User Looking up from ComputerRecently I voluntarily transitioned from a wonderful 30 year career to a “I don’t quite know what yet time” in my life. I am fortunate because I made this decision consciously in my time.  It wasn’t thrust upon me, as is often the case in these precarious, changing times. However, it has landed me into what author/life coach Martha Beck calls “Square One—Death and Rebirth” (from her book, Finding Your North Star)

I thought I was prepared, given all the transition, career and midlife change books I’ve read in the past couple of years. Add in many in-depth conversations, several workshops, and other random sources of information, I thought I had it covered. Not quite! I had not anticipated the range of emotions I have felt. It’s quite the emotional cocktail–a shot of uncertainty, splash of eager anticipation, and a dash of fear. The good news–I honestly know these feelings are temporary and I’m already moving through this period. Here are three suggestions I have if you’re going through such a transition time.

  1. Simply be present in the day. This is the first time in years where I wake up to a full day with nothing planned. At first it was overwhelming. Now I actually am present with myself, tuned into what I’m feeling, and trying on ideas and what feels good to me. I also learned it’s OK if I really don’t want to do much or accomplish anything. I’m trying new recipes, lingering over my morning coffee, and aware of the summer light as it changes through the day.
  2. Be comfortable with not knowing. I’ve had to let go of my identity as a professional woman, consultant, speaker, and trainer. My role as a mother has shifted as my sons are grown with full lives of their own. I feel naked, yet wonderfully free to try on new roles or varied identities.
  3. Simple self care is essential. Get enough sleep–at least 7 hours a night. Prepare and eat good food. If you like, have a glass or two of wine. Breathe. Throughout the day, take several deep, slow breaths, being conscious of the flow. Move your body, preferably outside doing something you enjoy. I happen to enjoy running, walking, tennis and golf. Find something you enjoy and move!

Remember, this period doesn’t last forever. It’s a threshold from the old into a completely new place in your life. There’s magic in this time!