Until recently I thought that change and transition were interchangeable. After further research I learned that even though they go hand-in-hand, transition is much more of a psychological phenomena versus change which is situational (i.e., the move to a new home; beginning a new job; or beginning a new relationship).
And change only works when it is accompanied by transition. So, for example, last year was a big period of change and transition for me. I began a new relationship, which ended a phase of having been single for a few years (give or take a few short dating phases). I ended a stint of 3+ years of running a meditation school, which like any job-role comes with a big sense of responsibility. Once this ends there is a substantial feeling of loss, even if there is also a sense of a new beginning and a feeling of letting go. I also moved in with my partner, a new home for both of us which began the process of merging lives. We left our single life behind and began to trust our new relationship would work.
In December 2014 I took stock and began to realize I was in a state of limbo over my working life AND that I had also just come out of a transition with my relationship. I began searching for answers to my current state of mind in the “no mans land” around my work. I was also needing to create a context for my partnership. I wanted to have a rigorous understanding of transitions so that I would be able to go to greater depth with my clients. In particular the area of love interests me because I have been passionately learning & speaking about it for the last 7 years.
This is what I realized.
During the first 6 months of our new relationship we had both dived into building this beautiful “bubble” as we called it in the beginning. It felt good. We had helped this process along through a rigorous amount of reading done before we both met and also after our partnership began.
We transitioned into a loving, workable partnership, navigating differences, nutting out needs and wants, and we experienced a blossoming joy and creative sexual play that we had both wanted. I realized we had navigated the birth phase which as many of you might know is the all exciting and new exploration phase. It is also a time of letting go of the old pieces of emotional debris that are caught in our psyche. We both had to let go of how we had related to our ex-partners, any old beliefs that didn’t serve this partnership, wounds that had been caused by miscommunications, hurts that had been taken on. That new beginning for me also included introducing my partners kids into the mix. I had to accept that his life came with two other people. Though both in their late teens this was new terrain for me.
Luckily I had help and ritual! I will explain more about that later.
Then we entered the neutral zone, a time when things are “in-between”. The old ways are gone, the single life is done, but the new paradigm for the relationship is not fully developed. This is the time where potent psychological re-alignments and re-patterning need to take place or this precious transition can get de-railed.
I remember this time as being a phase of having some fiery fights. These arguments helped clarified our ways of living together versus the pathways we might have taken with our past relationships. It helped us both establish boundaries. We broke through old habits and patterns that other relationship dynamics had helped us co-create. Simply, old wounds needed to be healed. I found that as we navigated this phase successfully our relationship deepened. This phase was tough at times but extremely fun – we laughed a lot! There was a strong sense of the unknown and not-knowing if we would make it to the other side. He’s wondering, “Will I leave?”, and I’m wondering, “If he can really show up?”
As we came out of this phase of “no mans land”, the new beginning was emerging. Our relationship developed it’s own sense of identity not built on the wounds of the past, but held and nurtured in a way that would enable us both to continue to grow. There was a new sense of purpose. We had goals, plans and dreams as this new entity. There was a stronger sense of commitment to our partnership. This was further solidified by a trip to the UK to meet my parents. It was like overcoming the last major family hurdle and it was also a lot of fun.
William Bridges, in his book Managing Transitions, Making the Most of Change, states “The starting point with dealing with transition is not the outcome but the ending that you have to make to leave the old situation behind”.
I have mused over this a lot. With clients who have just lost a loved one, or have come out of a long-term marriage, or have a terminal illness, there is an experience of great loss with all these situations that has to be acknowledged before the new beginning can happen. I see my clients trying to begin a new relationship with a man or women, each time failing because they have not fully grieved the loss of the last one. They have not completed the ending fully.
The more that I looked into this I realized that the success of navigating these difficult and often undefined periods of transition had much more to do with carrying out daily rituals. Ritual plays a critical part in allowing this transition to be more harmonious and be reborn in a more wholesome way.
I have been meditating daily for 13 years, and I Space Clear & Feng Shui my spaces regularly. I carried out these rituals to both bring love in (I manifested the relationship) and to create the right environment for us to grow. My partner and I began to meditate together on weekends. We bonded deeply through this practice and even more so when we had longer phases of time together. Other rituals also helped us, we created a sense of togetherness through painting, gardening, bathing, buying food, and cooking together. These kind of rituals provided the foundation of our growing partnership.
I have been helping clients Create Sacred Space in their homes and businesses since 2002, in the realm of Space Clearing & Feng Shui. The method of Space Clearing I was taught (www.spaceclearing.com) is somewhat akin to a Yagya in the Indian Tradition. It bares similarity to a fire ceremony. It ignites change and brings a momentum. It clears out the old stagnant energies in ourselves and our physical space. It unsticks “Qi” or energy. It allows a letting go to happen from a place of Divine Grace.
Each time I space clear I see how it facilitates the transition process for my clients in a more harmoniously way. It navigates them through these stages of birth, death, limbo and manifestation with the utmost care and sacredness. It’s profound and beautiful. It works. I’ve found in my own life that without this ignition things don’t move enough. In The Art of Ritual, by Renee Beck & Sydney Barbara Metrick, they state, “to derive power from a ritual it must, in some way, stand apart from our ordinary lives”.
I profoundly believe in the power of transitions. If we let change happen to us and do not manage it consciously we are much more likely to get de-railed or miss out on beautiful opportunities. If you can see change as a transition to be navigated, then many opportunities and new possibilities await you.
- ”By successfully navigating a transition we end up healed rather than hurt” Tracey Stanton.
Tracey Stanton is a visionary, a speaker, and a healer – She has been working with professional men and women for 13 years helping them to successfully navigate major life transitions. She brings a sense of lightness, harmony and care in all her interactions. She is the founder of Red Alchemy LLC, a company committed to bringing about positive change in the lives of her clients and facilitating experiences that exceed expectations. “It’s not enough change to move the furniture around!”
Areas of life transitions that Tracey works with include:
- Helping women to conceive children
- Creating a beautiful space for the birth of a child
- Helping clients move on from divorce,
- Finding new love
- Moving home/setting up a new home/selling a home
- Changing career,
- Getting over a major health issue
- Deepening your relationship to God / the Divine
- Transitioning into retirement, death….