Here’s my idea: I’m going to blog about Transition in segments. First, I’m going to cover how to deal with this potentially unsettling time with grace and a sense of humor. I want to introduce the idea of Mindfulness (being fully aware in the moment in a non-judgemental way) as one way to cope. Then I’m going to talk about the importance of radical self care. Next I’ll write about tools and strategies to get through life changes and stages plan-fully rather than painfully. These tools include acceptance, letting go and asking for help, among others. I’ll also speak about some transition traps, like fear, future tripping and wanting to move too quickly through the Neutral Zone to the New Beginning. I also plan to address special issues for women in transition, such as divorce, codependency and the aging process.
How we cope with Life’s Transitions depends on so many things: our perspectives, attitudes toward change, life experiences, personality types; The list could probably go on and on… I want to propose that how we hold and conceptualize this time has a great deal to do with how bumpy or smooth the ride will be. My experience is that the more I can stay in the moment, the more content I am and the easier the transition goes. If I’m mired in regret and longing for what I believe I’m losing, or focused on the future, wrestling with “what if’s” or what Mike Dooley calls “the cursed hows” I will miss the moment entirely. If I can stay firmly planted in the here and now I am so much more able to withstand the winds of change.
This, of course is not easy to do. Like any worthwhile practice, it takes a lot of practice! And this is where the art of Mindfulness comes in. I realize that this term has become the buzz word “du jour”. But I contend this is for good reason. I have found that being fully present, right here, right now is where my power lies. As Louise Hay says, “The point of power is NOW.” My most recent simultaneous transitions from a rental in Greenbrae to a condo we now own in Novato, and from a job as a therapist in a group practice in Sonoma County to one much closer to home, have taught me to employ the adage “one moment at a time”. I discovered that when I was obsessed with fears like those of financial insecurity, brought on by these recent changes, I was much less equipped to function effectively. This is not to say that I didn’t wallow in my fears from time to time. Believe me, I furnished that rut, curtains, rugs and all! But Mindfulness and 30 years of recovery have taught me, time and time again, that “This too shall pass”.