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Life's Glorious Transitions
I’ve always found it curious how life tends to challenge us at the very moment it feels like we can’t take on anymore. Looking back at these moments we see how much we grew because of the challenges we faced. But in real time, when we are deep in the thick of it, it’s not easy to see. We all have experienced so many moments like this in our lives and will continue to, they will be challenging but are always fleeting. For me in these moments, I’ve learned what I needed to, I grew, and then I moved forward. Other times, I faced much more life altering challenges that tested who I am. And even though on occasion it was so very tough to get through, in the end, it showed me all that I am capable of. These types of life altering challenges are what I like to think of as glorious life transitions. We all go through countless transitions in life – graduating from school and entering the work force, getting a new job, or staring a business, getting married, staring a family, buying a home, or saying goodbye to loved ones. The one thing these and all transitions have in common is that they serve to move life forward. Whether we are ready or not. Now, one could easily argue that we are always in transition because life truly is an ebb and flow of all things, ever changing. Whether we want it to or not, we are always moving forward. Yes, life can become stagnant at times, and these times can be filled with blissful contentment, but they can also make us feel lost. Sometimes these periods of stagnation are a welcomed break and can feel easy and even needed. But if they go on too long and you stop working with that ebb and flow of the universe that’s when things can quickly start to feel like the universe is working against you. In these times I find that slowing down even more can be of great help – even despite our culture telling us we need to “have it all” and must take on more at every turn. But slowing down brings a clearer sense of presence to where we are in this current moment, and where we want to be headed as we prepare for our next path forward. By slowing down and reengaging with your purpose, you will often find the inspiration and the right energy you need to spring into action.
Currently, I have been experiencing one of these big life altering transitions. The kind that truly tests and challenges. Looking back at how things went last year I’m fully present to the fact that this is one of a series of life altering events in this transitional period. All of which have led me to this very moment and will continue until the transformation is complete. This one started with a global health crisis, a year of isolation, a year of growth and now a move across the country.
(Photo of taken on the Williamsburg Bridge: my daily biking commute from Brooklyn to the Lower East Side)
On March 21st my family and I packed up our SUV and drove across the country from our home in Brooklyn, New York to Paradise Valley, Arizona. The purpose of this scenic 8-day road trip, while it was a fun family vacation, was our relocation. That’s right we moved from one epitome to the other: from the concrete jungle to the wild west. The decision to move and the actual move itself came hard and fast. And I do mean fast, it was just this past December that Tim and I were visiting family in Arizona, and there was a pivotal moment when I remember Tim and I had looked at each other, not knowing we were thinking the same thing, that something was afoot - now was the time and this was the place. But it wasn’t until the end of January that we connected the dots and voiced those thoughts. We had known for some time that our growing family was outgrowing our existing life in Brooklyn. We were ready to expand, we just weren’t sure what that looked like until it was right in front of us. Funny how life has a way of giving you what you need if you are present and willing to listen. When we realized that this place in the desert was where we could see the next chapter of our lives, we agreed to be in conversation over the next year to make it happen. Little did we know at the time that the next year would turn into less than 3 months. To be fair I’m not giving myself much credit here in trusting the power of making a declaration while being present to the signs the universe is sending, and the power of your heart’s desire. The moment we purposefully discussed this potential move and declared it to each other, the universe put everything into motion, and we sparing into action.
Now this isn’t my first rodeo, and I’m certain it won’t be my last. My first big move like this was when I decided to move to Lake Tahoe, as I recall I made the decision and within months I made it happen. Then again when I made the move to New York City, I made the declaration in September of 2014 and was packed and on a plane that November, remind me to tell you the story someday of my first NYC apartment.
(View from the rooftop of my first night in my first apartment after moving to NYC)
If I told you I wasn’t scared this time and every other time I’d be lying and that’s just not how I roll. It’s terrifying, each move was filled with unknowns, logistically I can handle a move like a pro, I’ve only done it about 30 times with roughly 10,000 hours of packing and unpacking under my belt. But, as you all know, we are more than the sum of the hours we keep, as those hours add up to the life we create around us, the friendships, the connections, the homes we create, and the memories we make. When we move somewhere new, we get to take a lot of that with us, but we also end up leaving some of it behind. It’s not right or wrong, it’s not good or bad, it just is.
