Regardless of who you are, how smart, organized or whatever special traits you may possess, the act of navigating a significant life event is messy, scary, chaotic and fraught with uncertainty. It can also be exciting, enlightening, energizing and rejuvenating. Two diametrically opposed perspectives that coexist when you traverse from the known to unknown.
The simple truth is that life events by their very nature are traumatic. It’s important to recognize that it is the factors surrounding the event, your personal growth and development during and through that event, and adaptation to the unknown that present the most difficulty. It’s akin to Ulysses’ Odyssey; at times you feel like you are besieged with Cyclops stomping on your sane existence, sirens are calling you to plunge into the murky unknown of a new identity, and the chaos of stormy winds and seas are tossing you hither and yon. Like Ulysses, you can feel bereft, believing that some super power is impeding forward progress, lacking a sense of control of the future, and trying to determine what will be your anchor to windward.
The reality is that we all experience significant life events. Some when we least expect them, such as job loss or death, and others that we know are needed, such as divorce or career change, but aren’t sure how to even begin.
As a former safety and health professional, current change consultant and seasoned navigator of life events I realized there had to be a better way to navigate and traverse the transitional journey of moving from the known to the unknown. What I created is called a Cl.E.A.R. Path Forward™. It is a four-step method for transitioning through any significant life event. While it may appear linear in nature, there is a back-and-forth fluidity that permeates throughout.
A Cl.E.A.R. Path Forward™ consists of the following:
Closure: The dynamic process of examining what’s come before, taking stock of what makes you special and unique, assessing what you have been, what you want to pack for your journey moving forward, and what baggage you might want to unload at the nearest dock.
Explore: Envisioning what you want your future to look like. This involves asking questions of what you want in your newly imagined life, recognizing relationships to foster, and identifying tasks you may might to take on. This is the fun part of calling out your dreams; investigating what’s possible and imagining the unknown.
Arrange: Putting a strategy and plan together that helps to make sense of all the various ideas and insights you have gathered. It’s the step where dreams turn into the possible, with clear timelines and activities to begin tackling.
Resume: This begins your inaugural launch and re-emergence stage. When you pick up your life, begin the heavy lifting of taking action, assessing progress, and pivoting as appropriate to achieve your plan.
To learn more about implementing a Cl.E.A.R. Path Forward™, stay tuned for future blog posts. If you are in the midst of a significant life event or about ready to embark upon one, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-910-3669. I can provide resources, tools, and a sounding board so that when you do emerge, you experience a more joy-filled and abundant life.