Oct 17 2010

What Do Transitions Mean To You and How Do They Affect Your Life?

What Do Transitions Mean To You and How Do They Affect Your Life?

What do transitions mean to you and how do they affect your life? What do you do when you come to a fork in the road? Do you see transitions with fear and trepidation or do you view them as the blessing they are truly meant to be? This article is among a series of articles and discussions I am having with my readers, my TV audience, and those that listen to my radio show. As you may recall, I wrote a short blog post last month about my co-author and the book that we are currently writing. It has become clear that our process is evolving and in that, we see that most of the sticking points we discuss are most often founded and based on some sort of fear. After doing some preliminary research and analysis, I am amazed at the level of conflict that is created from this destructive emotion. Let’s step back for a moment and look at the origins of such a thought.

The irony here is that the human condition is all about transition and transformations from the very beginning of conception. What is known is that we transition from the chrysalis of the womb to a vast openness of the universe about us. We begin life with all the possibilities in us, but somewhere along the journey we lose little by little our ability to see our true nature. Remember the simplest of transition from, crawling to walking, to running, to driving. Somewhere in this process we came upon a transition that caused us to pause and contemplate the results of that transition without taking the fork in the road.

I am going to address three transitions in this article that I have myself experienced, and use them as guide posts for this discussion. By exposing my transitions and those forks in the road, maybe some of you will benefit and grow vicariously through me, but on the other hand this is not just another tale of two stories or of some lost soul. It is an open conversation I would love to have with all of you.

The three transition points are as follows. When you come to a fork in the road, and I will metaphorically use the fork in the road to represent transitions, what do you do? Do you stand there and allow the fork to dictate your direction and choice? Do you take the left or right and regret you took the wrong fork? Or do you just take the damn thing and live your live in the moment?

To look back at the first major fork for me is very daunting, yet it was an amazing journey. I remember the excitement, and I also vividly remember the challenge at hand. I was 23 years old and on a path that seemed to be going in circles with no direction or value placed on that path. I decided to go back to school and be something when I grew up. I had no idea what I was headed for, but I came to the fork in the road and I took the damn thing. Seven and a half years later I left the University with a graduate degree in something that would not pertain to what I would do for the next 22 years or so it would seem. It did however provide me with some valuable discipline for building a medical business that I otherwise would have not have rendered in the world of hard knocks.

The next transition came when I thought about a family. I was 31 years old and fell in love, and began the transition of creating a family. WOW, was I in for a powerful experience. I did not realize that there were other people involved in this process, really. I had lived my first 31 years as if the world revolved around me, then came my first child. She was a chip of the old block. Committed, stubborn, driven, outspoken, and truly a challenge and I had no idea of how to raise, manage, create, help, or be a father to this new Spirit in the world. Why the heck didn’t someone write and owners-manual for raising a child like me, or should I say that I was ill-equipped to understand what was really going on, then 4 years later my son came along. He was more like his mother, quiet, reserved, soft spoken, gentle, and unassuming. At least at this point I had a bit more experience, or so I thought.

It occurred to me the best way to deal with this transition was to bury myself in my business and my work. I really became numb to the realities of these relationships and the fork in the road I had taken. I really did not know what the heck I was doing, so I pushed myself further down that path of corporate development and business growth. What I realized after my son turned 15 that I had really missed a great portion of their lives. My daughter was grown and gone and my son and I had a chance. That brings me to the third fork in the road.

It has been the most challenging transition thus far in my life. I decided in 2007 to take a sabbatical from my life in medicine and sell my medical distribution business and drop out. Wow that fork in the road has been somewhat confusing, cloudy, painful, and yet probably the most powerfully significant transition that I have experienced. I decided to let go of conventional wisdom and walk away from everything I thought I valued and re-write my journey at 53. I must admit that it has not been all joyful. There has been some fear and trepidation while experiencing moments of satisfaction and curiosity, but I can say that I am fully conscious that all will be revealed and it will be for the greater good. There are a few great things that have been manifested.

I began by writing a book. “Why Can’t We Say What We Mean.” I am also half way complete with my second book. I am co-authoring a book on the subject of sticking points that cause us not to live happy productive lives (title still not determined). I reconnected, after 28 years, with Toastmasters International and began speaking publicly. I have begun to teach at Lane Community College and the University of Oregon. And probably one of the most amazing transitions is my Spiritual Life. I could write an entire article or even a book on this subject. I will say here that I have come to realize that I am One with Source and my purpose is to bring this knowledge to those in need. There is far too much evidence of the connection between Source Energy and Science. I am in the process of developing a deeper understanding through study.

Transitions are part of life, if we embrace them with an open heart, soul, and mind we will better prepare ourselves for the journey. If we choose to live transitions in fear we will cause ourselves to stop experiencing and growing. I will close with some thoughts that I have had in the past few days. I am at peace with this transition. I am focused on what I want to accomplish during this transition. I am happy with my decisions. I am aware that all knowing has already been revealed and that when I am ready to receive, I will manifest the rest of the transition.

If we only realized what it took to pollinate a peony, 6 million grans of pollen. If we realized how much a salmon would swim to return home to spawn and die. We would not be concerned or alarmed when it took us years to find Love or to realize our true calling. “Everything in nature is given some form of resilience by which it can rehearse finding its way, so that, when it does, it is practiced and ready to seize its moment. This includes us.” Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening.

Here are some further reference that provide both evidence and foundation for life transition being both positive and powerful, and negative and fearful. Garrett Coan write about life transitions in his article: Negotiating Difficult Life Transitions. He writes, “Times of life transitions offer you the chance to explore what your ideal life would look like. When things are in disarray, you can reflect on the hopes and dreams you once had but perhaps forgot about. Take this time to write about them in a journal or talk about them with a trusted friend or therapist.”

Here are two more great resources and I would recommend you do your own investigation which applies to your particular situation. Should you have any question please feel free to contact us at LifeStyles Unlimited, Co.
1. Mental Health Matters
2. Managing Life Transitions

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4 Responses to “What Do Transitions Mean To You and How Do They Affect Your Life?”

  1. Joshua says:

    Jed,

    Thank you so much for sharing. My experience of life has been similar, except that transition started when I was 13. I think that when your parents divorce, nothing ever really feels solid or reliable again. And getting truly comfortable with change and uncertainty has been the greatest struggle this last 2 years. I will look into some of your suggested resources.

    Best,
    Joshua

  2. Wow Jed…some really big transitions. Your comment about deciding what fork to take and how you deal with maybe having taken the wrong or just living life as it comes to you is a pointed one. I, myself, am learning to live life in the moment. Going back to school is a big transition for me and what will result after is going to be another one, but I will live each one to it’s fullest and in the moment.

    Thanks for some insight into how to deal with the transitions.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joshua Waldman, HRJOBBOARD.COM. HRJOBBOARD.COM said: RT @JoshuaWaldman: What Do Transitions Mean To You and How Do They Affect Your Life? – http://bit.ly/9Z2PSC […]

  4. Leslie Drew says:

    Jed,
    This reminds me of the transitions I have faced in my in my life where I have been fearless and fearful. I spent much of the time prior to my daughter’s birth questioning if I was ready to handle the responsibilities of being a father. But once she was born I decided to live in the moment as you say, with no regrets.

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