Everywhere I turn, women are in transition. Of course, the most obvious transition many of us are facing right now is back to school. But transitions are all around us, some of which are more recognizable than others. These are some of the transitions that have touched my life, directly or indirectly, over the past month:

" Learning to be a single mommy and divorcee
" Navigating through menopause
" Developing a new business vision
" Starting a new job
" A child entering a new developmental phase (i.e. the terrible twos)
" Getting remarried
" Finding out that a 2nd child is on the way
" Changing preschools or daycare providers
" Questioning a current career
" Moving into different living arrangements
" Entering a new phase of marriage

Sometimes we ease into a transition, but others times we're thrown in, leaving us struggling to find the life preserver. Some transitions are short, while others make us wonder if the end will ever come. Transitions can be unwelcome and unexpected; transitions can also be a planned breath of fresh air. No matter how we get into a transitional period of our lives, here are some tips to help us navigate our way through transitions.

Ride the Wave
A transition is like a roller coaster, with its ups and downs. Get your balance and integrate the changes into your daily life. Take it slow so you don't fall down and overwhelm yourself. Give yourself some time to get used to the wave - we don't learn to surf overnight. And you won't transition in one or two days. Expect the waters to be a little rough at first; this will help you adjust your expectations.

Look For and Embrace the Highs
Every transition, wanted or not, has positive moments or outcomes. Your job is to search for and recognize them. There have been tears during my son's kindergarten transition, but we celebrate each moment of progress and joy. He made a new friend or he didn't cry at recess today. Embracing the positive gives us the energy to muddle through the lows.

Accept the Muck
How about that duck in the truck who's stuck in the muck? It's pretty yucky in the muck, but certainly a necessary and normal part of transitions. If we don't wade through the muck, how can we appreciate its opposite - getting clear? Confusion is often a part of transitions that most people would rather avoid. But if you can relax and accept the confusion for what it is, clarity will come. Use the confusion to search your soul and discover new things about yourself and life. The mucky water will soon become crystal clear.

Make it a Lesson in Learning
What can you learn from a transition? As you struggle to deal with your two year old's newfound independence, what are you learning about yourself as a parent? What do you know about two year olds, and what is yet to learn? Transitions are great opportunities to learn more about who we are and who we aren't. It's a chance to grow and stretch ourselves. Sure, it can be uncomfortable at first, but the end result is a better you, a more mature outlook, an expanded vision of life, or a transformative revelation. A transition is merely another chapter in your life's lesson book.

There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel
Transitions do not last forever. It's true we can get stuck for awhile, but eventually there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A two year old turns three. The pain of divorce goes away. The learning curve at the beginning of a new job fades and is replaced with routine. The new house in the new town becomes "home". And you don't have to wait until the transition is over to experience the "light". The "light" can come in the form of support throughout your transitional time. Your light is your hope that things can be "normal" again. Reach out to loving family members and friends, professionals and mentors that can help you through.

There is one thing for sure. If you're not in a transition today, you will be eventually. So ride the wave, embrace the highs, accept the muck, and capture the lessons. Transitions are a normal part of life, and you will get through them.

Author's Bio: 

Lori Radun, CEC is a certified life coach and professional speaker, specializing in personal development coaching for women. For more personal development articles and a FREE special report “5 Tips for Maximizing Your Time”, visit her website at www.loriradun.com