Finding clarity in times of transition

Reflecting back over the last 2-3 years, with so much unpredictability, change, obstacles, and discouragement, what has kept you moving forward? 

For many, the pandemic and other recent upheavals have put us in more immediate contact with what is essential. Of course, there have been countless immediate concerns to address. But in our work, we’ve also seen clients and students moved by a part of themselves with which they were suddenly in clearer contact—a whisper or intuitive nudge that led them in unexpected directions.

Can you recall a time or times this has occurred for you recently? Whether or not it ‘made sense,’ you found yourself making a clear decision, taking a risk, or otherwise acting from a place of aligned certainty?

Still, even if we have glimpsed or even acted from this possibility, our logical minds will work hard to talk us out of what we know at a deeper level. In emergencies it’s easier to act from intuition because we don’t have time to think. It’s a lot more challenging when we are languishing, at a crossroads, or reeling from a recent disruption.

In these moments, tuning in to our bodies can bring clarity much more quickly than making lists, mulling things over, or even having conversations with trusted companions (though all of these are certainly helpful.)

Here is an exercise to support you in finding (or re-finding) clarity around what is essential.

Distilling Essence

  • Write your dilemma down in a couple of sentences. 
  • Take some space from it and do something with your body – go for a walk, cook dinner, play with your kids or pets, sleep.
  • After at least a few hours, come back to what you have written. From this embodied place, notice what word or words stand out to you. Don’t choose them in terms of what makes sense – let them come to you.
  • Write the word or words at the top of a new sheet of paper. Spend a few minutes feeling into them. What do these words evoke? A memory? A longing? Maybe they have a particular color or feel to them.
  • Beneath the list, write a few more sentences how you are moved by the words you pulled out.
  • You can repeat this as many times as you wish, taking words from the new paragraph and distilling further. 
  • What is revealing itself as essential in this scenario? 

Here’s an example. 

I am lost. I feel at sea. I was just laid off from my job and I have no plans for what to do next. A few of my coworkers have become good friends and I’m afraid I’m going to lose touch with them. 



Summers as a kid at the beach with my extended family. Weeks spent in the unconditional love of people who know me well. Nothing to prove. Maybe whatever I do next needs to have this feeling. Maybe I’ll go to the ocean tomorrow. I’m definitely going to call my brother.  

Finding deeper attunement

While this exercise may not solve the entire conundrum or reveal where the path will lead, it may be useful in revealing the next step—which is the only one we ever have to take. 

We hope this is supportive. You are welcome to join us at a free event or foundational workshop to experience ways of attuning to what is meaningful for you. 

Joy is the Communications Director at New Ventures West.

Photo by Patrick Federi on Unsplash