225: Trust the Transition: How to Step Through and Embrace the Change You Seek
Sunday September 9, 2018

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“Times of transition are strenuous but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits. We can make our new normal any way we want.” —Kristin Armstrong, three-time Olympic gold medalist – road cycling

As September arrives I find myself torn between the schedule I love during the summer months and the rigorous schedule I know that awaits me with school’s commencement. 

It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy what the new school year brings – new students, new connections, an energy of excitement and curiosity that is a large part of why I love teaching, but when any transition knocks on our door, if we are happy with where we are, it is hard to welcome it in. No matter what amazing opportunities it may be bringing as a hostess gift. 

In such a scenario where there is the gift of what we have loved and the potential for something awesome to be revealed as we go through the transition that is letting us know, that just the way it is, if we shift our perspective to one of gratitude, the moving through and forward becomes easier. 

How fortunate are any one of us to not remain stagnant? Think for a moment about a stagnant individual. They may feel safe, they may feel certain, but such certainty is false. After all, as children the reason it is imperative that we learn how to communicate, how to care for our bodies and feed our minds is to initially survive, but then to thrive and enrich our lives. This momentum, this way of life is a good way to live our entire lives. Why? Because the world never stops shifting, progressing and offering opportunities to improve. Never.

It can be tempting as adults when we think we have figured it all out to slow down, and even stop and just be. This is not to say we shouldn’t relax from time to time, find a healthier balance, etc., but so long as a new generation is graduating, growing up and trying to find their place in the world, there will always be new ideas, and often, so long as we remain nimble, we can benefit from them as well, and even partake in the sharing of knowledge.

Part of a civilized society is knowing how to move and work together with a diverse breadth of people, and along the way enabling all to find their way without taking away the basic rights of any human being who is living consciously and respectfully of others. 

With all of this said, transitions can be scary or exciting, exhilarating and even full of learning opportunities. It is simply a manner of how we view them. Today I’d like to share with you eight ways to step into and through any transition that you may be confronted with at the moment, and even go so far as to embrace it. 

Grasp the reason for the difficulty

Psychologist Shannon Kolakowaki points out that a significant reason for the difficulty of any transition in which are lives are changing as we once knew them is because our identity, how we may have defined ourselves or were seen by others, is changing.

Recognize the power you are giving the transition to affect your emotions

Psychology Today reminds that there isn’t a predefined type of transition that is harder than another. We give a transition the power of either being difficult or easy to maneuver through. In other words, our minds play a crucial role in how we approach the changes we are going through. 

If we choose to see the transition as an opportunity or a goal we have worked long and hard for, such change would be reason to become excited; however, if it is a change that is thrust upon us, we can drag our feet and make it even more difficult by fighting what is inevitable. 

Honor the transition

Any life transition, whether it is relocating to a new city, moving through a divorce or going through menopause benefits being recognized for playing a role in our life journey. As Sonia Choquette shared in our conversation about her own divorce after more than 20 years, she wasn’t angry at her ex, but rather appreciative for the love and time that was shared, but also observant that it was time to move forward. 

One of the hardest transitions in nearly everyone’s life has been found to be the relocation from a home we have felt safe in or found great peace. During such times of transition, pay homage in your own unique way in order to provide closure, but also to celebrate the time you spent and the memories that will forever be with you. 

Become a great student of the transition that awaits

When you know a transition is in your future, perhaps transitioning from college to a career or from a career to retirement, become a student of the transition you will inevitably go through. By learning all that you can, you maximize the experience, enabling it be as positive as possible.

Reflect and remind

Everyone goes through some type of transition throughout their lives, and often many. If we take a moment, we probably have moved through some transitions quite effortlessly because we didn’t think twice or try to fight it. But on the flip-side, there were inevitably transitions we can remember vividly – during adolescence, making career changes, making relationship changes, making lifestyle changes.

As you go through the transition you are in at the moment or will be in due time, reflect on those transitions that went well for you. And even regarding those that were hard, assess why they were hard and how you can change what was in your control to improve the next transition in your life.

Celebrate the opportunity for a rebirth of sorts

Whether the transition is something you want or something you’d prefer not to have to go through, shift your perspective. Something as common as getting older, shift how you perceive “getting older”. As we are seeing today, those in their fifties and sixties are far from what I recall of generations past in the same decade. With more knowledge, comes better ways of living and improving the quality of one’s experience. In such an instance, celebrate all the experience and knowledge you have acquired and keep using those tools to learn more, explore more and enrich your life even more as well. 

Surround yourself with positive energy

Maybe you have children who are leaving home for college which opens up your schedule, maybe you are moving into a different line of work – taking on more responsibility, maybe you are returning from a life-changing experience and want to transition into a new way of living. Whatever your transition is, step fully into it and spend time with those who will support you along your new path.

As there will be times of excitement where new adventures and experiences have your full attention, there will also be times when you question what you have chosen to do (or if not chosen, question if you can be as happy as you once were). In these moments, having people that will be understanding of your journey, but not wallow and wax nostalgic about the past, wishing in some small way, that the way it was would return, is imperative to navigating successfully through these hiccups that are inevitable. 

The good news is that they will subside, but perhaps never entirely disappear. After all, that is a good thing, in my opinion, as it means your journey has been rich, memorable and deeply and intensely lived fully. 

