Four conversations, in as many days, with women roughly my age, 50+, who are facing life, health and career transitions. Some imposed, others self-imposed. They are from different backgrounds, cultures, families, towns, and countries, yet they are all experiencing similar emotions.
Disappointment that life didn’t turn out as they hoped, grief for what was, self-doubt in the face of uncertainty, fear of the future, and confusion about what to do next.
When I reflect on some of my trickier periods of transition, I can identify deeply with all these. It’s so curious that as a society we seem to want to ignore or suppress these emotions for fear that if they are expressed, we will be deemed “fragile” or “not coping”.
This is so far from the truth.
Emotions come to direct us towards a path of wholeness and wellness.
Becoming more compassionate towards ourselves by learning to sit with these emotions and see them as a direct connection with our own hearts and souls is a liberating experience. By acknowledging and listening (note this is not the same as wallowing) we can discover what our hearts’ desire, what we need and most importantly what we can do about it.
Times of transition – birth of a child, life stage changes, passing of a loved one, loss of a job, winning a new job, health crisis, moving home, the list goes on…- can be fraught with emotions and uncertainty. These two together can make navigating transitions all that trickier.
You could consult a 'to do' list for answers. Or take a simple piece of advice from Philip McKernan who says “in uncertainty, take action”. This can be more challenging, because during transitions our confusion and self-doubt make taking action feel risky as we don’t want to make a mistake.
For those courageous souls looking to take action, make your next step a date with art therapy. It can help you to sit safely with emotions, gain perspective on what’s important and what you value most, and help you identity where your next steps could be. The beauty of engaging with art in this way is you don’t have to be artistic nor do you have to have answers. The act of creativity can surface wisdom from within that you didn’t know you had. It can shine a light on blockages in a way that doesn’t put you off side. Most importantly art speaks a universal language of love that moves you towards wellbeing. What could be better?
Reach out to an art therapist to support you in a time of transition. One-on-one sessions available by messaging me. #createyourwellbeing