How to Deal with Change:
Step 1: GRIEF
Throughout our lifetimes, each of us will encounter many different love, life and career transitions. Whether it be transitioning from childhood into adolescence and adulthood, from college to career, from losing a job to getting a promotion, losing a parent to becoming one, or hitting the “mid-life crisis,” there are periods of time that rock our world to its core and potentially change the path that we are on as a human being.
Many people dread these periods of time, fear them, avoid them, run from them.
But I have a different perspective. Although absolutely challenging, these are points in time that are filled with opportunities. Opportunities to deal with past hurts we are carrying around that are subconsciously getting in our way of being our best selves. Opportunities to identify patterns in our life that are no longer serving us. Opportunities to change coarse and become who we are meant to be. These are the richest times of our lives, if we know how to maximize the opportunity.
Being in a few life transitions myself, and specializing in transition as a counselor and coach, I wanted to share my three step process in using this time wisely (and surviving the storm!)
I am getting ready to bring my daughter into the world. My family is growing after many years of being what we were (a family of 3, but also part of a larger blended family). My first born is starting high school this year which is another huge transition, and I have launched a business that is growing and constantly in transition. Using the three step process, I have not only become comfortable with being in transition, but truly believe I am making the most of it.
And I feel compelled to share this with you!
The three part process includes:
So…for this blog, I am going to share part one of being in transition which is GRIEVING.
Each transition brings LOSS and often this loss might trigger past losses.
Our culture has the tendency to encourage us to focus on the future, what’s next, to be excited and grateful for whats to come. Which can be helpful. BUT if we don’t take time to consciously grieve what was, these feelings can manifest themselves in other ways later on. Grieving allows us to tap into our feelings to therefore express them, to acknowledge what was, whether good or bad, and to do some deeper reflection ultimately increasing self-awareness. From this place we can remain more grounded and intentional as we move forward.
As you are entering or going through a transition, here are a few ways in which you can consciously grieve. You can ask yourself the following questions and sit with them in meditation, prayer, journal them, or share with someone you trust (such as a therapist!!)
What is the transition I am in? You might be noticing a theme here with all my offerings, everything starts with awareness, acknowledgement, and naming what is going on. This is a instrumental first step. You might say something like, “I am aware that I am entering a life transition where I am having another baby, therefore changing my family life.”
Identify the feelings coming up around the transition. For this, you may need to dedicate 10- 15 minutes to sit in silence to allow the feelings to emerge. We get really good at subconsciously repressing, even unintentionally. So give yourself time, space and permission to tap in. Do a body scan and notice and feelings you might be holding in your body. What are they? You might say, “I notice I am feeling a sadness around my first born not being my only child anymore, and some anxiety around how this transition is going to effect my marriage, and some loneliness in being pregnant.”
Reflect on how you got here. I am finding myself in a unique situation where I had my first born 14 years ago in college and am just now adding to my family. How I got here is a long story, but one that if I fully honor it, I can pull out pearls of strength I have leveraged over the years and also things about myself that need further attention that led me down paths that weren’t in my best interest. Look at your story through a compassionate lens. Recognize the good and take accountability for what you would change.
Use coping skills to sit in the unknown. One of the most challenging parts of being in transition is that we can’t plan and predict everything that is going to happen next, which our brains do not appreciate. I have no real idea how my family life is going to look and feel in one month from now, let alone one year, five years, and so on. I have no control over many components of what’s to come and that can be terrifying. This is where it can be helpful to lean on your spirituality or trust in something greater. When discomfort arises being in this unknown territory, identify the feelings, take a breath, and remind yourself that you are ready and prepared to take on whatever comes your way, and that you trust that all will work out. Because let’s face it, haven’t you made it through every challenging thing you have encountered thus far? Why would this situation be any different? Take another breath. Share your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust.
Capture this phase and these moments. Enjoy these last days, weeks, months being that family of three, or in that position at work, or with your girlfriends being single post-split. Take pictures and be present. You will not always be in this place, as the one constant is change and very soon you will find yourself in a different position. Remember who you were at this time so we can start working on step two of this process which is all about BECOMING.
Although this may not appear to be the fun part of the process, trust me when I say its essential. It will clear space for what’s to come. It will release unnecessary garbage you are carrying around with you. It will provide you personal insights that allow for better self-awareness therefore deeper connections with others. And, it can help you appreciate yourself and all you have been through while empowering you to take courageous steps moving forward that elevate your life in so many ways.
This is the work I am oh so passionate about. If you would benefit from having a guide to help you navigate your love, life or career transition, call me today! If you need support through this grief, but also want to identify the patterns to ultimately make intentional adjustments to your life, let’s get to work now. Click here to find out more information about me and how we can work together. www.BrookeJeanllc.com
Let’s make a minor change in our mindset today by seeing change and transition differently…as an OPPORTUNITY!
Take care of yourselves and therefore each other,