Secret

I have discovered one (because there has to be more than one) of the secrets to my happiness! It’s switch-flipping as in transitioning from one space in time to the next.

No, this is not time travel. I’m referring to transitioning between the appointments in life, whether that’s leaving the office for the day, leaving home for time with friends or leaving my comfort zone.

The idea for this kept surfacing in my life in the form of space. I kept thinking about how we use the word “space” in our language and different meanings it carries.

There is the blank page and the open road. There is, “I need some space.” And green space and outer space. Spaces can be quiet and reflective or noisy and distracting.

Spaces can be roomy or cramped; safe or scary; beautiful or ugly; internal or external; sacred or shared. There is head space, heart space and training space.

I sometimes think of space and transitions interchangeably. Transitions are the spaces between the activity in life - meetings, sleeping, eating, running, writing, hanging with friends, sitting on the screened porch with Stuart and the Murphy cat - you get the meaning.

The transition is the time I use for switch-flipping to segue from being present in one activity to the next so I can be my most authentic self. These can be the moments of my day when I feel the most free. My time to let love in, refocus, be present, and breathe, so I can be that authentic self in the next activity.

Try it! It can feel like taking a short cut to happiness.

You can stop, check in with your inner self and ask, “what do I need in order to be the person I most want to be during the next task at hand?” - those next minutes or hours of my life until I get to the next transition - because there are no do-overs.

What gifts and strengths do I take along to unpack in case I need them while I’m attending to the next life happening. This is the time where I remember to love myself. The transition is where I listen for silence, listen for the whispers that get crowded out by the loudness of activity. I can evaluate; set the tempo, so I can go the distance from one space to the next transition.

Transition and space go together like peanut butter and jelly, linen and summer, a fist bump after crossing the finish line. Think about it. You can’t get from one event or appointment in life without a transition. And the beautiful part is you don’t have to take the stuff of one event into the next. Use the space of the transition to transform yourself a little each time.

In these short transitions I breathe differently. It’s as if I’ve hit the pause button and changed the pace. Like coming up for air between one salty wave hitting and knocking you to the ocean floor before the next one comes.

To quickly become present in the transition, I think of a Hebrew word found in Genesis that means to become formless, shapeless - a time before the ego: tohuvabohu.