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William Bridges' lifelong work has been devoted to a deep understanding of transitions and to helping others through them. When his own wife of thirty-five years died of cancer, however, he was thrown head-first into the kind of painful and confusing abyss he had known before only in theory. An honest account of being in transition, this uncommonly wise and moving book isWilliam Bridges' lifelong work has been devoted to a deep understanding of transitions and to helping others through them. When his own wife of thirty-five years died of cancer, however, he was thrown head-first into the kind of painful and confusing abyss he had known before only in theory. An honest account of being in transition, this uncommonly wise and moving book is a richly textured map of the personal, professional, and emotional transformations that grow out of tragedy and crisis. Demonstrating how disillusionment, sorrow, or confusion can blossom into a time of incredible creativity and contentment, Bridges highlights the profound significance and value of endings in our lives....

Title : The Way of Transition: Embracing Life's Most Difficult Moments
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780738205298
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Way of Transition: Embracing Life's Most Difficult Moments Reviews

  • Heather
    2019-04-09 13:19

    Endings & losses are the commonest first sign that people are in transition. Signaled by one of several experiences:- a sudden and unexpected event that destroys the old life that made you feel like yourself- the "drying up" of a situation or a relationship that once felt vial & alive- an activity that has always gone well before, suddenly & unexpectedly goes badly- a person or an organization that you have always trusted proves to be untrustworthy and your whole sense of reality comes apart- an inexplicable or unforeseen problem crops up, at the worst possible moment, to disrupt the ordinary functioning of your lifeThe irony is that people naturally view such events or situations as disasters to be averted, as problems to be solved, or as mistakes to be corrected. But since they are really signals that the transition process has commenced, making them go away is no more than turning off the alarm clock that woke you up.Whatever it's details, an outer loss is best understood as a surrogate for some inner relinquishment that must be made, but one that is difficult to describe. What it is time to let go of is not so much the relationship or the job itself, but rather the hopes, fears, dreams and beliefs we have attached to them. If you only let go of the job or the relationship, you'll just find another one & attach the same hopes, fears, dreams & beliefs to it. And, on the other hand, you may find that you can let go of those inner attitudes without actually terminating the outer situation.Since a loss is best seen as the cue that it is time to let go of the inner thing, one of the first things a person in transition needs to ask is: "What is it time for me to let go of?" The danger is that the person will fail to grasp the inner message & conclude that the outer message is the whole story. I myself had done that by believing that "moving to the country" and "finding a new career" were ends in themselves. Fortunately, my struggle took my long enough so that I had time to discover that what I had to let go of had far less to do with vocational activity & geography than with the programming that had carried me through the first 40 years of my life.Change can happen at any time, but transition comes along when one chapter of your life is over & another is waiting in the wings to make its entrance. Transition does not require that you reject or deny the importance of your old life, just that you let go of it. Far from rejecting it, you are likely to do better with the ending if you honor the old life for all that it did for you. It got you this far. It brought you everything you have. But now it is time to let go of it. Your old life is over. No matter how much you would like to continue it or rescue it or fix it, it's time to let go.Whether letting go will be entirely subjective & internal or whether it will lead to further external changes may at first not be clear. Many people leap to the conclusion that "it is over" means that the life situation has to go. They get divorced, walk out of the office, leave the church, abandon education, leave the country. They do these things, even though all that they were being called on to do was to leave the relation that they had to these things. Even when the ending is literal, as it is in death, the most important relinquishment is not of the person but of the life that you shared with that person.Some people actually utilize external changes to distract them from the harder business of letting go of their subjective realities and identities. They make external changes so they won't have to make transitions. Such people claim that they are always in transition but in fact they are prob never in transition. They are addicted to change, and like any addiction, it is an escape from the real issues raised by their lives.

