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Navigating Through Change and Transition? You Don't Have to Do it Alone!

Updated: May 18, 2023

In his book, Transitions, William Bridges suggests that change and transition are two different experiences. Change is what happens to us externally, like losing a job, having a baby, changing careers, getting a divorce, relocating, or losing a loved one. Change is when something new sweeps across and through the landscape of our lives, alternating much of what has previous felt known and familiar.


A transition is much more of an internal process, often scarcely visible to those around you.


For many of us, we hold particular assumptions, attitudes, beliefs, and ways of responding to hardship and challenge. We are guided by particular dreams and goals. And for large portions of our lives, these mental maps, tools, and the identities we’ve formed around them, serve us pretty well. That is, until a tremendous “lifequake” happens, when our lives are flooded with massive change, and suddenly the old assumptions, habits, practices, and self identity we’ve held no longer serves us very well. These tools are not what will help us move into the future. This is the beginning of the transition; something is happening inside, internally, and we sense a way of being coming to an end. At the same time, we are reaching for new tools, mental maps, and expressions of our identity, as we discover new ways of being in the world.


In my own life, becoming a parent was a major change and transition. Prior to the birth of our first son, I had a number of assumptions about what parenting would be like, and how’d I’d parent. I knew it would be challenging, but I had a belief that I could control the experience, that I’d quickly learn the ropes, and be a “successful” parent. Typing these words, fourteen and a half years later, makes me laugh out loud! Becoming a parent shifted everything in an instant. That was the change. The transition work into parenthood took much longer, as I slowly let go (and am still letting go!) of the idea that I could be in control, and that control was somehow an indicator of parental competency. This was a fundament shift in my identity.


Justin Schroeder reflecting on the transition to parenthood
Looking a little exhausted in the early years of the parenting transition...

Furthermore, becoming a parent forced me to confront the idea had I “done a lot of inner work,” and was pretty much set. Raising a child quickly surfaced entirely new arenas of inner work to dive into. The new tools I began to pick up included a deeper sense of curiosity: “Who is this beautiful child in front of me?” instead of, “Who do I want this child to be?”, as well as heapings of humility, reminding me that there is very little I control in my life, particularly other human beings.


I’m sure you have your own stories of navigating through change and transition.


Going through a transition can be difficult, challenging, and often quite lonely. But it’s not something you have to go through alone. If you’re experiencing a transition right now, you’re invited to join our “Shift Happens Group,” starting on Tuesday, June 20th, at 7 p.m. Or, if you know someone who is experiencing a transition, please share this information with them. We’ll meet online for four sessions, exploring the landscape and terrain of change and transition, and identify new tools to utilize as you step into the future.


Interested? Please reach out to juliana@holdingspaceforchange.com or justin@holdingspaceforchange.com. You can find all the details here, or in the flier below. We’d love to talk!


Justin Schroeder and Juliana Keen are Offering a Class "Shift Happens"

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