Overcome that “Lost” Feeling

Did an answer come to you when you read this article’s title?

As I pondered this topic and reflected on strategies or actions steps I would share, I decided to impart what I chose to do as part of my year end activities. I decided that I wanted to do something that would reflect my desire to move forward and  skyrocket an amped up vision in support of my 2014 personal and professional goals, themes and desires.

For many years, I have stayed home with my husband and family members, watching movies, eating popcorn and enjoying their company while waiting to to ring in the New Year — except for the year we  decided to be with my daughter and her family in downtown Atlanta watching the Peach Drop — that deflating excursion reminded us why we typically ring in the New Year snuggled up warm and safe at home.
This year we decided to bring in 2014 by doing something a little different, especially given my recent move to Oahu, far away from family! As the stroke of midnight neared, I walked barefoot across the damp sand that I call my backyard these days and stood at the edge of the ocean, gazing at the stars on a moonlit New Year’s Eve. Another year had come and would soon be gone! My thoughts drifted to the dawn of the coming year.  I contemplated the expansive stars that sparkled above me and thought about my life in 2013… the joys, the sorrows, the triumphs and the losses, the move … the friends and family that I left behind …With the breathtaking burst of fireworks over the water in the distance, my husband and I stepped into the water at midnight and continued wading into the ocean until the surf began to wash over us. As I looked around at the vastness of the ocean that lay before me, and felt the water transitioning back and forth as it hit up against my body, I thought about all the endless possibilities and potentiality that 2014 offers.
This symbolic water ceremony jump-started 2014 and the beginning of a new decade in my life. It also invigorated my thinking about this week’s topic and what I would say about … Discovering What I Need to Overcome When Feeling Lost….Given that the start of a new year can represent new beginnings, I believe it also provides opportunities to review the things we did not complete in the previous year and start again … new goals, new dreams, new thinking and new ways of living …….My goal is to help you by delivering useful information to bring inspiration, personal growth and transformation related to starting over when feeling lost in transition and embracing the new beginnings that can be ushered in with help, inspiration and support.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.
~Joseph Campbell

” Getting lost is just another way of exploring.” Justina Chen, North of Beautiful

The reason I shared Justina Chen’s quote is to shed light on my own philosophy of transition, coupled with what I know for sure, after nearly 30 years of myriad experiences around coping through change and transition. I will share the things that I believe we all need to consider – ideas, strategies, tips – with hope that we can all move forward on our journeys of discovery and exploration with positivity, inspiration, new opportunities to start and finish something new, become transformed in the process … and breakthrough to the next level of our experiences.Here are four simple recommendations to consider as you ponder what you need to overcome feeling lost in transition:

Reduce or Modify Expectations

With each of my moves, I had high expectations for my life, for my marriage, my family, my career, and my business. I think I expected each move or major life change to be something glorious and magnificent, wonderful and exciting! For sure there were times when this was the case, especially when we moved as a family to, of all places, Dayton, Ohio! We found a house that we loved in a neighborhood that we loved. We made many friends, became active and involved in the community, our kids loved it there, our careers soared and life, for the most part, was great. There were other times and relocations when what we hoped for did not turn out as we had dreamed or planned.

What I have learned over time was to set realistic expectations with each move and to remain flexible and adaptable. Adapting to change takes time and it helps to go easy on yourself if things do not go as planned. If needed to help in gaining clarity about what’s most important in this period of change, take out a pad and write down all of the things that you have lost with the change and think about what things can be easily shed to make room for the new.

This way you can experience better outcomes in the midst of change and transition.

Acknowledge that Change is Occurring

I suspect that from the outside looking in, one might think that I am inoculated against the upheavals that come with moving, transition and change. In some situations, that might be true.

I am equally sure others recognize that I am still in the midst of coping with the feelings of grief and loss that a major transition can bring. This would also be true.

For the longest time, I would move along through change as if a major life transition was no big deal – it was just something that you did! This was especially true when I was on active duty in the US Air Force…. If Uncle Sam says go – well, you just go!

I did not honor nor acknowledge all that I had lost something with each move… loss of friends, loss of community, and loss of place……The result was dealing with delayed grief that eventually surfaced when I could no longer ignore the realities of loss and uncertainty that confronted me.

Honor the grief. Find a way to process the emotions you are feeling. Sit on a beach and recall nice memories, Journal. Talk to a friend. Eat well and take care of yourself.

One of my oldest and dearest friends calls me at least once weekly. She knows from lifelong moving and relocation experiences as a military child and as an active duty member of the military, how much we are affected by change, especially involving moves that take you thousands of miles away from the familiar! She will ask about how I am doing and inquire if I am eating well, exercising, and taking care of myself in the midst of my move and adaptation to Hawaii. Her faithful actions serve as a lifeline and chord that binds my past to my present and future!

Ask for help or support if you need it as you are moving through change.
Live One Day at a Time
Instead of dwelling on the things that have been lost when going through transition and cannot be changed, begin to focus on the” here and now.”

Look around you – name one or two things about your current situation that you like or would like to explore!

If the change is a move, then look for ways to network in your new location or seek out a newcomers group to help ease your transition into your new location and life.

If it is a pending divorce or career transition, such as job loss, reach out to others, especially those you have a good relationships. Lean on the foundation you have established in those relational connections. Find people that you trust and share with them what is going on and don’t be afraid to ask them for support.

See Change as an Opportunity to Try New Things
Sometimes we become so comfortable with the life that we have planned for ourselves and with change we feel chaotic and disrupted inside. If we are not careful, we can lose sight of the things that are right in front of us that can lead to a life of joy and fulfillment.

Now would be a great time to rethink your life and your plans. Look for options to transform your identity in ways that you have wanted, but had not pursued.

Journal. Try new things. Watch for new talents or interests that may show up!!
Like the caterpillar transitioning to the cocoon and transforms into the butterfly, this transition could be the start of a breakthrough metamorphosis that unfolds things about yourself that had been lying dormant until now.  This may be your chance to let go of things from your past that now longer serve you and can shift you into overcoming feelings about things that you have lost and creating something beautiful.

No matter what you are feeling at the moment, be true to yourself. Honor your feelings and emotions. You will find that in time you will begin to overcome feelings of loss and being lost. Following these simple steps may help you along the way.

So did you come up with your answer that addresses the title?

As you may have guessed, my answer is become transformed by the experience!!

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