What We Can Learn in Transition

In times of great change and growth, finding yourself in the ‘in-between’, or a period of considerable transition can feel quite sticky. This ‘in-between’ time, which Fr. Richard Rohr calls “the liminal space,” is an inner state and sometimes an outer situation where we can begin to think and act in new ways. It is where we are betwixt and between, having left one room or stage of life but not yet entered the next. We usually enter a liminal space when our former way of being is challenged or changed—maybe we lose a job or a loved one, experience illness, witness the birth of a child, or embark on a major relocation. It is a graced time but often does not feel “graced” in any way. In such a space, we are not certain or in control. The very vulnerability of the liminal space creates room for something new because we are empty, open, and receptive; awaiting new direction. Growth isn’t linear, and because of that, it isn’t always comfortable. In this space, we are usually the most teachable, often because we are most humbled. At its core, times of transition are really just a string of learning moments and divine opportunities to connect our souls upward and outward. Review three principles to embody in times of transition and growth, below.

Lean into the discomfort.

Avoidance is usually an easy go-to in the midst of transition because it tends to be the most comfortable. Lean into your daily spiritual practices in order to settle into your discomfort. Know that you may not do and perform according to your usual patterns—and that’s ok. Sometimes, we actually need to fail abruptly in order to understand other dimensions of life. Discomfort may prompt you to be silent, instead of speaking, experience emptiness instead of fullness and inadequacy overabundance. Embrace yourself exactly where you are and however you show up daily. Know that the Universe is at work and nothing is permanent. In fact, the only constant in life is impermanence or change.

Embrace gratitude.

It’s easy to get caught up in our heads or have circular thoughts during a period of transition. Typically, these thoughts become an energy drain—toxic and wearing. The ability to shift into a gratitude-focused mindset will not only help us survive – but also thrive, in our journey. A study with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History stated how gratitude rewires your brain and elevates the mind-body connection. Brain regions associated with gratitude are part of neural networks that light up when we socialize and experience pleasure. These regions are also heavily connected to the parts of the brain that control basic emotion regulation, such as heart rate and arousal levels, and are associated with stress relief and pain reduction. Focusing on gratitude and feeling grateful creates a more relaxed body state and allows the subsequent benefits of lowered stress to wash over us. Not sure where to start? Before you go to sleep, try to write down three things that you were grateful for that day, and keep building on your cadence to create a routine.

Seek out community.

Focus on gratitude and notice more good things rise to the surface. Your outlook can shift your reality. Your soul is a positive, vibrant energy and therefore, it seeks out positive energy and light. And, sometimes it won’t come innately and you may need support throughout your journey. Souls thrive on human and divine connection. The Skylight app shows you how to connect with the Universe and other human beings in ways that feed your spirit and give you life. Tap into our community for a few minutes every day and feel a difference.

Looking back, there is something beautiful about the ‘waiting,’ the in-between, the liminal space—whatever you want to call it, it is free of illusions and false payoffs, and full of growth. Times of transition invite us to dive in, discover, and live from broader perspectives in order to truly see (others and ourselves) more deeply.