The Change Crucible -- Taking the Time It Takes

I’m more and more attuned now to the alchemical quality of creating rewarding changes.  As in the alchemists’ hermetically sealed crucible, transitioning successfully from one stage of your life into another requires time apart from daily living-- combined with the initial fire of desire, awareness, and consistent intention-- for the elements of your personal journey to gestate and re-emerge transformed. 

            What I often notice at first with coaching clients wanting to make career or other life changes is a natural wish to make as quick a leap as possible from an unsatisfying place to the start of a new job, a new relationship, a new plan for the future.  Once we begin exploring what they’re really wanting from their lives, however, they begin to notice that their initial goals seem limited-- a way of getting from here to there without noticing the context of their whole lives.

            To find this wholeness requires giving yourself to the process of feeling the inner heat of transformation in the alchemists’ sealed vessel-- or, what William Bridges, author of Transitions, calls taking time out from our daily life to empty out and go into what is calling you from within.

             As he states, this “neutral zone” is a difficult state to tolerate in our western society because in general we don’t value emptiness, non-productivity, and alone time.  And yet, transitions that lead to deeply satisfying changes require this alone time to watch clouds drift and do nothing much but be with our inevitable discomfort and fear that we don’t even know which way to go.  Finally, however, with time and support for this unexpected experiencing, you develop a new connection with what matters in your inner self.  This is what leads to new directions in your life that are inspiring and productive.

            From a poem I really like, “In Impossible Darkness,” by “spoken-word artist” Kim Rosen, you can feel this powerful theme of alchemical “melting” away from everyday life just before the transformative new beginning: 

. . . Do you remember
what happens
inside a cocoon?
You liquefy.

There in the thick black
of your self-spun womb,
void as the moon before waxing,

you melt . . .

in impossible darkness
the sheer
of wings.

            Are you feeling challenged by a sense of discomfort and confusion as you go through a career or personal transition?  If you’d like validation that this is a normal process that’s worth the time to explore for making rewarding changes in your life, please join me for my upcoming free tele-class, “Career & Life Transitions-- Am I in One?  What Do I Do Now?” on Wednesday, October 6th, at 9 AM Pacific Time.  For further information and to register, please go to