Nine Powerful Tips for How to Manage Transitions

Conceptual tree in summer and autumn

Life is full of transitions. Right from the beginning of life, you experience change. Your life changed when you left home for the first time. Your life changed when you graduated from College or University.

Your life changed when you got married.  Your life changed when you had your first child.  You experience these changes throughout life. The challenge is how to manage life’s transitions.

I am going through significant change. I left the full-time congregational ministry position in the United Church of Canada to start a Life Coaching business in my mid-fifties. I have been a minister for twenty-five years, and so much of my identity is with congregational leadership. I loved my job, but I had come to a ti

me when I was experiencing a  call to coaching. I had been feeling this for a while, but fear of change prevented me from acting until recently.

Changing my career is one of the most difficult things I have done.

I want to work with people who want to better their lives. It is such a thrill to experience people growing through coaching. My job in the congregation was no longer meeting my needs.

For the good of my health, I needed to make a change.

But this new path is requiring me to learn a lot of new things from going to coaching school and learning the tools to become an entrepreneur. It is both exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

Not everybody understands why I am doing what I am doing. I keep having to tell people I have not retired, I am merely going into a new field.  I am learning to be okay with it.

This experience taught me Nine powerful tips to manage life’s transitions.

 

1.       Ground Yourself:

Grounding yourself is all about the practice of living in the moment.

What do you find helpful to relax your muscles? Do you like to practice yoga, play a musical instrument, walk, get a massage? When your muscles are relaxed, help you to enjoy living in your body. Get comfortable with paying attention to your body. Your body offers you great wisdom every moment of the day.

What are you feeling in your heart? You need to be careful that you don’t confuse thinking with sensation. How do you know the difference? You might ask these questions: Does your chest feel open or closed? Does your chest feel warm or cold? Are you feeling happy or sad? Are you feeling hopeless or hopeful? Are you feeling calm or frazzled?  With practice, you will notice the difference.

To stay grounded you need to acknowledge your emotions without any judgment and let them go. There are no bad feelings. They come and go. Each different reaction will give you a clue about your well-being and how you need to respond to staying fully present in the world. A healthy person will be aware of the many different emotions you feel each day. You are not your emotion!

There are many ways to quiet the mind. Have you tried to guided meditation or breath exercises?  An excellent meditation App is called Insight Timer and is available on Google Play and at the App Store.

Listening to classical music can calm the mind. Going for a walk is great for our mental wellbeing if we treat it as a form of meditation. If you love gardening, this is an excellent way to become more present. Do something you enjoy doing that helps you to calm your mind.

2.       Pay Attention:

When you are grounded, it is much easier to pay attention to your inner and outer world because you are living in the present.  You have been blessed with vast spiritual knowledge if you just pay attention.

Stay attuned to your body. If you are feeling sore, tired, uptight, and strained are signs that you need to make changes in your life. Maybe you need to rest more. Perhaps you need to get more exercise. Maybe you need to spend more time with family and friends.

These sensations may be pointing out more significant concerns.  Maybe you need to get help for your relationship or end it.  Perhaps you need to get a new job that is more suitable for your well-being. Possibly, you need to see a doctor, a counselor or coach.

When you are grounded in the sensations, emotions, and thoughts of our bodies, there is much wisdom to be learned. The knowledge from our inner selves can help us to make smoother change throughout our lives.

 

3.       Share what is going on in your life with a friend, spouse or family member:

As human beings, we are intended to be in a relationship with others. You might think you can do life all yourself, but this is impossible. We need each other.  We need each other for companionship, play, work, and survival.

Your friends, family, and colleagues are often able to see things in yourself that you can not see yourself.

When you are going through challenges in life, it doesn’t seem as dark when you have someone else to walk with you through the ups downs.

In the end, a good friend is a person who over a period of years is there for you as you are for them. If someone consistently is sucking the life out of you. You either need to define some boundaries or end that relationship.

 

4.       Exercise:

Exercising helps you to remain connected with your body, heart, and mind. It helps you to move into the present. Being focused at the moment,  helps you to stay open to the universal wisdom of the earth.

When you honor your body, your heart and mind, everything begins to work in harmony. You know what you need to be about in life. Life becomes one of a surprise because you never quite know where each day will take you. The big difference is that you find this exciting instead of scary.

