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05 | Grit and Grace in Midlife Transitions: The “New Beginnings” of Transitions

Transitions have an ending; it’s often called the New Beginning. When the New Beginning starts to show up, you are starting on the end phase! 

We’ve been talking about the three phases of transition: the ENDING, the MESSY MIDDLE, and the NEW BEGINNING. These phases can overlap or feel more like loops than a linear process. 

As you sort out what’s happening you can ask yourself questions like: “What am I still adjusting to exactly, or what am I still letting go of?”  Or “Where am I feeling disoriented or insecure in this transition?” 

This phase can be fuzzy. What are the new things that are floating to the top that seem to be central to your new beginning? What do you sense “has” to be part of it? These new things can start very small. 

In the midst of the fuzziness, having a mastery focus is very helpful. 

A mastery focus holds the outcomes loosely and focuses its energy on the process of getting the desired outcome. In the New Beginnings phase, the “where we are going” starts to be more clear and we can focus more on the HOW we might get there.  

Christian spiritual masters talk of living in the present as a spiritual discipline; a mastery focus helps us with that, too. Getting a specific outcome is often very much out of our control. There are too many intervening factors that we don’t control. Those factors, like people, circumstances, the economy, health, whatever – can “happen” and we don’t get the outcome we were aiming for. 

Leaving the “outcome” to God focuses our attention where it belongs: on what we are doing. It’s also an act of faith and helps us live in the present, releasing our fears and hopes to God. 

The New Beginning may not be what we expect! 

Karen shares the story of a lady (with her permission) who was stuck in the messy middle. She realized that her new beginning involved going BACK to what she was doing already. But with a new perspective and spirit, AFTER making the “endings” she needed – and coming to terms with them. 

Confusing? Well, it wasn’t a highly linear transition. Karen explains it better in the podcast episode. 

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karen and curtis herbert as a midlife coaches

We are Karen and Curtis Herbert, founders of The Catholic Midlife. Our mission is to spark a catholic midlife renewal and help YOU to step into your next season with purpose, hope, and a clear vision for the rest of your life.

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