Trust that what is not being revealed is worth seeing and experiencing

Even when we do step eagerly toward a new way of living, we can begin to doubt that we made the right decision. When in fact, what you are feeling is probably fear rather than doubt (read this post – The Difference Between Being Scared and Having Doubts). And if you are feeling fear, it is actually good sign as it an indication that you are indeed living a life that is true to your most authentic self. Why? Because what you are feeling in that moment is a deep ache for what you wish you attain, or a way of living you wish to make your own. If you didn’t want it, if you didn’t believe in it, you wouldn’t be fearful that it wouldn’t happen. 

The universe will not tell us how it will all work out. Nope, that is where faith in yourself, trust in your instincts about what is best for you and what you are willing to work for comes into play. 

Transitions are opportunities. If we shift our perspective to accept this, the journey through them becomes far easier to navigate and even at times quite pleasurable to enjoy. 


~The Simply Luxurious Kitchen has begun its first season! View the first episode here and tune in each Saturday morning during September and October for a new episode.

~Sign up for TSLL’s Weekly Newsletter

Petit Plaisir:

~Visit your favorite local bakery to pick up a fresh loaf of bread for the week. 

Whether you enjoy toast in the morning (such as avocado toast), bread for sandwiches for lunch or bread with dinner, knowing it is homemade and a varietal you love welcomes a simple extra flavor to your week.

-my weekly fresh bread pick-up at a favorite local bakery in Bend (I often pick up my loaf bi-weekly as I freeze half of the loaf)~
~my favorite loaf from the bakery – Black Butte Porter – in use with my breakfast avocado toast (recipe here)-

Sponsor for Today’s Episode:

~The Simple Sophisticate, episode #225
~Subscribe to The Simple SophisticateiTunes | Stitcher | iHeartRadio | YouTube | Spotify
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7 thoughts on “225: Trust the Transition: How to Step Through and Embrace the Change You Seek

  1. Shannon,

    I loved this episode on transitions. As always, you offer sound and well-reasoned guidance on an issue we all struggle with. Change is hard, but inevitable, and I appreciate your practical guidance on embracing change with poise.

    I love your positive attitude and always feel better centered after an episode of TSLL. I’ve been listening to your podcast for the past two years, and it truly offers something special that I haven’t found anywhere else – the perfect blend of French inspiration, lifestyle guidance and useful tips. I just finished your first book and can’t wait to get started on the second one. Thank you for all you do!


  2. Transitions can indeed, be an emotional affair. Having become a first-time mom nearly 4 months ago, oh this podcast resonated with me, Shannon. I sought this change in my life and I shall focus more on the positives going forward. It is so easy to forget that motherhood was once a big goal of mine and now that I have reached this chapter in my life, of course I should celebrate it rather than get bogged down by the less appealing, harder aspects of it. I needed this reminder and often.

    I wonder if you will be interested in a podcast on friendships as an adult? To admit the following feels vulnerable but knowing you, Shannon, I know you won’t think less of me. I have come to find myself feeling more and more lonely as I go through the years. Finding true friends and maintaining them seem more difficult since my late 20s. Old friends move on with their lives as interests change. Acquaintances and co-workers just aren’t ones who are close enough for some heart to heart conversations…I wonder if there are many lonely 30-something adults in today’s world.

    1. Natalie, Thank you for trusting me with your question. First of all, you are not alone and in fact, this is more common than you may realize. For someone like yourself and anyone who is cultivating a thoughtful life, the quality of your friendships matter, and thus you become more discerning as you just shared. The NYTimes wrote an article that is worth reading addressing how commong this dilemma is for those of us over 30 – https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/fashion/the-challenge-of-making-friends-as-an-adult.html

      It certainly is more difficult, but from my experience, the quality of friendships are better. I love knowing I have friends sprinkled around the world that if either of us has a change to travel or hop on a plane I may just have a dinner date or long chat over tea/coffee a few afternoons/mornings in a row. Now that doesn’t solve the problem when we are living our day-to-day lives, but what it does is shifts the perspective to what we can appreciate, what we need to appreicate what is good about our lives. Perhaps now is a time to explore new avenues in your life, especially now that you are a mother in which you can potentially meet people with similar interests and lifestyles. I know my mom when she was a young mother in her early 30s joined a “Young Mother’s” club and some of the women she is still acquaintences and even friends with today. Most importantly, it will be initially difficult and uncomfortable – expect this and stretch yourself slowly, but you will begin to reach and meet new people. It doesn’t need to be a whole handful; it may just be one at a time. Invest in them like you would a relationship, and perhaps it is a good thing that they won’t be at work as you will have boundaries and separation to truly have the opportunity to let your hair down when the opportunity arises. I hope this helps somewhat, and thank you for the suggestion for an upcoming podcast episode. I am thinking of you, and I know this step in your life has the potential to transition into something beuatiful. Congratulations on becoming a mother. I am so happy to know and your baby are well. 🙂

  3. Thank you so much Shannon?
    This podcast is so profound! As a very intense introvert and private person, I felt this podcast was written for me personally
    As many changes are happening in my life all at once, life can be a real challenge especially being very much an introvert
    But fear cannot be allowed to control us , so onward we stride with courage
    ?☀️Life is beautiful ☀️?

  4. Hi Shannon,
    Thanks for the insightful information. And thank you for all of the books and authors you frequently mention; you introduced me to Choquette and Rosenbloom among others. I always seek out the authors you recommend because we seem to share a similar taste in books. I already enjoyed Mayle, Jett and several others you’ve mentioned. I love to read and you’ve added immeasurably to my library.

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