• 4 Tips for Navigating Life’s Transitions

    July 17, 2019 | Julie Moore
  • Lately I’ve been feeling out of sorts in my own skin. Do you know that feeling?…My insides are agitated. My easy-to-laugh playful side feels weighed down. My jaw is tight, my thoughts are scattered, my energy is up and down. 

    These feelings are unsettling and cause all sorts of ‘what’s wrong with me’ thinking. Fortunately with 50+ years of experience in this mind/body of mine, I know it is the familiar sign of being in transition; my inner self is craving/seeking/pushing for something to be different. It often takes me a while, and some quiet contemplation, to put my finger on it. But once I do and start moving toward that change, I feel liberated and excited. 

    Many times the change is something easily integrated into my life; like the time I realized that my too-busy calendar, which seemed fun at the time, was wearing me down. During that transition, I developed ‘Julie’s Big 5’, a priority list that is my guide for schedule choices to this day. Other times my transitions are a big deal; like when I accepted, in my mid-40s, that my corporate career wasn’t fulfilling me anymore. That transition led me to the new exciting career in acupuncture that I love today.

    Transitions, big or small, can be stressful. Staying in the status quo is so much easier. But changes, whether they come from the voice inside of us or from circumstances around us, enable us to grow, learn, and build compassion. These transitional times don’t scare me like they once did. I have learned to trust that there is something good on the other side. And I have also learned how to support myself through the transition.  Here are 4 techniques that have helped me move in and through the transitions in my life more peacefully. 

    • Trust yourself. The stress and anxiety of transition can cause us to feel vulnerable and unsteady. Accepting your fears and anxiety as a natural reaction is a great place to start and will enable you to be more compassionate toward yourself. Remind yourself of the transitions you have navigated before. How did you do it? How did it turn out? 
    • Feel it. When we feel uncomfortable, we use methods to escape or numb that feeling. But that doesn’t make it go away. Instead carve out time and space to really feel it. Find a comfortable place or use your meditation practice to quiet your mind, be in the present moment and notice: Where in your body do you feel tension? What does it look/sound like? Who/what makes it more intense? This physical awareness may help you identify what that inner voice is telling you. 
    • Treat yourself right. Self care is always important but even more important when we feel stressed or agitated. Take extra care to eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep, and stick to your exercise plan. These steps give your body the fuel and resources you need to process this transition with more clarity. Make acupuncture an important tool in your self care toolkit, too. People receiving  acupuncture treatments are often surprised by the calm and mental clarity they experience after treatment...especially during transitions.
    • Take the first step. Change can be scary and it’s easy to get stuck in analysis mode. Once you get a sense of what is at the root of your transition, take a small step or two. This is a great opportunity to experiment in the direction of your change. If you get momentum and it feels right, great! If you hit a barrier, that’s great too; you learned something along the way. Adjust course and keep going. When my too-busy schedule was wearing me down, I started brainstorming what is important to me. This first action provided the clarity and direction I needed to set my Big 5 priorities. 

    Transitions are a natural part of life, and they can be difficult. But through these transitions, we grow and learn and experience new things. Good luck with your next change, big or small. I look forward to seeing where this one leads me.