There is a phase during childbirth when the cervix has not finished dilating to allow birth to complete. Usually the baby is pretty ready but the mother’s body is not. This time is called transition. At this time, the mother herself is turned inwards to manage the extraordinary change her body is undergoing.
I am going through a transition now, a rather more prosaic one which has nothing to do with birthing in the more usual sense. I am changing one way of life for another as I move more into private practice, and I am experiencing this very much as a realignment. It is intense. I am turning towards a different way of spending my days. And as I welcome this newness, this ‘birth’ in the later stage of my life, I am aware also of the difficulties of my turning, of how my whole self is engaged as I surrender to the transformative process.
What sustains me is this, from Rumi:
Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.
I welcome the outcome and am excited at the opportunity to do the work I love every day. I know I am one of the fortunate ones. And I also know that there are losses involved in this progression: certain relationships and some of the more attractive aspects of predictability. There is an upheaval as the ground shifts…again. A life brings many times of transition – some big, some small.
I’m thinking of all of you undergoing all the many transitions that take place in a lifetime – some welcome, some decidedly unwelcome. Both kinds often need some ‘coming to terms with’. Avoiding the noticing, the consideration of passage and its rites, the rituals: traditional or newly created, the very acknowledgement of metamorphosis, does not let you off. Not in my experience anyway. David Bowie told us to “Turn and face the strange.’ Good advice.
If you choose to take this sage advice, you find the opportunity for evolution, for growth, awaits you. There is gold in these here hills. Takes some hard work though, that’s the thing. That’s the often scary, pretty unbelievable thing. And it can take a while. Sometimes I think the change takes place so we can do the internal work that change forces upon us.
But remember, as you creep, sidle, fall, or leap towards change, the heart still works like an engine, even when it’s in your mouth. Whoop!