The Kenwood Press
: 06/01/2015

Navigating a new direction

Donna Colfer

Transitions require doing something different than you’ve done before. You don’t need to have all the answers when you begin to head off the usual path. If you usually look straight ahead, veer to the right or to the left. Engage in stillness – or activities – that allow more ease and flow to come into your decision-making process.

I find natural surroundings help to calm the mind and relax physical tension. How about taking a walk on a new trail you haven’t traveled before? Maybe you haven’t taken the trail because you were afraid. Maybe you thought it was going to be too hard, too steep, or too rocky, but you’ll never know unless you take the trail. How does this experience in nature mirror your transition?

Whatever the transition, it can impact your finances and your decision-making ability. When can I retire? Do I need to find another job? How can I afford to take care of my aging parent? Can I still financially support my adult son or daughter? Taking a break and using that time to contemplate and do nothing, even for an afternoon, will offer very different benefits versus attempting to complete your never-ending to-do list. It allows greater potential to create and problem-solve with more ease and flow.

Recently, I participated in a writing workshop at Jack London State Park. We were a small group and needed to state our intention before going on a mini vision quest. Off I went for a couple of hours, solo, on my vision quest while staying open to receiving any messages or guidance. After wandering for the first half hour waiting for my “aha moment,” I found a bench where I could rest in the sun. The bench had a plaque honoring a woman who had passed. It stated her name, the time she spent on earth, and in quotes said, “On with the dance.” I stopped in my tracks and thought, “There’s my first message!” My first passion as a young girl was ballet, so these words resonated with me deeply. Here I sat in the sun, feeling warm and comfortable in spite of the cool breeze. I took my shoes and socks off and looked at the perfect rows of the vineyard in front of me, the panorama of our valley to my left, and the deep blues and greens of the forest in the distance on the mountain to my right. I was experiencing heaven on earth, not unusual for where we live, and with my eyes closed I asked for guidance. Within the next several minutes the words “exposed/exposure” came whirling in like a tornado! My second message had arrived. My next phase would require more exposure and it would be as comfortable as sitting on this bench fully exposed to the sun and the panoramic views. Nature was reflecting the transition I was experiencing.

Simple messages can inspire you to your next knowing, the next phase that can come with ease and flow, just by allowing yourself to take a different direction from your daily routine and allowing the creativity to flow. This will help you make these transitions smoother and more fun.

If you have a tendency to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or perhaps even paralyzed without knowing how to navigate your next move in life, sit still and listen to yourself deeply and follow your instincts. Sit in your backyard or find a trail and stay open to the messages. Begin with a clear, specific intention of what you need. The more clarity your intention has, the more obvious your answer will be. Be open to answers. Avoid thinking you didn’t receive an answer because it didn’t come in a form you expected. Hear it in a bird’s call. Did something just fly by your head? Did the wind voice itself? Did it start to rain, cleansing you of your past? Even the experience of pure boredom may have a message for you.

In nature, there is no attachment to the outcome. Expectations and attachment often set you up for suffering. If you don’t like what’s happening in your life, find a way to see the gift in the lesson to be learned. Is there a grand dose of acceptance or perhaps self-forgiveness needed?

How can you derive some comfort during life’s transitions? Take the time to understand how change affects you. Relax your nervous system, ask for clarity, and listen for the messages. It becomes easier when you’re inspired and motivated to make the necessary shifts.