Are You Transitioning?


Watercolor, 7 x 10 inches $100
“The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and the establishment of the new, constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism.”
— John C. Calhoun
Are you transitioning?

I'm writing this post at the New Moon. From here on in over the next couple of weeks, the moon is waxing. She is filling up with light, receiving. But right this minute, the moon is dark, finished waning but not quite starting to fill out again.

This time, next week, we'll have an extra hour of daylight in the evening. The days have been lengthening gradually but, boom, suddenly the light will change. More light is a good thing! Still, we'll have to adjust.

In chemistry, when a chemical reaction reaches the highest form of energy (that cannot be reversed) and leads to a new form, that's called the Transition State. The Transition State leads to Transformation.

The moon waning and waxing is natural, normal. Seasonal light changing is natural and Daylight Savings makes it an event and dramatizes the change with regulation. Personal transformation is a ride that requires intention, action, commitment, courage and support.

Two summers ago, when I was on the central coast of California, I kept meeting women over 50 who, when I asked what they were doing, would say that they were "in transition", after which they'd explain that they just sold their homes and gotten rid of most of their possessions. "Me, too!", I'd say. Not one woman was clear on what would happen next. It felt like an epidemic.

Change is inevitable and, though it can happen suddenly, there's usually some lead time and then an adjustment period. Even if one form becomes another, the lead time and adjustment period are definitely transition states.

If you really want to change, your transition can be rigorous because you'll have to put in the time, the work, the practice, and be willing to be uncomfortable during the adjustment period.

The transition state is a part of all creative endeavors. Whether you're making a drawing or watercolor, starting a business, producing a film, or changing your life. You can't simply snap your fingers and expect a new form appear, or to be a different person. You must go through a phase of transition.

I teach drawing and watercolor not to help people be artists (although that can happen) but, rather, to guide students through the work and discomfort required to create new forms and transform their experience in the world.

Student work, on paper, is almost secondary. It's evidence of the process — the resulting form of the energetic transition within.

It can feel sometimes as if we're always in transition. We work through one phase, graduate, and then transition into the next phase. The transition states can be challenging but the rewards of new form are worth every bit of the challenge.

When students truly take my lessons to heart, they use the opportunity to apply the experience of the drawing and watercolor exercises to their everyday lives.

If you want to use drawing and watercolor as tools to help you transition through to personal transformation, make sure you're on the waiting list for my next course, starting on April 24.

Click here to sign up for notification.
“Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”
― Tom Stoppard
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