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  • Writer's pictureSherry

Jeremy Hunter, PhD - Insight into Transitions

Jeremy Hunter is a long-time friend and when you meet him, you are drawn to his ability to be entirely present, caring, and delightfully curious. I am grateful for our friendship and connection that picks up immediately even when we have not talked for months.

Jeremy is known for his work in executive growth and transformation. He created the first executive MBA curriculum in the country that incorporates mindfulness in action to enhance both impact and quality of life. The power of his teaching comes from the experience of living day-to-day with a terminal illness for 17 years. Oh, he is also the founding director of the Executive mind Leadership Institute and Professor of Practice at the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School.

I am a regular listener of his podcast, Untaught Essentials and soak up the fascinating stories and insights. (I have added links at the end if you want to listen in yourself).

I wanted to share some brief thoughts about how we navigate change from a recent conversation with Jeremy. I thought it was timely as we navigate the closing of the year and soon begin 2022.

Transitions are Distinct from Change

Jeremy says that changes are distinctly different from transitions. Changes are outer events like a wedding or a birthday celebration, while transitions “are the inner shifts of identity, possibility and belief that occur to help us assimilate and adjust to changes.”

I feel as though I’m adjusting to this “new normal”, while also reluctantly accepting that life is not going to be the same. It often feels like two steps forward and three steps back. Planning a short get away with my husband feels heavy with uncertainty and contingency. On the other hand, my husband is better at embracing change and says with greater ease, “let’s move on”.

In our recent call, Jeremy and I talked about how we deal (or not) with change. He mentioned that to move forward we must also acknowledge what has been lost. While I find that our clients have clear intention about where they want to go next, they often give less energy to the implications of what has changed for them and what ideas behaviors they may have to let go of. That, for many, feels like uncomfortable territory.

I think we are all recovering from the past two years in different ways. The desire to fast forward into the next chapter makes sense. After all, that new future might look and feel like we are returning to normal. However, is that true?

What part of our lives haven’t changed? Our routines have changed. Where or how we plan family events has changed, and how we work is clearly changing. Readjusting is an ongoing effort and negotiation for all of us. Letting go of what no longer works is a critical step.

Can we make the time to acknowledge what has been lost, let go of what has outlived its usefulness, as identify what is gained and then find a renewed sense of joy? Jeremy suggests that this is an essential part of our healing and affirming of what is right in our own world and as my husband says, then we can move on.

Find Jeremy here:

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