  • Patty
    2019-04-07 06:22

    “When I am ninety, I’ll still be discovering, as if for the first time, that the way of transition simply involves following your path, letting go when it is time, being open to the neutral zone when that is what you need to do, and embracing the new form when it emerges from the shadows at the edge of the present.”This is one in a series of books I have read lately about personal growth and self improvement. My retirement has caused me to be introspective as I try to understand what my next call is. I feel like I made a difference in my career at the Pamunkey Regional Library and I hope to continue to serve my community in some way. However, I haven’t quite found my niche, so I keep reading and thinking. Much of what Bridges had to say has been helpful.This book is about both Bridges’ personal journey through transition and how transition generally looks for everyone. The dual message of Bridges’ writing is both useful and difficult. I like knowing how an “expert” has experienced what he or she is writing about. It is why I like Brene Brown. She ties her own life into her books. Bridges’ does the same, but his experience about transition is about dealing with his wife’s death. This is where the book gets difficult. Sometimes it feels like Bridges’ is using his wife’s life and experiences for his own devices. Since his wife is not present to give her view of their lives together, this is understandably one-sided. I know there is no way to avoid this, but I was occasionally uncomfortable with his interpretations.I read this book because it was recommended by the leader of a retreat I was on earlier this month. We were looking at change – so this was useful for the retreat as well as my life in general.If you are living through changes in your life at home, at work or wherever, you might find this book helpful. Bridges is very clear about how he sees transitions and what people have to do to get through them. He has written about change for years and really does know what he is talking about. If you are struggling with transition and change, then I recommend you read the prologue and first chapter, so you can see if this appeals to you.

  • Megankellie
    2019-04-25 08:18

    Well, I guess I loved this anyway. Sometimes he is annoying and you want to punch him for being a post-hippie perfectionist and name dropping Ram Dass and saying "transition" over and over. But then he says how things really went for him and how communal living got annoying and everything he thought was perfect and magical and The Answer revealed it's disappointing reality, and then balanced out to be okay. He gave a name to the shitting-your-pants "oh God, what is happening, who am I, will it always be this horrible, what do I do, what do I do" in between times when you can imagine no future and have no direction. He calls this the "neutral zone" with I enjoy as a euphemism. Also that the world is not a machine, and stop wasting time trying to find the right answer, and that everyone's life is a meandering mess if people are honest, but the mess makes good, organic fertilizer and without all the naturally created shit, you don't get trace nutrients that help in ways you don't understand.He points out that there is no answer, even though he always thinks there is, that you have to deal with it, but that things die and an ending has to happen to make way for a new beginning. He describes the feeling in a way that I would like to hug him for and give him some small flowers and a non-organic steak well-cooked by an immigrant.

  • Sara
    2019-04-08 09:24

    I enjoyed Bridges' story of his own transition through the grief of losing his first wife. He is less successful when he opts rather heavy-handedly to tell the story of change by way of Greek myth (Demeter/Persephone, Odysseus) or fairy tale ("The Wizard of Oz"). I found especially interesting his explanation of what he calls the neutral zone, that mental/emotional space in which we find ourselves when we've ended one portion of our lives and the other hasn't yet fully materialized. Life here can feel flat and dull, he maintains, but this is merely appearance; much is happening inwardly. Bridges' description of the neutral zone mirrors much of the spiritual literature out there. (*I'm thinking in particular of Sanaya Roman's "Spiritual Growth" and her description of this same space, which she dubs "the void.") Feels to me as if much of this material is already a bit dated, but may seem cutting-edge to those who approach from the corporate side of things.

  • Tami
    2019-04-08 07:58

    I wasn't sure I'd be able to get through this book, as about 1/3 of it is specifically about his wife dying from cancer. But it proved to be a helpful way to process such a painful experience. While it's not a How-to book (darn it!), it does leave me with much more peace & confidence about the journey that I'm on - that it's okay not to have a plan per se, but to live each day as it comes, figuring out my path as I walk it.

  • Eric
    2019-04-01 10:58

    This was a fitting read for this passage in my life. Bridges offers quite a number of helpful images and frames for transitions. Ironically I sometimes found in his writings words I've spoken along the way. Very helpful!

  • Katie
    2019-04-22 08:20

    I read Bridges' Transitions in graduate school and finally picked up The Way of Transition. I'm so glad I waited and that I picked up this book this summer. I feel a new relationship with the transition I'm in the midst of and a feeling of camaraderie with Bridges and others who have gone through uncomfortable and renewing shifts in their lives. Bridges used his own theory of transition and paired it with stories of transitions he has experienced in his adult life. The end result for me is better understanding the stages of transition, greater compassion for myself, and appreciation for his vulnerability and openness in telling his own story.

