What does it mean to be in transition? The dictionary defines transition as passage from one place, state, stage or subject to another; change. Transition can look different for each of us. Here are a few examples of transition; becoming an empty nester, changing careers, losing a job, starting a business, downsizing, moving to another location, losing a loved one, traveling to another country, living in another country, returning from a vacation or business trip, retirement, divorce, marriage, having children, graduating from college or graduate school, graduating from high school, and the list goes on.
Personally, I have experienced many transitions in my life. Here are some recent ones. Leaving a job with regular hours and a monthly paycheck to start my own business. I’ve been self employed before and am familiar with the challenges inherent in owning a business. In the past I have struggled with time management and self-management and now have some structures in place to help me with these issues. Erratic income is another part of being self employed. No matter how many classes, retreats, workshops I create, there is no guarantee I will fill them. So being OK with uncertainty is part of being an entrepreneur. Another transition I experienced last year had to do with launching my first website and becoming comfortable with facebook. It has been a gradual process with facebook and I have come to appreciate the benefits of social media as a valuable marketing tool. I am a fairly private person so launching my website and using facebook were a huge leap for me.
This brings me to the opportunities part of this post. There are always lessons and opportunities for growth when I go through a transition period. In my world the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Being self employed allows me to have a flexible schedule which I enjoy. It also gives me the opportunity to shop during the week when the stores are less crowded, avoid rush hour traffic, exercise during the day instead of before or after work, be creative and spontaneous, and work from home. Yes, there are obstacles during times of transition and there are also numerous chances to grow, stretch and take that next step into the unknown. Transition is full of unknowns and it can be a time of fear and uncertainty. The flip side, on the other hand, can be a time of excitement, inspiration, and delightful surprises. It’s all about perspective and how I choose to look at the transitions in my life.
What about you? How do you handle times of transition? What transition is looming on the horizon for you? What lessons have you learned when you have been in transition? Please share your experiences about transition. I would love to hear from you!
6 thoughts on “Being in Transition”
I’ve just given up an ongoing freelance gig because it wasn’t fulfilling anymore. I wrapped up everything yesterday and now I’m sitting here wondering.. I could do so much with the time that I now have, where do I start? So your post is very timely and encouraging 😉
Good for you Tat! If the job isn’t bringing you joy and satisfaction, what’s the point? There is something better coming your way now that you’ve made room for it:)
Thanks for your thoughtful comments Deborah. There are so many components to transition, letting go, acceptance, trust, faith, non-attachment. Transitions can be so challenging and you’re right, we are creatures of habit. So another piece of transition is stepping outside our comfort zone and being comfortable with the unknown. There is that place after letting go of the trapeze bar where we are in the abyss until we grab onto the next trapeze bar coming toward us.
Thanks for your comments Heather. That piece about non-attachment to outcomes and results is huge. There is also a piece about acceptance for me. A saying I use is “I accept the reality of my situation but not the permanence.”
I think for many of us change is inherently difficult – we are by nature creatures of habit. So I like to be as mindful and intentional about transitions as I possibly can to help ease the anxiety that normally arises. And I’m truly trying to loosen my grip on the idea that change is challenging, but rather embrace the idea of ongoing flow. Not always such an easy thing for me, but perhaps I’ll master it someday. And in the meantime, lots of compassion and loving-kindness is a major component in all my efforts in graceful transition.
Transitions can be difficult, that’s for sure. I’ve tried to keep in mind that oftentimes something new is birthed following a time of chaos … though it usually takes a while for me to recognize what that awesome new thing is. Honestly, the silence retreat you offered earlier this year was a big part in helping me find a place of detachment from outcomes, a place where I could quit worrying and focus on accepting whatever might come along my path. So far I’ve been (mostly) able to hang onto that helpful perspective. Thanks, Nancy!