As women we face many transitions over our lifetime. Change is synonymous with life. Some change is welcome, while some change is not. All change is challenging, but to what degree depends largely on our circumstance. The same situation is often experienced very differently by each of us. We are all individuals. What is a struggle for some women may be a breeze for others. But we can all look back over our lives and identify key transformative periods, where we were (or are) in struggle, pain, change. And they don’t necessarily come one at a time! In fact, we seem to be in a transition of some type constantly.
I invite you to join me in a reflection on your key life transitions, as I share mine. Sit with these and really drink in what amazing things you have overcome in your life and what it has led to in terms of growth and wisdom. My clients often share that taking stock of what they have previously achieved, gives them appreciation of just how far they have come, and often the confidence to face the current challenges in their lives.
In my experience, frustration and anger often accompany the times in our lives where we are going through transition. Often the struggle associated with change and transitioning is to do with us being out of alignment. We seek transition because of the tension between the life we are living, and the one we seek. (Sometimes subconsciously).
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living”. Gail Sheehy
I have had a very blessed life. As I reflect on the transitions I have experience on my journey I witness a wide range of emotions – gratitude and joy, mixed with fear, sadness, trepidation and exhilaration, they are all there. Most transitions, be they positive or negative have come with growth of some kind. (As you read through my list, why not tick them off if you have experienced these, or similar too, and add your own at the space at the bottom).
These are some of my big transitions…
- Primary School (of 12 students) to High School (of 250 students)
- High School to University
- Being single to being part of a couple
- Life on a farm in rural Australia to life at university in the city (Melbourne, Australia)
- Becoming an Aunty
- Student to Professional
- Professional to traveller (for 10 months backpacking in Asia & Europe)
- A returned traveller – back to everyday life
- Aquatic Ecologist to Environmental Project Manager
- Living in Australia to living in Kent in the UK
- Moving from UK back to Australia after 3 years away
- Becoming a mother
- Moving house (multiple times)
- Becoming a mother (again)
- My father-in-law being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease
- My eldest son starting school
- My youngest son starting school
- Moving from suburbs (Melbourne) to life in Sao Paulo Brazil (same population as Australia!)
- Moving into expat life
- Repatriation to Australia
- The 10-month illness and death of my Dad
- Struggling with my next steps professionally
- Finding coaching
- Becoming a coach
- Moving out of expat life
- Moving to the UK
- Starting my own business
- Becoming a Professional Certified Coach
- Having a partnership business fail
- Teaching Life Skills
- Teaching Coaching
- Son learning to drive
- Son going moving away (to University) – this one I am in right now
And so in my minds eye I transition physically from the farm I grew up on, to University in the city. From country to country, home to house, home to house…
Emotionally, I transitioned from a family of 6 (4 kids) to being alone to becoming a couple to becoming a professional to becoming an expat to repatriating to becoming a parent to becoming a stay-at-home mum to losing a parent to becoming a coach to becoming a business owner to becoming a coach trainer to becoming a coach mentor to becoming a … I realise that there is a lot of ‘becoming’ a lot of the growth.
And, you know, with all this transitioning, I still feel like that little farm girl on the inside. Like Russian babushka dolls, we carry all of these experiences along with us on our journey. We grow and change, but we also stay the same.
I choose to work with women in transition because I understand how challenging transition can be. This is especially the case for women because we are most likely to be dealing with the emotional needs of our families and parents or others within our communities.
How about you? What are some of the standout transitions you have experienced? What have been the positive and/or negatives associated with your transitions, as you change and grow as a person?
It is often helpful to take the time to reflect on where we have come from and what we have learnt on our journey to this moment.
Personally, I find that I have no sooner achieved a goal (transitioned into something new) than I am off searching for the next thing I NEED to do…
To take stock of how far we have come and what we have accomplished is something I don’t seem do to enough of. How about you?
From my experiences of transition and change in my life I have found several things to be true.
- I am more able to deal with transformation than I ever think I am in the beginning.
- The transformation always takes longer than I want it to.
- There is always something to be learnt, even with the most painful transition.
- We make our own luck. We get to choose, in every moment of our lives. We will not always choose the best path, but if we are open to learning, we will always come out of a transition with some positive learning and growth.
- That particularly in the tough transitions, speaking with my coach always helps!
So, I encourage you to take the time to take stock. Relish the wisdom you have accumulated from living your best life and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are struggling in a particular transition.