeply enjoy the bright summery vibe, when Fall arrives, we can find ourselves resisting it. We go without socks until our toes demand we cover them up. We seek to soak up the residual warmth of the sun. And we begin to “dread” the season that isn’t even here yet, Winter.

Our experience of seasonal transitions is greatly influenced by our beliefs, values and attitudes of what was, is and will be. How much we “enjoy” and as a result employ a value on one season over another often colours how we meet these seasonal shifts. Similarly when we experience the daily cycles within this context, our senses shift.

Daily, in the season of Fall, Autumn, we awake and it’s dark. We roll over and hit the snooze button feeling a pull to stay wrapped in the cozy embrace of our bed, resisting the call of the day before daylight appears. And yet, we know it is time to get up and begin again.

Each season & cycle of the day has her badge of promise. Spring heralds new beginnings, Summer the ripening of fruits, explosions of scents, hues and vibrant experiences; Fall the harvest of experience and Winter a space of pulling in and slowing down to percolate. Daily, our morning offers a “fresh start”, mid day, digestion is high and nighttime becomes our call for rejuvenation.

These two examples (seasonal and daily cycles) on the surface seem straight forward. They for many of us don’t embody the deep inner turmoil of some other transitions we may be facing. Their layers are more subtle, and yet many ancient wisdom teachings such as Ayurveda speak to their lessons and potentials. On a more explicit & visible layer, when we face life changes such as a divorce, a job loss, a new job, a new relationship, an end of a dream etc. we’re able to clearly see the external presence of transition.

Transitions however “big or small” ; “visible or subtle” all have an inner component of potentiality.

Today’s post offers a perspective of transitions, one that presents transitions as an invitation of initiation.

To begin the exploration of this inner realm of transition, let’s begin by grounding in a couple of perspectives via definitions of both transitions and initiations that may help set a container for todays’ exploration.

Transitions

Transitions are a process, not an event. They are experiences we all go through and they can be filled with excitement, suffering, disappointment, joy, adventure, fear & grief. I liken the ride to that of a surfer. Once we step on to the board, we’re in. The waves come and go. We discover our inner strength and resourcefulness come alive. Even when we fall.

Transition is the inner psychological process that people go through as they internalize and come to terms with the new situation that the change brings about.

https://wmbridges.com/what-is-transition/

Initiations

Initiations are a concept held culturally as markers of a passageway between phases and states. To initiate is to begin a new. A new chapter of life, a new tribal connection, a new state of being. The phase and journey of this can be something of a transition which calls us inwards.

This turning inward highlights what is or is no longer true for us. We can sense that the ground of what once held promise and security shakes & in some cases dissolves. We’re left to consider what roots us when what we once believed and held true no longer fits.

Every initiation presents the opportunity for illumination.

https://thefourwinds.com/blog/shamanism/rites-of-passage/

Inquiries

If we were to consider our current transition as an invitation of initiation, I wonder what might be illuminated?

Maybe a new perspective, a new opportunity , a deeper understanding of ourself.

As I consider transitions as an invitation of initiation I sense a greater map for considering the relevance of life as a workshop. A workshop filled with opportunities to grow, to refine & become.

  • What if the transition you’re moving through was an invitation of initiation?
  • How might this perspective expand your willingness to welcome what’s unfolding differently?

Many of us want to jump the cue of transitions. We want to “get to the new beginning”. And yet, part of the “new beginning” begins with an ending, a passageway through what feels uncertain, chaotic and uncomfortable.

I wonder what might become possible when entertaining transitions through the lens of initiation?

A promise of a passageway into the birthing of the new. Birthing is a creative process that requires gestation and labour. The experience of which can, if we seek it to last, require much of us.

I hope today’s post has inspired some new ways of considering your current transition.

Take this offering for a walk. Ponder it deep inside. Journal about what comes up for you.

And a gentle reminder, as you engage your transition, remember it is a journey you don’t need to travel alone.