Change or Transition

Many religions and spiritual traditions tell us that the One, the Absolute, the Spirit is changeless. That everything comes from this one creative source. However, the body of the universe -all the things created out of that one source -including us-cannot help but change! During our lives we encounter many changes and transitions. What's the difference and how can you handle them with grace? William Bridges, in his book "The Way of Transition" said that after his wife of many years died, he began to see how personal transition can open up vistas that are rightly called spiritual. He discovered a new understanding of transition and new ways of helping people to find meaning in it. He realized that discovering things about life doesn't fit a neat pattern, but rather, you can discover "truths" over and over through different angles.

He says most people don't resist change -they resist transition. Change is a situational shift. For example, moving to a new house is a change. Transition is the process of letting go of the way things used to be and then taking hold of the way they subsequently become. In between the letting go and taking hold -there is a chaotic, but potentially creative "neutral zone" when things aren't the old way, but aren't really the new way yet either.

So, we see a three phase process to transition: ending, neutral zone and beginning again. Without transition, a change is mechanical, empty, and superficial. If transition does not occur, or if it is begun but aborted, people end up (mentally and emotionally) back where they started, and the change doesn't work.

In spite of the new house or relationship nothing is really different. We resist transition because it takes much longer than change and leaves us in limbo, in that neutral zone while a replacement reality and a new self is gradually being formed. But believe it or not, the resulting state of chaos is actually a fertile state, a creative state, a state of pure energy and great potential. An outer loss is a surrogate for some inner relinquishment that must be made but is difficult to describe. What is it time to let go of? Not so much the relationship or the job, but rather the hopes, fears, dreams and beliefs we have attached to them. You are likely to do better with the ending if you honor the old life for all that it did for you.

Allow yourself time to grieve and/or honor the ending. Allow plenty of time to sit in the neutral, sorting out stage. When ready, begin to vision, go inside for guidance, to start to catch an idea of what the new beginning will look like. Then take action.

And there you are -in your new beginning. Embrace your changes and promise yourself you'll fully experience the transition that your changes bring. Take your time, honor yourself and your feelings and get support through transitions.

In the end, you will have lived your life more fully and authentically.

Ann Ronan, Ph.D., RScP provides teaching, coaching and writing to help others live authentic lives doing what they most love. Receive her free e-course on the Top Ten Ways to Live Authentically -register at to begin this step-by-step program today.


Think Outside The Box Take The Time To Look Up - Think outside the box.

Optimism vs Pessimism Power and Locus of Control Belongs to the Optimist - Optimists have hope and they believe in something better.

Making Halloween Parties Fun for Kids - Halloween is often a favorite holiday for kids.

The Spirit of Valentines Day - Valentine's Day is a wonderful reminder to express our love.

How To Make Your Dreams Come True In Easy Steps - Learn how to enjoy and increase your quality of life and make your dreams come true.