As I stepped off the plane after about 24 hours of airport hopping and flying, first from Edinburgh to London, then to Singapore and finally on to Brisbane, I felt calm, grounded and content. An inner sense came over me that for the first time in a long while, I wasn’t just thinking confidently, I was deeply experiencing confidence.
It’s hard to explain. I’ve never experienced a feeling like this before. I didn’t just sense something different, I was different.
Three years ago, I needed all the resilience I could muster to get through what I would describe as a personal, financial and business identity crisis – a painful time of transition.
This difficult period came after a previous two years of personal learning and growth, many breakdowns, breakthroughs and spaces, where it felt like time stood still.
A total of five years.
This was interesting to me. Shouldn’t the first three years put an end to all crisis? It reminded me that I am not infallible. I wondered what this meant for my future.
Growth looked like – tossing and turning, intense tingling in my body, a shaking in my brain, panic, sadness, regretting, stewing over the past and present and fear for the future.
At times I experienced confusion followed by a blunt jolt, then immediate and deep learning. At other times I was full of excitement, determination, and ambition.
If I’d turned away from or fought against the waves of my embodied emotional experiences, avoiding the darkness at every opportunity, I feel certain I would not have experienced what I now know to be a major and necessary breakthrough in my life. I had to peel back one layer at a time.
I call this my time of healing.
Transition is inevitable – in many ways we transition every day. The conversation is not to avoid or push through transition, and in particular a major transition, but to ask the question; what’s important to be taken care of during this time?
Some of my opinions…
- Ride the waves
- Feel safe
- Maintain your dignity
- Be true to yourself
- Allow it to take as long as it will take
- Peel back one layer at a time
- Find caring, supportive people who can offer some support and a safe space to land
This is a two-part blog.
Here in Part One I offer ‘Six points to consider about transitioning’
I’m dedicating Part Two to ‘Maintaining Dignity’
Transition Won’t Be Forced
The entire time I was working toward the overseas trip, I had this constant inkling in my heart that it was crucial.
The urge to learn about my heritage and a small part of the world delivered the emotional experience I was looking for.
Life doesn’t just throw experiences at you. You create them. I sat grounded and present in each experience as we hopped from country to country.
During the previous five years I developed a certain sensibility toward being present and accepting each experience as it unfolds. Observing it as an observer – not as the person in the story. This learning didn’t just happen without pain. It was a breakthrough that happened along a bumpy road with lots of potholes.
Events happen, but our experiences of events are interpretations and they have a strong emotional component.
If you try to force them away, deny, or ignore them, they are likely to resurface when you least expect them. Accepting experiences as they unfold and watching them as the observer, brings a certain clarity and calm way of being which at times – and not always – allows you to sit safely in the process, letting it unfold as it will.
Transition Doesn’t Discriminate
My daughter has come to the end of honours in psychology and she was recently asked; “So, can you read minds now?”
There’s a story that those in helping professions are at arm’s length from others, that because they have knowledge and skills they have some superpower and are somehow more emotionally and psychologically more advanced than others. This is a myth.
While we may have learnt distinctions that help us get through difficult situations, and these distinctions bring a certain awareness, we are as human as the next person. What might help us is our ability to tap into different ways of observing a situation, and the insight to make life choices that may circumvent certain behaviours.
But…insight doesn’t come knocking at our front door. What we don’t observe, we can’t change.
Feeling as though we can’t even help ourselves sits as uncomfortably with us as it does with those not in helping professions. We are all the same – human. None of us are greater than another. There is no weakness in a major and difficult transition.
Humans Don’t Have Superhuman Powers
If humans had superhuman powers, the world wouldn’t be in such a mess. We would be thriving through this rapid growth and change.
It’s easy to see as a general rule, there is unrest. We’ve learnt to mask pain and fear through judgment and resentment.
We’ve learnt that we don’t always get what we want, so we have to bark loud. This is our way we pretend to cope – and it helps to protect us from the worst thing that could possibly happen.
This is our enemy.
It blinds us from observing what’s really going on for us, and prevents us from getting to the heart of our deepest concerns. I’m regularly reminded of my own blindness and frailty during tough, humanly, emotional times.
