Change, Please?

Steven Graduates

David celebrates a student's graduation.

If there’s one things that’s predictable, it’s that things are going to change. And when a change occurs, there is often a transition that follows!

Another predictable thing is that changes create a time in between the ending of the old and the beginning of the new. Cherokee Creek Boys School calls this space a “neutral zone,” a name adopted from William Bridges work on the process of transitions.

We have all felt the “neutral zone.” It can be exciting or confusing. It can feel like chaos or be filled with anticipation. Whatever the feelings are, they are stronger than when things are just routine or predictable. I am a creature of habit as much as anyone, and those feelings that are associated with change sure can make me uncomfortable.

The question I hear (and sometimes ask myself) is: How can I get out of the neutral zone and into the new way of being? Another way of asking this question could be: How can I get past all of these uncomfortable and magnified feelings quickly?

Since change is happening all the time, chances are that you are in a neutral zone in some area of your life right now. What are you being challenged with in the neutral zone? Here are a few questions you can ask to help turn the neutral zone into a place of self-discovery…

What must I put down in order to move forward?

What point of view is shifting?

What is it that I believed that no longer fits me?

Before we are in a rush to the new place, let’s see what can be learned while we are in the neutral zone!

“Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.” – Robert C. Gallagher

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posted by Shaler Black Cooper in Discovering What is Real and True and have Comments (3)

3 Responses to “Change, Please?”

  1. John says:

    Well said. Being stuck in netural is no fun but putting in in reverse is not an option either. Let’s move forward together.

  2. Bill Valentine says:

    Rather than getting out of neutral, I would suggest we seek more time in neutral. It is in neutral that we have the time for reflection and planning. Neutral is where we are human beings instead of human doings. Neutral is the birthplace of wisdom. Neutral is wilderness time.

  3. Brandi Elliott says:

    While I strive to always ask what I need to move forward (from neutral) out of the uncomfortable place, I’m sad to say that I also sometimes question how I can get back (reverse) to a place of comfort and familiarity. I see this happen in our kids all the time. Recognizing that choice and being aware of “the pull” is critical self knowledge. Why am I being pulled this way, when has this happened before, etc. I agree with Bill, more time “in neutral” helps provide that self discovery. Hopefully supporting more forward shifts!

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