If you are driven to exercise, you are probably not living in harmony with yourself. But if exercise becomes a daily practice of caring for yourself then you are moving in a healthier direction.  You will not feel forced and desperate. You will feel satisfied each day even if you are not feeling at your best.

Exercise will just feel right!

 

5.       Play

Can you imagine a world without play? When you were a child, this naturally came to you. Games were how you experienced the world. The game is how you worked out conflict. The play is how you stayed fit.  This how you enjoyed the company of other people. Playing is how you learned.

Managing life’s transitions through play is an excellent way for you to weave your way through the ups and downs of life. How do you like to play?  Here are some ideas that you might enjoy?

·         Golf

·         Tennis

·         Bowling

·         Painting pictures

·         Photography

·         Singing

·         Dancing

·         Hiking

And much more!

I encourage you, along with me, to reclaim the gift of play. Life will become more fun and enjoyable. You will be more fun making you desirous to others. You will stay healthier. Moving through life’s transitions will become easier. When you are working, you will probably be more efficient, happy and satisfied.

 

6.       Befriend Your Fear:

You are programmed to be fearful of dangerous things that can hurt you. If you were a hunter in the early human era, you were afraid of wild animals who could kill you. Mothers in ancient times stayed attuned to their physical environment with its many dangers.

You were fiercely protective. The trouble is that we have moved so quickly into the modern age to a sedentary way of life our nervous system has yet to adjust.

So today your nervous system is activated when you don’t need it be. With breath work, bodywork and exercise you can manage this old automatic response by befriending your fear. All you need to do is allow yourself to feel the fearful sensations, emotions, and thoughts. When you can be with these painful vibrations,  emotions, and beliefs, they gradually begin to lose their power over you.

Claim your freedom and roar like a lion!

 

7.       Learn Valuable Lessons:

You are always learning!  When you stay as present as you can there is so much to learn each day. There are no mistakes, only opportunities to learn more about yourself and the world. When you can learn through the trials and tribulations of life each day gets a little more comfortable.

Your ego is always trying to protect you. The trouble is that the ego usually likes the status quo. So if you still listen to your inner critic, that part of you that wants you to stay safe through staying with the tried and true; you are going to miss a lot in life and have great difficulty dealing with the surprises.

When you do try on new learnings, it takes practice to live them out. Be gentle with yourself as you try living in new ways. Celebrate every achievement no matter how small it may seem to you.

The more you practice lifelong learning in your life the easier and more exciting it will become!

 

8.       Take Time for Rejuvenation:

You live in a busy world. With all the time-saving devices you are given the illusion that you can do more. Finding balance in your life is an on-going learning. A right place for you to start is to learn how to say NO  to activities/jobs that are not in your best interest. Life is short, so you need to use each moment well.

No matter whether or not you are introverted or extroverted you need to find the right balance of time for yourself or with companions.  Locate the balance for you that is regenerative.  You need balance, and you are the only one that will know what you need.

Slow down and smell the roses!

 

9.       Be Yourself:

Most of all,  be yourself!  Don’t try to be anyone else but yourself.  You are the supreme gift to the world when you bring your particular gifts and skills to the world.

When you can be yourself, you do not need to be in any competition with others. All you need to do is allow others to be themselves and don’t let your ego trick you into thinking you need to be someone else.

You are the most fantastic person in the world! But don’t forget every person is the most amazing person in the world.

So go out and be you in all the fabulous you can be!

 

How to manage life’s transitions is one of the most critical skills you learn.  We do it by grounding ourselves, paying attention, sharing with a friend or family member, exercising, playing, befriending your fear, learning valuable lessons, taking time for rejuvenation, and being yourself.

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With perseverance, you can begin to name the habits that are no longer benefiting you. Once you become aware of patterns that are no longer serving you, then have the choice to develop healthier ways of being. The more freedom you feel helps you to manage life’s transitions with greater ease.

There is a better way to live! Go and enjoy your life.

 

Roland Legge offers presence based life coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, and organizations to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478 or book your appointment online. Please click on “Discovery Call.”

