You got married. You were fired. You graduated. You had a baby. You have moved. You survived an illness. We are all facing some form of change all the time. And while there may be a greeting card for the particular type of transition you’re currently experiencing, something Hallmark never covers is exactly what you’re supposed to do with the cascade of emotions that accompanies any major, positive change. or negative, in life. .
The good news is that when we wake up with any moment of change we are in, major or minor, it becomes much less frightening and uncontrollable. By discovering where we are and where we can expect to go, we can begin to gain clarity. We can resist less, open more, and navigate the waters with some ease.
One useful map I like to use is an adapted version of the Transition Framework, developed by William Bridges, PhD, in his best-selling book. Transition Management. It describes three main stages of the transition: endings, middle ground, and new beginnings. Although these stages overlap and are sometimes traversed, they are useful guides as we begin to chart our journey.
I always seem to be the last to realize that I am going through a major transition. I notice that things seem to be going wrong. I live through periods of depression and anxiety. I long for the past and start thinking about whether I can design my life just, I can go back to that place in the past where, even if I wasn’t happy, at least I was comfortably unhappy. It always takes longer than I expected, but at some point I realize myself or someone says, “Yael, you had a baby earlier this year,” “You moved in just a few weeks ago.” Your job. ” it has only changed drastically. ” Oh yes. Right. I am experiencing a transition.
The endings occur at the beginning of a transition and are marked by a great deal of pain. Even if the change is good, whenever there is a change, the “old you” must die to make way for the new you. After the birth of my two children, I first experienced a profound denial of having a baby. I tried to keep up with my work responsibilities, despite being on maternity leave and sleeping 2-3 hours a night. I struggled to be a fashionable Brooklyn woman that only happened having a baby, when in fact the baby was taking over my life, my body, my heart and definitely my sleep, and resisting that truth was causing a lot of suffering. He needed to accept that the woman without babies had disappeared. That life was over and he would never return. It indicates the feeling of loss, tears, sadness and pain.
And yet, once I opened up to the pain, even though I felt sad, I felt better than struggling with the truth. Once the loss was recognized, it could be more present for the new reality that was slowly taking shape. If you are in the final stages, you have to be very kind to yourself. You are losing skin and may feel very tender, emotional and difficult. As much as you can, remember that grief is a natural part of this process (even for good changes) and treat yourself kindly as you say goodbye to what has happened.
The middle zone is the void. Once you’ve gone through the grief of your old life, you suddenly find yourself in a new space with no instructions or field experience. It is a moment that feels chaotic, uncomfortable, confusing and disorienting.
These periods are also often marked by low productivity, the need to be alone, a sense of suspension in time. All this is normal and natural. The old structures that supported your life are gone, and yet you are not comfortable with your new way of life.
When I graduated from college, I felt very floating, very lost. He wasn’t exactly depressed, but he didn’t jump for joy every day either. My identity as a student was over (for now) and I had not yet started working full time. Every day was a dizzying vertigo trying to figure out who I was and what I was supposed to do to myself.
It’s very hard no to fill that kind of silence or emptiness with distractions, anxiety, or excessive planning. And yet, if you can stay out of the phone and open up to feelings of ignorance, you’ll discover a lot of creativity in this time period. The Middle Zone is where our new route takes shape, step by step. It may feel out of control, but if we practice consciousness and breathe through it, we will see that we are not just adrift … we are being guided to a new place.
Related: The easiest change you can make for better health
About two years after I started meditating regularly, I was walking down the street and suddenly stopped. Wow, I thought, about nothing in particular, I haven’t had a panic attack in a year! Previously, I took them about 2-3 times a week. This is what New Beginnings feels like: suddenly realizing that you are making your way into new waters with more confidence and skill than you thought possible. Don’t get me wrong. It takes time and a lot of work to get there, and New Beginnings can often include a lot of “backtracking” back to old patterns and ways of doing things. These “setbacks” should not be taken as failures. The change takes place in a spiral, not a straight line, and slowly takes us to where we need to be. Little by little, we finally got there.
The bottom line is that no matter where you are in the transition process, be kind to yourself and understand that everything is changing and you will not be in this uncomfortable place for a long time. Breathe. You will overcome this time. THIS HAS IT.
By Yael Shy
#guided #meditation #times #transition #change
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