Dealing With Change: Transition is not a place on the map

I’ve always thought of transition as the place between here and there. A place of change–somewhere between where you have been and where you are going. But my left-brain tells me the math doesn’t quite add up. And my right brain says:

You are here.

If you are traveling across the U.S., for example, you can look at a map from New York (where you have been) to San Diego (where you are going), and see the route you will need to take. But at any given moment, you are somewhere. Perhaps you are still in New York but your bags are packed and ready to go. Maybe you have made it as far as Chicago where your connecting flight has been delayed due to weather. In either case, you can point to an exact location on the map to find yourself.

Transition is not really a place between here and there; it’s actually more like a place between thereA and thereB.  Consider this:

thereA = where you’ve been; behind you

thereB = where you are going; ahead of you

Where you stand at any given moment is still here.

What’s the trouble with transition and why does it feel so unsettling?


noun  a passage, movement or change from one state, place or condition to another

verb  to change or move from one state, place or condition

Transition is movement

What is happening when you feel like you’re in transition is that you are feeling movement. The place where you stand (here) is temporary and you feel the unsettled motion of heading to or from somewhere else (there).

In transition does not have to feel like a bad place. It takes our mind and bodies time to adjust to movement and change. Whether you are moving away from something significant – a hometown, a job, old relationships, outmoded behaviors; or moving toward something significant – a new home or family, self-employment, conscious living – you need to allow your mind and body to adjust to the change.

Dealing with Change

We are in constant motion, changing, growing, learning, expanding. Our time on this planet is also, inevitably, temporary. But this journey of transition does not have to be stressful. It can, in fact, be full of joy and peace. It just takes some creativity and the ability to acknowledge where you are on the map of life. It takes reflection, contemplation and a little faith. The same formula that goes into beginning any writing or art project.

Slowing down long enough to jot down our thoughts and reflections serve, not only to record but, to discover the direction in which we are moving. It requires engaging your right brain – and often your heart – because all the plotting and planning doesn’t ease the discomfort of change. So join me as we work through ways to find comfort in transition.

For now just remember – You Are Here. Let’s work with that for a while.

6 responses to “Dealing With Change: Transition is not a place on the map”

  1. Becky says:

    I love the idea that I am ‘here’. I don’t need to know where I’m going (or where I’ve been) to know where I’m at. I’m going through a lot of change in my own life and knowing that, not matter where I’m going, I’m still ‘here’ is comforting. Thanks, Iris!

    • Iris Madelyn says:

      Thank you, Becky! I’m glad this idea is useful for you. There is peace and clarity to be had when we can simply ‘be’ in the moment. I hope you find & maintain that comfort as you go through your life changes.

  2. Wow, I love this! Over the last 6 six years I’ve gone through an enormous amount of change, transitions. I went from a high-school art geek living at home (thereA), to a sorority girl living either in the dorms or in an apartment, to a 9-5er living back at home (here), to a writer in New Zealand (thereB). Change is good, but it can be so scary!

    The transition stage is uneasy, but I’ve found that a combination of preparation (left brain) and meditation (right brain) can really help calm the nerves. Can’t wait to keep reading about your journey!

    • Iris Madelyn says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed this, Lyssa. Yes, change can be scary and it sounds like you’ve been through a lot of change. Congratulations on some amazing moves in your life!

  3. Natalie says:

    In the moment – here

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