 

This article was first published by REL Consultants  

 

Nine Powerful Tips for Building a Good Relationship Between Husband and Wife

Mixed-Race Couple, Piggyback

 

Do you dream of the perfect relationship? I think most of us do.  As children and teens, you dreamt of the ideal relationship. Just like it was portrayed in the movies. It was magical!

When you got older, you probably found that a healthy relationship between a husband and wife is never easy. It takes persistence, dedication, self-awareness, and faith.

I want to encourage you in you in your desire to find joy and happiness in the relationship you have chosen.  Here are nine ways to build a good rapport between you and your spouse.

1.       Get to know yourself:

How can you get to know your partner if you don’t know yourself? Getting to know yourself takes time and dedication. You might want to ask yourself some deep questions such as:

a.       What do I want in my life?

b.       What makes me happy?

c.       What gives me satisfaction?

d.       What makes me angry?

e.       What do I want to be doing in ten years?

f.        What makes me uptight?

g.       What do I fear?

I invite you to reflect on these questions through the sensations of your body, the emotions of the heart and the quiet of the mind.

Body:

You can do something physical like yoga, dance, walk, run, gardening, sports to get in touch with the sensations of your body. Take time to notice what is going on. Your body will help you to acknowledge what is going on and is less likely to lie than compared to your mind.

Warmth and relaxation in the body suggest you are getting healthier. Tightness and a lack of energy indicate you are experiencing dis-ease.

Heart:

To get in touch with your heart, notice what is going on in your chest area. Is it warm or cold? Does it feel relaxed or tight? How aware are you of your chest area? A warm and comfortable chest suggests you have an open heart. A cold and constricted chest suggests a closed heart.

To open it requires you to breathe in your chest area. Often guided meditation and yoga can be of great help. Stay open to what your heart is trying to tell you.

Head:

How busy is your head? Do you have lots of conversations going on in your head? Too much going on in your head can create a lot of anxiety. Decisions can be overwhelming because your mind has too much going on at the same time.

The best way to quiet the mind is to do something physical like walking, running, dancing, gardening or something else. Other excellent practices are meditation and taking time to breathe intentionally. Find out what works best for you.

 

2.       Excellent Communication:

When you need to communicate with your loved one, here are some practices to enhance your communication:

a.       Stand or sit at the same level of your partner.

b.       Look each other in the eyes.

c.       Be aware of each others body language.

d.       Ask questions of clarification if needed.

e.       Say in your own words what you heard your partner say.

f.        Use “I” statements. Take responsibility for what you say.

g.       Do not blame. Stay curious about what your partner is trying to tell you.

h.       Keep communication open.

Make sure you are grounded before you talk to your partner. Take a few deep breaths if you are feeling upset; and if you can not talk now make arrangements to speak at another time.

 

3.       Deal with Conflict Openly:

Conflict happens every time there are at least two different opinions in a room. Conflict is normal and can be healthy.

When there is a minor misinterpretation, and resolution is possible; you just need to clarify what each of you intended to say.

If it is a more complex debate, you will require more time to work toward a resolution that will be satisfactory to all involved.  Intentional listening takes time, requiring open minds, hearts, and bodies that are grounded.

If you felt hurt by something, your love has said or done. You need to be clear with her or him as to what you experienced, felt and thought. Keep your conversation descriptive rather than judgmental. Give your partner a chance to respond.

If you did something wrong, admit your error and show your partner that you won’t do it again. If you didn’t do anything wrong, don’t appease your partner to make them happy.  Appeasing is destructive to the relationship.

Working through conflict should be a win-win!

 

4.       Play:

At the beginning of your relationship, it is always easy because you are in love. You can not get enough of each other. But as the relationship continues on you need to choose to stay in love. A good way to nurture your love is to play together. What do you enjoy doing as a couple?

a.       Do you like to play games?  What games do you like?

b.       Do you enjoy going to live theater?

c.       Do you enjoy reading out loud a book to each other?

d.       Do you enjoy singing? How about joining a community or church choir?

e.       Surprise each other with gifts such as a bouquet of flowers or a ticket to show.

Make sure you have enough time to enjoy each others company. Do it at a time when you both have the energy to enjoy it.

