Transition is difficult for many. What I have learned.

Christmas lights in Montreal

Here I am in transition again.

This time the transition is a return home to Montreal, QC, Canada after 22+ years of making my home in North Carolina.

It was hard to move to NC in 1998. My partner and I had a 3-year-old and a nursing 3-month-old. With the challenges of a new job for my husband, coupled with no family or friends for support, I may have sent some people running, as I tried to make fast friends for company and help!? 😄 In time, I also met a great number of kind and generous friends.

Is it easier to make the transition back home now?

“Too soon to tell”, to echo an eastern fable, because we never know what will happen next. Here’s how it feels on the horizon of this fresh start.

Change is hard and wonderful.

Change brings new opportunities, alongside trials and tribulations and it helps to consciously create balance. The secret to noticing the opportunities is in our ability to find “present awareness”; to see what the choices are in the moment, and then do our best not to get attached to outcome or expectation. We have to keep watching for the “counterpose” as we do on the yoga mat. We find balance in body and mind through our choices and responses.  So while snow and ice are a whole new ball game in your 50’s and 60’s – the shoveling, the slipping, the shivering – a mindful approach helps us organize our days’ activities, approaches, attitudes and priorities.

The more we cultivate presence of mind, the better we get at maintaining our balance.

Stress is described as the clash between expectation and outcome.

Those picturesque snowfalls from the comfort of the couch can clash with the day to day requirements of life, …in a pandemic …in a changed city… 22 years later!

I am learning once again that we can’t know the effects of our choices, except in hindsight. We take leaps of faith, in ourselves and the universe, when we make decisions – even decisions that we believe will fulfill our desires. And, we support ourselves with personal practices. And we cultivate more faith with our practices. Faith is worth developing! Faith and practice reduce stress.


Let practice & transition be playful!

Experience and practice speak volumes; more accurately: ‘teach’ volumes.  For this reason, I call my Coaching and Yoga business, “Simply Practice”. I think of both life and business as practices. In my mind and body, practice doesn’t make perfect, it improves my aptitude for presence of mind and body, for my life-work balance.

I also believe my clients – when open to it – are better served by creating some conscious practices in support of their Coaching journey. We build awareness and reslience through breath and movement.

Always put your life, your vitality, first. It helps manage stress; especially the stress of change.


Practice and Theory and Commitment and Faith

No matter how much theory we read or contemplate, until we establish some consistency and commitment, we don’t experience the wholesome effects and benefits of an integrated practice in our lives. Faith and commitment go hand in hand.

I teach the 8 limbs of Yoga to  develop a personal practice – one that addresses all our dimensions: physical, vital, intellectual, psychological and emotional; so we can all be and feel whole.  We practice to create conscious relationships with ourselves. We get better at managing life through all its transitions, from the spiritual habit of staying inspired, to the practical regulation of our autonomic nervous systems: our moods, our blood pressure, our sleep and digestion, for example. 🙏🏽🦋✌🏾

Transitions are great for cultivating a richer practice.

In 2007, we moved home to Montreal for 6 months for family health reasons; a kind of life ‘sabbatical’ that turned out to be a fabulous experience for all of us: as parents, as a couple, for our children (we have 3). I discovered that the short, 6-month adventure of moving home contributed a lot to our family journey. For one thing, it allowed my husband and I to share our origins with our children through actual  experience, in ways we never could have otherwise. It also guided me to richer, fuller practices of Yoga and Meditation. Together, we grew in perspective and relationship through the shared experiences of culture, climate and lifestyle.

Are you going through a transition? Are you planning a transition? What are some of your practices? How do you find balance and integration? How do you recapture balance and joy? I would love to hear about it!

If you need support developing practices for a current or upcoming transition – or if you just want to have a few conversations in support of a more balanced and comfortable lifestyle – this is what I love to do. It’s been my life practice, admittedly because I need it myself. I continue to discover how important it is for our own lives – and in support of our widening circles of community – to commit ourselves to living our best life. That doesn’t mean we have to be famous or move mountains. Instead, I’ve come to understand a Yoga lifestyle is about finding comfort and joy, about reducing suffering for ourselves, and by extension, for others. This is one of the biggest gifts we can offer the world. I offer you the support to get you started on a journey of personal practice  – or to reinforce your current practices. Are you ready to become the hero of our own life?

No matter what’s happening in life, always remember to shine your light! As needed, aim it on yourself first, until you find your way out of the shadows or some darkness. Remember that every day is a transition of sorts. Everyday, to stay balanced, we must simply practice planting and cultivating seeds of comfort and joy.  

2 thoughts on “Transition is difficult for many. What I have learned.”

    1. Suzanne Ballantyne

      Thanks Mary Lou. I love the name of your blog! I will check it out. (Left you a reply on Linked In as well) I love “bumping into” people on the internet. Keep well and peaceful; we never know when our paths may cross again. Give my regards to the IBM crowd when you see them. xo

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