Thursday, July 29, 2010

Transitions

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. ~Andre Gide

I was recently told by a friend that there is a time during delivery of a baby in which the process is so painful that the mom wants to run and hide and to do anything but keep pushing the baby out. This time is so aptly called the transition. What a perfect metaphor for our own life transitions and the transition we are in at this moment in history.

I am seeing it everywhere and feeling it all around me - transitions - from one existence we have known to one we are very unsure of, from an old paradigm to a new. These are very uncomfortable times for many. Some days it is uncomfortable for me, even painful, to go through this transition, that is until I let go or get out of my way, go inward, meditate or do something to release my grip of what I have known and allow something else to emerge.

I have likened it to any time in history in which people have discovered new paradigms and have gone against the grain.

Galileo, known by many as the father of modern science, was very controversial in his time. His studies in astronomy and science that supported the view that the Sun, not the Earth, was at the center of the universe went against the prevailing beliefs of the time. When he defended his views, he was tried by the Inquisition, found suspect of heresy, was forced to recant and spent the remainder that of his life under house arrest.

Columbus, whether you support him or not, when he set off to the west, their were conflicting beliefs at the time that the world was flat or that it had a much wider diameter. Hence, he was scoffed at for the idea of discovering new lands as it went against the prevailing beliefs. But he kept going when others didn't believe, only to (re-)"discover" the Americas and disprove existing theories.

When the pioneers in America crossed the frontier to head west and discover new lands, the same apprehension and fear of the unknown also was faced - and overcome.

There are many more stories like this over history in which visionaries, stepped out of the norm, out of the accepted and out of their comfort zones to find some unknown, that they believed was there and they believed was possible, when others dared not or feared the impossible and the unknown.

I believe we are in a transition like this and when major historical transitions like this come about, we are bound to be uncomfortable. Those of us on the cutting edge are likely to be questioned, doubted, even feared. For what we are discovering dares to question the existing paradigm, to change the current world view and to challenge what we have been taught, what we know and what we believe in.

Transitions can be uncomfortable and down right scary times for everyone. Yet we must remember in these transitions that there may be a period in which we lose sight of the shore for a long time, but we must keep going to see progress. We can not go backwards, that is no longer an option.

We have little choice but to step forward and trust that the steps will appear before us. We may want to stay stuck because we can't see the next step. But something will force us there whether we like it or not, so we might as well move forward in faith and trust, knowing that something better is coming. That is one thing we may surely have learned from history, is that in times like this, moving forward, taking one step forward in the direction of progress is much better than holding on to or standing still and staying stuck with what is no longer working.

In these times of transition, may you let go and move forward to do what it is you are here to do. Learn to trust the process and welcome in the new, rather than resist it and allow the pain, turmoil and transition to persist.

You can find me at www.facebook.com/pilarstella and twitter @pilarstella.

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