Managing transitions is about managing change. Transitions can involve difficulty and the promise of possibility; they require thinking creatively, while keeping focused, both on the here-and-now, as well as on the future. Managing transitions in a changing life requires cultivating self-awareness and connecting with yourself, and with the world around you.

In late 2019, I chose to make a change in my life by launching Viswali Consulting, as I transitioned out of my former role as a full-time professor, and into the world of entrepreneurship. Then, early in 2020, during this personal and professional transition, the world underwent societal and economic changes, and calls for structural change, such that people are starting to listen and to act, and for some, in new ways.

I equate the process of change or transition to the process of moulting. In biology, in the insect and animal kingdoms, moulting may involve the shedding of old skin, of hair, or of an exoskeleton, to allow for a new layer to form. As a process, moulting can make an organism vulnerable before the new layer really sets in, to bring renewal and a rejuvenation. Spiritually, moulting might involve the letting go of an old practice, relationship, or way of thinking or of living. It may involve a whole slew of processes to move through complex emotions like grief and guilt, that render discomfort, and then giving yourself permission to move into and through the spiritual fog, and out into the world, to allow for new expansion, and for possibilities.

My approach to leading myself and others through personal, professional, organizational, and societal changes, and to managing transitions through life, involves looking inward and outward. This requires looking into myself, to reflect upon my purpose, my values, and my desires, and assisting the communities, the clients, and the organizations that I serve to do the same. Together, we also look outward, at the trends in the ecologies and universes that we live in, to consider what is happening now and what we may need to monitor or evaluate. These actions enable all of us to keep a pulse on what is needed and desired now, from all fronts, and what may be needed or desired in the future and, for the future.

Next time, I will share some tips for navigating through processes of change.

Illustration by Leela Viswanathan.