5.       Intimacy:

Are you thinking of sex when I talk about affection? Yes, sexual intercourse is one small part of being intimate. But there are many ways you can express/share that deep love with your life partner. Show love:

a.       By looking into each other’s eyes

b.       By holding hands.

c.       By cuddling on the sofa and bed.

d.       By kissing.

e.        By listening deeply to each other’s stories.

f.        By enjoying a candlelight dinner together.

g.       By doing something, your spouse loves, and you don’t.

Let each other know what you need to feel loved. Let your partner know what you enjoy. Don’t expect your partner to read your mind. In the end be thankful they can’t know all your thoughts.

 

6.       Friends:

You need friends whether or not you are in a close relationship. No one person can provide all you need in life. Friends are the spice of life. They bring out different qualities in you that your spouse would. They are also there to give you another perspective on your relationship. When you are so close to another person, it can be difficult to see the truth.

You need a friend more than you need a spouse.  As a human being, you are intended to live in relationship with others. You can not survive in our world without others. We are so interconnected that when one person hurts, we all hurt.  When a person succeeds, we are all better off.

 

7.        Forgiveness:

Forgiveness is one of the most misunderstood concepts. Forgiveness is a process. It can take a long time, even years. The goal of forgiveness is to release you from the negative experience so that the memory will cease to poison your life in the future.

In close relationships, forgiveness plays a vital role in learning from our mistakes. Forgiveness creates room for you and your partner to learn from your or your partner’s error of judgment.

If your partner is abusing you, first you need to get away to safety and later on and see how the forgiveness might look. Forgiveness could include staying with your partner if they take responsibility for their actions or leave the relationship for good if it is not safe to remain. Forgiveness is hard work!

 

8.       Ability to Live Out Your Vocation

Over time you need to be able to live out your vocation. If your partner loves you, they will support you in living this out. You may not be able to do everything you like, but in the end, you need a relationship where over the long term you are going to be satisfied in how you are living your life.

If you keep putting your life on hold to meet the needs of your partner, this will eventually backfire. If you don’t honor yourself in the relationship, tension, in the end, will build up to the point that it flares into anger and resentment.

You and your partner need to find a way to honor both of you.  When you are both happy, you have the best chance for a joy-filled relationship.

To do this you both need to express what you honestly desire in life. In the end, it needs to be a win-win solution.

 

9.       Self-Care:

To enjoy your relationship you need to take good care of yourself. You are your most happy when you take time to rest, eat well, get enough sleep, have a healthy balance between work and play and get enough exercise. No one feels romantic and sexy when they are exhausted.

So if you are missing sex in your relationship, you might want to check if you are both taking care of yourselves. If you are always fighting, you might both be too tired and stressed to think clearly.

If you find yourself stressed and tired; I encourage you to get, some help. See how you can better organize your life so you can slow down. Are you trying to do too much? Do you have a hard time saying no?  What is blocking you from taking the time to care for yourself?

Then take one step at a time to add in self-care into your daily life. You might need to let go of things that you have no interest.  The reality is that there is only so much time in your day to do what is important for you.

Closeup of happy couple looking at camera

 

A good relationship between a husband and wife is never easy. It is a lifelong commitment. If you both are willing to see this as a great adventure, will be rewarded with surprise and joy. The moment your partner doesn’t surprise you, or you stop growing emotionally and spiritually suggests your relationship is getting stuck.

If you practice these nine tips, you are dramatically increasing your chances of having a long and satisfying relationship. Know yourself. Practice good communication. Deal with conflict openly. Don’t forget to play! Discover the type of intimacy you and your partner needs. Enjoy great friendships. Practice forgiveness. Find a way to live out your vocation. Lastly and not the least practice self-care.

A good way to get to know yourself and your partner through learning about the Enneagram. There are many books on the Enneagram. Here is a list of books you might like to read. The Enneagram will help you to understand each other better. It will help you to see your strengths and your growing edges.

Most of all take the time to enjoy each others company. Take the time to play. Make an effort to share with each other honestly. Accept responsibility for meeting your own needs.

If you are feeling stuck, don’t be ashamed to go for help. Talk to a friend, a spiritual leader, a coach, a counselor, or psychologist. Enjoy the one life you have.

