Surviving Transition: Strategies for a Healthy Life

Transition. Change. The ebb and flow of human life. An inescapable reality.

Transition can be positive or negative, and often embraces both with equal passion. Transition cares nothing for our thoughts, plans or dreams – it is not an entity of human emotion – it is a given fact.

Ironically, transition is one property of existence that never changes –

It happens to everyone – to everything – everywhere.

All the time.

by MMcDonough via Flickr (CC)

by MMcDonough via Flickr (CC)

Transition cannot be stopped – it forces a choice

The first strategic key to surviving transition is found in moving beyond the initial shock, refusing negative thoughts that arise and choosing to embrace the full array of experiences introduced, with a progressive mind. In fact, resisting change is often a icy slope aimed at a brick wall. Either way – the choice to crash into the wall or march forward is always yours.

Consider the impact of a newborn. An infant heralds transition packed with unquantifiable and unlimited potential. A new beginning loaded with fresh responsibilities.

The innocent eyes of the newborn, fed and calmed at 2 a.m., makes us up our game, shift our mental strategies, mature and grow. An opportunity to live above our best, strive beyond our imagined limits – a chance for personal renaissance.

As the child grows and matures they will teach us as much about ourselves as we will teach them. And in that symbiotic exchange, our inner selves will be revealed and tested. Our beliefs. Our patterns of thought. Our inner motivations. Exposed and refined.

Consider friends, the people closest to us. Each will impact our lives and world view. Our ideals, aspirations, and inspirations. Perhaps even our compulsions and habits.

We change others and ourselves all the time – and often, such transpires with minimal notice.

by Rafa. Garces via Flickr (CC)

by Rafa. Garces via Flickr (CC)

ย Ever gone to an family event, a class reunion or a gathering of long-parted friends and thought:

“Wow, everyone is so different!”

  • Cousin Ralph used to smack me in the face with his three-foot ponytail, but here he is ten years later, balder than the hood of a freshly washed car.
  • My high school nemesis, Sally, stole made every boy I liked follow her like the Pied Piper, but at our fifteen year class reunion she wept to me about how some floozy stole her spouse.
  • As a kid, my brother’s friend Johnny used to put gum in my hair and flush my Barbie’s heads down the toilet, now he’s holding my hair while I pray to the porcelain after imbibing to much at my brother’s wedding.

We notice these changes and shifts because there is a gap between Event A and Event B. Yet, when we look at ourselves, it is an endless string. No gaps to notice, and so, we don’t. At least until change compels us to take a look – or compels someone else to bounce it off our skull reality, hopefully, someone with our continued best interest in mind.

Not all transitions are kind or desired. Let’s refer to these as loss. Loss of a friend. Loss of a pet. Loss of a job. Loss of something we held dear – and it does not have to be something that anyone else would see as precious. Loss is always personal.

And yet, loss, in reality, is nothing more than the unending force and momentum of change.

Like everyone, I am in a state of transition. Some positive and progressive. Some less so, albeit, the latter often originate from sources beyond my control.

Lesson Learned: By taking charge of the way we choose to approach and move through times of change, we reduce the negative impact of events beyond our control, turning the experience into a positive.

This new series will be dedicated to sharing lessons learned, observations, tips, tricks and strategies for handling the constant string of changes we all face.

One caveat: I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist. Rather, I am a traveler on the same road. It is my hope that we can share our journeys and experiences with each other.

When we stand and share together, we are strongest and our chances of success rise exponentially – before a phoenix claims the sky it must first rise from the ashes of transition. Let’s help ignite each others inner phoenix and claim the heights.

One thing to consider: While transition is an unstoppable force, failure is a non-existent one –

We only “fail” when we do nothing, and the moment we take action, then we are not “failing” any longer.

One action we can all take is found in Communitythe second strategic key. Community is a stable skeleton. It is pulsing blood rushing life to starving organs. Genuine community is the mightiest power our species possesses. It can also be the hardest thing to find.

One incredible community, to which I am honored to belong, are the WANA’s – which stands for, “We Are Not Alone.” And indeed, if you are looking for a community of progressively-minded individuals weathering and succeeding in the sea of transition – the WANA’s are the best choice I’ve found on the planet. You can find out more about WANA by clicking here or on the logo below.

WANAtribe Logo

There will be no set schedule for this series. Right now is the beginning, I’ll end it when I stop transitioning *smiles*

Some posts will deal with specific types of transition and strategies for handling them. Others will suggest books, sites and classes for helping us make the most of our upswings and overcoming the downswings. Others, I hope, will be in response to your comments and experiences.

I’ll be announcing a few shifts of direction for myself and the blog over the next couple of days. Stay tuned.

Is transition something you tend to embrace or does the thought make you cringe? Have you been through a transition that looked devastating at first glance but turned out to be an incredible opportunity? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Peace.