So, leading up to those days before D-day I was all up in my feelings, feeling all the feels. But this time was different. This time it wasn’t just me riding solo ready to take on a new adventure. This time I had a family, a partner, our 2.5-year-old son, and our 6-year-old rescue dog. It wasn’t just me anymore, this adventure had a lot of people (and a dog) with an array of feelings and emotions to navigate. And even now weeks after we’ve arrived those feelings are still present and evolving. Aside from all the feelings there is this impactful unspoken transformation occurring within, one that speaks to the unknown and all that is coming. Transitions are the gateway to what’s next on the road ahead. That’s why we us the term ‘being in transition’ it is an access point, a bridge, we are laying the planks. This gateway serves to move us forward towards that greater purpose we are all here for. Each time we have these types of experiences they are different, and they serve us in different ways. There have been so many lessons I've learned from these types of transitions, but I have found that these three have been the key ones for me:
1. Expect to feel all the feels:
Yes, feel those feelings no matter what! When I think of the immensely powerful benefits that come with allowing ourselves to feel I think of the Pixar movie Inside Out. Okay, yes, it is a kid’s movie but it’s also Pixar – if you aren’t already familiar with the world of Pixar, they are notorious for having deeply profound messages in their movies and shorts that are not exclusively targeting children. Also, I’m speaking as a mother of a 2-year-old who is learning about his feelings in real time, so I’m hyper aware of feelings and emotions right now, and let’s face it as adults we’ve effectively trained ourselves to suppress our feelings and emotions quite well.
(Picture from my first hike with Wilma (our dog) after our big move to AZ)
So, you are in this big life changing transition, what’s coming up for you? Fear, apprehension, confusion, anxiety, overwhelm, grief – excitement, curiosity, joy, relief? Maybe it’s one or two of these, maybe it’s all the above. No matter what it is you are going to have feelings that come up, allowing yourself to be with them and feel them is a gift. A very dear friend of mine put it best when she was parenting her son “If you hold those feelings in, they will make your body sick, let them out!” Holding in your feelings and emotions leads to stress and anxiety which lead to all sorts of health problems. Yes, I went there! When my girl told her son holding in those feeling would make his body sick, that was no joke – and some pure mom wisdom at its finest!
2. Get Support:
What comes up for you when someone asks, “what kind of support do you have/need around this?” for me I get into full on nope that’s too vulnerable, I’m self-sufficient and don’t need help mode. Now, as a coach I bet you can imagine that’s not the best place to show up from. So, how do you think coaches get the support they need? The same way everyone else does, by creating reliable support structure.
Great, and what works for me may not work for you and vis versa. At the end of the day, we all need support, we are all human and we weren’t meant to go at it alone.
Here are some wonderful places to look as you create or revisit your support structures:
Schedule time for you separate from work and family obligations
Time blocking – using a calendar for everything
Hiring a coach – meeting regularly
Get a therapist
Having an accountability buddy
Hiring help – Housekeeper, nanny/sitter, cook, personal assistant, etc.
sign up for a food prep or meal delivery service,
Group meet ups – Friends, masterminds, book clubs, group coaching, parent groups, etc.
Spouse, family, friends, co-workers…
This is just a small example of ways and people that can support you and all you are up to whether you are in the middle of a big life transition or it’s just Tuesday. Within these support structures it’s important to identify what your needs are– for example: scheduling time with friends might look differently for me that it does for you and might depend on what friend you are spending that time with. One friend might be dependable for a fun time where you get to let your hair down, another might be better for stimulating adult conversations if you are a mother around your kids all day. And another might be the friend who can be with you while you need space to feel the feels. All I’m saying is if you need to talk and you go out with the friend that wants to dance then you may get home feeling unseen and unsourced.
So, create reliable sustainable support structures. If you have ever found yourself wondering how your favorite celebrity,
admired public figure, billionaire, or even your friend that “has it all” does it, it’s because they have well established support structures and have gotten continued support along the way. If you are looking to have a breakthrough in expansion and abundance in your life look at your support structure and how it’s setting you up for what’s next.
(Playing a game of Rummy 500 with my BFF over a drink will forever be on the top of my list)
3.Trust your intuition:
Trust is a word that gets thrown around almost frivolously. This may throw you for a loop, but trust is not something that needs to be earned or proven. If trust is conditional for you in your relationship with others – then trust is conditional for you in your relationship to yourself. But I assert that you know what’s best for you and every time you second guessed yourself it meant something, every time you choose a path forward that wasn’t in alignment with your needs, wants, or instincts it didn’t pan out exactly the way you thought it would and maybe even left you wanting. If trusting yourself and your intuition come as a challenge to you, start there. Practice leaning into trust and listening to your instincts, and notice what happens when you do. One of the major blocks I see for people as a coach is their profound ability to second guess themselves repeatedly, expecting different results. I have found that it has become some sort of cultural virtue to question your instincts – as if the very idea of trusting that you know what’s best for you is somehow linked to being selfish and inconsiderate of others. I think it ties into the belief that we “should” sacrifice our own needs over the “tribe” to fit in and not cause trouble. Okay, so without going down the physiological rabbit hole, what I’m trying to say is trust fully with an open heart that you indeed know what to do. This goes back to slowing down getting present, and reengaging with your purpose.
So, when you make that choice to step froward into your next big adventure – and maybe you are doing that or thinking about doing it right now – remember to come from a place that is in alignment with integrity and purpose. When you face these challenges with the right energy and outlook magic happens!
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