 

Roland Legge offers coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, families, and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478, or you can email Roland at rolandlegge@relconsultants.com

 

This post was originally published on the REL Consultants Blog on September 26th, 2017

Nine Signs that your Relationship is Over

Unhappy stressed young couple having an argument

Relationships are Complex

Intimate relationships are complex. At their best they are meaningful, encouraging and beautiful and at their worst they destroy lives. All relationships go through ups and downs.

The Joy is Gone

But when the joy of being together is no longer there we ether need to make changes or end the relationship. I am writing to you who have tried everything to save your relationship, but nothing seems to be changing.

Faithful you have Been

You have worked so hard to save your relationship! Your family and friends have been after you to leave your partner. But you took your vows seriously and did everything you could to save it.

It is hard to let Go

It is hard to let go. It feels overwhelming to envision life on your own whether the relationship has been long or short, especially if you have children. You feel like a failure because you are breaking a promise. You never imagined you would be the one to end the relationship.

You feel Alone

You feel alone and fear it will be worse when you are separated. You wonder how it will impact the friendships you have developed as a couple. You wonder how it will impact your children. You ask yourself is this the best decision for my children.

The Promise I Made

Most of us go into marriages with the expectation they will be life long. Sadly there are still religious groups that condemn people who leave marriages. If you have done your best to save your marriage, if there was something good to save, you have nothing to be ashamed of. But there comes the moment when it is time to let go so you can find some joy in your life again.

The Nine Signs

Here are nine signs that suggest it may be time to end your relationship:

Walking on Egg Shells

  1. You feel like you are walking on egg shells. You are always fighting and/or being given the silent treatment. You haven’t had a good sleep in weeks. The stress is taking a toll on you. Friends, family and colleagues keep asking you what is wrong. You are too embarrassed to tell the people in your life.

 

My Children are Acting Out

  1. Your children are acting out even though you have tried so hard to prevent the children from knowing that you are having relationship problems. You keep reassuring them even though you know you are lying.

 

What more is there to Read?

  1. You have read so many books on relationships, but nothing seems to be working. Your spouse isn’t interested and thinks all these books are silly. He thinks there is not a problem. He says this is how it was it was with his parents. He keeps telling me just to suck it up. This makes me cry even more.

 

It is all in your Head

  1. You have been after her to go for counselling. She keeps telling you it is all in your head. You still go but no matter what you try nothing seems to improve. The stronger you get the more you realize that you can’t not live with this stress much longer.

 

Your Friends are Worried

  1. Your best friend tells you over and over that you have a place to come whenever you decide to leave. They tell you how concerned they are for your wellbeing. They tell you how much they hate seeing you suffer. They keep reminding me that you are not a failure. You are gradually getting to believe her.

 

Pushed Beyond Limits

 

  1. You are pushed beyond your limits. He goes off and buys the latest Quad which we can not afford. You are getting more and more worried that you are going to have difficulty in paying bills. He wants to go on a big trip this summer. You keep telling him that you can not afford it.

 

My Spouse is in Denial

  1. You would not call your spouse an alcoholic, but you have always been concerned that they drink too much at times. You notice that she is becoming more and more irritated the more she drinks. You ask her to stop and get help but she won’t listen.

 

I am always Sick

  1. You are getting sick far too often. You have terrible headaches! Your stomach is upset. You are feeling depressed. You are at your wits end. Suddenly the thought you had avoided of leaving is starting to feel like a good idea.

 

Why Me?

  1. You have tried so hard to ignore your intuition. You had never thought you would be the one to end the relationship. You are discovering strength and courage within yourself to make the break. It still feels overwhelming but you know that you will make it through it with the help of friends, family and professionals.

Are you Ready for the Big Decision?

Are you at the breaking point? Usually something will happen that will make you question whether it is worth trying to save your relationship. If you can relate to a half or more of the nine points you may be ready to make that big decision.

What a Relief

Once you make the decision to leave it feels like a load has come off your back. You call your best friend to tell them your decision. You start the process to leave deciding that you are going to write a letter to your spouse explaining your reasons for leaving and that you will be find a lawyer and/or mediator to begin the formal separation process.

There is Hope

You surround yourself with all those you need to walk through this process. You feel hopeful for the first time in a long time. You know deep within you that you are making the best decision.

 

Roland Legge offers coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, families and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478 or you can email Roland at rolandlegge@relconsultants.com