Session 3

Managing Change - New Beginnings

We start the session with a reading of Miroslav Hobub’s poem, The door:

Go and open the door.
Maybe outside there’s
a tree, or a wood,
a garden,
or a magic city.

Go and open the door.
Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye,
or the picture
of a picture.

Go and open the door.
If there’s a fog
it will clear.

Go and open the door.
Even if there’s only
the darkness ticking,
even if there’s only
the hollow wind,
even if
nothing
is there,
go and open the door.

At least
there’ll be
a draught.

 

Artwork by Lorna Brown. Please don’t reproduce or use without the artist’s permission. (lorna.a.i.brown@gmail.com)

Transitions

How do we respond to periods of transition – in work, personal life and relationships? Do these times of change offer opportunities for creativity? This is based on the Bridges Transitions Model, which you can learn more about here

  • During periods of transition we leave behind the old and wait for the new. This period of waiting and not knowing can be referred to as the neutral or liminal zone.
  • This is a time to experience a range of emotions – not knowing, bewilderment, emptiness, wandering – but it can also be the source of creativity.
  • Research on creativity finds that unexpected solutions to difficult problems, and creative ideas in general, come out of a murky state of the neutral zone where purpose and focus are temporarily suspended.
  • In this zone anything can happen – the outcome cannot be foreseen, and this lack of sight on the outcome can be terrifying. But the transition’s creative function can be even more critical, as we explore with  an open mind  that we can create a positive outcome to a change.
  • The value of time spent in the liminal zone is often not appreciated until you are safely in the zone of new beginnings.
  • You can read more about transitions in the work of William Bridges.

Reflecting on Periods of Transition

  • Imagine you are writing your autobiography.
  • Create the Table of contents for your life story.
  • What are the chapters of your life? What headings would you use? You can use words, phrases, or illustrations to capture the spirit of each phase in your life where you went through a significant transition.
  • Take five minutes to do this – and don’t worry if you don’t get them all down. Now, in the next 10 minutes, take each of your headings and consider three questions:
  1. What were you learning about yourself / life during that phase?
  2. What did you need to unlearn in order to be in that phase?
  3. What did you need to let go of? (a part of yourself – it might be a habit, an outlook, a goal, a value)
  4. Did you spend a period of time in transition before you started that chapter where you lived through a liminal zone?

Small groups – share the main things that came up for you.

Guided Meditation

  “What is it that your life is calling upon you to deal with at the moment” at the end. What is waiting to be let go of….what needs to end…..

 

We recommend you do one of our guided meditation exercises at this point. Please follow the link to a list of resources, including audio mindfulness exercises on our website. 

Creative response – Drawing or Journaling

What images or thoughts came up for you?

Make a drawing of your next chapter heading or do some journaling of your next chapter.

  • How do you feel about what you have created?
  • How did you feel while you were drawing/journaling?
  • How did you approach this activity? (were you thoughtful, excited, spontaneous?)
  • What colours did you use? What kind of marks did you make? Did they have any significance to you?
  • Are you surprised by anything you drew or wrote?
  • Are you in the drawing/writing?
  • Did you finish it? Is there more to decide on?

Invitation to try something out in the next month:

Have an awareness of trying out new ways of being, letting go.

Try a mindfulness walk thinking about your next chapter heading. There’s a difference between walking with something and standing still. Take your chapter heading and reflect on it and see what happens…

Closing with a Poem

Beannacht: A Blessing for the New Year (John O’Dohoue)

“On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets in to you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green,
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

“Anytime you’re gonna grow, you’re gonna lose something. You’re losing what you’re hanging onto to keep safe. You’re losing habits that you’re comfortable with, you’re losing familiarity.”

James Hillman

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