Any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self will require not just small adjustments in your way of living and thinking but a full-on metamorphosis. - Martha Beck

Not too long ago, I made one of the most important decisions in my life. The promise to leave corporate America and give my entrepreneurial calling a shot. No longer a company creature; my job was surely destroying my soul. The corporate culture changed drastically, which led to what felt like a slow and certain suffocation. Today I understand that without the extreme discomfort, I may have never allowed myself to consider following my dreams. Significant Transitions begins with Discomfort.

A change is coming on. You can feel it. You can smell it. But you might not be sure what the change is or what to do about it. The more you fight it and try to get logical about this change, the longer you'll stay in the discomfort stage.

Symptoms: Reluctant, Fearful, in Grief, Angry, Confused, Uncertain, Negative, Defensive, Reactive and Trapped. You may Distrust your decisions and your intuition. You are likely to Worry more than usual.

What to do: Stay with your routines that you know work for you. Don't over-commit to others at home or at work. Allow yourself to go internal when you need to. Create a 10 Luscious Daily Habits list and stick to it. Make these "habits" nurturing, easy and fun. Now is not the time to try to lose weight or start a new exercise routine. Create habits that nurture you without calling up willpower.

Items on my Luscious List:

Bubble bath; reading a novel; catching the sunrise or the sunset; cut flowers; playing on a swing set; listening to a favorite CD; wiggling my toes in the sand; eating a ripe, juicy piece of fruit

As important as it is to nurture yourself through your discomfort, going internal is key to healing and flowing into a graceful transition.

Stage 2 - Going Internal:

You may start to protect yourself from the discomfort and go internal. You detach from your "old" self in order to allow for your new change or transition.


You become Contemplative, Seeking, Questioning, Protective, Spiritual and often Emotional. You are likely Quiet, Detached and Withdrawn.

What to do:

Journaling is a good activity at this stage. Sometimes reading is helpful. Get yourself into nature, preferably alone or with just one other person. Walks on the beach, an invigorating swim, an evening around a warming campfire, digging in your garden, hike along a woodland path. Allow yourself to heal from the first stage.

When you begin to heal from the discomfort by nurturing your mind, body and soul its time for exploration.

Stage 3 - Exploration:

In this stage, you are starting to feel like you have some direction. You have an inkling, about your upcoming transition and what it's all about. You are ready to learn more and give birth to this new change.


You are experiencing new Energy and Security. You become Optimistic, Confident, Willing to Experiment with New Ideas, and Learning. You are Eager to Dream about new possibilities. You are looking for a new path and Ready to Commit to it. You're discovering a Vision.

What to do:

Read about new things and continue to journal. Explore relationships and new connections. Learn more about what interests you. Take a class. Get some training. Do something creative. Allow yourself to Experiment.

Now that we have navigated through the initial discomfort of a transition, going internal to heal ourselves and rolling up our sleeves to explore new frontiers, we are ready to move into the Renaissance stage.

Stage 4 - Renaissance:

Your vision is becoming clear and you're ready to take it head on and live the dream.


In this stage, you are highly Committed, Creative and Optimistic. You are also determined to make changes and do so at a much Faster Pace. Things seem to Flow for you. Mentally and physically, you're at the Top of Your Game. Everything is Possible.

What to do:

Allow yourself to flow, allow things to happen. Be in love with your new discoveries and your new energy. Ride the wave.

• Each stage can last from weeks to months.

• You'll move more quickly through a difficult stage if you honor yourself

• Renaissance, feels like it will last forever. It doesn't.

Transitional stages are cyclic and you'll be back to Stage 1, again later in your life.

After successfully navigating the waters of transition I have successfully reinvented myself, I am living my dream and have become a woman who: is happily married, the mother of a sweet and healthy daughter, lives in the home of my dreams, and has become a best selling author, certified yoga instructor and successful life and business coach.

• What stage are you experiencing right now?

• How long have you been in this stage?

• What have you learned you need to do right now for yourself and to honor the stage you are experiencing?

Discovering your groove and creating a luscious life is all about allowing for grace through the transition. -Shann Vander Leek

Author's Bio: 

Unconventional, spirited and delightfully curious, Shann Vander Leek is a fresh new voice in the arena of mindfulness and extreme self care. She is the founder of True Balance Life Coaching and a Coach Training Alliance Certified Coach and Certified Yoga Instructor. Shann inspires women in transition to create balance in their lives through personal coaching, yoga and creative expression. She is the Co-author of a new best selling series of team-authored books for women titled, Wake Up Women BE Happy, Healthy & Wealthy. Telephone and email consultations make Shann accessible to clients all over the world. Visit to sign up for a complimentary personal development session.