Life Transitions Counseling

It is when you have left the tried and true, but have not yet been able to replace it with anything else. It is when you are between your old comfort zone and any possible new answer. If you are not trained in how to hold anxiety, how to live with ambiguity, how to entrust and wait, you will run…anything to flee this terrible cloud of unknowing.

— Richard Rohr

Life is always in flux. Big changes are always happening, they never stop. You graduate from college. You start a job; leave a job; retire from a job. A marriage happens. A marriage ends. A baby is born. You become a caretaker for a loved one. Everything is impermanent because life just keeps happening — in expected and unexpected ways. More than ever, with the onset of COVID-19, we are in touch with this reality.

Life rarely stays “settled” for long. And in times of transition, those moments of in-between, change can create suffering, cause us great stress and discomfort. It challenges our sense of security and familiarity. We may feel grief, loss, anger, confusion, and/or helpless. We may find ourselves in unfamiliar and unsettling terrain, challenged because we have no map that resembles the others we have used to navigate other parts of our life.

Adding to suffering, or even a sign of suffering is fighting against this change, wanting things to stay the same. We can get stuck fighting against what is.

On a more subtle level, sensitivity to the ends and rebirths embedded in seasonal changes — shorter days and less light; the onset of the holidays; the start of school — can bring about an internal discomfort, even dread, that is difficult to accept. Bypassing such feelings can lead to depression or anxiety.

There Is Support

We often forget it is natural to feel sad, confused, angry, numb, or lonely especially during transitions. Transitions can be disruptive and even feel like a death.

Whatever you are experiencing in the realm of transitions, I firmly believe these are optimal times to seek out support of a therapist. They are potent states of groundlessness full of potential. In our work together on transitions, we look at what is being left behind or lost, and how to shed layers of unhelpful beliefs. Rather than create barriers, or emotional protection against this tender feeling, we befriend it, find out what arises, and soften into it, inviting whatever is next.

When we can view these times of change as thresholds into new territories of personal understanding or meaning, we are invited to grow and transform our lives. When we allow the sorrows of change to pass with an open heart and mind, we greet lived experiences more fully.

What do you need to let go of? What are you moving toward? Staying still with the direct experience of being in-between things and getting familiar with the varied emotional and somatic experience that arises brings change naturally. By cultivating curiosity, presence, patience, compassion, and courage, together we find something new that can emerge, guiding you onward.