Embracing Life’s Transitions to Move Forward
Run as you will hide you will not, the inevitable transition surrounds us. We can choose to resist or embrace its presence but transition stops for no one. I have noticed a whirlwind encompassing my circle of friends including myself. I wonder, is this incredible amount of change surfacing in everyone’s life or is it just a coincidence that it’s a common story? That I cannot explain, but it did bring me to explore the topic and perhaps bring some comfort to the unknown. After all, change symbolizes the unknown, which is one of the greatest fears of us all.
As I delve in deeper to the topic of “change”, I consult my lovely fiancée Justin who studies these topics aggressively as he is in his final year in a Masters of Psychology program at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks.
To learn to accept and work effectively with change, we must first be able to recognize the different stages of change. In doing so, you will reward yourself with incredible amounts of personal insight and growth. Generally speaking, there are 4 stages of change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, action and maintenance.
In the pre-contemplative stage, you will find yourself unsettled with your reality. Although you don’t understand why. In this stage, you will not be able to recognize that you are in this stage…you’re just uncomfortable. Dissatisfied but you aren’t yet addressing why. We can all think of examples in our life where we felt this discomfort without acknowledging the true reasons why. When we begin to realize the reasons why we’re not happy, we enter the contemplative stage.
In the stage of contemplation, there are a lot of layers. A lot of emotions. This is the place where we plan our course of action. What supports we need in place to get there, in order to make these crucial decisions. A stage of education. A highly insightful stage. What are the effects of breaking up with a lover, or getting a new job? What resources or support do you need in order to make this happen? In this stage find comfort in turbulent emotion. Emotion is the root of motivation. Motivation gets you through the contemplative stage. This is a place of stagnancy in a lot of people so I say Get MAD!!!! GET EMOTIONAL!!!! Let emotions move you into the next level, which is action.
Action speaks louder than words. In the action stage, you take all that you gained in insight, all that you’ve planed and contemplated and implement it into your reality. This isn’t to say that it will work, but you are in motion and the right circumstances will emerge from being true to yourself. Prepare to be uncomfortable in this stage. The uncomforted of this stage can be so intense that people will choose not to evolve into their truth in order to avoid it. What they can’t see is the beautiful butterfly waiting to emerge on the other side. Mystery holds this stage captive. When we learn to give into the mystery and face the unknown we learn the ultimate trust. And action is no longer scary.
The final stage is maintenance. You are now the triumphant butterfly that weathered the storm. Honor yourself and what you’ve been through. Happiness surrounds you. To maintain this is not always simple though, being able to uphold your lifestyle to support your changes takes a conscious effort. Learning how to tailor your reality is an art form. Ideally, we are never at a final resting place. Life is a continuum of change and growth that can be experienced more efficiently through awareness and personal insight.
Thank you so much for your time in exploring this topic with me, please I would love to hear feedback, personal stories, pearls of wisdom etc…relating to this ever-so-prevalent subject!