Times of Transition, Part Two

Dan Allender and Rachael Clinton Chen continue a conversation about transitions, in particular, what it means to transition well. Both offer valuable insights and wisdom regarding successful transitions and highlight the importance of finding grounding when one’s ground is constantly shifting.

Revisiting some themes from the previous episode, Dan emphasizes there are inevitabilities in transitions, but how we respond often has to do with our character and capacity for change. Those who tend toward more novelty will respond differently than those who have a greater need for security.

Rachael introduces the topic of transitioning well by emphasizing the importance of knowing your own story, specifically your trauma story, which brings a sense of self-awareness to how you go through transitions. Some transitions, states Rachel, may be things your heart has longed for, but each transition carries with it a bit of trauma.

Rachael: If there is some element of trauma in a transition you know there will be fragmentation, a propensity to isolation as you are trying to figure things out and find grounding.

Dan discusses categories of people in your life, oftentimes close friends, that impact your journey through a transition. These categories include allies, detractors, observers, and enemies. We need conflict (detractors), not just “yes men or women” (allies) who help us wrestle with important questions surrounding a transition. Observers and enemies are not meant to be engaged.

Dan: What do you need to double down on to succeed, to make this transition effective, to let go, to enter into the loss?

Talking about her most recent transitions, Rachel recognizes her own needs for security and grounding and that, in this particular season, there is not language to describe her transition as she continues to learn something new about her environment and herself every day.

Towards the end of the episode, Dan provides six areas of focus for those in the midst of a transition, which include:

  • Food
  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Water
  • Self-soothing
  • Play

Rachael: There’s no way to navigate a transition perfectly because there is so much unknown. There has to be grace as you discover how you navigate these things.


Listen to the first episode of this series: Times of Transition, Part One