Managing Transitions in Life

The one thing you can be sure of in life is that there will be times when you’re thrown a curve ball. Something will happen that you aren’t expecting.

Even though you know you’ve got the strength to handle anything that life brings you, you might still be taken aback by an unexpected change in your life direction.

These suggestions will help you successfully handle some of life’s transitional times:

  1. Take a deep breath. Pause for a moment and give yourself time to just breathe.
  2. Process the information. Next, allow yourself some time to think through what’s happened. This might take a few days, depending on your situation. From your perspective, what occurred?
  3. Talk about it. Call a close friend or family member you trust and tell them about what’s going on in your life. It helps to hear yourself think aloud whenever you’re faced with an enduring challenge.
  4. Consider your options. Although you might not be completely ready to move on yet, try to ponder fully your situation and where you could go from here. Be open-minded about resolving the current issues in the short-term.
    • If your situation involves an ending of a relationship, for example, maybe you’ll have to find another place to live quickly. Could you move in with a friend or family member, at least for now? Ask yourself what your possibilities are at the present time.
  5. Take time to adjust. You might feel you have to make decisions fairly quickly to get moving forward, but still, it’s wise to allow yourself necessary moments to adjust to what’s happening.
  6. Tell yourself that you’ll make it through. After the initial shock wears off, you’ll hopefully reach the point of realizing that “this too shall pass.” Thinking positively is the best way to approach any type of challenging situation. Remind yourself that you have the savvy and fortitude to find your way from this day forward.
  7. Begin to formulate a plan. After considerable thinking, you’ll be relieved to see parts of a new plan for your life falling in to place.
  8. Recognize your own strengths. Remember back to a time you struggled through a crisis and emerged better than ever. Maybe you had to drop out of college because there wasn’t enough money. You still made it through and were able to return to finish your studies within 2 years. Realize your strength to help you make it through the current situation.
  9. Look at the recent change as an opportunity. Even though it might take some effort, allow yourself to see you’re being given a chance to change your life. You’re in a position to improve something about your existence.
    • Let your imagination run free. Regard the coming episode of your life as a new adventure and embrace it.
  10. Move forward with a sense of purpose. Now that you have the bare bones of a plan, you can proceed ahead with your new life with greater confidence. As time goes by, you’ll grow even surer of the direction you’re heading. Let yourself feel excited about your new goals.

Regardless of what life brings your way, you’ll still keep going. Allow yourself time to breathe and take in the information. Perhaps even talk to someone and ponder your choices.

You have what it takes to successfully manage any transition in life that appears before you. Openly accept this opportunity to let go of the old and embrace the new.

A Parent’s Guide to Meditating With Your Toddler

A growing number of parents are looking for ways to share their stillness practice with their children. Here are some benefits of meditating with your toddler, along with suggestions for how to get started.

Benefits of Meditating With Your Toddler:

  1. 1. Spend time together as a family. Anything you do with your child gives you a chance to connect and strengthen your relationship. Toddlers mimic everything they see so they may already be curious about your meditation sessions.
  2. 2. Help your child to focus. Children have limited attention spans, but their powers of concentration will gradually improve with practice. Start off small to avoid frustration.
  3. 3. Make time to relax. Even short breaks will give you and your family a little more peace on busy days. If you battle over nap times, turning the TV off and sitting down together may make it easier for your toddler to fall asleep.
  4. 4. Take a more constructive view of time-outs. Meditation can help you present time-outs as a helpful tool rather than punishment. Sitting down together when you’re both happy will help your child see how taking a few minutes to calm their mind makes them feel better. Eventually, they may resist time-outs less even when they’re upset.
  5. 5. Encourage lifelong health. Many studies confirm that regular meditation improves mental and physical health. You’re helping your child get an early start on techniques that will make life easier during adolescence and adulthood.

How to Meditate With Your Toddler:

  1. 1. Be a calm role model. Small children are very responsive to their parent’s emotional state. When you develop a tranquil mind, it’s much easier for your child to feel secure and peaceful.
  1. 2. Keep your expectations realistic. Most toddlers live in a whirlwind of activity. Expect to be quiet and still for just a few minutes at a time. You and your child will enjoy your sessions more if you make the inevitable distractions part of the fun.
  2. 3. Open and close with a song. Pick any tune with cheerful lyrics that’s easy to sing. It will help you both get you in the mood.
  3. 4. Practice deep breathing and good posture. Learning to breathe correctly and sit up straight are great habits to master early in life. Even small children can learn to breathe slower and from their abdomen.
  4. 5. Buy some fun props. Even on a small budget, you can pick up some items that will stimulate your toddler’s interest. Get a bell that they can ring to call you both to attention. Go shopping together for a small cushion in their favorite color.
  5. 6. Use simple mantras. Help your child pick out words that will be meaningful for them. They may want to recite words like “peace” or “happy.” Make a game out of it.
  6. 7. Visualize. Take turns guiding each other through simple visualizations. You can each take turns naming people who you love including grandparents and family pets. Try describing an imaginary garden and fill it with pretty plants, water, and rocks.
  7. 8. Discuss your experience. You’ll both get more out of your sessions if you connect them to your daily lives. Talk with your child about how meditating makes them feel. Encourage them to make suggestions for additional activities.
  8. 9. Look for guidance. In most communities and online, there are many resources where you can find helpful instructions. Yoga studios and community centers may offer classes especially for parents and children. You can get books at your local library or search for websites about meditation and yoga for children.

Meditation is an effective way to help you and your toddler enjoy greater peace of mind. Start off gradually and keep it playful and you’ll both grow to love your “mommy and me” meditation sessions.