“X” is for Xing – Part 2 Xing Allies

Xings can happen swiftly and may be celebratory and joyful or shocking and traumatic. A Xing can happen in an instant, beginning or ending an entire era. A baby’s first breath, for example, is a joyful single moment that forever changes its life and that of its family. Another swift Xing is the moment one moves from bodily life to death. Gradual crossings are far more common, drifting into a new situation or experience without noticing when or how it happened. This is especially true when it comes to physical health, ability, or agency. Waking up to painful joints or frequently reaching for reading glasses are signs that a biological change is taking (or has taken) place. While denial can be a useful tool for short periods of time, finding gentle, practical ways to explore the unfamiliar territory will provide opportunities for new experiences and improved quality of life. Let’s explore some of our Xing allies. 

Whether the Xing happens in an instant or over a long period of time, there may be a need for loving self-care strategies to palliate the associated physical, mental, or emotional discomfort. Any number of healing modalities are appropriate to restore comfort. Bodywork, meditation, Reiki, yoga, nature’s nurture, toning, singing, journaling, or breathwork are allies that can help with integrating the new situation. Counseling or support groups are appropriate if the Xing was life-changing, traumatic, or accompanied by extreme grief, depression, or anxiety. In these circumstances, seek support to re-establish balance with a mental health professional or healthcare provider. Other restorative resources include support group members, clergy, spiritual counselors, animal companions, wellness coaches, or trusted colleagues, family, or friends.

A powerful Xing self-care practice is radical acceptance. This Buddhist mindfulness practice is useful when facing physical decline, loss of agency, acute or chronic illness. The practice encourages nonjudgemental observation and acceptance of situations beyond our control without attaching to the pain or feelings of frustration, sorrow, resentment, or shame that can accompany troubling circumstances. Practiced with diligence, it counteracts the propensity to turn pain into suffering. It is a form of surrender that allows for remedies to arise from beyond the ego’s limited narrative and opens the door for curative or palliative solutions. Radical acceptance is a supportive ally during challenging health Xings for both patients and caregivers. It is also useful when navigating transitions in personal situations of all kinds, and in final days.

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It is possible to become your own ally during transitions of all kinds. A core Further Shore concept is to encourage conscious transitions for life’s little Xings to help prepare for the larger Xings (and the ultimate Xing). Try this ten-step meditation to increase mindfulness and enhance your conscious Xing skills. Set aside time without distraction to focus attention on an upcoming experience or event that will cross you into new territory (i.e. a job change, final exams, relocating, etc.). Do one step at a time, giving yourself a few minutes with eyes closed to contemplate or reflect on each prompt. Insights gleaned are navigational tools for consciously crossing in real time.

  1. Relax. Breathe. Center yourself and your attention on your own heart and breath.
  2. Give yourself permission to become inquisitive or curious about the crossing at hand.
  3. Reflect with gratitude on the old and new circumstances.
  4. Remind yourself that you are doing your best with the tools you have now.
  5. Embrace the mystery and surrender to the unknown; affirm that it is acceptable and safe to move forward without knowledge of every detail as to what lies ahead.
  6. Open to the innate inner guidance, compassion, courage, and fortitude that supports you now, during, and after the crossing.
  7. Humbly acknowledge potential obstacles; be willing to see them as teachers, even allies.
  8. Invite useful strategies and allies to assist with the crossing.
  9. Give yourself grace and peace.
  10. Relax. Breathe. Return to the present. Record your reflections in your journal.

To recap:  Xings can happen quickly or over time. Engaging supportive resources or allies can provide balance while navigating a crossing. Allies can be other beings, strategies, medicines, or practices. It is possible to become your own compassionate ally via mindfulness or meditation.

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