My husband the other day told me, “that’s not a bump in the road, that IS the road.” I’ve kept this image and quote with me over the last couple of weeks during some challenging feelings (more on that another day.) These “bumps” happen all of the time: some small and annoying while others large and scary. Life is always in a state of flux. We know this, so why is it so uncomfortable sometimes during the ride?
I spent the morning with 11 beautiful women today discussing and experiencing TRANSITIONS during the first flux workshop. I love the idea of transitions: moving from one place to another, merging two ideas together, and the growth that inevitably occurs. To me, it’s like a dance. But let’s be honest, it’s not always that pretty; in fact, there are probably some tears, 4-letter words, and moans that accompany your transitions. (If you could throw yourself on the ground and have a temper-tantrum, I bet you’d consider it.) Change happens, whether you like it or not.
Many of us feel this during the changing of the seasons: how we transition our clothing, our homes, and our food. September is always back-to-school and whether or not you have a kid, you feel the buzz as kids prepare, adults over-schedule, and Target dedicates half the store to school supplies. Transition happens when you change careers, a parent dies, a baby is born, and my favorite: when you wake up every morning.
When you open your eyes every morning (or even that moment right before you do), what goes through your head? The next few minutes can define your day. Your transition from sleeping in your bed to starting your morning routine can be done in lots of ways. With every transition something needs to end or you need to let something go. In this instance, you need to accept the fact that sleepy-time is done. If you don’t come to terms with this, then you’ll probably be a sour-puss all morning. Next is the moment of introspection and a bit of reality. You’re at the point where you know what has ended, but aren’t quite sure of what’s ahead. You choose, my friend. (Here’s where you insert your motivational quote from Pinterest…)
Ask yourself, what good will occur today? And lastly, as you place your feet on the ground next to your bed, your first steps are into your new beginning and your new energy. Do you walk with intention and optimism or do you drag your feet still thinking about your butt in bed? This is the last stage in transition and an opportunity to answer, “What do I want?”
As I write this I roll my eyes because I smack my alarm clock every morning. No, not a gentle, graceful way of starting my day; yet, simply acknowledging this transition has had an impact on my mindset the past few weeks. You can apply these stages to any transition: an ending, a time for introspection, and a new beginning. This morning transition example is a quick one—only a matter of minutes—but what about the ones that last days, weeks, or even months?
Not knowing what your next career move should be. Not knowing who you are without a parent. Not knowing who you are with a baby. Why do we have to know all of the answers and why can’t there be a little more emphasis in just BE-ing in transition? As our group realized today, not everyone has their shit together, despite how it may look. Hearing, “me too!” is profound and comforting. Ultimately we know that simply sitting in the discomfort will be transformative.
I’m in a transition period right now, trying to figure out what to do with my career now that I am a health coach. I’ve identified myself as a group fitness instructor for over 15 years and it was always enough; quite honestly, I felt like I had the best job in the world. But the inevitable bump in the road shakes me a little and I say, “WTF?” It’s time for change, it’s time for growth, it’s time for….. I don’t know. And that is okay. What I am trying to embrace is the space in between these big chapters– the discomfort, the transition. I will trip a little, maybe do some improvisation, but I’ll dance during the transition. Wanna dance with me?
One of the best ways I’ve learned to handle transition is to talk about it with friends, family, and even strangers. Every single human experiences it; so, what tools do you use to travel over the bumpy road? What transitions are recurring for you and what new ones have you experienced?