Today’s Word: ‘Aha!’ as in… the third stage, after endings and the wilderness. Also known as the “New Beginning.”
New beginnings don’t typically begin with an epiphany, although an epiphany certainly could happen. More than likely, we’ll have an “Aha! Moment” that could be somewhat surprising. A whisper, a hint of some new direction, a bit of confidence, a moment of clarity, a meaningful experience alerts us to the idea that we’re on our way forward.
William Bridges, a leading voice in change and transition theory puts it this way:
“The lesson in all such experiences (of change and transition) is that when we are ready to make a beginning, we will shortly find an opportunity. The transition process involves an inner realignment and a renewal of energy, both of which depend on immersion in the chaos of the (wilderness). Much as we long for external signs that point the way to the future, we must settle for inner signals that alert us to the proximity of new beginnings. The first hint may take the form of either an inner idea or of an external opportunity, but its hallmark is not a logical sign of validity but a resonance that it sets up in us.”
We don’t usually think about it this way, but we can actually start something long before truly beginning it.
New beginnings are about internal developments such as coming to a new understanding about what the changes will mean for daily life, welcoming new attitudes about what you once feared, and exploring new identities that lead to important questions like “Who am I now? What are my new roles?”
As William Bridges reminds us, “New beginnings happen when people are ready to make the emotional commitment to do things the new way and see themselves as new people.”
Some questions for you: Have you had an experience of a new beginning? What were the ‘tip-offs’ that something new was about to take place? What helped you to land on your feet as you navigated change? What’s your best advice to someone in this stage?