Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Transition Support

A few years ago, a friend, named Debbie who lives in another city, asked me about setting up a transitions group. Her mom's health was failing. She lived alone. She had good friends, but desired a space where she could specifically talk about issues of transition with a supportive group. Calling it a transitions group helped define its intention

We talked about various aspects of convening the group: how many people? all women? meeting how often? where would they meet? We tried to think about questions before Debbie made a final decision of asking people.

Debbie ultimately asked four other women to join her. She picked close friends who she knew were also facing transition issues: their own health, job changes, retirement issues. They decided to meet once a month and change locations, depending on who could host. They included a pot luck dinner, so they could socialize as well as call a circle of intentional space.

The group has been meeting now for several years. The structure is in place and trust built. As the years have progressed, each of the women has ended up facing more transitional issues than they had foreseen One lost a partner. Another's mom died. Another gal did retire and was worried about finances. Because they were already set up, they easily moved into looking at the new challenges. I know Debbie has been grateful to have this support group for whatever has come up in her life. All the original women still participate.

Debbie had a vision and made it happen. Little did she know that it was going to become such an important part of her life, as transitions kept appearing unexpectedly. She followed her intuition in setting up this sacred space for meeting and found the right women to join her. They have some structure they have developed along the way to keep on track.

I tell this story in case any of you reading this blog may yearn for supportive space. It isn't difficult or expensive to call a circle. It is a bit tricky finding the right mix of people and being sure of your intention. When those pieces fall into place, you are set to embark on a special journey of heart connection. Yours may not be a transitions group. It might center on ageing, or health, or personal growth, or parenting. Zero in on your personal challenges where you may want a place to process, have support, and think about specific issues. Give us feedback in the comments if you have a story to share about an intentional group. We can all learn from each other - sometimes what doesn't work is as important as what does work.

The moth image tells of transformation - moving from one reality to another - in this case, from isolation to community.