What Sustains You – in your life transitions?

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Photo: Paulette C Pidcock – My farm neighbors…just being.

Who am I now? Sound like a strange question…?

Many of my readers know that for several years I’ve been involved in a transition that has taken me from an exciting and wonderfully challenging long-term career as a lobbyist/executive to my current work as a Leadership & Life Coach – in just two years.

Interesting reaction that I’ve received from friends and family…as to the ‘why’ of my actions – some are truly curious for their own future possibilities while others are questioning my ‘true’ motives. In truth, I’ve been searching for an answer as well.

I am certainly at that point in my life that I am impacted when I call to mind a poignant quote by Mary Oliver…”I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” I truly believe that I have something to give back to others and that that is what gives me the energy to forge a new path, even if it is a bit like the winding of a stream.

As I deal with insecurities associated with starting something new – at this point in my life, I realize how essential my Georgetown coaching training has been for me.  You see – it opened up a world that I’ve come to appreciate and value — the ability to be mindful…to meditate…and to understand the importance of just being…and not just busy for the sake of being busy. A community of like-minded coaches has also been significant for me as I accept my need to connect with people (an extrovert’s source of energy) whose view of the world sustains me during this particular transition.

At times, I clearly struggle with my Type A achiever mindset — setting up stress to be the best and always doing to prove my worth…or satisfy my ego.  More recently though, I’ve been “just living and just being” – like my farm neighbors..trying to let my life unfold and to listen to my inner voice.

Okay, I can hear some comments now…”the coaching life has moved Paulette into the ‘woo-woo’ space.” Well, perhaps it has, but I challenge anyone to deny the importance of taking time to be present to others in our lives and not worrying about satisfying our ego – to do the next best and biggest “thing.” I keep reminding myself…

So – to answer my own question, I am still that person…in a life transition – that has been unfolding for a number of years.  I often ask rhetorically…when will I “reach the other side?” We all know this is what we call …”our journey.”  More recently, I have noticed more clarity around how I am living into Mary Oliver’s quote. That, in itself, has a calming effect on me, but more on that…later.

Are you going through your own transition? We all do and guess what…it happens throughout our lives, not just once…or twice.  I would love to hear what sustains you through what author Wm. Bridges defines as transition…”the inner reorientation and self-redefinition that you go through in order to incorporate changes into your life.”

To wrap up this important topic, I leave you with Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  

              “Who are you? said the Caterpillar… I – I hardly know, Sir, just at present,” Alice replied rather shyly, “at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then.”