Loss. Transition. Purpose. Transformation.
Finding Your Path from What Was to What Is Next
As we work through our own personal journey of transformation, one of the challenges we inevitably face is letting go of the psychological aspects of our past identities, of our beliefs, how we see ourselves, and the stories we tell ourselves about our life.
When we are struggling with life’s difficulties, it is usually because we are holding on to something we do not want to let go of.
When we hold tightly to who we believe we are and how we see ourselves, it can be more difficult to move through a transition.
What is it in your life that you need to let go, of now?
William Bridges, author of Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, says “Transition is not about strategies of change but about the journey of transformation, a conflicting and unsettling process that offers us the opportunity to grow and become more conscious.”
Bridges identifies three phases of the transition process which most of us will experience throughout our lifetime. These phases are Endings, Neutral Zone, and New Beginnings.
What phase of transition are you experiencing?
You might be in the process of ending something that is challenging, overwhelming, or unexpected, such as the death of a loved one, getting divorced, being downsized at work, recovering from the pandemic, loss of your home, or letting go of a long-awaited dream. Any loss can leave us feeling disoriented and confused.
Endings are usually followed by a period of being in the Neutral Zone or “luminal phase.” Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. defines this space as a period between what was and what is next. This transition space can be a period of confusion, despair, or disbelief.
If you are spiritually and emotionally grounded in who you are, it can be a period of self-renewal, self-care, and soul work, as you seek to understand what has taken place in your life.
We need to take time alone to sit quietly and explore what we really want for the next part of our life.
This transformational time also can be emotionally exhausting as we do our deep spiritual, internal work.
If you leave this space of healing too soon in order to move into new beginnings, you may still struggle with losses, events, memories, shame, and blame from the past, because these issues remain unresolved emotionally.
You may have found yourself in a new beginning that is unfamiliar, such as relocation to a new city, retirement, change in career, or a new relationship. These new beginnings can be daunting and/or transformational.
If you have done your deep inner work, your new beginnings should be less emotionally difficult, and you’ll be better prepared to step into your new life transition.
There are many ways to go through life’s transitions.
Learn how you can move easier through these transitions with my Transition-Focused Coaching Package