“One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.”
Over the past week, I have experienced more and more clients sharing their agitation regarding our current context and the ‘unknown.’
As a coach, when supporting others through the psychological transition of change, my approach has for a long time been underpinned by William Bridge’s work on transitions. He describes this in-between stage we are currently in as the ‘neutral zone’, which arrives after we fully let go of the old; what has gone before.
We are in a space of in-between when our new identity has not yet formed. It is the place when the critical psychological realignments and shifts take place; the seedbed for new beginnings.
However, I notice that for a lot of my clients in this in-between stage, this is not about new beginnings — instead, they are hoping to recreate what was rather than using the current situation as a catalyst to find the potential of what might be.
“The cause of insecurity is that our efforts go into finding security…and there is no security. This is it – there is no security; and to realise this is the only security.”
— The Happy Buddha
As I have listened to clients, I’ve observed that understandably, there are lots of cycles of discrepancy thinking patterns in terms of what is happening versus what they would like to be happening — resulting in this embodied experience of unease and agitation, and missing the opportunity for what is potentially emerging.
To help them, I use mindfulness as a way to resource them; to pause them and shift them out of their agitated thinking and into the present.
“We are not the survival of the fittest, we are the survival of the nurtured.”
— Louis Cozolino
Mindfulness practice is one way that we can learn to be with our experience in the present moment. Our practice supports us to develop more space (cognitive bandwidth) so that we can start to observe just how repetitive our minds are every day, and the emotional charge our thinking often carries.
We can experience through the practice of observing, labelling our thoughts and feelings and reconnecting with presence (through the body and breath) — so that our thoughts lose their power over us and we can start to shift how we relate to them.
We also practice meeting our experience (thoughts, feelings, sensations) with kindness and compassion, letting them be, and in this space, we experience a different relationship with the flow of our lives and can be more open to the potential that is emerging for us.
“Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure. Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don’t know.”
— Pema Chödrön
At Catalyst 14, we realise how challenging the current times are for everyone, and it is for this reason that over the past three months we have provided free guided mindfulness sessions to help our community pause, connect with presence and create a sustainable internal speed limit.
As a result of feedback and requests, we are pleased to continue to offer these free sessions during June. I hope you will join us in practice.
Each session will last up to 30 minutes and will be delivered live via Zoom. You can join each session by clicking here on the relevant day / time (after doing so, you may wish to bookmark this link).
The sessions will take place on the following dates, at 08:00 UK Time:
- 1st June 2020
- 3rd June 2020
- 8th June 2020
- 10th June 2020
- 12th June 2020
- 15th June 2020
- 19th June 2020
- 22nd June 2020
- 24th June 2020
- 26th June 2020.
I hope to see you at a session, and if you have any queries at all about mindfulness practice, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
“In those moments when we realise how much we cannot control; we can learn to let go.”
— Sharon Salzberg
Reference: Bridges, W. (2004) ‘Transitions. Making Sense of Life’s Changes’