771. Expert Interview: How to Navigate Complex Life Transitions
“Really the question that everyone is wrestling with is, ‘Now what?’ It is the question that leads us to the choices that will make us move forward. But all too often we get stuck in the why. Like, why did this happen? Why did I get here? Why, why, why? And what we’re really wrestling with is what does it mean for us to move forward from here?”
Jon DeWaal is the executive director, life transition guide and learning facilitator at Liminal Space, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping others find the courage and means to navigate major life transitions. He spends his days guiding one-on-one transition sessions, leading transition groups, and facilitating learning workshops that teach transition skills at The PIER Learning Center at Liminal Space. Jon is the host of a weekly podcast called Life Through Transitions, where each episode aims to help listeners navigate life’s biggest changes.
How to Navigate Complex Life Transitions
“Most of the time when people are going through significant change, they are asking profoundly challenging questions, and those questions have significant implications for the choices they make. I found myself drawn into those questions, wanting to listen but also wanting to help them find a way forward.”
Why Is This Important?
“I believe it is one of the most fundamental things that we all have in common—we are all constantly going through changes in life. Seasons of planning and investing and growth. We also go through seasons that hold loss and letting go and times that look quite barren.
“It is asking the hard questions that lead us to the choices that will allow us to move forward. All too often we get stuck in the why questions: Why did this happen? Why did I get here? Why did they do this to me? Why? Why? Why?
“What we’re really wresting with is what does it really mean for us to move forward from here? When you can truly address the ‘now what’ question, you can begin to start a meaningful transition.”
What Are the Key Lessons Learned Here?
“There is an approach that has proven to be highly effective helping individuals navigate through seasons of transition. It’s called The Liminal Strengths Assessment, and it looks at the seven different attributes that have the most profound impact on how effectively one can handle the often-difficult aspects of these turning points.
“Those factors are: resilience, planning, community, self-care, self-honesty, action and faith. Honestly addressing and answering these factors can help you dig deeper into the underpinnings of your true story and arrive at an understanding of the best options available to you to navigate into the life that you most desire.”
Connecting With Jon DeWaal
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Topics: Making a Difference, Transitions