It’s important to pay attention to transitions. Movements from one place to another. From one rhythm to another. From the immediate view to the long view, and vice versa. It’s important to offer ourselves and others the kindness of transitional spaces. I’m glad to have this picture above from near Pinbarren, Queensland, snapped on a delightful, recent walk that reminds me of transitions.
As a closing movement for The Circle Way Practicum, it’s important to pay attention to the transition from retreat and learning space to the routines and demands that many of us return to. It’s quite a change of pace. Like going from an unpaved gravel road meant for ambling along, to six lanes of high speed zooming traffic.
At the practicum, Amanda Fenton offered a journaling exercise with eight questions, one of which was, What questions would you most like to be asked about your experience by those you return to?
Here’s the questions I wrote to help guide my own transition.
- How were you changed by being there?
- What grew in your heart?
- How is that connected to who you are and who you are becoming?
These questions are different and have some nuance. They imply a level of change not just for the mind, but for the heart also. They point to a level of identity and self referencing. These questions aren’t about the itinerary. They aren’t about a summary report. They aren’t meant to be answered with a 30 second timer. These questions are about noticing something deeper.
I know that I won’t necessarily get asked these questions. People will be curious of course. I’ll share pictures. I tell of places. I’ll think of exercises that I’ll use again. And, with some, I might just steer the questions — When asked, “How was your trip?” I might just answer with, “Great. And, if you are asking how I was changed by being there…” And then a followup, to create more exchange, “How have your been changed in your life the last few weeks?”
Three questions. To guide and welcome some of the real stuff with each other. Perfect answers not required. Complete answers not required. Just thoughtful noticing and witnessing.