Thinking back to my son’s graduation from kindergarten, I am reminded of an image of my little boy wearing a white paper graduation cap – secured to his head with masking tape!
His father and I watched in amazement as our first born entered elementary school. It’s an image I will never forget!
Now living in Brooklyn, New York and working as a consultant, I admire my son’s fearlessness as he has approached each new stage of his life.
As graduation day approaches for many parents, I understand the difficulty that many face while confronting the idea of letting go. Releasing not only our children, but also our fears requires a great amount of strength.
We must be willing to conjure up this strength in order fully embrace joy, and to experience our children’s achievements. For some, it can feel as though there wasn’t enough time to prepare for this next chapter.
Many seniors feel just as apprehensive and anxious about this new phase of their life. Most people don’t feel ready to leave middle school, high school, college, or even an old job or a relationship.
No matter where we are transitioning from, moving forward always brings feelings of uncertainty and discomfort to the surface. These feelings are necessary, but, if they are not addressed properly, we risk making the changes in our lives unbearable.
There isn’t a magic wand to make transitions easier, but there are simple steps we can take to make the process less stressful. All you have to do is close your eyes, breath and use your imagination!
The first step is to identify any fears, regrets or sadness that you may be feeling. Make a list of the possible reasons behind these negative feelings to help you uncover all the things that are bottled up or kept hidden. The next step is to write down all the positive things that you hope to accomplish and want to feel.
For example, you may write the words “regret” or “insecure” on your negative list, and the words ”self-confidence” or “joy” on your positive list.
Next, close your eyes and take a deep breath in through the nose. As you exhale through your mouth, imagine your list of negativity being released into the air and then dissolving into smoke.
Repeat this step several times until you have vaporized all the negativity into thin air! Now, inhale through your nose again, and take in only the positive feelings and thoughts on your list. Repeat until you are full of positive energy.
Moving forward, forgive yourself and allow yourself to let go of regrets or fears each time they surface. Letting go of past regrets opens a space for joy to enter. Focusing on positivity also gives you more energy to move through life.
It takes courage to walk through the next door that opens for you, especially when you can’t see beyond the doorway. Surround yourself with people who can light your path and walk beside you to ease your journey, and provide the necessary support and strength that you’ll need. As you become more focused and confident, you will become a guide to others.
Don’t let the changes in your life paralyze you with fear, learn to embrace life as it comes, and most importantly, don’t forget to breathe and enjoy your own graduation from the past into the present!