“Our lives are a series of births and deaths; we die to one period and must be born to another.” – Madeline L’Engle
As a woman, do you hear an inner voice that is asking is this all there is to life? Do old ways of doing and viewing things seem outdated? On the whole, do you feel discontented with your life? If you found yourself answering yes to these questions you most likely are on the brink of a transition. During this process, many women mistakenly believe that wanting more from life is inherently wrong and attempt to quiet this inner voice. However, it is important for women to realize this inner voice is calling them to reexamine their lives so that can begin to transition into a new chapter in their lives. Instead of running from inner discontentment, it is important for women to embrace it. Listed below are some questions to ask during this process.
- What price will I pay if I continue to live my life in the manner that I am living?
- What will my life look like five years from now if I do not begin to make the necessary changes? (Visualize how you will look and feel)
- I’m avoiding looking at the fact that _________ (fill in the blank) is no longer working for me.
- What does a full and satisfying life look and feel like?
As you answer these questions it is important to realize that the basic flow of our lives is a cycle of stable times followed by transitions. In order to move forward to the next period in our lives some of our old ways die off leaving room for new ways to emerge. However, before we enter the new chapter we seem out of kilter like a ship without a sail. Be assured that these feelings are associated with the transition. According to Fredrick Hudson and Pam D. McLean, authors of Life Launch individuals enter into the four distinct phases during a transition.
Stuck in the Doldrums
When an individual is in this stage of their life they are not happy with the life that they are leading. Their motivation decreases, they feel fatigued, negativism increases, and the very activities that once fulfilled them no longer give them joy. Individuals have two choices during this phase: 1) improve upon their current life or 2) end this chapter of their life and begin a transition to a new phase of life.
Some Individuals choose to improve the current chapter in their lives by making internal and external changes. Some of the changes people make are: moving to a new location, changing jobs, making new friends, reading self-help books, and seeking therapy. By making these changes, many people find that they feel rejuvenated. If the mini-transition does not produce these qualities and leaves individuals feeling disappointed and discouraged they automatically move into the cocooning phase.
In this phase, an individual detaches from the chapter in their life that was not working and takes emotional time out to heal, reflect and discover new directions for their life. People become quiet, withdrawn, emotional, and unsure of themselves. Just as pruning a rose leads to a more robust plant, so cocooning enables people to discover new parts of themselves. During this stage, it is not unusual for people to seek therapy, join self-help groups, attend personal growth seminars, read informational books …… It is important to resist the temptation to stay so busy that one can’t focus inward and experience the chaos that is occurring within them.
The Next Chapter
If an individual spends the necessary time renewing themselves and identifying core values, desires, and visions they break out of the cocoon phase and fly into the new chapter in their life. During this phase, people feel confident, creative, and optimistic. Most likely, they are eager to explore new skill sets and ways of thinking. They are trying out new roles. After a few months or so people in this phase find their desired path and begin a new chapter in their lives.
Awaken to the forces that are calling you to embrace a transition! It is an opportunity to redirect your life. To determine what stages of transition you are in take a Free Transition Assessment. I look forward to hearing from you.