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Navigating Through Life’s Transitions

Autumn is upon us! It’s my favorite season and as I take in the cooler, crisper air, and watch the leaves change colors, I am reminded of how seasonal transitions are like life transitions. Change is in the air-Summer has ended, school is back in session (no matter how different that may look), and we are all trying to figure out what the “new normal” looks like for us. There are also many times when our lives change dramatically. From career changes, graduations, having children to them moving out on their own, to illnesses, loss, and retirement, we are continuously in a state of change. Think of a big maple tree. In the Fall their leaves change colors, and then fall to the ground and the tree is barren and dormant until the Spring.  But have you ever pondered what is happening on the inside of that tree? What’s happening during that time is crucial. The tree is growing on the inside where no one can see, in quiet contemplation, with a deep connection to the earth, just waiting for the time when it can bloom once more. 

Just like that tree, we can use times of transition to learn, grow, reevaluate, and get connected to our own inner wisdom and deepen our spiritual connections as well. We can take the time to sit in quiet contemplation, and take a deeper look to learn from our experiences and make better choices moving forward so that we come out stronger at the end of the season. But without being intentional about the process and what it means for you, change can be stressful, unnerving, unsettling, and uncomfortable. So here are my tips for a graceful and productive transition, whatever season you may be currently experiencing in your life. 

First, remember that it is just a season. When you are in the middle of a big life change, it can feel never-ending. So keep in mind that it’s not for forever, it’s just for today, and take it one day and one step at a time. Accept it, and embrace it. Each season gives us something to grow from, so my next tip is to be mindful and pay attention to what that is for you. Be present in the moment, and take it all in. In addition to the stress, there is always something to be grateful for. Look for those small and large moments where you can sit in gratitude. What is going right? What are your blessings at this time in your life? Staying present gives you perspective and takes you out of the feeling that the world is ending. Right now, today, you are living in this world and so what do you notice around you? That brings me to my third tip for handling change and transition in your life. Find the lessons. Figure out what you can learn in this season, and look for the hidden meaning behind what you are going through. What is it teaching you but also, what lessons can you pass on to others for having persevered through this time? Journal your experience so you can go back and reflect on this time in your life. Have you ever read an old journal or a diary from when you were growing up? It’s eye-opening that we have grown and learned so much since the time it was written when that was a mere snapshot of our lives but felt all-encompassing at the time. 

My last two tips are all about learning into the change and making sure you give yourself grace and compassion throughout it. Embrace self-care and take moments alone to be mindful of your feelings and let yourself feel. Read, take a bath or long shower, have your favorite tea or coffee, take deep breaths, long walks, and plenty of breaks. Whatever works for you to keep you grounded and lets you take the time to feel and be aware of your thoughts and process it all. Another great way to care for yourself during times of challenge, change, and transition, is to give yourself a mini-vacay. Take a day trip, have lunch with a friend, go on a scenic drive, or connect with nature with a hiking trip. It doesn’t have to be a big vacation like we have been used to in the past, sometimes just a day or two close to home but far enough away to gain a different point of view is enough to give yourself a break and give you a nice mental and physical reset. 

Finally, take care of yourself by reaching out for support when you need it. Share your feelings, frustrations, joys, and roller coaster moments with someone you trust and will allow you to move through this time of transition without judgment. Many times, reaching out to a professional who is outside the situation is very helpful. We are all experiencing unknown territory with this pandemic, and it can be challenging to say the least to navigate through what life looks like now and what it will look like moving forward. If you are experiencing a life change or finding it difficult to cope with all the changes we all have been experiencing for the last several months,  please reach out to me and book a free Explore call to find out your options for getting outside support.