Don’t Waste Your Transitions

Creating and designing a book in a setting that has given both warmth and chill, calm and wind all in the span of four days is a reminder of the transition of seasons.  It prompts me to think of the power and potential in transitions.  How transitions can be subtle and at times abrupt.  Living in the upper Midwest my whole life I have had a front row to both the gradual and the grand seasonal temperatures shifts as well as forms of unpredictable precipitation…rain, sleet and snow.  I like to think it has offered me a bit of grit to face the unexpected in life and anticipate change not as a problem to be solved but explored.

Transitions are inevitable and necessary for growth.  Whether at home or work, some transitions can be predicted and even chosen, some are inevitable with little control.  Regardless, how we walk into and through the transition matters because it changes:

How we leverage the learning in the transition.

How we interact with others during the transition.

How we sort through and release to create new space.

 

It influences what happens in that space still unknown.

Transitions offer an awkward pause between what we know and what is yet to come.  In the pause, it offers a natural breath to discover a new thing.  This is why the turn of the calendar each year is so anticipated, it’s a transition to something new, that holds hope.

What if we looked at each day as a transition?  That first breathe you take, a God-given pause to create a new thing?  A new thing even in the mundane tasks of home or in our work that holds potential.

This is when transitions, even the small ones, become sacred.  When the transition we are struggling through or guiding others through is given opportunity to surface purpose and meaning.

Learning and discovery often first come in the form of chaos.  Transitions can feel and look messy and yet like the season shift now, in the midst of the unpredictable weather, small buds appear in the spring, even when snow falls like it’s confused of the seasonal rhythms.

That transition you are facing, dreaming of, considering, don’t waste it.  Don’t simply run to the destination because it feels safe and tangible.  Use this pause, the transitional shift and space, to walk into and through it with intention because acknowledging and leveraging the transition itself as significant will impact what the destination actually becomes and likely surface potential we hadn’t even consider possible.

What transition are you experiencing or considering? [personally | professionally]

What can you control and influence in the transition?  What can you not control?

How are you approaching the transition?  What changes when you are curious vs anxious?

What have you gained from past transitions?  Even those you didn’t choose.

As we transition into more activity after 2020, how can you be intentional to protect what you have discovered to be good?  [Leaders…we have to create time and safe places to process, to name and leverage the learning or we lose it and the valuable resource of experiences the past thirteen months have been].

 

What’s your next brave step in the anticipation of or actual transition?

 

Transition indicates there a shift in what has been and a new thing is coming…let’s be curious even as we wait for the space yet to be revealed.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”  Isaiah 43:19

 

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2 responses to “Don’t Waste Your Transitions”

  1. Paula Ziems says:

    As I was noodling on the thoughts you shared, I was continually drawn to a specific example of transition. Think of transition sunglasses: the transitions from light to dark and back to light again are all essential in their own way. The tint becomes evident when the world around us becomes too bright. It’s there to protect our sight and to enable us to see in spite of the brightness. A brightness that often brings us warmth, but if looked at directly, would bring harm and damage – would blind us. Then, when we step away from that glare and into diminished light, our lenses adjust to allow us to see, in full, our surroundings. It’s at that point when we have stepped into “darkness” (something that we’d typically want to avoid), we’re then able to really “see.”
    As a teacher of students on the Autism Spectrum, I work closely with each of them as they transition through high school, and I look at my work in light of transition. My goal is to provide healthy ways for each of them utilize their “transition glasses” which enables them to look through both lenses depending upon their situation; ultimately giving them necessary transition tools to be successful throughout high school and beyond.
    I appreciate what you wrote, “Transition indicates there a shift in what has been and a new thing is coming.” That describes transition to a T! Personally and professionally, I have seen, first hand, “what has been and the new thing that is coming.” The real challenge is working as hard through those personal challenges as those professional challenges.

    • Thank you Paula for the response and how you are framing transitions for those you serve…the sunglasses! What a practical image and concept to guide people through. I pray you give yourself the breath and margin to process transitions for yourself with as much grace as you offer others!

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