Throughout our lives and throughout our days we are constantly encountering moments that are ever changing and ever evolving; in one moment something is here and then it is gone. In the blink of an eye something is born and dies, only to be reborn and to die again. This is not only the cyclical nature of life, but of our lives and our living. All of us, whether we are conscious of it are transient beings, always in a state of motion. Think of our cells, those things that live inside each of us, each one dying off and being born in a new way. This too, is a transition, a phase in which our bodies are moving through. We are no different than the cells in our bodies; each one of us drifting off and away, and also further into the next minute, moment or day.
As I engage with the loss of my father, while also embracing the start of a new job, I am also reconciling not only grief but celebration. Our ability to hold space for both, albeit not always at the same time (which does and can happen) can dictate greatly how present we are in those moments we find ourselves in. It is in these transitions that we can begin to cultivate a more holistic view of the things that make us alive, and also the things that cause us to fear the unknown (and sometimes, the known too.) Each of us, as living and breathing organisms, are expanding in ways that we at times cannot fully see or understand when we are in the midst of our feelings, our success, or our trauma. Being able to not only see but also honor both the beginnings and endings of things—embracing new chapters while relinquishing old ones—allows us to feel the full range that is happening in the moments we are afforded, without judgment, guilt, or shame.
New chapters offer us the opportunity for new reflections and change. We get to reclaim our glory, revisit the things that have brought us to this new space. Moving forward also allows us new ways of being and seeing the world. It also offers up new challenges, which can help us grow in the process.
Old chapters offer us the ability to revisit what worked and what didn’t. It allows us to relearn and unlearn, by letting go of what no longer is in service of this new blossoming we find ourselves in.
“Out with the old, in with the new” speaks directly to the shifts that are happening to us internally as well as externally on a constant level. For some of us, that may be anxiety-inducing (I can attest to this), but it is also very freeing to know that every day, every single moment, in every breath, we are moving toward something big. It gives us the chance to pivot and shift. We get to celebrate that happening while also mourning it. Both of these can be true at once. And with that truth, comes the awareness that those two emotions that at once can also feel combative, are also fleeting. They are fleeting because everything always is—allowing room for the new that's to come, while making space for the old that no longer is. Within our beginnings and endings, the closing of old chapters and the starting of new ones, also lies the joy and the grief.
Every day that we wake up is another day we get to engage with the feelings of the passing and becoming of the moments that are here and gone. The allowance and embracing of both, which can be more difficult than we could have imagined, also is our gateway to the liberation we all seek.
Joél Leon is a father, dreamer and storyteller. Follow him @joelleon.