Life is a series of transitions or transformations. In fact, one of my favorite authors, Inna Segal asserts in her book – “The Secret Language of Your Body” – that we cannot heal ourselves of any illness without making a transformation in ourselves.
Transitions can be both “good” and “bad” in the minds of our western culture. But on an individual level they “just are” – they are part of our life. We are always in transition. Sometimes these transitions are major, and sometimes we have to consciously control them in order to get what we really, really want.
LIfe 3.0 is a transition time for people. It is the result of a shift that takes us from the householder phase of life – focus on doing, to the elder – or forest dweller phase of life – being.
In his book “Transitions“, written in the seventies, William Bridges talks about the three stages of transitions – and ending phase, a neutral zone and a new beginning. The ending phase is something that is often not understood.
When I retired from my Life 2.0 career stream, I spend years tailing about being a former senior executive. I did not want to let go of that “agency peer” of being the guy in charge. It was only when I was able to let it go, and be okay with letting it go that I was able to think clearly about what I wanted to do.
This time spent in the neutral zone for me took five years. I spent this time for the most part in the forest of my tree enshrouded world and in the practice of photography in nature. It was also a time for me to reclaim the sublimated caregiving side of my persona focusing on being the primary caregiver in my primary relationship with my spouse as she restarted her career. The dual pursuit of my own artistic identity and the reclamation of my suppressed caring side led me to the balance that I needed to have internally to make a new beginning.
That new beginning came to me front others in the form of people at a seminar that I attend in January of last year who asked me “Are you a coach?”. If I had not processed the five years of time in the quiet of the neutral zone – I would have asked them if they were crazy. Instead be the end of that seminar, I knew in my being that I was meant to be a professional coach and I enrolled in a coaching training program so I could define my new beginning.
Most people, unlike me, do not have five years to do this on their own. In order to do the work while they are still living in the Life 2.0 world that they created, they need to find the things that they need to let go of. Even in my quest I did this ultimately through my daily meditation practice which stared with “Who am I?” Then, by asking “What do I really, really want?” – I began to get a sense for what I did not want – the clutter in my life that was stopping me from moving forward. Finally as the clutter was removed, and I decided what I wanted, my third question – “what is my purpose?” was answered and I could determine that my new beginning is.