It takes twenty-one days to alter or form a habit. A mindset. A way of life.
So claim the ‘experts.’
I’m not sure if that applies — or how it does — when one moves to a new residence. If it takes that amount of time to get accustomed to the new setting or lifestyle.
It’s been twenty-one days since I moved to my new apartment — finally, after the distresses especially in dealing with the property manager that I talked about in my earlier posts.
I’ve spent the past three weeks unpacking. Getting organized. Situated. Purchasing all that’s needed to organize my stuff — which is a lot! I’m not quite done yet. Getting there….
Adjusting and adapting. Now, that is huge! That, I’d say has been the most challenging for me. After all, living in the city is the farthest from my mind. My preference and what I have been accustomed to for three consecutive years (plus a total of another year on and off prior) is countryside living — the seaside specifically.
But as I’ve shared in a previous post, there’s a Higher Purpose and Grander Plan for my living situation — despite that it appears to be a bit illogical. Despite that I’d often think that this seems to be a step backward and away from my ‘dream life’ or ‘ideal home.’
I’ve been making peace with where I’m at in my journey. Surrendering to ‘it’ — even as ‘it,’ the Purpose and Plan isn’t quite that clear yet.
As I said, it’s been twenty-one days since I moved in, but I hadn’t quite overcome and transcended the resistance, admittedly. It is there. Maybe not as much as before.
But there’s still a part of me that’s resisting and questioning why I’m at where I’m at — literally and otherwise.
Not easy, quite naturally.
But I also know that the more we resist the changes, the more that we insist on what isn’t rather than flow with what is, the more challenging and painful the experience and the transition.
Transitions: Making Sense Of Life’s Changes
I’ve just finished reading again William Bridges’ Transitions: Making Sense Of Life’s Changes. I can’t recall what changes and transitions were happening in my life that led me to purchase that book earlier on.* But it sure has been such a gem in helping me better cope with the changes and transitions that I’m going through now.
First off, Bridges makes the distinction between change and transition.
I don’t know about you, but I sure have committed the commonly held mistake of equating one with the other.
“Change is your move to a new city or your shift to a new job. It is the birth of your new baby or the death of your father. It is the switch from the old health plan at work to the new one, or the replacement of your manager by a new one, or it is the acquisition that your company just made. In other words, change is situational. Transition, on the other hand, is psychological. It is not those events, but rather the inner reorientation and self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life. Without a transition, a change is just a rearrangement of the furniture. Unless transition happens, the change won’t work, because it doesn’t “take.” Whatever word we use, our society talks a lot about change; but it seldom deals with transition. Unfortunately for us, it is the transition that blind-sides us and is often the source of our troubles.” (Preface)
We all go through life changes. The only constant thing is change, so goes the classic adage.
How many of us, though, go through the transition brought about by those changes? How many of us use the changes in our life situations to re-define and re-align our inner world — the essence of transition? Are we altering our external world while our inner world remains virtually unchanged? Status quo?
In a seminar entitled “Being In Transition” that Bridges conducted in the 70s, he identified the following four rules:
- When you’re in transition, you find yourself coming back in new ways to old activities. (p. 7)
- Every transition begins with an ending. We have to let go of the old thing before we can pick up the new one — not just outwardly, but inwardly, where we keep our connections to people and places that act as definitions of who we are. (p. 10)
- Although it is advantageous to understand your own style of endings, some part of you will resist that understanding as though your life depended on it. (p.15)
- First, there is an ending, then a beginning, and an important empty or fallow time in between. (p. 17)
Bridges highlights that it is usually the “more important empty or fallow time in between” the endings and beginnings where we miss out on the more significant opportunity to re-define and re-align our beliefs, patterns, and habits, the very essence of transitions.
And I’ve been asking myself how much time did I, in fact, spend in that “more important empty or fallow time in between the endings and beginnings — if I even spent some time there?”
Might I have simply — and quickly — moved from one ending to the next new beginning?
Might that be why I feel like I have so much unfinished businesses and incompletions — something that’s dawning on me now?
Dealing Differently With The Endings
I have been quite vigilant and adamant about breaking old patterns and outlived habits — especially the unhealthy ones. I’ve been committed to it.
I just realized as I’m writing this that what’s making this transitional phase huge for me is that the opportunity for me to learn and to grow is coming not only from the change and transition per se but also from how differently I’m now dealing with the endings. How differently am I now handling what’s changing and shifting in my life? How different is my response and attitude to all the changes and what’s ending? How much time have I spent in the “more important empty or fallow time in between time?”
As Bridges expounds,
“As you begin to remember your old reactions to endings, you are likely to realize that your old mindset is being reactivated in the present whenever something ends in your life…. some of the feelings you experience today have nothing to do with the present ending but are the product, instead, of the resonance set up between situations in your present and those in your past.”
There’s so much for me to reflect upon and inquire into — still.
It may already have been twenty-one days since my move, but there’s still so much that’s shifting. So much that isn’t clear. So much confusion and uncertainty. So much still to discover and uncover.
And that’s ok.
No deadlines. No schedules. No pressure.
Be it twenty-one days, weeks, months…even years. My transition will take however long it needs to take. To re-define. Re-align. And be reborn to the next Grandest Version of My Self.
Be that in the city or at my much preferred and much-desired seaside.
And be it on this or the ‘other’ side.
(*Update, 02 April 2016 – Now I recall how I was led to this book — through an article by Kenetha J. Stanton of A Kintsugi Life: Finding the Treasure in Life’s Scars, Stages of Transformation. Here’s the link. I invite you to visit her site. Tons of insights, inspiration and wisdom!)
❤ ⭐ 😀 ⭐ ❤