My son moved out for boarding school a year ago. My daughter moved out over 5 years ago. I’ve been an empty nester for awhile and I keep hearing the same thing from my kids when they come home for a visit. It’s usually a complaint or comment along the lines of “Why has fill in the blank changed?” (Use a whiny voice to be authentic.) Each time I hear it, I’m reminded that my kids see me as the mother I was before they moved out. They forget that just like they are, I’m changing too.
For me, it was a huge change from full-time mom to empty nester and I feel like I’m still going through that change. There are certain periods in our lives where the change is more transformational than others. Becoming a parent is one of those changes. When the kids leave the house is yet another. While there are many other types of transformational change in a person’s life such as divorce, job loss or death of a loved one, this empty nest period is what I’m currently experiencing.
In my own life, it feels like the changes in my life are slow and gradual. However, because my kids don’t see me every day, the changes are more obvious to them. Each and every little change that I’ve made since my kids have moved out has transformed me into who I am today. That’s how a transformational change works. It’s not just one thing that you change in your life that makes a difference. It’s the sum of all of those little changes that creates the new you.
Just like my kids have to get used to the new me, you also have to get used to the new you once you’ve gone through such a change. Doing this takes work. You have to understand and get to know what works for you in this new period of life. What worked in the past doesn’t work now.
What has changed? If your kids have left, then maybe you now have time and/or the desire to work more or maybe it’s time to play more in your life. It could be time to do more of the things that you love, or maybe it’s that you now have the time to devote to a passion or hobby. Figuring out just how to use your new found time is part of the change that comes with your kids leaving.
Each of us will go through these periods of change in our own manner. Some of us will fight the change and try to bring back the past and others of us will run joyfully towards the new us. Whichever path you choose, change will happen and will be creating a new version of you. Usually it won’t happen overnight. It will be a little bit at a time and it will happen over a longer period of time until one day you realize that you’re not quite who you used to be. This is transformational change. This is the type of change that I help women achieve in my yoga therapy work. I sometimes call it Radical Change.
Many times I’ve been through this type of change in my life. It can be confusing to navigate it on your own. I’ve loved having support in my life when I’m going through such a change and I absolutely love being that support for other women as they go through their own transformational change. This type of change is inspirational and exciting to watch and I want to bring this support to more women.
Soon I’ll be starting a couple of group programs in order to support transformational change in the lives of others. If you’re ready to create change one step a time, then these groups might be for you. If you’re in one of these transitional periods in your life, then I can support you as you go through it. If you’re an empty nester and just not sure what is next for you, then I can help you figure it out.
Change is going to happen whether you like it or not. So, why not be the architect of the change in your life. Take charge. Your kids might not recognize the new you. They might ask you why everything keeps changing, but that’s ok, they’ll get used to who you are now in this time in your life. Take this time to reinvent yourself. Discover what’s important to you in this chapter of your life. Your next path is waiting.