I’ve long been fascinated with life transitions, how they deconstruct and reconstruct us at key points in our lives. Our 30s, 40s and 50s are years of multiple stops and starts, as we continue evolving, and as the relationships and circumstances of our lives shift and change, sometimes without warning.
A transition is the period of internal adjustment and reckoning you go through after a big change (even a positive one). Whether you've found out you're pregnant, have lost your job, are moving away, or facing loss, transitions can be times of confusion and chaos, where everything, from your identity and past choices, to your beliefs, hopes and dreams, can come up for questioning and review.
It sometimes feels like being thrown into an industrial strength spin cycle whilst the world around you continues on as usual. And whilst it's tempting to move onto the next phase of your life as quickly as possible, there's wisdom in allowing yourself some space to adjust.
Because if you're able to tolerate the discomfort and uncertainty, a transition is also a potent time for great leaps in personal growth, rarely available to you when life's chugging along in the middle lane.
This is where you have a precious opportunity to examine your beliefs and assumptions, to see if they still fit the person you are now, not the person you were one or two decades ago. It's a time to acknowledge and grieve what's ended, whether it's a job, relationship, a treasured stage of life, or broader hopes, dreams and expectations. And to reflect on what lessons you've learnt from your experiences, as well as clarifying who you are and what matters to you now in your life.
Transitions are the perfect time to get clear on what's true for you. By doing this 'inner' work, you're making room for something new to enter your life.
The beauty is, in transition your soul has a chance to seep through and reach you. Because a pause in life is when you’re most susceptible, believe it or not, to being open to new perspectives, fresh insights and possibilities. Largely because your perspective is not 'blocked' by being in a familiar routine, where all is known and predictable.
If you can treat each transition you are in as a sacred quest of learning something new about yourself, and of letting go of that which no longer serves you, you will discover gifts and resources within you that will help you move forward, stronger, wiser and more resilient. Strengths that you probably didn't even realise you had until now, that will serve you well in your future adventures. That's what makes transitions so powerful.