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Generation E: Back to School Lessons

We are in that mode again. Either already back at school, or anticipating the change from the summer months to the academic year. This is true for students, teachers, parents and anyone who is involved in any way in the educational system. Come the inevitable cycling of the seasons from summer to fall and we all experience an inner realization of the echoing internal shift of energy. If you are a teacher, as I am, no matter how many years you have been teaching—in fact the longer your teaching career—the more easily able you are to recognize the subtle internal signs of the approaching transition.

This story could be, but is not, about the ways different personalities react to transitions; it is about transitions themselves. Our entire lives are about transitions. We are in the womb, and then we transition to being alive in this physical reality. We breathe, we are alive, and then one day we stop breathing and we are no longer alive. This is the greatest mystery; we are no longer here.

While we are here, we live in a realm of duality. Every meeting implies a parting. We are born to our parents, but sooner or later we will be parted from them. And before that final parting there are many other transitional meetings and partings—friends, long-term loving relationships, career changes, moving year by year from grade school to college and even graduate school. We all go through so many transitions, even those from awakening in the morning and returning to sleep at night.

 Transitions, the way we view them, and the energy we create around them are vitally important for us to understand if we are to live our lives more steadily in a way that can lead to stability, less reactivity and more inner spaciousness allowing us to be proactive and not at the whim of life’s changing patterns.

 1. The only constant in our lives is change. Think about this, it is often a startling idea when you first hear it. Minute-by-minute, day-by-day, month- by-month, year-by-year, we change. We grow older, we learn more, we adapt our lives to our own expectations and the reality of those expectations. Medical research tells us that physically every cell in our bodies is changed every seven years. It makes sense then to grapple with ideas of transitions and change.

2. If the only constant is change, then all we have is each passing nano-second. In that moment, try to be present to yourself, to the people around you, and to your current situation and environment. Try and be fully present to every moment; avoid future-tripping, or looking back with regret and nostalgia. This state of mind sounds so simple and yet is so hard to achieve. Staying present in the moment is among the greatest mind-training challenges you will ever undertake. Have a meaningful and aware transition to this fall.



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