Transitions. Yikes, that’s a BIG topic. You might wanna go get a cup of coffee/tea/beverage of choice, then come back and settle in. Actually, get snacks too. ALWAYS include snacks.
Ok, so there’s the Before part, the After part, and the Middle (Transition) part. And quite frankly, the Transition part can suck. But it doesn’t HAVE to. Really!
This has been one heck* (*censored version) of a year for me so far around transitions. So much so that the topic keeps coming up in my 1-1 sessions with my amazing life coach, Nancy (of Big Fish Nation)… giving me a chance to get up close and personal with my transitions. Scary stuff!
Some of my transitions have fangs and claws, as I’ve already described in previous posts, Mo(u)rning and Ah, Spring? I bet you know what I’m talking about, yes??
So what’s the big deal with that darn* (*censored) middle transition place? Why does it have the power to leave me angst-ridden and mauled by self-doubt?
Let’s look at a quick case study, shall we? Allow me to use Starla J. King as our subject here.
My first major emotional challenge this year was dealing with the obvious transition from Winter to Spring — indoors to outdoors work, internal to external emotional focus, the whole deal. Long story short, I got all sorts of coping tools working with Nancy, and got through that transition period. Scraped, bruised, even bleeding a little, but I got through it nonetheless.
Then I had a whole transitional blindside. WHOMP!
Here in Ashburn, VA, we had day after day after week after week of Spring rains. As a professional gardener, this meant for me a daily re-assessment of my schedule based on rain forecasts, then actual rain amounts, then the soggy levels of the soil, etc. Day after day of rescheduling workers and clients at the last minute.
After about a month of this, I kinda lost it. Well, maybe really lost it… like crying in frustration over seemingly little things. And suddenly finding it really hard to make decisions. And thinking that I must really suck at this whole scheduling thing b/c I had to make so many changes therefore I must really suck at being a business owner therefore I must really suck at everything I do therefore I must just plain really suck as a person.
Turns out I was reacting to dealing (or not dealing!) with DAILY transitions – EGAD!!
So, as Nancy does, she prompted me toward a self-discovery exercise, which I wrote about in an April journal entry:
Nancy said my homework is to observe, just observe during the next rain storm. Drizzle earlier this morning bummed/stressed me b/c I was faced again w/having to decide if we work today or not. Once it was definitely a go and weather not iffy, I relaxed more.
Rain STORM tonight was great – no middle-ground iffy-ness. Clear decision – raining too hard to do anything outside. Totally meant to be an indoor evening, cozy feeling, comforting.
It’s the ½ rain drizzle that can get me – the middle ground, the transition b/n sun and rain and rain and sun.
Transitions are the times I have to find my own way – not clearly one direction or another and I need extra courage to be authentically me.”
Good heavens, is it any wonder transitions can be so daunting????
Yet there’s another perspective – one that I’m starting to learn how to hold onto: Transitions as possibility.
If we can step outside of our fears and “shoulds” and insecurities long enough during a transition time to allow for possibilities and the excitement of what could be, transitions can be our most creative times ever!
If we can just sit with those feelings, uncomfortable as they may be, they become more manageable.
One fantastic “get comfortable with transition” tactic comes from my friend Cheryl. When her young-ish son is anxious about the transition of going from home to somewhere else, or vice versa, he simply takes some time to sit alone on their porch to prepare himself for the transition. He sits on the porch with his transitional thoughts and feelings until he’s ready to actually make the transition –isn’t that brilliant??
So perhaps as we sit on the front porch of our transitions, we can take it one step further and look at that murky muddy-looking transitional place as melted chocolate…just waiting for us to pour it into whatever mold we create so in time we can savour every delicious bite of the After Transition place.
My wish for you and myself is that our transitional porches become welcoming, calming, and full of life’s sweet chocolate! Thank you for sitting on that porch with me through reading this blog!