I think we have all known what it is to feel lost; to come to a place where there are no roads.
As disorienting as that can be, the potential for growth is enormous. We can no longer find old solutions to familiar problems or bask in the status quo. Something needs to shift but we don’t know what or how. William Bridges, change and transition expert, calls this the ” neutral zone, the nowhere between two somewheres.” It is the phase when the ” old is gone and the new isn’t fully operational.” It could be the time following the announcement of our retirement or resignation from a job; the first few weeks after having given birth; landing in a foreign country with the intention of living there but with no idea of how it is going to work out ….
There are a myriad of circumstances which send us into the neutral zone. What we need to do more than anything when we arrive there is to quieten ourselves and find ways of tapping into our creative energies and what makes us come alive. It is a time to explore, to examine all the alternatives instead of rushing into something which will lock us in again.
It is a time to find a fellowship of people who will support and nurture us. A client of mine refers to this as her ” dream team.” When Frodo, from the Fellowship of The Ring, was given a seemingly impossible task, his only chance of success was to surround himself with a fellowship, each member of which would make his or her unique contribution to the quest. Each character was flawed, but each had his or her back covered by other members of the team. Together they would succeed even though they had no idea at first how they would be able to do it.
If you are feeling lost today know that that lostness may be an opportunity to find a new path which could, in time, lead to a transformative breakthrough. It may take a while to find that path. Be patient. Enjoy the journey.
To live without roads
Seemed one way not to get lost;
To make maps of stone and grass,
To rub stars together,
Find a spark.
Poem by Naomi Shihab Nye.
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ~Gilda Radner
Posted by Juliette Jooste Gyure, leadership, life and career coach, specializing in change and transition processes