Welcome to November!
This month I thought the topic “transitions” would be interesting to discuss. We all go through changes in our lives. They can be stressful, life changing, and scary. They can cause anxieties, sleeplessness, and more. They can also be fun and exhilarating. It seems to me that, somehow in life, the only thing that is constant is change.
William Bridges (1933–2013), an authority on change and transition, describes transition as…
“…the inner psychological process that people go through as they internalize and come to terms with the new situation that the change brings about.”
So, how do we go about recognizing change, or that we are transitioning from one situation to another? And, what do we do about it when we do recognize the changing situation.
William Bridges explains that there are three predictable phases to any transition process, whether it is personal change or a massive change on a societal level.
I thought it might be interesting to talk about three transition situations that I am currently dealing with and relate them to Bridges’ three phases.
Transitioning from Vacation back to Home
In October, we had a wonderful holiday in Greece. We went with a small group and everyone got along really well. The weather was fantastic. We toured in areas that were off the beaten track and saw things many people do not. The food was wonderful. We thoroughly relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.
Then, we returned to Toronto, to cold, miserable weather. We returned to the stress of city living, to cooking our own meals again, to scheduling! What a change! And I feel I am still dealing with it.
I’ve included some photos we took while visiting this picturesque country.
Transitioning from Condo to House
In August, my husband and I sold our condo, and in October we bought a house in the east end of Toronto. (In fact, we finalized the purchase contract while on our wonderful vacation in Greece.) We will be moving from the noisy, congested, energetic downtown core to a more peaceful, much less congested urban life. We will have a real garden rather than pots on our deck (hurrah!) However, our new home needs some work. We can move in now and slowly make it over to our liking. It will be challenging and stressful! AND it will take time. It is a transition that will test us.
Transitioning as a Children’s Book Author
Another transition centers on my additional career as an author. It’s one thing to be a bioenergy healer – something that I am very comfortable with and enjoy a lot. It’s a huge transition to be an author of a children’s book. I’m learning that I must take time to publicize the book. I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote it – that it would sell itself? Maybe. I’m in a whole new learning curve on this one and it takes time and energy.
William Bridges – The Three Phases of Transitions
I am working through each of my transitions and doing well. Even so, according to William Bridges, I have more to go through. Bridges explains that there are three predictable phases to any transition process, whether it is personal, as mine are, or a massive change on a societal level.
Phase 1 – Ending
The first phase is Ending – something is ending; something is over. All kinds of feelings associate themselves with this phase. You might feel sadness, depression, but also anticipation and excitement.
Living in a condo downtown has had many positive aspects. There is little maintenance on the condo. The St Lawrence market a block away makes for very easy shopping. And we are near to concert spaces and restaurants.
I am in Phase 1 for the move. As Bridges says, change “is full of psychological processes. I wonder how we will replace all of these amenities. I wonder if the new house will work out. We have friends who live close by us now. Will they come to visit? What will the new neighbors be like? And on and on ——–
Phase 2 – Neutral Zone
According to William Bridges, the next phase is the Neutral Zone. He states “It is the very core of the transition process. This is the time between the old reality and sense of the new one. People are creating new processes and learning what their new roles will be. They are in flux and may feel confusion and distress.”
I do feel in flux. I know I will find my stride in marketing my children’s book, “Joey and His Friend Water.” Moving and vacationing I have done before, while marketing a book I personally wrote is brand new. I am still in the Neutral Zone on this one. Learning “new processes” and “my role” in these processes scares me some. I’ve definitely ventured outside my comfort zone. I will have to wait until I am moved in to experience this part.
Phase 3 – New Beginning
In the New Beginning, according to Bridges, we start to embrace the change. I guess that, for my vacation, I have reached this stage. I am home, I am settled, and I am back to my regular schedule. It wasn’t hard but I was sad at the ending.
I will have to wait until I am moved in to experience this part with our new house. As I write, we are preparing the new house for our move.
In addition, I know I will find my stride in marketing my children’s book, “Joey and His Friend Water.” Moving and vacationing I have done before, while marketing a book I personally wrote is brand new. I am still in the Neutral Zone on this one. Learning “new processes” and “my role” in these processes scares me some. I’ve definitely ventured outside my comfort zone.
The most important thing about change is to recognize the feelings and address them.
Meanwhile, take care.
P.S. This quote by William Bridges inspires me to carry on and to keep in balance through my own energy healing treatments and meditation while going through these changes. I hope these words inspire you also.
“We all go through transitions. They bring with them all sorts of feelings. The important thing is to make sure we stay in balance.”
William Bridges Associates | Feb 17, 2016