During our trip I had conversations with more than one person who truly believed that what the world needs right now to stimulate the economy and create stability, is another war.
We’re so accustomed to going into battle, and we create major breakdowns to get what we want – almost like a spoilt child. And it doesn’t just happen on the world stage.
I’ve come to believe that fighting for what we truly believe in, and the things that matter most to us, doesn’t have to be a real live battle.
Winning at all costs might appear ambitious, but it has its setbacks. It can make us feel as though we have to hurry, be better, stronger, bigger or louder than others.
We don’t have to win at all costs and we don’t have to hurry life along as though there is no tomorrow. Allowing transition to happen as it will, calms and brightens the soul.
Transitions And Unlocking Emotions
Staying with emotions during the most intense breakdown gives us the ability to observe our deepest concerns, and have the language to express what we are experiencing.
People are more equipped to have effective conversations when emotions are felt and deeply articulated. This is where clarity is – unlocking what was there and never observed. If we fight our emotions and avoid the pain, we may not ever observe and articulate deeper concerns.
This is a stark reminder that all the knowledge and skills in the world won’t necessarily help me when times are tough. But the ability to observe and turn these emotional barriers into open spaces of felt feelings, allows me to share what I’m experiencing deeply.
Let your heart speak to you. Calm confidence comes from deep within – it’s not something to ‘gain’ as much as it is an inner experience.
You Don’t Do Transition On Your Own
Nothing in life happens in isolation of others.
We are humans in a world full of other humans experiencing their own waves of transitions. Our thoughts and feelings exist through and with others. Experiences trigger us, constantly reminding us we are human living with other humans with similar experiences.
We’re all connected.
Everywhere we turn, there are external influences.
Each time I flick through social media I’m reminded of my own vulnerability. Just a short few years ago I used social media purely to connect with friends and family. Now, I use it for business – to build a social profile and connect with potential clients and others in business.
All of us using social media in this way are acutely aware of the thousands of other entrepreneurs doing the same thing.
We watch, we listen and we compare…am I doing it “right”? What’s my standard of service like in comparison with others? Are they better, bigger, or more experienced than me? Will I measure up?
If you’re on social media purely to be social it is no different. We might as well be in the same room baring our souls to thousands of others – social media is the new training room, office, shop floor, consultation room, lounge room, dining room.
The dynamics between social media and meeting face-to-face are different, but the act of comparing remains the same and is often more animated and magnified.
If you’re going through a major transition and you’re using social media everyday, watch for opinions, judgements and comparisons that can knock confidence off the shelf in one swift swipe.
Transitioning And Comparisons
Comparisons add to the complexity of transitioning.
As I continually transition, comparisons are a constant reminder of just how vulnerable I am – we all are.
There’s a lot of noise out there. As you develop a sensitivity to your own comparisons and personal judgements, you will feel the triggers throughout your body.
Observing the sensitivities is like shining a beacon of light into your soul.
It’s warmth opens up a new awareness and spaces for learning and growth where you will learn to trust your intuition, share the things that matter the most to you with people you can trust, and become available to others and the things that matter most to them.
Observe yourself when you are comparing.
What Does It Take To Move Safely Through The Vulnerability and Frailty of Transition?
Feeling safe is liberating. It truly allows a safe space to grow through the experience of transition. Perhaps feeling safe opens up the space inside your soul to experience confidence.
My practice opens up spaces of possibilities for people to develop the capacity to transition, through self-reflection and sharing what’s happening for them in a time where they feel frail and vulnerable.
In this space, I facilitate ways for you to deeply listen to your soul, trust your intuition, and feel your emotions when this noisy world makes it difficult to do so.
If this is something you’d like to explore, click here to find out about coaching with me
Or jump into my membership BE YOUR OWN HERO
If you want to learn more about emotions and moods states grab the guide right here ..
I wish the best of care for you this day and every day.
Do you have any questions? Comments? Insights? I’m here to listen! Let’s chat below.
P.S. I also have a Facebook page where I’d love to chat with you and answer your questions! Click here and like my page.