July 3, 2018 Blog No Comments

It’s been quite a week of transitions. As I’ve reflected on it, I realized that there’s something to learn in how life’s transitions expand your perspective. I’ve been dealing with travel reentry, a friend’s death, helping my nephew move due to a career change and visiting my 98-year-old mother. There are valuable lessons in all these transitions.

It’s funny how all these things are happening at once. What is the thread that ties these experiences together? I realized it’s how transitions from one thing to another, like from travel, from one career to another, from life to death and the process of aging all bring their own unique perspectives that broaden how you  view the world. And maybe more signifcant, they clarify what is important in your life.

Let me go a little deeper. See if the learning from these experiences speaks to you.

Transitions from Travel

We returned from Jamaica last week and I continue to be moved by what I learned there. The Jamaican’s have a unique view of life. It seems shaped by their beautiful tropical island and some of the same beliefs that I encountered in Africa, which I suspect is their African heritage. They are connected to the land, peaceful, open and loving, ready to make deep connections with you.

As with any travel I do, in the transition back home, I like to ponder what I learned and how it can inform my life. I’m paying attention to the nature around me, the weather and my role in honoring it all. I’m wanting to emulate their kindness, peacefulness and readiness to be real in their interactions.

How has travel influenced you to expand your current life?

Transitions in Career

I always thought my nephew would be destined for greatness. I thought he’d be a leading politician, my sister thought he’d be a priest. We were both right.  He’s taken his law degree and used it as a State Representative and has run for higher office, exposing many political wrong doings in the process. But now, he is leaving it all behind to enter the Episcopal seminary. He wants to work with the American Indians at Standing Rock in North Dakota, where he went as a teen. He is blending his skills into one calling – being an instrument for reconciliation.

Watching him make this transition in careers, which involves a move across the country with his wife and 3 children is awe inspiring. He is leaving it all behind, packing up and taking the risk to do what is speaking to his heart. That kind of conviction can move mountains.

What career transition speaks to you – are you willing to act on your dreams?

 Transitions From Life to Death

Another dear friend died suddenly this week. The impact has sent shock waves of sadness and recognition of his value to through our community. He ran the club where my husband plays every week, he hired my son, he had great humor and gave to everyone he met. Another friend who died last month had many of the same qualities. They both made significant impacts in the music world.

We gathered and grieved together, as we did a month ago, with an outpouring of love that was tangible. We said things to each other that hadn’t been said before. We were saying I love you a lot. I was grateful that my last conversations with both my friends had ended with those words. I was reminded how important it is to say it frequently. Let those you love know the truth of your heart – let them k now how much theymean to you.

What wants to be said to those you love – don’t wait until death when it is too late.

Transitions in Aging

Going home to help my nephew allowed me to have a wonderful visit with my 98-year-old mother. She is remarkable. Though her short term memory is shot, she is present and attuned to everything around her. She’s mobile, despite hip pain, wants to be socially active and has all the same charm and grace of her youth. As always, she never complains or is negative.

Watching Mom age from being a “larger than life” force to dependence on care, no longer the director of our lives, is humbling. As a friend says, “aging is not for wimps”. It’s a tough transition. Mom is accepting what is happening without complaint. She chooses to make aging gracious and dignified.

Can we be strong enough to accept the inevitability of aging with dignity?

How are transitions affecting your life? Are you learning from travel, incorporating your observations to make your life a more rich and meaningful? Are you seeking life work that truly speaks to your heart, willing to make things happen? What about being present for those you love so the transition from life to death doesn’t leave you wishing for a chance to say what’s in your heart. And how prepared are you to meet the inevitable decline of aging? Can you imagine handling it with grace? All this is possible when you take the chance to consider what’s important in the brief time we have here together.

Does this review on life’s transitions speak to you? Maybe there are aspects of seeking or coping with life changes that you’d like to explore and make more positive. My Transformational Life Coaching and Counseling is designed to support your best evolution. For more information see my website, www.spectrumtransformation.com and reach out to me using the Free Consultation button. I’d love to support your transformation!

Photo by Frank Becker

Written by Connie Milligan, LCSW
If there is anything I’ve expressed that speaks to you, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at my email, connie [at] conniemilligan [dot] com