Back To School: the yoga of transitionBy Suzi Korsak
September 13, 2011
An empty nest...that term brings up emotions for any parent from sadness to joy. Often there are apparently conflicting emotions accompanying any transition and this article focuses on when adult children leave home.
An empty nest….that term brings up emotions for any parent from sadness to joy. Often there are apparently conflicting emotions accompanying any transition and this article focuses on when adult children leave home. My son Derek is preparing to return to college this Saturday and I couldn’t be happier…..I am also sad….and I was reminded by my guidance that this is much like embracing the sensations occurring while holding a difficult yoga pose. I needn’t move toward the pleasant and away from the difficult, but embrace all of the sensations and feelings of transition. I am aware that there is nothing to be managed as my wounded self might believe, but to be embraced with love and compassion. I will not get better, nor navigate this transition by trying to manage my feelings, I will move through this transition with grace as I embrace and feel my feelings without becoming them or jump into the river of my difficult feelings.
I became aware of a deep heavy feeling, that wasn’t moving, and I realized I was in my head trying to prepare for the quiet in the house, preparing my heart for what it will feel….but guidance letting me know that was my wounded self trying to control rather than feel. As I tuned into what I was feeling in the moment, there was no heartache, no loneliness and I didn’t feel alone. I have done this earlier in August when my daughter went back to school. In the week leading up to her departure, I was in tears. I couldn’t explain these tears, she was leaving, and soon Derek was leaving and I would be alone. I knew it was time, yet there was a part of me that did not want to let her go. The same anticipation, the same heavy feeling, only to notice within 12 hours of her departure, my heart was still intact, in fact I wasn’t experiencing the heavy feeling. She was happy, and I was happy for her….I was in a new routine, because I had allowed myself to feel the separation without giving it meaning beyond what I was feeling. I realized the heavy feeling was my wounded-self bracing for the feeling of loss, making it feel stuck, heavy and difficult. Now as a similar feeling was rising up, I could identify the heavy as a control of my wounded self and move back into my heart to see in this moment I am not experiencing loss. My wounded self is trying to manage my feelings. I cannot get better by managing my feelings, but only by feeling the feelings of transition.
On Saturday morning, I will choose to be open to embracing all of my feelings. As I embrace my feelings with compassion, I am showing my child that transitions are not necessarily all joyful nor all difficult. I am available for connection once I have connected to my feelings, and our goodbye will be healthy. In this way there will be no pull, nor disconnection….only the experience of the present moment and wishing him well on his new journey as I begin my own.
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A rotor wind is violent and turbulent. Yet each one is crowned with a beautiful, puffy cloud. It is God's visible reminder that lightness of being is the result of what we transcend.
By Dr. Erika Chopich