Well, here we all are. It is September, the leaves are changing, children are going back to school and the air feels cooler. People speak about September as a time of growth, change, opportunity, a fresh start.
Hold on, though. I have not felt that way this past week. And from everyone I have spoken with, this is a pervasive theme. For those of us that are parents, some children are going back to school in person and some are remaining online. In either case, school looks and feels different. The excitement is not in the air in the same way as it was before.
How do we experience transitions when time feels like it never changes and just stands still?
Fall this year feels more like a continuation of the past 6 months. We can reflect on time passing but without the same markings of change. Growth, excitement and opportunity seem harder to find. How do we experience transitions when time feels like it never changes and just stands still?
During this pandemic, many of us talk about looking for silver linings. Although it might sound trite, I believe it is very important for our mental health. Can the hunt for silver linings help us to recognize transitions? Can being mindful of those daily silver linings change our perspective, even ever so slightly?
I was fortunate enough to be able to spend this past weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city. And I took an opportunity to engage in some mindfulness during my walk. And I noticed apples had fallen on a trail I was walking on. And the leaves had changed. And I thought – wow – time is passing. Things are changing. I looked around me at the gorgeous mountains and asked myself: can I be present in this moment without a focus on the past or the future. Just. Be. Here.
I can also seek out small changes, be mindful of them as a sign that life still moves forward and enjoy the transitions that life offers me in this moment.
And then I asked myself, how do I want to frame transitions this year? I can focus on the sameness and the sadness that can go along with that. But I can also seek out small changes, be mindful of them as a sign that life still moves forward and enjoy the transitions that life offers me in this moment. This moment might not always be what I had hoped for and wished for. But I can still be present in this moment.
Have you been practicing mindfulness? It is an amazing practice that is part of our toolbox of skills for mental health. Come to Forward Thinking Psychological Services and be mindful with us.