My son is starting middle school in the fall, my good friend’s youngest child leaves for college in August, my colleague’s husband just quit his job to join his wife’s firm, my 46 year-old childhood friend just learned he’s going to be a new father and my professional path (not so much what I do, but “how” I do it) is up for review.
Everyone I know is in transition—whether it be course correcting their career, getting used to a new boss or leaving a 17 year marriage. And many are being called to evolve (read more).
A favorite pastime in Central Texas is floating in inner tubes (usually with a cool beverage in hand) down one of our many refreshing rivers. Sometimes these river trips can last a couple of hours—sometimes, all day and into the evening. Are you one who can float aimlessly, accepting detours, traffic jams, unexpected stops, hitting the river bottom at times and going with the flow—not knowing when or exactly how you’ll arrive at your final destination? Or do you become impatient—your desire to arrive at the end of your journey (and knowing how this will happen) often overshadowing the experience itself?
From a young age, I’ve been blessed with an amazing amount of clarity, focus and direction (not only does this help me support others, it also serves to guide my own ship). But as I navigate the constantly changing currents of this professional transition—I know only two things: a)I have no idea what awaits me at the end of my wild, wet adventure and b)I am clear on what I desire but I don’t know how to get there.
So, I’ve decided to honor this place of not knowing (read more). To relish—rather than fight—the “period in between.” To revere this state of flux. (Who knows how long I’ll get to hang out here?!) And, I intend to do three things while I’m visiting these unchartered waters:
- give myself extra space, time and permission to pause, reflect and integrate what I’m experiencing (here’s support for doing this)
- to seek out and secure high-level coaching and support to ensure I take in multiple perspectives, not just my limited viewpoint
- to release the need to know “how” I’m going to achieve my new professional vision and to just enjoy where I am right now
In Ch. 5 Returning to the River: Finding Spiritual Renewal from my new book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life, I share, “We have a finite amount of energy available to use each day. When we get stuck fighting “what is” (or where we are), we waste precious energy on what we can’t change instead of focusing on what we can. Peace is only a thought away. Feeling good can be as simple as stretching and anchoring into a better feeling place—if you’re willing to challenge and transcend your own thoughts.”
What would it look like for you to embrace and honor—rather than resist—your current transition?
Often at night when I tuck my 11 year-old in, he asks for help calming his mind so he can sleep. We often do equal parts breathing–inhale for three, hold for three and exhale for three—for several minutes together. The other night he asked if the suspended breath was necessary. Yes, I said, it’s essential to the whole—you don’t want to skip it. Even if it feels a bit uncomfortable. Even if it makes you squirm. Ahhh, yes. Here’s to honoring the place in between.
INVITE: Are you a woman in your 40’s, live in Central Texas and interested in cultivating more compassion for yourself as you navigate life/career transitions? Join me for my newest offering: Nourishing & Loving Yourself in Your 40’s: A Summer Self-Renewal Group. This invitation-only group—which will draw from my 20-years experience facilitating transformational women’s groups, kicks off June 11 and meets for five Tuesday evenings at Soma Vida Work-Life Balance Center. Only one spot left! Email renee at reneetrudeau dot com to check availability before registering.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance teachers/speaker author Renée Peterson Trudeau. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping and numerous media outlets. Thousands of women in ten countries are participating in Personal Renewal Groups based on her first book, The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and son. More on her background here.