Retirement Transition and Change

“Life Transition: From Crisis to Creative Opportunity” by Nick Head

By October 5, 2010 No Comments

Major life changes can precipitate a sense of crisis.  The old solutions don’t work.  The old meanings and understandings don’t hold up.  We may feel adrift, or even worse, like we might drown in the chaos.  We are in transition.

Transitions maven, William Bridges, tells us that transitions begin with endings… the end of a role, of a relationship, of a familiar environment, of a way of making a contribution or a difference.   The new beginning  is the further shore over the horizon.  It is the time when once again we have an orientation, a confidence that we can move forward and establish a new life.  Its what’s in-between that’s scary.   We don’t know.   We can’t see.  The way forward is not clear.  The choices we make in this time are difficult. 

Ironically, the creative way is often facilitated at first by doing less, not more.  The body-mind has a wisdom that we can turn to at this time if we take our changes inside, let the feeling impacts of those changes land  and then make room for them to rest, germinate and grow toward fruition.  The body-mind responds to patience and friendly curiosity.   You must however make room in your life for a quiet time.

Into this quiet, take faith in your own process and let the soup of creativity slowly find expression.  This is a good time to have a friend that you can sit with, over coffee or tea, the kind of friend that you can be with, without expectation.  Be without expectation with yourself as well.  Slowly, the spiraling flotsam in the backwaters of your being, begins to take shape.  Be patient and let the forms find their shape, don’t rush them.   Let the words, images and feelings find their way to the surface of your awareness. This flotsam is the very stuff of new beginnings.

Finally, keep an accounting with yourself.  Log the impressions in a journal or spiral notebook.   It doesn’t matter which.  Record, cherish and hold on to what comes your way.   Keep your journal for a week, without analysis, or interpretation.   Then read what you’ve captured out loud, to yourself.  Notice where the energy is.  Maybe it’s that tail of something going around the corner.  Greet the shore that  is starting to come into sight.  You are finding the first outlines of a new beginning that marks the end of this transition.    


Nicholas Head is a licensed third age coach, professional ADHD coach and certified counselor who has trained with William Bridges Associates, and Richard N. Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute?  Nick is a national member of the Life Planning Network and has been helping individuals for three decades with life and work transitions.   Nicks can be reached by email at or by phone at 602.314.4571.  His website is:

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