"The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become." ~Charles DuBos
Transition is the process of letting go of the way things used to be and then taking hold of the way they subsequently become. Sounds easy, but in reality, it is really hard letting go of the comfort of sameness.
We resist transition not because we can't accept the change, but because we can't accept letting go of that piece of ourselves that we have to give up when and because the situation has changed. Does anyone really think we'll get back to 'normal' after the pandemic and Black Lives Matter marches? What is it that you will have to give up when we are on the other side?
Although transitions are hard, they are key times in the process of our self-renewal.
Major transition is happening. And it has, and is, and will be happening to each of us. It cannot be avoided. No matter how hard we scream "NO!"
William Bridges' famous book "Transitions" offers a simple three passage way through transitions:
- Endings. Every transition begins with an ending. These endings are not to be confused with finalities. We cannot say to ourselves "It is finished!" We need to recognize that an ending is actually a new beginning and every ending has one. This is where we "Let Go."
- The Neutral Zone. This is a time when we feel disconnected from people, places and things in our lives. We feel emotionally unconnected and can't find that connection we once felt. This is normal. This is a time of reorientation and looking for a new beginning.
- The New Beginning. We come to beginnings only at the end. It is at this time that we are ready to launch into something new for ourselves. We look for the signs and take action that point the way to our future and complete the transition process.
"When you can't see straight ahead, it's because you're about to turn a corner." ~Myrtle Reed
We are all in what may be the biggest transition of our lives. This transition is taking a look at what exactly is the 'new normal'. If you recognize you are in a transition right now, whether it be a job or career transition, a transition in your relationship, or just a time for self-renewal, here are a few ideas to help you get and stay into action:
- Take your time. You cannot rush the inner process that will change.
- Arrange temporary structures. Sameness of some aspect helps.
- Don't act for the sake of action. Transitions require that we bring a chapter of our lives to conclusion and that we discover whatever we need to learn for the next step we are going to take.
- Recognize why you are uncomfortable. Recognize the phases of transitions and identify where you are at: Denial; Resistance; Exploration; Commitment.
- Take care of yourself in little (or BIG) ways.
- Get someone to talk to. Find allies.
- Begin a Journal. This gives you the opportunity to reflect and look back.
- Find out what is waiting in the wings of your life. Journal around the question, "What is waiting to happen in my life now?" Don't plan it out or try to figure it out, just start writing and write as quickly as you can.
- Find a regular time and place to be alone. Spend time in quiet and meditation.
- Take this opportunity to discover what you really want.
- Take a few days to go on your own version of a 'Passage Journey'. Take time away from your every day surroundings.
- Spend time in nature.
It is the gap of transition that shakes us.
Those moments before true movement has been achieved, that bring us to a level of uncertainty.
Let us embrace those moments when change has not yet come.
To see that this is a necessary moment, before a new race has begun.
In quiet mindful moments the transition shall appear.
As we open up our hearts to hear the silence, we are now willing to hear.
To see past all the dancing of the mind, as a friend we can lovingly leave behind.
For we are now ready to embrace a new level of tranquility, that is reflected at a deeper level of ourselves.
As we accept change...We may move forward...Embracing all that is meant to be.