Image of Bridges' Transition Model, showing Endings, Neutral Zone, New Beginnings, with overlap between the three phases

New Beginnings

And this is how this series on transitions ends, just as the transition from the Neutral Zone to New Beginnings ends, not with a bang but with a gradual sense of clarity. If the Neutral Zone is a swamp, you leave it as you leave a swamp. Not through the exit door, because there isn’t …

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Overhead view of fading hydrangea blooms in a brick planter

Keep vs. Cast Off

When you are coming through your transition, when you know where you want to go and are tangibly closer, when you feel you are almost near enough to touch it, you will realize some things about your things: There are things you need that you don’t have for this new version of your life. These …

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Google map showing part of the million-plus acres of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Navigating the Swamp

I’m struggling to write about how to navigate the swamp, because it’s such an intensely personal experience, much more so than YMMV.  What it feels like, how long it lasts, the questions that pester like mosquitos—all of it comes from within, not from without. If you know where you are and know where you want …

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Close up of a small, spent plant standing in swamp water

The Swamp

The Swamp calls the shots. The Swamp works on its own time, not ours, and in its own way, not ours. How long we spend in The Swamp is usually determined by how willing we are to honor The Swamp. We can’t rush through The Swamp—whether we’re talking the one out back of Mud Lake …

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Image of Bridges' Transition Model, showing Endings, Neutral Zone, New Beginnings, with overlap between the three phases

Renaming The Neutral Zone

William Bridges’ model and his book label the phase between Endings and New Beginnings, ‘The Neutral Zone.’ ‘The Neutral Zone’ is such a clean and clinical term, midway between positive and negative. I think Bridges wimped out by giving such an innocuous label to such an amorphous time, but maybe he had to. Maybe it …

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Yellow cover of Transitions by William Bridges, 1980 edition

Three Phases of Transition

William Bridges wrote Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes. It’s a slim book, only 159 pages. But it holds a perspective that has helped me navigate many transitions, over many years. Bridges distinguishes between change and transition. Change is the  external difference—the new job, the new baby. Transition is the internal redefinition—I am a P&G …

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an orange sea anchor in the water, with a small black float behind it

Navigating Transitions

I’m renaming this new series. Instead of ‘Managing Transitions,’ I want to call it ‘Navigating Transitions.’ ‘Navigating’ is a more accurate label for the behavior required. ‘Managing’ implies that the things being managed are under your control. But often, during transitions, you are not in control of things, you are only in control of yourself. …

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A yellow composition notebook on a table, with a cup of pens next to it

Transition to Transitions

I write these blog posts in a yellow composition notebook, then type them up. Last Saturday I ran out of pages. Before I start a new notebook—this next one is black—I look through the old one. I want to make sure there isn’t anything I need to pull forward—an idea or a bit of writing …

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