Episode 144 Finding Grace In Transitions

December 1, 2023

Good morning from Madrid. I’ve got lots on my mind this morning, and before I get to it what I want to share is that I had dinner last night here in Madrid with three women – Colleen, Gil, and Joanne –  who I’ve known for nearly 40 years.

We taught English at a Spanish summer camp way back in 1984. We still laugh about it. You know we were staying out late. I’m sure we had too much to drink, and we had to get up first thing in the morning, take the subway or the bus or whatever up to the northern part of Madrid and have our breakfast before heading to the summer camp to teach English.It was a really fun experience. Anyway, it’s always fun to see them but it was particularly special last night because two of my friends, Colleen and Joanne, are loyal Dear Constance listeners. I think they’ve gotten to know me in a different way through the podcast and I receive lovely messages from them.

It’s one of those things that reminds me of why I’m doing this. You know, I lost my platform to connect with people when I left Scout Talent. Now of course a lot of the people I was interacting with were not friends – these people are friends of mine – but it was a way to interact and connect and to be engaged in the world. When I walked away from that, I definitely struggled with losing that connection or that platform from which to interact with people.

Anyway, that brings me to what I want to talk about today. As I was coming out of my morning practice today, I was thinking about multiple different stories and I was asking myself, what’s the through line here? What’s the filo conduttore, as we say in Italian? And here’s what it is. It’s about transitions

Now, two of these friends were telling me that they were feeling sort of bereft of enthusiasm, motivation, energy, and they were both coming off of protracted periods of intense work activity.And both were saying the same thing. They were wondering if they were depressed. They were lacking motivation, and in fact yesterday I said to my girlfriend, you can’t manufacture inspiration and motivation,  but that’s a separate story.

The other two stories. One of them was a friend of mine who had a really lovely time with her children over the holidays and told me that she was feeling very emotional and sad. Then last night, one of the women was talking about what it means to have entered retirement and the struggles she’s had to sort of find her way over the last couple of years. We talked about that – you know – it does take time.

The through line of all of these stories is that they’re all stories of transitions. I think sometimes when we’re feeling a bit off, when we’re not ourselves, or we’re feeling a little down, we’re failing to recognize that we are in the early stages or the middle stages of a transition. There is some change going on and it does throw us off kilter a little bit. We don’t feel like ourselves.  It can be awkward. It can be disconcerting. It can be very uncomfortable. And really sometimes what it comes down to is simply recognizing that we’re in a transition.

Our motivation and inspiration doesn’t suddenly leave us. We have a whole history in our lives of finding it, losing it, rediscovering it. And really oftentimes it simply comes down to finding the grace to allow ourselves to have this period of transition. And as I like to say, to simply leave ourselves alone.

By the way, this is a note to self for me as well. I can get panicky when I feel that total loss of inspiration. It’s like, when I lose my way and I don’t feel motivated, I feel like it’s going to last forever. And I know it won’t last forever, but it feels bad.  So I guess all this to say, I’m inviting you to think about that when you are in this period of sadness, or when you’re feeling lost or you don’t have the usual energy you count on. Think about it. Maybe it’s simply a period of transition. Transitions take many different forms. They could be about work. They can be about family structure. They can be about a new living situation. And we do need to give ourselves grace when we’re in transition.

I’ll leave you with that thought today. Have a wonderful weekend from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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