Patricia's Blog


Moving Through Transitions with Grace


I have been going through significant transitions lately, like most everyone I know. Change happens in all of our lives; it’s natural and necessary. But it’s uncomfortable, too. People are uneasy with the unknown and the unknown is a big part of transition — times where there are changes in a job, a relationship, a home, or the death of a loved one.

Transition is how we got to where we are today. The more we embrace these phases instead of rushing through them (or doing our best to run from them), the more we can experience them with grace and move through them with ease.

It is vitally important to give ourselves room to breathe, room and space to feel out what is needed for the next step and to discern what it is we really want.  We may need physical space from others. We may need emotional space. No one else can give this to us: it is ours to claim. Whatever it is that you need, offer this gift to yourself and take time to listen to the subtle, intuitive messages from your everyday life, which can guide you along the way.

One of the myths about going through transition is that it’s an idle state, a time where nothing significant is happening. This is far from the truth. Indeed, we are often more inward, need more quiet, time to think and process. But it takes a lot of energy to be in transition. Your mind is likely hard at work envisioning what’s possible in the new ways ahead. And your heart and emotions are probably getting a workout as well.

Another myth about transition is that the discomfort it can bring will go on forever, that it will be insurmountable. The truth is that as we move through transitions and take them one step followed by the next, we eventually find our way.

I have learned from my own experience that when we allow ourselves to feel the full spectrum of feelings, we are less likely to carry unresolved emotions further into life. I recently read an excerpt on this from intuitive coach, Jennifer Hornburg, about grieving our losses in order to fully let go. “Transitions can be difficult,” she wrote. “Closing doors is not always easy. We rarely give ourselves permission to grieve what we’re leaving behind because we are so determined to stay focused on the positive. Remember to honor the hard choices you have made to move on.”

Sometimes periods of transition can seem quite chaotic, especially at the beginning of the loss or change. Our lives may feel out of control as we navigate our days with little feedback or consolation from familiar forms of stability. Remember that the chaos will eventually shift as elements reorganize and become more manageable.

Transition often causes a shift, or temporary instability, in our sense of identity. Having a stable sense of identity can place us solidly in society. For most of us, our job or relationship status is central to our self-definition. When we meet people, we are often asked what kind of work we do. We may be asked if we’re married or have children. The societal norm is to have those key areas figured out. But what about those of us in transition with our job title, relationship, or living situation temporarily undefined? We can suffer low self-esteem, a lack of confidence, and sometimes depression. For that period of time we forget our sense of self, our gifts, and our purpose.

Here are some tips to help you move through transitions with grace:

1) Stay as present as possible. When you are present, you feel everything and don’t miss the gifts available along the way.

2) Be honest with yourself. Strengthen your relationship with yourself. You can ask: What lessons am I learning? What messages am I getting that I need to receive? See what transition is teaching you – you might look back at this time and find yourself grateful for the many hidden blessings and gifts.

3) Practice sitting each day. Whether in meditation or simply sitting somewhere in nature, consciously breathe and value your true essence, that which you are at the core. You are a vibrant being on a soul journey. Grounding yourself in this way can put you in tune with what is most important, and from there you can intuit what’s needed next.

4) Ask for help. We can always benefit by receiving external support, and during times of change we tend to need more support than usual. Asking for help is not always easy, but I highly recommend getting the assistance you need, whether it is from a friend, a life coach or therapist, or a mentor. It can make all the difference.

Above all, take the time you need for your transition. Don’t rush through it. Let the unknown be a fertile period. You have a special opportunity to learn and grow, to transform from one way into another. Who knows when you’ll have another chance to deeply pause and truly envision what’s next with such grace?

Patricia London recently presented on this topic at her Inner Renewal Saturday program at Life Journey Coaching LLC, in Sebastopol. Call 707.477.8231 to arrange for a free consultation.