What Is Natural Transitions?
Natural Transitions is a counseling, life mentoring/coaching, and Healing Touch practice where I work with clients to make life’s transitions easier and faster to navigate.
As a mother, wife, nurse, and educator, I have 30-plus years’ experience and training in most of what life can throw at us. What I’ve learned is that transitions are part of life – something to lean into and learn from, not avoid.
What is a Transitions Navigator?
A transitions navigator is a person who guides, supports, and helps others through life’s transitions.
Transitions Will Occur
Transitions may be painful, shameful, difficult, or frustrating in the moment. How we approach them, what we learn from them, and how we apply our newfound skills to our next transition (and life is full of them) will determine whether we enjoy and embrace life changes or dread them.
Transitions can be developmental, physical, mental or spiritual–or some combination of those. From birth to school, puberty, leaving home, our first jobs, marriage, pregnancy, divorce, illness, rape, death, diagnosis of a serious illness, the unexpected loss of a child or parent or loved one, menopause, health issues, cancer, sexual identity issues – these are all transitions many of us will experience at some time.
Life Mentors During Natural Transitions
Back before our society became so mobile and complex, there were community members who were considered knowledgeable and acted as the navigators. They helped their community transition from one stage to another by providing education, insight, teaching skills and lending emotional, spiritual, and mental support. They were both teacher and cheerleader, both mentor and friend. In modern terms, they were coaches who drew from their experience with life and different situations to spot when someone was missing a skill set, an insight, or an understanding.
Not everyone making a transition needs a coach or a therapist. Some of us are fortunate enough to have family, friends, or mentors who can help us through the tough spots.
Many times, all we need is someone who can see our blind spots – and gently ask the kinds of questions we need to answer to make our transition more quickly and with less stress. Not all of us have those kinds of resources; even if we do, they may not always be available to help us consistently, or over a period of weeks or months.
The Importance of Communication
Live long enough and you’re likely to encounter challenges such as midlife, retirement, illnesses, weight problems, disability and death issues, and all the awkward things about those transitions that no one you know ever really wants to talk about. Now you know someone who can and will talk with you about those things in a safe, confidential, and respectful setting.
Many people have managed to transition through most of these things by themselves. Human beings are quite adaptable and resilient. But what if you could invest some time, money, and effort to make that painful transition in a few weeks or months instead of suffering for years?
Life is all about communication, understanding and life skills. We can learn it the hard way – through our own mistakes – or we can go to those we trust to help us through.
You don’t have enough life or time to learn just from your own mistakes. Love yourself enough to learn from other’s mistakes! It makes transitions so much easier.
Who Is Your Transitions Navigator?
We’re often able to rely on family and the community around us to help us get through rough times. That’s how life was designed to work – people helping people.
But many people don’t have those kinds of community resources. They either don’t know anyone with the insight, time, knowledge, or skills that they can ask–or they don’t want their personal business to become common knowledge.
Some people experience a crisis or life-changing event that no one they know can help. This is when you might need a navigator or guide – someone who can show you how to find your path through the transition.
My Work as a Transitions Navigator
My goal for my own life and practice is to work with people who are motivated to make positive change in their lives by offering what I know about how to transition through life. Often one-to-three sessions can help someone regain focus and formulate a plan for their transition.
Some people prefer to use a series of sessions over a period of months – learning the skills they need to make their transition over time. It’s up to the person. Are you motivated to make a change with minimal guidance? Do you prefer a companion throughout the process? It’s worth scheduling a time to talk and find out.
Not all of us are hurting because we just had a bad day or a bad year. Sometimes there are other things going on that require a doctor’s intervention. I can recognize the difference and offer alternatives and solutions for people who aren’t sure if they want a therapist or a coach.