This past weekend I attended LifeBarre training – for the third time. Yes, the third time. And each time I’ve gone, I’ve always come back with some new learning or tool for growth. This weekend was no different. But, what surprised me was something so simple, something I’ve heard at least a half dozen times, something that was hammered into my mind at my first training: transitions are everything.
Transitions really are everything in a LifeBarre class. It’s what allows each class to feel like one big dance experience from start to finish, even though there’s seven different sections we’re hitting. The concept itself wasn’t new to me, but this weekend I heard it on a much deeper level, perhaps because I’ve been going through some pretty intense transitions of my own. Over the last month and a half, I’ve ended a four-year relationship, started to move into my own apartment, and have left gyms I taught at – some of those places for close to five years – to start a new career.
In this process, I’m realizing change is inevitable and transitions are unavoidable. But more than that, I’m seeing how much of a role we actually play in the process…if we choose it. We can either have the transition happen for us, inviting in more uncertainty; or, we can design our transitions with vulnerability and raw authenticity, something that allows us to stay fearless in the process of it all. The choice is always ours.
More important than where you are or where you’re going, how are you going to get there?
Design Your Transitions
Transition with intention
An intention is the directed impulse of conscious energy – it’s the seed form of what you want to create in your reality. Like real seeds, when you guide your transitions with intention, you put yourself back in the process. So often we think of the transition as this “thing” that has to happen. It’s the thing that takes us from point A to point B and we don’t know how we’re going to get there. Waiting for the transition to happen, is like waiting to hit the lottery – except that you didn’t buy a lottery ticket. When we intend for the transition, when we intend for how we want to approach the process, we’re able to grow through what we go through with much more grace and ease.
Two weeks ago, my mantra was, I just gotta get through this. A few more weeks and it will all calm down. Seriously, what kind of mantra is that?! No wonder I was anxious and felt like I was perpetually trying to catch my breath – I was running a race I would never win. With the awareness of wanting to feel different, I knew I had to intend to feel different because mindset is everything. So, last week I made my mantra, I will find a way and the way out is through. I’m realizing that the only way out is growing through what I’m going through. There are no short cuts in life and it’s only through the transitions that we grow and learn exponentially.
Give yourself emotional space
Transitions are one hell of a two-sided coin. They bring the pain and loss of something and they bring the promise of something new. So often we feel a sense of urgency to rush from one thing to the next. We just want to get there and not deal with the messy process in between. But it’s only when we allow ourselves to feel the loss of what we had or to grieve what we need to grieve that we can fully embrace the uncertainty of what’s to come. We can never truly leave someplace until we arrive somewhere else and if we don’t tap into what’s going on inside of us, we’ll never arrive outside of us.
It’s hard to create space. I get it. It’s even harder to allow ourselves to feel what we’re feeling. And on the flip side, it’s easy to blame the change itself for our discomfort. What I’m discovering as I sit in space is that when I’m faced with change, it’s not the change itself that scares me. It’s not the new job, new apartment or the idea of not being in a relationship – it’s the transition and the uncertainty of it all. When I give myself the space to feel and sort it out, I allow myself to be fully a part of the process on all levels.
Leverage your tribe
Watching my team collaborate on ideas during this weekend’s trainings and hearing them provide feedback for each other reminded me that we’re stronger when we leverage each other.
For so many years (and to this day I’m still guilty at times), I told a very edited version of my story. It’s the I’ve been through this, or the I’ll let you know when I get there. For years, I shared these stories in my classes. No wonder I seemed invincible – I was “overcoming” shit left and right. Two years ago, my teacher called me out on this and she got me to realize that when I tell the censored version of the story, I take away vulnerability and where there’s no vulnerability, there’s no connection. I started to realize others needed to hear my story as much as I needed to share it. I was robbing myself of the gift of connection, insight, feedback – and love. And I was robbing them of the reality of the struggles, adversity and challenges we all face.
Remember, vulnerability is your strength
When we’re in a period of transition, navigating some change or facing adversity, we think we have to go at it alone, put on our happy pants and smile through our teeth with, I’m fine. At its core, vulnerability is about connection and when we go at it alone we disconnect ourselves from a sense of love and belonging, which is one of the most valuable gifts life offers.
THIS is a lesson I wish I started learning in my 20’s. But, it’s one I’m grateful to be learning now. I feel incredibly blessed to have mentors and people in my life – Patricia Moreno, Katie Haggerty, Hildie Dunn, Leigh Ryan, Tru Adams and Dona Fasano, to name a few – who are lighting the way by showing up authentically. I’m equally blessed to have a tribe who is along for the ride.
Find what keeps you grounded
Transitions are unstable. For all we know caterpillars turn to mush before emerging as butterflies. When life turns to “mush,” it’s super important to have something to hold onto, something that will keep you present and actively engaged in the process.
For me what keeps me super grounded is quiet introspection, getting enough sleep, writing or some form of creative expression, as well as working with my life coach. When I’m off-kilter, the first thing I do is check in with these things. More often than not, I’ve let them slide to the wayside and it’s simply a matter of realigning with what I need that gets me back on track.