Written by Margo Field
Know when to hold ‘em. know when to fold ‘em.
(A bit about me and some tips for you on life transitions)
Some transitions in life are really obvious.
They’re also predictable – such as becoming a parent, getting a new job, moving to live in a new location, taking a course.
And other transitions can happen abruptly. Like the life changing event of a serious accident or illness for instance. The recent bushfires in Australia are leading to heaps of personal transitions right now that nobody really predicted for themselves.
What’s been happening to me recently though has been neither of these kinds of transitions. And it hasn’t been quite a dark night of the soul either – more of a dim fog of the soul!
I have been squirming with feeling lost – the sense of a transition but it hasn’t had a name. Familiar and expected events have not been happening and, internally I’ve been feeling different.
And then it dawned on me last week. I’m going into a new life stage.
I’m not sure if you’re aware that adults keep having stages of development just like children do. We are all familiar with what happens to kids, but when they get to 21, we seem to think they were all good. Yet we continue to go through life cycles and phases.
I remembered that I’m 63 which typically is the end of one life phase and the beginning of another.
Seven Year Cycles and Enkindling Essence.
The Anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner developed a model of life stages and human development which linked seven-year cycles with the cycles of planets – think Saturn returns if you know what that that means – (NB – if you want to understand a simple version of your cycle – https://tommonte.com/the-7-year-cycles-of-life/)
At this point, according to Steiner (I think is a good model), age 63 is powerful. I’m at the start of a new cycle/end of an old one – and it feels like that!
Doors close and need to be closed, and new doors open or are considering being opened. Phew! I thought! What a relief! I’m not CRAZY – I’m just going through a shift….
The bigger question for me (and maybe you) has been what energies within myself do I need to fall towards and embrace, rather than resist. What has this meant for me?
In practical terms it means pacing my working life in a way that is comfortable to my natural energy rather than pushing through. This phase is also asking me to stand and observe my own core wishes, instead of giving in to external pressures that may have been important in life up till now (e.g. building a career, finances).
At a physical level this cycle is asking me to embrace my sagging body – no amount of gym work or pilates and yoga will make the flesh do more than it is. And I’m not doing botox or surgery or eating a ridiculously restrictive diet. The body stuff is confronting. It is also liberating. I find myself giving into comfortable (but daggy) clothes and loving this. I care less about what I look like (LESS – not no care).
I’m enjoying enkindling my essence.
Whether it’s been conscious or not, I have been sifting through life experiences and I am moving towards what is the heart of the best of what I’ve learned about me. I’m not always certain. But it means that external needs and pressures are less powerful at directing my choices. I’m releasing the ‘coulda’ and ‘should haves’ for more of what works for me.
Tips on transitions for you
It’s usual to be fearful, confused and have increased self doubt and a loss of self-esteem when you go through a change. (I knew this yet I still was wondering what was going on).
Transitions can happen with regard to relationships, changes of jobs or friends, loss of a job, school (think about your kids and a new teacher/ new school), illnesses, pregnancy, losses of all kinds, death of people you are close to or your own impending death, choices taken away (e.g. unlikely to get pregnant due to age), retirement etc!!
There is a model of managing transitions by a guy called William Bridges – 3 stages. Simple.
1. Ending, losing and letting go. (Worries, anxieties, the foggy stage – confused)
2. The neutral zone. (more hopeful and creative- less of angry, less confusion but still ‘what if’s”)
3. The new beginning (energy and openness). Usually the exciting clear phase.
Where are you at in life right now?
What is closing down and what is opening up?
What energy and direction are you resisting?
Where is your system heading you towards?
What natural energies can you embrace?
Are you at a major crossroads??
Wherever you are at BE KIND to yourself and others.
And get help.
I have a new way of helping people with group coaching – helps you navigate life.
Read more here: https://www.margofield.com.au/empowerpodgroupcoaching
Small group low cost coaching – groups staring soon.
Free 10 minute help calls – book in https://www.margofield.com.au/bookings-1
Margo works from In Symmetry in Romsey on Friday’s and Wednesday’s. Please call the clinic on (03) 5429 3610 or click on the link below to book online.