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by Colleen Cannon
“Transitions are the seams that connect the pieces. The pieces of our practice. The pieces of our life.”
Nature is flipping the frittata and the Seasonal Transition of Summer to Fall is upon us, which tends to spark a bit of nervous energy in me. As a past professional triathlete transitions brought about the sense of panic because we were always training to go super fast from the swim, to the bike, to the run with as little time in the Transition area as possible. This carried over into my daily life and I developed super bad habits of rushing through my day, my meals and even in my car to get.. WHERE?? To the end of my day!
Luckily early in my racing career I had a coach that helped me “slow down to become faster and healthier”. This is a foreign concept to people in the US I know, but I slowed down my training, eating, and much more which helped me win many races plus it built my energy and vitality.
Slowing Down and taking at least a moment to BREATH and become PRESENT in between your frantic daily activities, emails and meals will help re-set your energy but more importantly it will help you Engage and Enjoy Life!
Here are a few quick tips to help you create healthy Transition Times in your life.
Morning Transition Time:
The beginning and ending of your day are the most important TRANSITION TIMES.
They are like magical doorways in your brain and they provide the best opportunities to make a difference in your overall health.
I personally start the day by drawing an imaginary finish line, crossing and throwing my hands in the air and saying “YES, Lets see what wonderful things are in store for me today”, Helen Keller says “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
So I always start my day with this perspective!
*Wake up Early, 15 to 20 min earlier than you think you need to so you don’t have to. Get some ME time in the wee hours of the morning!!
* Drink your coffee in a meditative, reflective space
* Move the sleepy nighttime energy
(exercise, yoga, jumping on a mini-tramp)
Basically you will not feel like moving most mornings but a trick to getting moving is to set a date with someone to run, ride, swim, or go to a scheduled class
* Dry Brush or Abhyanga
Your skin is your largest organ and if you can do some dry brushing or Abhyanga (self oil massage) before you jump in the shower it will get rid of the dead cells and make you feel Fantastic. In the Fall I especially do Abhyanga massage each morning to get my lymph moving and also the oils keep my skin from getting to dry.
*Meditate, I always meditate in the morning to set my day in a positive direction. I started doing this early in my racing days and it made a huge difference, helped me recover faster, and quite my Monkey Mind!
“Every day, think as you wake up: today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.” – Dalai Lama
Mid-Day Transition Times
Take time … between work emails, carpooling, errands, stoplights.
Take a Moment to transition between everything in your day with just one big inhale and exhale through your nose.
If you can do this for 10 breathes, you are AWESOME or just do it once in a while and it will make a big difference!
*If you are at a desk, send an email to yourself to get up, stretch, drink water and breath. Do not ever sit there for a full hour.
Nighttime Transition Times
It is very important to go to bed happy, not angry
*Power down one hour before bed. Declare this hour a digital free zone.
*Take a bath in Epson salts
*Stretch, Breathe, relax, decompress
*Hang out with loved ones
* Write down or say 3 things you are grateful for and make a list of all the good things that happened that day
Food Transition Times
“You are what you Eat” OR more importantly “You are what you digest!”
Most athletes eat on the bike or on the run. Slowing down before and after eating is a huge key to overall wellness. Eating my meals slowly was the hardest thing for me to learn because I grew up in a big family so patiently waiting and savoring your food was not high on the survival list. We ate as fast as possible so we could get more.
** What was suggested: I had to use my stop watch and wait one minute before I could chow down. Every day I would set my timer and it was so hard to even wait one minute before eating.
Then after eating I also had to wait 5 min and just breath.
Fall is big transition time for us all. Just as our environment takes time to transition gracefully from one season to the next, we too need to make sure the transitions in our daily lives are graceful and heartfelt.
“Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.” Rumi