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Are You in Transition? 3 Books to Guide You

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The love of your life walked out the door.

Or, the kids are now grown up and out of the house.

Perhaps you’ve been laid off and your job prospects look dim.

Transitions: difficult, painful, constant...the hardest part of being an adult.

I was thrust into major transition when my husband left abruptly. Shortly thereafter our teenaged children also moved out. Our coupled friends slithered away. The possessions we acquired over 23 years were hocked. Devastated, I could hardly hold on to my job.

The transition felt life threatening at times. Now, however, I can look back and see its gifts. I’m different. More authentic. More me. Solitude, coffee shop conversations, prayers, journaling, and reading brought answers to guide me on my herky jerky path to a new life.

Three of the books I found helpful and continue to consult are:

1. Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, 2nd Edition by William Bridges. This best seller is the Bible of navigating change. Bridges describes the transition process as three stages: Endings, the Neutral Zone and a New Beginning. He wisely helps us “get into” each stage, excavating its treasures.

2. Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker J. Palmer. This personal account of Palmer’s journey from a PhD program at Berkeley to a time of crushing depression, touched me like no other book I’ve ever read. It’s gut wrenchingly painful to leave what we always thought we should do with our lives and find the truth of who we really are. Palmer’s story and insights bring help, hope, and relief.

3. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. This popular author was given the opportunity to make a movie based on his life. The script-writing process motivated Miller to take risks and make changes to create “a better story.” In chapter twelve, “You’ll Be Different at the End,” he writes:

If the point of life is the same as the point of a story, the point of life is character transformation…life itself may be designed to change us, so that we evolve from one kind of person to another.

Oh yes. Life does change…


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Additional resources on my personal website:

Are You in the Middle of Life? and

RESOURCES: Calling and Creativity

Your comments, questions, and suggestions are welcomed:

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