Ah transition, that wild storm that bursts onto our previously calm journey with surprising intensity. I've been through my fair share of transitions and currently find myself smack dab in the middle of a very unexpected one. Transition is the process of leaving one place and going to another, like sailing through a rough channel to get from one ocean to another. As creative people we experience transitions deeply and they will influence our creative expressions in one way or another. They can either throw our process off course or propel us forward into new territory.
One of my goals in the past few years has been to learn the art of navigating transition well, here are four of the keys that I've learned.
- Recognize the change. Transition is triggered when we experience change. We must recognize that change is happening so that we can allow ourselves to respond to it well. We position ourselves to gain wisdom and gratitude by recognizing and engaging in our transitions.
- Let yourself feel. Transition is an emotional process. It can feel out of control and even frightening. There is often a cycle of grief associated with transition where you may experience a range of emotions such as anger, denial, grief, joy, confusion, clarity, and fear. The key is to feel and recognize the emotions without allowing yourself to be carried away by them. Allowing yourself to feel the waves of emotion as they come, acknowledge that they are real, and dive deeper to discover where they are coming from will allow you to fully receive all of the benefits of transition.
- Find the beauty. There is some bit of loveliness to be found in every moment of our lives. Transitions are not without their beauty, and being able to recognize and celebrate beauty in the middle of a storm is essential to navigating through well. Allowing your heart to respond to beauty with gratitude will fill your sails with hope and carry you forward. Gratitude in the midst of transition allows us to fill our ships with treasures of otherwise unrecognized moments of kindness, nuggets of wisdom, and sparks of creativity.
- Keep sailing. No matter how high the emotional waves climb or how loudly the winds of change whip around you, transition is only for a moment. It's a passage, a process from one place to another - it never lasts forever. The biggest key to navigating transition is to keep going. A good sailor never drops anchor in the middle of a treacherous passage of sea. Propelled by hope, focused on beauty, and holding a steady course, we will make it to the other side of transition, not only in one piece, but with treasures that can only be reaped by those who navigate well.
Emily is a creative entrepreneur, born in the South, raised in Colorado, and loving life in Brooklyn, NY. As the co-founder of Bright Ideas she spends her time doing freelance photography, writing blog posts, drinking black coffee, experimentally cooking, laughing, playing minimalist puzzle games on her iphone, exploring NYC, and building community. You can follow Emily’s adventures on Instagram or Twitter, see what inspires her on Pinterest, check out her photography on Facebook, or read more of her posts here.