Sometimes change occurs so quickly that we don’t have much time to stop and notice or to contemplate what the change might feel like or look like – and it’s not until after the fact that we might spend time asking ourselves ‘what just happened?’ or ‘I never expected that!’ Ever had those moments? I certainly have.
But change can also occur slowly, where we transition from one point to another with a space of time – in between– a gap that is big enough for us to notice, should we choose to.
Transition means the process or period of changing from one state or condition to another.
The changing – this is where the act of change is taking place.
The transition – the in-between – can be a short process or period of changing or a long process or period of changing. This could be in our professional life, our personal life, our family life.
This definition doesn’t mention where the changing is coming from – are we doing the changing or is the changing being done to us?
Think about the seasons for a moment.
Right now, most of us are experiencing the in-between of seasons. We can see, hear, and even feel the small changes taking place around us. All of our senses are heightened as we notice the changing environment – the falling of old leaves or the growing of new; the freedom of longer days or the coziness of longer nights; the sweet smell of blooming flowers or the musky scent of dying plants; the sound of birds’ song or the silence of birds gone.
With these changing seasons we react – we change what we wear, how we plan, how we gather, where we gather, what we eat, what we drink – we adapt accordingly (and sometimes ritually).
Some embrace the change, while others resist. For those that resist, even they have a deep sense of knowing they have no control over the trees or the flowers or the snowfall – and so, at some point, they too will react and adapt.
As we go through life experiencing the transition of external seasons, let’s consider how we might experience the transition of our internal seasons?
As we grow older, with more ‘seasons’ under our belt, we change how we see the world around us and how we experience the world around us. Some of us resist this internal drive to change and some of us embrace it. Over my passing years, what is important to me has changed, and where my focus and attention go has changed. But how did this changing actually happen – was I aware and at peace with it, or in some state of denial and fearful of it? To be honest, I’ve experienced a mixture of both. But I know which I prefer – how about you?
Do you tend to react and adapt to changing with peaceful acceptance, or do you choose instead to deny it with fearful resistance?
As we notice and adapt to the changing of seasons, it is even more important to notice and adapt to the in-between of our changing lives. By noticing the transition of who we are, what we do, how we do it – and why – this allows us to go through the changing in a way that fills us with peace that comes from knowing rather than fear that comes from unknowing.
With all new change comes the opportunity for new growth and new learning, but it’s how we choose to experience the changing that allows such growth and learning to occur.
So, what should YOU do when you find yourself in transition from one space (or place) to another – be it physically, geographically, professionally, or personally?
When you find yourself in this space, the act of noticing is key. Notice the small, subtle signs of changing taking place – notice the in-between – just like you would the subtle signs of a season’s change.
Noticing small changes helps you prepare for the big change.
Why is this important?
Whether or not the changes are planned, if you are always noticing the small changes in between, you can be better prepared. And if you are the one making the small changes, you have more control over the shift – be it into a new season, a new career, a new business, a new way of life.
Not all change can feel like good change – it can be pretty scary to say the least. But if you’ve been practicing and playing with the in-between of changes throughout your life, you can be ready for just about anything.
Those who choose to move with the in-between will feel more flow and freedom – and be fully prepared for the arrival of change – for something new.
“Without a transition, a change is just a rearrangement of the furniture. Unless transition happens, the change won’t work, because it doesn’t take.” William Bridges
“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” Jim Rohn