June 01, 2011 — TLC for Your Family #27 – Transitions

TLC for Your Family #27 – Transitions
June 01, 2011


Transitions are an inevitable part of life for most families.

Sometimes it’s mom going back to work. Sometimes it’s dad changing jobs. Sometimes it’s a move. Sometimes it’s kids changing schools, or going from schooling to homeschooling, or vice versa. Sometimes it’s even divorce.

My husband and I often remark about having had more than our fill of transitions since we married 11 years ago. In that time:

  • We’ve had two children, including one with special needs.
  • We’ve moved several times.
  • We’ve bought and sold 5 homes, including several investment properties.
  • We’ve been landlords over 6 sets of tenants.
  • We’ve worked on numerous remodel/refurbish projects, including refurbishing a duplex riddled with toxic mold. The toxic mold project involved a surprise 4 months living in an RV.
  • We bought land and worked with architects to build a home. Then we found our plans changed, in part by a collapsed housing market.
  • We survived a foreclosure.
  • We spent years dealing with some of the most complex provisions of our tax code.
  • My husband promoted through about 5 different jobs with 4 different employers, and most recently became self-employed.
  • And, finally, I have attachment parented and homeschooled our children, while experimenting with what else I can and want to contribute to the world.

So, we joke about how we’re a bit weary of transitions. All of these transitions left us craving stability and calm.

And we’re finally starting to experience it.

It’s nice to take a break from transitions when we’re over-stimulated.

But what I don’t want to do is avoid particular transitions solely because I’m wedded to certain strategies, and judging other options as “bad.”

Yet, it’s easier for me to fall into that trap than I sometimes realize.

For example, it’s easy for me to judge that I “should” keep trying to earn money, and not transition to life without that. I realized I was making this judgment, when I recently discovered we no longer “needed” me to work financially. Up until a few months ago, I considered my husband being the only breadwinner as unsustainable. But once it became clear we could do it comfortably, I still felt reluctant to accept it. That was because I was judging not earning money myself as unacceptable.

Once I realized I was carrying this judgment, though, I was able to free myself from it. I was able to get in touch with my true values and needs.

In this state, I was able to realize that the most important thing to me in my family-focused work is getting the word out to as many families as possible. That is, I'd like as many families as possible to know about attachment parenting, unschooling, nonviolent family communication, and other family life possibilities.

Thus, I realized I was most attracted to group communication strategies, such as public speaking, authoring, and advocacy – paths that I see as possibly earning virtually no money ever. And I realized I was less attracted to continuing to offer one-on-one coaching and mediation, even though I believe there's more opportunity for earnings by doing so.

And not long after that, I realized that I had been holding onto a judgment that people “should” only do work they dream of doing, if at all possible, rather than simply work that maximally pays the bills. I discovered I held that judgment, after reading an intriguing article challenging the assumption.

That discovery allowed me to free myself from the judgment and reassess my life without it filtering my options. Suddenly I thought about how much doing part-time legal work might meet my needs for intellectual stimulation and security, by helping retire our family’s debts faster.

So, this is all to say two things about transitions.

First, I have transitioned my practice to offering speaking, authoring and advocacy (see my updated site at www.family-life-possibilities.com and signature line below). I will no longer be offering mediation or coaching, but am happy to offer referrals. Separately, I may also do part-time legal work, unrelated to family matters – but this is not yet clear. I am so excited about my plans!

Second, I invite us all to question our choices periodically, so that we can be open to transitions that might benefit us.

Specifically, we might periodically ask ourselves:

  • Are we keeping things the same because we truly love our lives, exactly as they are, or because we're tired and want some stability and calm for awhile?
  • Or are we unintentionally limiting our options by applying judgments we’re not even aware we hold?
  • If the latter, can we look closely enough to bring those judgments into our conscious awareness?
  • What would we want without those judgments limiting our options?

Nonviolent Communication can help in the process of finding out what needs of yours might be hiding behind your judgments.

If you're working more than meets your need for you or your family's well-being, for example, perhaps you're resisting change because you're holding a judgment that staying at home is not valuable. Underlying this judgment may be a need to be valued, or some other need.

When you focus on your needs, rather than judging particular strategies as good or bad, all kinds of options open up. I invite you to visit my Family Communication page to begin to learn more about how to do this.

And, as always, I wish you and yours “Happy Family-ing” – and “Happy Transitioning” too!

Tiffany Clark
Family-Focused Speaker, Author and Advocate
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!

PLEASE NOTE: If I offered legal, coaching, or mediation services, the rules governing my profession would advise I inform ezine recipients and website visitors of the following. Although I no longer offer such services, out of an abundance of caution I am advising you of the following anyway: My website and/or particular issues of this ezine may be construed to be, at least in part, a message concerning Tiffany L. Clark’s availability for professional employment within the meaning of California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400. Given this, please understand that no statement on my website or any ezine issue is intended to guarantee any result in any individual case. Viewing the information contained on my website or any ezine issue and/or responding to either indicates that you understand and accept my website’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and establishes no duty of confidentiality, or attorney-client, coach-client, or mediator-client relationship. Only a signed client fee agreement can establish these things.



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