“It is when we are in transition that we are most completely alive.” – William Bridges
“CONSIDERING THAT WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH ENDINGS all our lives, most of us handle them poorly. This is in part because we misunderstand them and take them either too seriously or not seriously enough. We take them too seriously by confusing them with finality—that’s it, all over, never more, finished! We see them as something without sequel, forgetting that they are the first phase of the transition process and a precondition of self-renewal. At the same time, we fail to take them seriously enough. Because they scare us, we try to avoid them.”― William Bridges, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes
Changes in seasons
The bridge of transitions
Where waiting resides
Letting go required
Unsettled ground to stand on
Allow the struggle to do its work in you
And invite joy daily in rituals and practices
Summer to fall
Contraction to expansion
Stagnation to momentum
The sacred space of self-renewal, fruition and harvest
The work of transformation
Fruits of the labor certain.
“In other words, change is situational. Transition, on the other hand, is psychological. It is not those events, but rather the inner reorientation and self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life. Without a transition, a change is just a rearrangement of the furniture. Unless transition happens, the change won’t work, because it doesn’t “take.”― William Bridges, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes
“Praise the bridge that carried you over.” – George Colman
“May I have the courage today To live the life that I would love, To postpone my dream no longer But do at last what I came here for And waste my heart on fear no more.”― John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings
Before and after.
And all of the in between time, gone often unnoticed.
Past, present, future.
Bridges and thresholds.
Some a step, some many steps to cross the river, the chasm.
Move forward, carry on, not to remain nor return.
Entering new and unfamiliar roads.
Waste my heart on fear no more.
“Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” – David Lloyd George
“Time is a kind of river, an irresistible flood sweeping up men and events and carrying them headlong, one after the other, to the great sea of being.” – Marcus Aurelius
“The rivers flow not past, but through us.” – John Muir
Winter’s grip loosened by spirts of spring warmth, soft drizzle mixed with snow, full April showers.
Winter holds a bit longer, spring patiently waits its turn.
Certainty in her return but the full transition not yet complete.
The ice breaks to water, from drip to raging waterfall, to open water.
Returning to the basin, home, a place of belonging.
The tide roles in to kiss the river’s mighty entry to be joined, unfolded, united.
Allow the seasons their due, their place, their work, their purpose.
Shaping, molding, stretching, expanding, deepening, releasing, embracing.
Through is the only path.
“I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.” – John O’Donohue
“Not in his goals but in his transitions man is great. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“We resist transition not because we can’t accept the change, but because we can’t accept letting go of that piece of ourselves that we have to give up when and because the situation has changed.”― William Bridges, The Way of Transition: Embracing Life’s Most Difficult Moments
In many cultures, the black butterfly is a symbol of transition, renewal and rebirth. A dying to the old, creating space for the new to enter. When we cling to the familiar, limiting narratives and beliefs, we waste our energy, get stuck in the past and miss the gift of new beginnings.
We are built to grow, evolve, expand, change and redirect when the road becomes a dead end. Stop circling the culdesac. Move forward into unknowing, to new beginnings, fresh starts.
The Bridges Transition Model describes the three stages of transition – endings, neutral zone and new beginnings. Allow the neutral zone to do its work and don’t get stuck there. Allow new beginnings to take center stage and welcome you home to yourself.
“transition always starts with an ending. To become something else, you have to stop being what you are now; to start doing things a new way, you have to end the way you are doing them now; and to develop a new attitude or outlook, you have to let go of the old”― William Bridges, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes