non-negotiables for life and transitions

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be honest, compassionate, (hopeful), & brave

Words have power and word-smithing is sexy. There. I said it. No wonder I found Ken irresistible; early on he read good books aloud to me. Talk about brilliance — an inexpensive activity* that served as a springboard for conversation. (*We did not call our time together “dates”, at the time, but we ended up getting married, so that is probably what that was.)

The word trio “honest, compassionate, and brave,” comes from one of those early reading sessions close to 30 years ago. Fredrick Buechner strings the three together in his short book The Magnificent Defeat. Something about the combination clicked and stayed with me.

ducks honestcompassionatehopefulbrave.jpg

They came up in a post a few months back and they echo in my brain now as I work on the ebook project with Barbara. We are deep into the first draft — I think the end is in sight! As we write we continue revisiting our introduction, refining the structure, clarifying ideas. With these revisions we remember again and again: our book is not for everyone.

The positive practices of transition only work with a solid core.

This core is made up of three imperatives — non-negotiables — that we call Transitional Truths and one Primary Positive Practice. Our book is only for people ready to work from this core. Does this mean you have to have all your ducks in a row, do X Y and Z, or all is lost? Absolutely not! Working from this core means you do what you can to make decisions and take actions that are honest, compassionate, and brave. Every day.

For clarity, the transitional truths — except for the first, have different titles. But I still think of them as the word trio (plus my added “hopeful”) that clicked so long ago.

Transitional Truths*

#1 Be Honest

When you’re honest you admit where you are, what is really happening, how you feel. Honesty means owning all of your story. This takes a courage. A lot of courage.

the bonus —

If you own this story you get to write the ending.” ~ Brené Brown

#2 This takes Time — also known as Be Compassionate

No one has a handle on how long a transition will take. You and your transition are unique. The time-line for your transition is different than for anyone else. To transition well, let go of time-related expectations.

What would happen if, instead of scrambling to meet your own and others’ expected transition time-line, you choose patience and compassion? How would it feel to release words like supposed to, should, have to?

#3: Control is (mostly) an illusion — also known as Be Brave

You can’t control everything and that’s okay. Transitions are one way life reminds us of this reality.

The good news: while many things are not within your control, These are some small but mighty things that are in your control:

  • your words
  • your actions
  • your beliefs
  • your thoughts
  • your feelings

These three transitional truths form the foundation for healthy, intentional transitions. Once you embrace these, you’re ready for first and most important positive practice.

Primary Positive Practice – “I’m In”

In the disappointment, uncertainty and mess that may come with your transition,

Have hope.

This practice is rooted in all three transitional truths: be honest, be compassionate, and be brave. 

  • Hope is honest about what’s happening, the challenges involved, and hope hangs on anyway.
  • Hope is compassionate, realizing that patience is the only game in town if wholeness is the goal. Instead of dashing into the fray of life while stiff and cold, hope patiently does life’s stretching & warm-up exercises for balance and sustainability.
  • Hope is brave, and keeps showing up for the exhausting, exhilarating adventure of being your wobbly, wounded, vulnerable self instead of pretending you have your sh** together.

Choosing hope, determining I’m In! is a gift only you can give yourself. And you are worth it. When you choose hope, you choose yourself. Keep going. Determine to be proactive. Promise — even if it’s a sad, ugly-crying, or half-ass promise — that you will not give up on yourself or the process. Decide, “I’m in!”

Be Honest, Compassionate, Hopeful, and Brave

If these words and what they stand for click with you, then our little ebook is for you.

Would you like updates** on our new site info (once it’s live!) and ebook release date?

 Yes! I’m In!!

*abbreviated definitions, more in the full text of the book!
** these updates are separate from make the ordinary extraordinary at
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