September marks a specific time of transition for many as the academic year starts. For many parents this means children have gone to school for the first time or have left to start university. Bringing with it a sense of anxiety and uncertainty but also hope and excitement, for both parent and child.
For the rest of us transition, or a major life change if you prefer, can occur at any time and I’m aware of people who are experiencing redundancy, moving home, starting a business and changing careers. The feelings of anxiety and uncertainty, but also hope and excitement are the same.
Transition is described as ‘the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another’.
Transformation on the other hand is ‘a marked change in form, nature, or appearance’. A subtle but important difference.
For me the former is external, the latter an internal process. So change happens in your life, planned and unexpected. Either way you can choose how to respond, and this is when transformation can take place.
Five steps to transforming positively through transition
1. Map your support system. You’re not going through this experience alone. Besides family, friends and others going through a similar transition, your support could also include specialist Facebook groups, books and music etc. Make a list and refer back to it when you feel alone or overwhelmed.
2. Reflective practice raises your self-awareness. This activity helps you understand your emotions and why and how you respond to situations. Allowing you the opportunity to learn from your experiences. Collaging and journaling are great tools for this.
3. Mindfulness “means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Jon Kabat-Zinn. This has two key benefits. It teaches you to notice your circumstance and emotions without self-criticism or guilt. It also prevents those feelings of regret of the past, and worry for the future, as you keep your mind focused on the present.
4. Adopting an attitude of gratitude, where you become aware of and thankful for everyday blessings. This is naturally cultivated through mindful practice.
5. Every negative has its opposite, a positive. No matter how challenging and unexpected the transition may be; if you can see through the fear and uncertainty, you’ll find a positive benefit to act on. This will take time, so allow yourself this. Practicing the 4 points above will help.
Support through transition
I’ll be focusing on the topic of transition and transformation for the foreseeable future. It’s an important one that affects all of us at some stage. So I’ll be covering it in depth, but bite size chunks. Just as we need to approach the process itself.
If you’re not already aware, UnglueYou® is all about supporting women through the process of transition. Our posts are written to provide another source of support alongside the transformative work that takes place during our 1-2-1 collage consultations and workshops.
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