Big transitions (I call them “Big T’s”) defined as the processes of major change, are often the moments in history where rites of passage have been created and celebrated. While Big T’s give us the opportunity to prepare for and appreciate anticipated outcomes, the everyday little transitions (“Little T’s”) seemingly get lost in the fray (and not appreciated).
Here is an example of how a Little T gets missed: When you come home from work, take off your shoes and go through the mail, you make that little transition from your professional self to ‘you’ at home. You most likely didn’t take a moment to appreciate that Little T, and instead, likely found yourself still thinking about the day’s work. Maybe you even started to fret about tomorrow’s big meeting, and next thing you know, you mindlessly do your nightly routine without allowing yourself to be in the moment.
Because we have gotten so accustomed to the mind-numbing motions of our daily lives, and the obligations we have made, we seem to have forgotten the importance of these Little T’s that help us appreciate our surroundings and the people who matter, and more importantly, help us take care of ourselves. Little T’s enable us to pause by pausing, so we can remain in the present moment without feeling so overwhelmed or anxious about the next thing we are supposed to check off our list. And by being present, we remain mindful. But for some reason, we have the urge to rapidly and mindlessly go through the transitions, without taking a moment to Pause—until a problem arises.
If you wonder whether or not you pause enough during the Little T’s of your day, perhaps take a moment to Pause, and try this exercise:
1. Sit somewhere where you are comfortable.
2. Stand and walk over to an object.
3. Walk back to your seat and sit down.
4. Repeat the exercise but this time, pause four times throughout the exercise and say the word, “Pause,” out loud when you choose to do so.
If you “ace” this exercise, see if you can practice it during moments where you experience nothing but stress. And perhaps, you will find the importance of these Little T’s that somehow have been unappreciated by many of us.