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About Gene Lempp

Gene Lempp is a writer blending elements of alternate history, the paranormal, fantasy, science fiction and horror for dark and delicious fun. He unearths stories by digging into history, archeology, myth and fable in his Designing from Bones blog series. โ€œOnly the moment is eternal and in a moment, everything will change,โ€ sums the heart of his philosophy. You can find Gene at his Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, WANATribe, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.
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11 Responses to Surviving Transition: Strategies for a Healthy Life

  1. Marcia says:

    When my friends talk about personal changes, my thoughts turn to negative scenarios before I realize I may be worrying without need. So, I hope your transition will turn out to be a positive experience, Gene. I’m sending positive vibes, just to be sure. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    A person can’t live a normal life without some transitions and I’ve seen my share. Some have been difficult and others, a joy. One transition was devastating for numerous reasons but I was able to help my family through it with a positive outlook. It turned out to be neither good or bad in the broader scheme of things, at the time. Just something we had to go through. However, it was an experience I’ve pulled on many times since to get me and my kids through less difficult transitions.
    This series will be interesting and you know I’ll be here! Looking forward to your announcement, too!

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Appreciate the vibes! In my case the transition was the end of a long term job, however, I am finding it to be a positive thing. The “Lesson Learned” up above is one I’ve “discovered” from this experience. What I have also found is that I have an amazing circle of friends, both locally and online – and, by amazing I mean: Wow, you all are beyond fantastic! I’ve also come to realize the immense skill set I have and am seeing opportunities the stagnation of my former job blocked me from.
      I know some transitions can be difficult – being a guy, I equate it to weight-lifting. Some changes are an easy two-pound curl, others are more like trying to lift a 500-pound barbell AND the guy that is holding it. Either way, change builds us up as long as we keep pressing forward. I’m glad to hear that you not only found the strength to make it through, but then used that experience to positive effect.
      Thanks for sharing and for the wonderful comment ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Marcia says:

        Relieved to hear your transition is turning out to be good thing. Full speed ahead on your writing life!!
        Regarding online friends, I’m constantly amazed, shocked and awed how ‘real’ their friendship is.
        Have a great week, my friend!

  2. Jenny Hansen says:

    I think job changes are the hardest in many ways…and the most freeing. Every job change I’ve made, whether via layoffs or resignation brought positive change to my life.

    Best example:
    I was in software training sales for several years and quit in 2009 because I hated sales and couldn’t stand my boss any longer. But really, I quit because I’d been told there would be no babies and it got me off my butt to write full time. I’d birth books rather than kids.

    Within a month after I quit, I was pregnant with Baby Girl and you know most of the rest of that journey. I was too stressed to GET pregnant until I said goodbye to that job.

    Good luck on your journey. I’ll send you my LinkedIn via DM in case my network can help you.

  3. Great post, Gene!

    I’ve experienced a lot of transitions, the most devastating one that I will never stop feeling the effects of, is the loss of my mother. I do believe it is a wound too deep to heal, although a scab is starting to form. Seems like something is always reminding me of my mom and ripping the scab open.

    But life goes on and I’m still adjusting to the change after 5 years.

    I’ve had good transitions too, like divorce and re-marriage to a really good man. The tide comes in, the tide goes out. I definitely learned from my poor judgment and did not make the same mistake twice!

    Looking forward to this journey.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  4. Jae says:

    Ever read “As a Man Thinketh” ? It’s an oldie, but a goodie and I believe in what the author James Allen is saying fairly wholeheartedly. I didn’t used to, but I’ve noticed the more I garnish my thoughts with positivity the more I see that positivity manifested in my own life. Great post!

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Marcia: Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

      Jen: Amazing the ways that stress can screw us up physically. I think the subject will be one I delve into in the next post or two in this series. I’m so glad to hear that the transition not only brought your greatest desire and treasure (baby girl) but also all of us, through your incredible drive to keep pressing forward. Appreciate the Linked-In offer, now I just have to make a page there *sheepish grin* – seriously, it’s on the to-do list ๐Ÿ™‚

      Patricia: The loss of a family member, especially a parent can be most difficult. It is also one many of us have experienced and can identify with. Hold to the memories and remember that she would want you to be happy and happy for you as you continue to achieve and thrive in your life. Also been through divorce and right with you about making a far better choice the second time around. Looking forward to having you with – Peace ๐Ÿ™‚

      Jae: I’ve not heard of that one. Just added it to my “check this out” list (yes, that is really what I titled it). Completely agree that positive thoughts lead to positive results. Thanks for the tip and comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Gene! What a wonderful series. And I love that you are plugging into all the WANA energy. Truly, the WANA’s are the most wonderful peeps in the blogosphere. Can’t wait for you to kick off your series.

    Maybe I might even have something to add to the discourse, if you are interested. *smiles*

    • Gene Lempp says:

      The WANA’s are a treasure beyond compare. By the way, this is the series “kick off.” *wink*

      I would indeed be interested in your thoughts and experiences. Tossing this in for you (and as a bonus to those that actually read the comments), that I plan to allow guest posts in this series (by invitation only), at some point down the road. We’ll keep in touch ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I await a transition that has been eight years in the making; when I think of all I have accomplished in spite of this obstacle, I find I am truly grateful; the closing of this chapter in life brings new plans, and the joy of discovering my day dreams will become the new reality.

  7. Pingback: How an enterprise transition plan supports technology change | The Career Advisor

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