Sometimes an unexpected and spontaneous “initiation” to the next stage of life looks…well…pretty ugly. Particularly when that’s not the name you are able to give it in the moment. Nevertheless, take time to breathe, grieve, pause, allow, and be curious. It’s possible that that another part of the you that seeks to be known and loved, is struggling to arrive. Make space for it.
For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction. CYNTHIA OCCELLI
A sacred illness is one that educates us and alters us from the inside out, provides experiences and knowledge that we could not possible achieve in any other way. DEENA METZGER
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive. HOWARD THURMAN
During your third chapter years, or at any time that these questions resonate with you: What do you need to learn? What do you wish to let go of? What makes you come most alive? And, will you dare to explore that?
Beware of rushing into the “new” too fast. Resolutions, intentions, bucket lists can wait a bit. Although December is the ostensible “ending” month of our annual cycle, and January the generally accepted “beginning,” dare to take your time. December inaugurates winter, time to hibernate and contemplate and savor our experiences of 2016. Pause to honor the past 12 months and allow clarity about what’s really calling to you for the next several years to emerge slowly.
1.Take time for Review and Reflection
- In 2016, what has pleased you? Accomplishments? Breakthroughs? Courageous experiments? The way you handled challenges?
- What have been your disappointments? Losses? Endings? The challenges you didn’t handle so well?
- What have been your lessons? Your hopes? Your dreams?
2. Take time to go deeper
When December arrives, it always hits me in a profound way. It’s cold, wintery, and the “ending” of the annual 12-month cycle of months of each year.
Without particular formality, I always find myself pausing to seek perspective…I look back, and I take stock. I pause to look at life in the context of what is ending, what needs to end, and what might begin. I participate in my own way with the cycle of season changes.
Serendipitously, the book EXIT: The endings that set us free by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, called for my attention. It helped allow the metaphor of the current year’s annual ending to take on broader significance.
There are so many exits over a lifetime. Those we anticipate and those we choose seem to be the most common in our younger years as we grow and change. Then there are those that come unbidden, the welcome and not so welcome, and the ones that bring relief or bring pain, or both.
How do we notice them, make peace with them, make meaning of them, and handle them gracefully? Continue reading