The Latin word, transitio, means to "go across." Transition is a process that every human being is actively engaged in, whether we recognize it or not!
Cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien identifies the five transitions we encounter during our lives:
If we are in more than one transition at a time, we are in a metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is a transformation from one state to something completely different or new.
Transition is an agent of revelation and change. Through the Five Transitions we learn:
• What requires change or strengthening in our thinking;
• Our unique array of gifts and talents;
• Our character qualities;
• Our values and principles;
• Our priorities.
How we respond to the rigors of transition depends on our readiness. We must be willing to see transition as the inevitable encounter with the future and forget about shoring up a safe hiding place. No matter how many defenses we erect, transition will always find us, always be a force in our lives.
One of the hardest things to accomplish when you're going through a difficult transition is to stay in the present. It's easier sometimes to time travel to the the past or the future, rather than stay in the "here and now."
When we time travel, we risk sabotaging the transition process by overlaying it with our resentments and fears: resentment about the past that has fallen away and fear of handling the unknown and emerging future.
It's easy to terrify ourselves while navigating transition by listening to the inner critic whose whole job is to undermine our confidence and convince us of our inadequacies. If we believe ourselves inadqequate, we will set up a self-fulfilling prophecy and obstruct our own progress.
When we remain attached to personal power–our accrued knowledge, skills, experience, character qualities and resourcefulness– we can maintain our strength in transition. But every transition demands that we make choices. Choosing from a place of strength, clarity and confidence is our best hope for success.
Ultimately, transitions, when well met, provide a sense of being fully alive, engaged and empowered for life. A life without transition is dull, boring and tedious.
At this time of accelerating change, I am pleased to announce a new course of The Five Transitions, June 25 and 26, 2011, in Toronto. For more information, please contact Lynne at 416-361-3331.
We expect that this program will fill fast. Please contact us soon so that we can secure your place.
© Patrick O’Neill 2011. All rights reserved.