Change is a part of life. We start a new job or perhaps move into retirement. We relocate to a new community. A new family member joins us. A loved one dies. Our bodies continually remind us of the inevitability of change: we are born, we live and grow, we die.
Sometimes change comes suddenly; sometimes it creeps up without our noticing. Sometimes we choose it; sometimes it shows up without invitation. Often, we resist it because we’re more comfortable remaining where we are than stepping out into the unknown.
Change is no stranger to Bluestem Communities. The pandemic ushered in changes that none had imagined. And we continue to live into change as we adjust to newly renovated spaces, new neighbors and caregivers, new leadership, new ways of being community.
Change is part of life, whatever the season. The question is, how do we choose to navigate it?
The process of navigating change is called “transition.” The work of transition involves reorienting our hearts and minds as we adjust to new realities. What are we learning along the way? How might we help shape the new reality that is unfolding? This work takes time and requires patience with ourselves and others.
Throughout my own experiences with transition, I’ve found it helpful to remember:
Transition begins with an ending. Something has ended to make way for the new. With ending comes grief, as well as opportunity to celebrate the good that has been. At this point in the transition process, it has been helpful for me to ask: What am I grieving? How might I celebrate the good that has been?
The space between the ending and a new beginning can sometimes feel like wandering in the wilderness. We’re not always sure where we’re headed or how we’ll get there, and anxiety may be our companion. This is a time to listen deeply to ourselves: What am I needing to release? What remains steady in me even when everything around me is changing? How am I being invited to grow through this time of unknowing?
We grow into new beginnings as we release our grip on what has been and open our hearts to what is becoming; as we commit ourselves to curiosity and growth; as we generously share our gifts, including laughter and insight and care for others; as we ask: How might I add my positive energy to what is unfolding?
While transition brings challenge, it provides unique opportunity for growth in trust, courage, and clarity about what matters most. Along the way, we will find hope emerging. Our work? To watch for glimmers of new life that are on the way; to name it when we see it; to joyfully join into what is unfolding.