A networking friend and connection of ours recently wrote this excellent and insightful article about her own experience with managing her current life transitions. I thought many of you would enjoy it. – Erin Elizabeth Wells
By Gail Kauranen Jones
“In my end is my beginning.”
I am about to embark on a brand new life, having just sent my first-born to college fourteen hours away and placed my home of sixteen years under agreement. In “cleaning house” to prepare for my move, I am letting go of much more than a physical dwelling and many of the possessions contained within. I am releasing attachments to things, people, beliefs and thoughts that wilt versus enliven me.
Negativity and fear, the talons of attachment that can grab hold of us during major life transitions, can be heavier burdens to drop than hefty mortgages and property taxes. Replacing them with faith and trust is the sometimes arduous journey many of us in such transitions face. The end focus, or at least for me in this move, is choosing to be increasingly discerning about what lights me up versus what drags me down.
I have learned a few times over now that it is often easier to get into situations (marriage, relationships, businesses and homes, for example) than to get out of them. Disciplining ourselves to evaluate situations both logically and emotionally is important. To live rationally only from the intellect without accessing our heart’s wisdom, we can miss the pulse of what is truly important in life. On the other hand, if we live only from our emotions without evaluating the long-term impact of our choices, we can act hastily, thereby making poor choices.
While taking risks fuels growth, it often requires some time to discern if people are trustworthy and if opportunities will benefit us over the long-term. Sometimes, there is a waiting period for our hoped-for outcomes to arrive.
Spontaneously free moments and adventure are high on my new wish list. I am looking forward to seeing more of the world and less of my backyard, even though it was a beautiful sanctuary that served me and my clients well during times when I craved more solitude. Road trips to North Carolina to visit my daughter and weekend getaways biking back streets and undiscovered paths are more enticing to me now than weeding and mulching several flower beds or tending to a pool and two acres of land.
In embracing all the goodness represented in the new beginning upon which I am embarking, I have been touched daily by many who offered to help me pack or find a new place to live. It has been said in a book by the same name from Hillary Clinton that “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, it takes a village these days to sell a house and move. Beyond the support of my realtor and attorney, I was exquisitely taken care of by landscapers, contractors, my fuel supply company and many other service people who, in a moment’s notice, rearranged their schedules to accommodate a house showing.
I received calls and emails about work opportunities that are aligned with my skills and talents from the most surprising of sources who took a minute to think of me even though I have not seen them in years.
When we are on our right paths—personally or professionally—there is a sense of ease that suggests we are living authentically and are being guided.
Many people I know, along with the new ‘me’ that is unfolding, are more fully integrating living in reciprocity– sharing our resources, building community and helping one another. Feeling connected, knowing we are all part of something larger than ourselves, is the new story of fulfillment being scripted.
# # # #
Gail Kauranen Jones is an author, life coach and workshop leader who has been guiding adults in transition for 18 years. A frequent radio guest on Common Ground (a public affairs program of WZLX, Boston, 100.7 FM), she lives in Topsfield with her two children. Her website is www. SupportMatters.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(for Transitions Column: The Gifts of Change
published in The Tri-Town Transcript, 9/17/10)