The only constant in life is change. Yet one of the things we struggle with the most, is change.
The big transitions of life challenge our identity: Starting Uni, the kids leaving home, retirement, redundancy, starting a new career, having babies. These transitions require us to get out of automatic pilot and the old known safe definition of who we are.
Change is also uncomfortable because our mind is designed to reinforce what we already know and believe and to promote habitual behaviours. This helps us to function more effectively, so we don't have to reinvent the wheel every day when we get up. But at the same time, it can make it hard to grow up, move on and embrace our full potential.
Yet, I believe those life transitions should be celebrated as they are opportunities to let go of an old skin so you can regrow a newer one, embodying the wisdom gained on the way and let it shine in the sunlight. Just like butterflies.
4 Tips to flow through transitions with ease:
Tip 1: Acknowledge it's a big deal.
It will probably feel uncomfortable, you may experience resistance, self-doubt or anxiety, and that is totally normal. Especially if the change is unwanted, grief or shock may be stronger. Courage is about feeling those feelings and getting on with it anyway. Rituals, such as rites of passage, are integrative ways to acknowledge the situation and help us release and normalise the emotions associated with it (that change).
Tip2: Don't try to be a superhero
Try 'commitment cropping', a well-known resilience tool: it's too easy to think we should carry on as normal, but often not realistic whilst in the middle of big life changes. Resist the temptation to take on new commitments, delegate, consider dropping activities that are not essential (except exercise!) and take time off when needed.
Tip3: Seek refuge in what is not changing
When everything is new or changing it can feel exhilarating or unsettling. But there will also be some things in your life that are still more or less the same as before. Familiarity can be grounding and nourishing at times of change, like visiting grandparents or going on a familiar walk in nature.
Tip4: Be willing to turn the page and step into the new chapter
Transitions are wonderfully full of potentiality, they are an opportunity to redefine ourselves. A unique time when we throw away the old shoes but haven't stepped into the new ones yet. So, give yourself permission to dream: if the kids have left home, what opportunities does the free time give you? Moving to a new house could help create that lifestyle you always wanted.
The circumstances will always be different, but the awareness and skill needed to make the most of transitions are the same: patience, kindness and a certain spirit of adventure. Just like the butterfly that goes into its cocoon, take your time to process the old, dream the new and be generous about the size of your new wings.
I help people work through big changes and transitions using relaxation and resilience skills to stay sane; hypnosis to support unconscious healing and letting go and tapping into your deeper resources; solution focused dialogue to promote post change growth, find your own way to move forward gracefully and make sure your life continues to fulfill you.
With Love, Stephanie