Sometimes life hands me a book that is just what I needed. This summer, by way of a good friend, that book was The Way of Transition by William Bridges.
If you've been following the blog, you may remember this post from early summer, recounting a moment in the grocery store during which I distinctly felt that something had changed for me. Nothing outside me had changed, but inside I felt a shift.
This book named that moment for me and helped me get oriented to the phase I now find myself in. Here are the three most important things I received from the book.
1. Bridges identifies the moment of internal shift as a developmental transition (as a parent I see this frequently with my children, and it was relieving and freeing to allow myself to be in one of these phases).
2. He notes that even if a change is good, it can be accompanied by a feeling of grief when familiar parts of our lives or identities change, which was another point that normalized some of the less sunny feelings I had over the summer.
3. He claims there is a "neutral zone" in all transitions, a phase in which aspects of life are in motion, but an external reality has not solidified. The uncertainty of this phase can be disorienting and the temptation can be to make quick decisions to end the phase of uncertainty. However, if the "neutral zone" is embraced it has the potential for exploration and experimentation can make it a deeply creative phase for people.
Here's to creative exploration and experimentation!