I have been thinking about transitions lately. My husband Dan is retiring from his 36 year career in construction. This brings many changes for both of us. Navigating the time around transitions can be a little like navigating grief. We all go through a variety of life- changing transitions. Some of them are major, like retiring from a career. Some of them are unexpected, like losing a job through downsizing. Some of them are smaller in magnitude, like the shifting of a schedule due to other commitments that arise in the course of your life. All of them bring with them opportunities for growth. These times in our lives offer a portal or doorway into a place that may be laden with many different feelings.
Like the grief that arises when we lose a loved one, these feelings can be overwhelming if we do not have the resources to sort them out. These times can be uncomfortable and messy. When we allow ourselves to fully feel our feelings, no matter how painful they are, we can move through them. The extent that we are able to completely feel these feelings, exactly as they show up in each moment, is the extent to which we receive grace that allows the feelings to shift. This shift is just enough to receive a different perspective and an unraveling of the overwhelming feelings. We can then use this in-between time as the potent portal that it is. When we fully feel our feelings we make space for the new to arrive and thrive.
It is important to take time to honor the territory you are leaving behind before you embark on whatever is coming next. This in-between time provides a rare opportunity to reflect on where you have been before you start the next part of your journey.
Often when we move from one stage of life to another we are tempted to put the past behind us and move directly into the new. What I found is that the new will flow more effortlessly if we take time to reflect on what we are leaving, allowing time for feelings to arise.
When I left my full time job almost two years ago, I discovered some ways to help with the transition.
Take some time to ask yourself these questions.
How can you honor what you are leaving behind?
Write down a list of things you are grateful for about what or where you are leaving. Take some time with this. Acknowledge for yourself the impact the people and places had on your life.
How do you start your day? It took me a while to establish a new rhythm to my day. Create a morning ritual that is meaningful to you. How do you want to feel throughout the your day? Your morning ritual can set the tone for the day. I began sitting is silence each morning. I notice when I do not my day does not flow the same way as when I am faithful to this practice.
How much time do you need before you move into your next phase? I took three days for myself before I started on the next thing. I wish I had taken more time. You can design your schedule to match a rhythm that resonates for you. Take the time to discern this rhythm for yourself.
Practice Radical Self Care – You can read more about that here.
Be gentle with yourself. Like grief, the feelings that arise during a life-changing event will not be linear. Give yourself the time you need to discover where life is calling you. Remember–only you can be you.
In Service to Love.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ― Oscar Wilde