• Ashley Ward

A Season of Change…

I made a BIG life transition when our family moved from the Chicago suburbs and moved to the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas. Here are some lessons I’ve learned through this journey. An executive coach invited me to take the word “T-R-A-N-S-I-T-I-O-N” and come up with a word/phrase, using each letter, that represented what I was experiencing during this time.

As you read, I invite you to think about a transition you are moving through now or use it to help you reflect on where you have been…

T I have come to a much deeper realization that transitions/change, especially ones that are significant in nature, “take time.” And by that I mean they take more time than I would have ever imagined.

R I’m learning to “respect” the transition process. It does not happen overnight, it ebbs and flows - like the ocean tide. I’m curious to see what new goodies the incoming tide is bringing me to wonder at or pick up and observe more closely.

A I’m finally getting more comfortable with “asking” for help. Our family here has stepped up tremendously now that I travel for work. My husband has traveled regularly for years and my schedule has added a new dynamic to our family routine. I'm asking for help from strangers and new acquaintances, which is outside of my comfort zone.

NI love change and I love to try “new” things. This transition has brought that about in spades. I’ve been intentionally open so I can fully embrace the “newness” and enjoy it, instead of letting frustration and fear creep in.

SThe most profound lesson I’ve learned during this time is the power of “simplifying.” When basic necessities are met, I want to be grateful and stay focused on the simple acts of being with family, enjoying the sunshine or the cool breeze as well as relishing the travel back to Chicago.

I I’ve been relying on my “intuition” more and more and how it can be trusted when I need it. It’s been an unanticipated lifeline.

TI'm learning to be more “transparent” with my colleagues. Our commitment to being transparent with one another at Charmm'd has prevented negative outcomes that are created when assumptions are made without verification. We verify and are honest.

I I am a self-professed extrovert and I’m openly embracing a season in my life where I’m going “inward” more and soul-searching on a level I’ve not experienced before.

OI see “opportunities” everywhere I look. I would have never thought I would feel as connected to my work when I’m interacting with people virtually. I also anticipate in-person gatherings with colleagues and friends like a child looks forward to their birthday. Being with people is a gift that I never want to take for granted again!

N A surprising and valuable lesson is the benefit of staying in “neutral” and not being quick to judge or label my feelings, others or situations. Neutral creates an openness to new perspectives and the possibility of being surprised at every turn. This anticipation allows for joy, wonder, confusion, loneliness and excitement as it leads to learning, reflection, perseverance, hard work, new habits and lots and lots of growth.

I invite you to reflect on how transitions are currently impacting you or have impacted you in the past.

  • When the last time you experienced a major life change and what impact did it have?

  • What surprised you?

  • What offered reassurance?

  • Who stepped up, in unexpected ways, to help you navigate the transition so you knew you were not alone?

  • How did your life change because of the transition?

  • What did you learn?

  • What do you wish you knew before the transition occurred?

  • What advice do you have to share with others about seasons of change?

  • What opportunities does change bring about for you?