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Life is an adventure filled with ups and downs. How we deal with them is fully our choice. Some we can prepare for and some we can’t. This week yet another friend was operated on for cancer; a very old and dear friend who has had progressively debilitating dementia passed away and yet simultaneously we had a college graduation, a new baby coming shortly, and for my daughter and son-in-law, have begun their beloved boating season. The ups and the downs of daily living filled with beginnings and endings…

I speak of, and support clients in, thriving in the face of major transitions rather than getting lost in fear, uncertainty, or grief. The reality is that transition, as seen above, is a part of daily life. Relationships with people we love change. We change. Our situations change on a daily basis and yet any transition can be defeating, freeing, and transforming all at once.

Large transitions such as retiring, leaving a position/career you have held for decades, starting or expanding a company, a new role in your personal life, can appear to be more than you can handle. In fact, they may simply be more than you want to handle. There is a huge difference – and when we don’t see that difference we create stories, visions of impossibility, and/or great struggle and sadness. All this makes what could be an experience of great and exciting transformation more of an experience of dread, fear, and resistance, frequently culminating in illness… 

Too often, the focus settles on the grief or the fear rather than the new beginning and new adventure calling you into your next stage of living. Often, it is your soul, your spiritual purpose, calling you forward. On some level, in spite of yourself, you are ready for the next challenge, and the next opportunity to grow, expand, and become who you are called to be. Without realizing it, you have outgrown where you are. 

I am helping a new client as he prepares for his retirement which is 3 years away. Rather than feel dumped out of one career into a “nothingness” he is preparing for a smooth transition into his next journey, whatever it holds. That is the discovery we are beginning.  I have found for many that being in the shock of a transitionary period makes the grieving and the moving forward so much more difficult than it needed to be.  Yes, we need time to feel the grief, the tears perhaps, and the loss. We heal so much faster when we allow ourselves to experience each of those if needed. However, they are meant to be a process we go through, not one we live in.  

We are cautioned to prepare financially, if we are planning on opening a business, moving to a new area, entering a different stage of life of kids in college, an empty nest, as well as retiring. I believe that it is only one aspect of the planning. Be financially solid, that is a very smart move. Yet remember as well, that your emotional, spiritual, and physical health depend upon understanding where you are, where you are going, and how you are going to get there. May your transitions be, at a minimum, minimally stressed, and optimally seen as an exciting adventure of unfolding, discovery, passion, and transformation.


Dr. Dorothy’s life story of coming from an orphanage, being raised in the housing projects of South Boston, becoming a Catholic nun, an international airline stewardess, a wife, mother, graduate faculty member, Clinical Instructor at a Medical School, and so much more provides the perfect backdrop for her message of joy, humor, passion and faith as the necessary tools for life.