Most humans facing transitional times will ask the two big questions; Who am I and what do I want? For butterflies and even us frogs, we transition effortlessly from one life stage to another. We trust in our DNA to take us where we need to go. Humans? Not-so-much. People have a habit of trying to plan for every stage of their life. They examine all the details, ask a bunch of questions, worry about this and that and, despite all their best efforts to control the situation, the transition will happen anyway... in the manner it was meant to.
What are some of the best ways to approach any transition? The first thing to do is try to get over your need to control every aspect of the impending transition. Learn to let your evolution take over. Try not to overthink it. When you hit the crossroads, when you're no longer the tadpole but not quite yet the frog, try these few tips to make the move forward easier and do it with more certainty.
1. Don't rush. Trying to move frantically from one stage to another can be stressful and leave you feeling very tired. The tadpole never hurries to become a frog.
2. Celebrate where you've been. Take time to look back on the last chapter of your life. Savor the pleasurable moments and celebrate all your accomplishments. Learn from your past. For example, if you enjoyed helping your children with their homework and they're now in college, try volunteering at your local school as a tutor or mentor. This can help make the transition from busy mom or dad to empty nester much easier. You'll continue to feel useful and needed.
3. Go outside. As a frog, I spend 99% of my time outdoors. But humans tend to forget the healing powers of Mother Nature. Turning to nature and the stillness you find there, can help you rediscover your deeper connection to your true self. Spend as much time as you can in the quiet of nature, You'll be surprised at the peace and clarity it can bring you.
4. Get curious. Opening your mind to new experiences can be a wonderful thing. Play with the perspective of a curious child. When you look at life through a child-like lens, you can see things you never thought were possible before.
5. Don't ask the experts! Of course you can ask the opinion of others. Just remember that this is your life and your transition. Only you can know what's truly right for you.
6. Meditate. Spending time in quiet solitude each day can connect you to your body, mind and spirit. You connect with endless possibilities. Meditation can help alleviate your fears and make transitioning feel, and become, a much more positive experience.
7. Seek direction, not a destination. Having a clear goal of what you want to accomplish or have happen, can leave you paralyzed. Sometimes, just letting go of the need to know what's coming next can free you up. It makes room for all the possibilities you never thought of. The best things in life can happen when you don't plan for them. "Once you get to the top of the mountain, it rarely matters what path you took." ~ Tamara Lechner.
For all of life is about the journey...not the destination.
8. Decide and then get on with it. Once you have a clear idea of what it is you want to do, then just do it. You want to get your degree? Then register for school. You want to go back to work? Send out your resume. If your transition includes caring for elderly parent, take classes on care-giving. Then join a support group. You get the idea! Intention requires action to come to fruition.
9. Always remember that you are still you. No matter what changes are occurring in your life, you will always be you. It can be easy to forget this when your role in life changes. But at the heart of every change, you remain the constant. "Stay present and remember that who you are is exactly who you need to be right now," says Tamara Lecher, meditation instructor and happiness expert. And you know she's right.
"The times they are a changing," wrote Bob Dylan. But we are always in motion, too! Some changes are small and barely noticeable, while others are major and alter the course of our lives. Learning to be OK with these changes; to go with the flow and allow evolution to kick in, can be freeing and help make any transition better and less scary.