There’s been a rumour going around since time began that, one day, you are going to get ‘there’. You know, that place. The one where you’ve made it. Where you know yourself as one single, unified, worked out, understood being who has all the stuff you have when you get ‘there’. I don’t know what your stuff looks like, and I don’t know what mine looks like either, but I’m sure we’ll know when we get there. Having said that, I do know that when I get there I can definitely do handstands and I live on a beach with Pete and some feral children. The other stuff is less formed.
As I sat in meditation this morning, I waited. Allowing my mind to romp around in its amusing fashion, before ‘I’ arrived. Consciousness reflecting back at itself, we sighed into blissful luminescence. I rested here for a while and then I dropped the question in, ‘what does transitioning mean to me’? Journeys in cars and planes came into view, the means to various ends. I tried not to let my mind take over the contemplation, and paused. I dropped the question in again and before me arose a procession of selves. Me, in evolution, en masse. Me and myself in patterns and shapes. The patternings of my process, expressed through different versions of becoming. An endless stream of consciousness, manifesting and shifting in response to cause and effect since my form was first conceived.
I’ll always remember a class theme that Bridget taught in the immersion: Trust the Process. It comes back to me all the time and is such a powerful and reassuring lesson to be patient and trust that all will be revealed. That, wherever you are, is where you should be. That we are in a continuous cycle of creation, maintenance, dissolution, concealment and revelation and that ‘it’ too shall pass. But perhaps what Bridget was really telling me was to trust in myself. Because I am the process. I am not an entity. I am a process and I will never get ‘there’ because I’m already here. In the present. And, as any self-respecting sage would affirm, the present is where it’s at.
Quite frankly, it’s a bit bonkers to think that we could ever be just one thing heading to just one place. A single entity who is going to get ‘there’. Where, on earth, is something not compounded, layered, or in flux? Everything is shifting so why would there be this one place we eventually reach and hang out in till we dissolve back into the earth and become part of another process? It’s the same in your asana practice. When you get to Pincha Mayurasana, you never really get ‘there’ because you’re always shifting and adjusting and working in the pose.
When I introduced the idea of transitioning, I described my meditation practice and the moment when ‘I’ arrived. When ‘I’ got present and noticed the patternings of my mind breaking down, from form to formless. When ‘I’ became the seer. “Patterns of consciousness are always known by pure awareness, their ultimate, unchanging witness,” says Patanjali. Our practices support us in our understanding of our patterns, and how we are always a becoming, always a process, always evolving. They give us access to pure awareness, which is always ‘there’ for us. A constant in this ever-changing identity and sense of self.
When our intentions are clear we have a map but where we end up will continue to shift so don’t worry if you never get there. You were never supposed to. Your process is your unfolding and it will take you wherever you need to go. Dark or light, open or closed, forest or field, uphill or down. And everything in-between. When we are transitioning we sometimes forget to breathe. We want to skip past the gritty bits. The not-so-pleasant in-betweens. The cramped-in, pins and needles, numb-bum cabin rides. The can’t quite step your foot between your hands moments. The shudder of your core and the stutter of your will. Breathe into it, move slowly through it, pause, sink in and, in time, it will become. Move inside the in-betweens and trust yourself. You are the process.