Updated: Jan 18
My passion for helping people navigate life transitions flows from my own experience of having a coach during a painful transition in my life. Could I have survived that time without a coach? Sure. But I wanted more than survival. I took the opportunity offered by that transition to change my attitude and perspective about life – about who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. Years later, I’m still reaping rewards from that experience.
One of those rewards is the on-going process of developing continuity in my life. A recent hiking experience at the Walnut Canyon National Monument located west of Flagstaff, AZ reinforced this idea.
After hiking the Island Trail, I walked the Rim Trail and came upon the placard pictured here. It stood in front of a few rocks situated in a rectangular pattern-the remnants of a stone dwelling. The dwelling and the occupants were long gone yet the reality that they once lived and loved and worked here – right where I was standing – remained.
Amid all the changes the world has experienced since the indigenous people lived in this area, their presence remains a source of strength and identity for their descendants.
This sense of continuity, defined as an uninterrupted succession or a coherent whole, offers a new perspective on the transitions we experience. Our present moments of change are held in the embrace of a larger sense of wholeness. Change isn't somehow dislocated from our lives like something to be ignored or fixed or hurried through. Instead, continuity invites us to view transitions within the grander journey of our entire lives. Experiences of discomfort or disorientation that transitions cause are transformed into opportunities for personal renewal and growth.
I'm not suggesting that a sense of continuity removes the pain of grief. Rather, continuity - in due time - redeems, embraces our grief with loving memories and deep gratitude.
So how does one develop a sense of continuity in a world swirling with change? I suggest the following steps as a place to start:
1. Develop a personal value system. Select three to five values as core to your self-understanding. I’ve provided a list of values and some simple steps for you to begin the process.
2. Develop a personal life statement. What do you desire your life to be about? What goals are your striving for? When you are ninety years old looking back on your life, what do you want to remember? What will you regret? I created a simple process to help you using my statement as an example.
3. Nurture habits and thought patterns that support your values and life statement. Celebrate when you take steps toward owning your values as evidenced by your actions.
4. Find/Create Sacred Space. Find places that connect you to the larger whole. A museum. A park. A walk around your workplace. Create a space in your home or office. Schedule recurring time to enter that space. Five, ten, twenty minutes each week. Assess progress toward living your life’s statement. What barriers have you encountered? What support do you need? Are your values aligned with your dreams? What are you most thankful for in the moment?
I’m here to guide you with this process. Together, let's explore how we might develop a life-affirming sense of continuity and thrive through life's transitions.