Navigating the Innate Transitions of Life

We are all in some sort of transition.

Whether it’s a shift in careers, a new phase of parenthood, healing, birthing, grieving, graduating, completing a project, beginning or ending a relationship, or a period of deep longing. Transition is something we are all experiencing.

I am in transition.

Here are just a few transitions I’m currently moving through:

The shift from spring to summer.

The air is warm, the sun stays high in the sky later in the evening, the flower buds have transformed into ripening fruit, and I am just catching up to it all. I keep having this moment of wanting to resist the turning of the wheel, saying things like “why is time moving sooo fast?!” with exasperation. But, in truth, the wheel turns and the sun moves high, and here we are—in the bright fullness of summer. So I’m working to embrace that—to find presence and joy in the season that is becoming.

Moving from maiden to mother.

Even though I’m not yet a mother of a physical child, I’m aware that I am in a several-year-long shift where I am leaving my maiden years behind and embracing the wisdom and magic of the mother archetype. This transition brings up so much for me—around my body, my sexuality, my idea of what beauty means, all the projects and beings I am showing up as “mother” for, and my own journey with trying to conceive a child.

My re-entry and integration to home space after 6 weeks of travel on ancestral lands.

I’ve just arrived home after quite a journey. It began with a sacred pilgrimage to Ireland with 13 magnificent women. Each of us journeyed there with our own intentions, and our week together culminated with a powerful ritual to welcome in the season of light with a great fire. I wrote up a little recap of what we experienced there since it was such a powerful week for so many of us. You can find that here.

I then spent a month traveling with Tim around northern Italy and Switzerland—the lands of his patrilineal ancestors—where we explored the landscape, the food, and the stories of the people there.

Landing back at home, I am feeling so many things—bone tired from my journey, the desire to get rid of 75% of my possessions, and a potent shift from the person I was when I began this journey back in April.

The magic and beauty of travel is the way it shows you what’s real and true in your life because the rest of it falls away. You get to see what’s simply nature and what’s routine.

The conversations I was having with myself, with my partner, and with complete strangers dove deeper into what it is I really desire out of life right now. It’s a powerful alignment check for all your habits and ways of being.

When you add in the subtle shifts from traveling on ancestral lands and the intentions woven through such sacred experiences (and in sisterhood!), the weaving that happens afterward takes time. It’ll take me years to fully integrate all that I experienced in the last 6 weeks. I find that simultaneously beautiful and frustrating.

My biggest takeaway from navigating transition more consciously?
S L O W I N G D O W N.

Our culture moves fast. I am someone who thought she had slowed down significantly from her former life, and the past 6 weeks have shown me how much slower I am being called to go.

Be with your breath. Feel your feelings. Identify where it lives in your body. Do you need sleep? Food? What kind of food does your body need right now to feel good? Do you need a hug? A cry? A bath?

Ritualize your transitions.

Pause from the hustle and bustle of life to honor the very real shifts that are happening in your life. Note the completions. Welcome in the newness. Release what no longer is.

And when I talk about ritual, I don’t think it needs to be big and fancy. Take, for instance, a bath…

Bath Ritual for Honoring the Transition
{aka Becca’s Re-Entry Bathing Practice}

What you need:

Anything that will make this bath beautiful and delicious for your body and nervous system. You can use epsom salts, essential oils, flower petals, herbs, seaweed (this is my current fave since returning from Ireland), crystals (I put these literally in the water with me), candles (I don’t recommend putting these in the water with you), and music (current fave is Peia).

I also have some recommended bath rituals and DIYs here, here, and here. Also, the internet has many more. 🙂

What I do:

Firstly, I make sure to set boundaries of time and space to make this bath truly mine. I let my husband know that I’m going to take a bath and to keep the door closed and to please not bother with anything (#withlove) and make sure I don’t need to rush to anything so the time really feels exquisitely mine.

I light candles (like, at least 5 of them—I’m not messing around) so I can completely turn the lights off and feel bathed in candlelight. I play some music softly (or sometimes I sit there in silence or sing to myself).

Most importantly, I breathe…deeply. I want to slow down my nervous system so I can truly find deep presence and not feel anxious or like I can’t fully enjoy this experience. Breath has been my biggest ally in this practice. Simply noticing my breath. Singing to myself helps with this too.

If you need an affirmation, I used this one last week when I hopped in the bath just an hour after walking in the door from my travels:

“I am here now. Here I am. I am here now. Here I am.”

When I am complete with my bath, I like to towel off slowly, spraying some floral water on my body, and massaging oil onto every inch of my skin. It sounds luxurious, I know, but it helps my nervous system stay calm and stay in the energy of the slowness. Remember, we’re trying to honor this liminal space of transition. If you hop out of the bath and rush to put clothes on and check your phone, it’s kind of missing the point.

Happy bathing, my ever-transitioning sweethearts.

I’d love to hear from you!

What transitions are you navigating right now? What rituals help you navigate them? Share in the comments below.

Photo by Katina Mercadante

Navigating the Innate Transitions of Life

Wisdom and rituals for slow & seasonal living

Sign up for my once-in-a-while email newsletter about all things rites of passage, seasonal living, and meaningful community.