Most say that we are creatures of habits that dwell in the comfort provided by routines, stability and predictability. We don’t like change, not even the appearance of change. How much of what we do on daily basis is a repeat of what we’ve done the day before? quite a lot for me if I’m being honest… but I digress so let’s stick to a less broader topic for now.
At a smaller scale, change happens through a set of transitions… and we don’t like transitions either. We can avoid change but we can’t avoid transitions. What am I talking about exactly? During my last trip, I’ve experienced once again this discomfort during transitions. Transition from the house to the airport in a Uber, transition from arriving at check-in to being ready to board at the gate, transition from being in the plane on the ground to be in the air and then back on the ground again. Transitions with de-boarding, getting in another cab or train, getting a rental, packing before the trip, unpacking at the destination, settling in the new place etc… you get the picture.
It feels like we are jumping from perceived moments of stability to the next, trying to avoid and power through these transitions. Because they make us feel insecure, as if something unpredictable could happen; like we forgot something somewhere or didn’t plan to bring something or because our timing could be wrong… the discomfort of the unknown. We can master repetitive transitions though (i.e. waking up, going to work etc.) but that is transforming them into routines… which we can finally enjoy.
Ironically enough we are not the only one being vulnerable to and during transitions. Airplanes are most subject to problems at take-off and landing. Same goes for rockets and spacecrafts. Submarines and ships also face their biggest challenges when being put in, or taken out of the water. Even particle, at the quantum level, jump between different level of energy through precarious and unstable transitions (or so science says).
I’ve learned to realize that while uncomfortable, transitions are inevitable. And they do provide us with a small scale opportunity to stay focused in the present, in the moment… and to feel whole, empowered and safe. If for just a moment we can look at our fears for what they are: the fear of being late, the fear of not making it, the fear of missing something… and realized that we’re just being played out by our mind who doesn’t want to loose control. Embracing transitions and testing our stance through transitions is a great way to be prepared for the bigger challenge: change.