  • Susan Burris
    2019-04-04 06:18

    This book is the what I will send instead of a sympathy or condolence card. It covers every kind of transition from death of a loved one to a career shift and anything in between. It is told through an intensely personal story and much of it is beautiful. The rest of the book is helpful and thought provoking. The events in life when we lose something (a job, a marriage, a loved one) are hard and they are horrible to go through but through his words, you can see that hope and growth are also possible.

  • Barbara Sands
    2019-04-04 06:20

    Bill Bridges has dealt with transitions the better part of his life and has led groups in dealing with it as well as businesses preparing for it. This is a personal view of transition over a few years by an over-60 man who found reason to doubt what he had been teaching. It is an ultimately revealing and completely naked book. Some may doubt the wisdom of some of the revelations, but they form the basis for the profound transition that follows.

  • Greg
    2019-04-07 07:02

    The author explains that whenever we experience a loss in life--whether death, loss of job, move--we experience a transition from the old life to a new life. Some people try to grasp onto the old life out of a sense of false security, but those who can accept the transition period that leads to a new way of living end up gaining a life more fully lived.Engaging story and explanations.

  • David
    2019-03-30 06:01

    More memoir than guide book, still I found it very helpful, and would recommend it to older readers undergoing difficult transitions (perhaps also useful for younger readers needing to cope with the transitions of elders, but I think a certain amount of grey hair is needed to fully appreciate this particular book). Not a linear book, so don't read this if you want to proceed directly from A to B.

  • Rochelle
    2019-04-18 07:23

    This absolute gem of a book is the distillation of over 35 years of writing, speaking, and teaching about the differences between transition and change and how to skillfully navigate them in your life. Don't miss his first book, Transitions. It is a little more helpful to read them in order, but not necessary to profit immensely from his insights. 5 stars and above!!

  • Kathleen Gordon
    2019-04-20 09:26

    This book is very good until about two thirds of the way through it. Then, after the author describes his difficulties in life, and the efforts he takes to regain some semblance of control over his life, the fairy tale ending occurs. I don't like fairy tale endings. In real life, I have almost never seen them happen. This cheapens the book in my opinion.

  • Annettesegal
    2019-04-19 11:02

    There is a symetry to transitions that doesn't appear to the naked eye... Bridges holds the lantern that illuminates the meandering, often stark and fretful path between the island of "what was" and the lush landscape of "what is possible" now.This is book to own as a touchstone for all of life's deep and meaningful changes!

  • Randy
    2019-03-31 14:08

    This is a very good book and feel that the thoughts and advice it contains helped me immensely. For those of us experiencing "transitions" in life, especially those trying to recover from a broken relationship, I highly recommend it and it's positive perspective on what we are going through.

  • Paul
    2019-04-03 12:04

    For anyone making a transition, personal or professional, it is an excellent read. Teaches lessons in overcoming our personal blocks to letting go of a hurt and moving forward..

  • Margaretflynn
    2019-04-23 13:00

    Highly recommended this thoughtful book about life and the changes we find our selves making, or not.

  • Sandy Peckinpah
    2019-04-19 13:00

    LIfe changing for me. Especially since I had experienced the trauma of a similar loss.

  • Tim Austin
    2019-04-26 13:18

    A really insightful read on the many facets of transition. The author does a good job drawing from his personal life and career transitions.

  • Sue
    2019-04-16 14:00

    Good book about how life meanders.

  • David Roberts
    2019-04-26 12:17

    A great story by the "man who wrote the book on transitions," who now returns to share his learnings from a most moving personal transition.

  • Cary
    2019-04-05 07:03

    First Family rec

  • Carlos Alonso-Niemeyer
    2019-04-20 14:18

    I don't rmmember who recommended itBut I will add it to my list

  • Rica
    2019-04-08 14:10


  • Amy
    2019-03-28 07:18

    What I found helpful was his distinction between transition - that period "in between" - and change.

  • Bob Lehto
    2019-03-31 06:25

    I read this book in 2004 and found it very inspiring. I've decided to re-read it since my company is in the process of being acquired and I am experience "change."

  • Marie Farrell
    2019-04-23 08:21

    I just started this, but so far I'm already quoting from it. It's a great source now to feel less alone during very difficult situations in life.