Please rotate your device to portrait mode to sign up.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Please rotate your device to portrait mode to login
Welcome Back!
  Show Password
Forgot My Password
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
February 12, 2024

Becoming: Embracing a Season of Transition

Post By:
Kelly Tolliday
In-House Contributor
Rising Nature Retreats
Guest Contributor:

I have a lotus flower tattoo on my left wrist and a silver necklace from Bali with the lotus that I never ever take off. I guess you could say I’m a big fan of believing that even through murky waters, something good, beautiful even, can and will bloom.

My intention with my blog series is to show you a real look at my life as I come back home to myself, as the lotus within my heart blooms amongst the internal murk. In real time. I believe we have the power to change the world by sharing openly, honestly and vulnerably about the issues that we universally face, especially as women. 

I can’t say what the outcome of this will be, if there will be a shiny bow with which to wrap this real-life experiment in the end. But I can promise to share what I learn along the way.

As a passionate business owner who loves what she does so deeply, it’s hard to take off the entrepreneur hat at the end of the day when it’s time to transition to being fully present with my kids. There’s always one more email, one more social post, one more item to add to tomorrow’s to-do list. 

There has always been this omnipresent, underlying sense of urgency within me. That if I just complete one more task, I will feel settled within myself. The “yes, sweetie, I can play with you, just let me finish fill in the blank.” (Spoiler Alert: there is always a blank to fill.)

And this dance of being with my kids, but not fully being with my kids, being in my business but not able to be 100% focused, was exhausting.

I would get anxiety when school called because I was nervous I would have to pick up a sick child. I wasn’t worried so much worried that my child might be sick. I was more worried about how I was going to get through my to-do list. That’s how an urgency mindset can show up.  Does it show up like this for you?

If so, here’s how I managed to regain control, ditch the chronic guilt, and regain peace.

Join our community for member-exclusive content

Learn more about our community

I recently wrote a piece about our 2023 Rising Nature Retreat in Greece , where I fully experienced what slow living is and more importantly, what it feels like. 

There had been a gentle voice telling me it’s time to slow down, to re-evaluate what’s important, to take inventory on the quality of my life and the degree to which I’ve been allowing (or not allowing) myself to truly experience its fullness. And that voice started to crank up the volume in Greece.

By the time I got home from the retreat, I knew it was time to make pivots and put my money where my mouth is. I had to adjust my lifestyle and align it with my values, which I so staunchly stand by (anyone who knows me well knows my top 4 core values because I recite them consistently).

One of my core values, ironically, is presence. During this retreat in Greece, I began to realize that in one important area of my life, if not the most important area of my life, I was not fully present. I was not living one of my core values. I was half in and half out with my children. And that was no longer OK with me.

So in July 2023, when I returned home from our retreat, I made some drastic changes. For starters, I took the rest of July off, something that forced me to slow down enough to see how frenzied I had become with work and how I had attached my identity and my worth to how big or small my contribution was to society. I recognized that, ultimately, my work (albeit work that truly helped others) was a distraction that prevented me from being fully present in many other areas of my life, all of which are a part of my identity and contribute to my impact on others and this world.

Next drastic change: adjust my lifestyle and routine to ensure those other areas of my life are honored and lived fully. I dropped from five days of full time childcare down to four, ensuring I had a full day of one-on-one time with my baby. 

I was doing great, feeling better, but soon into my new routine, my inner fire was raging to get its hands on the next project. (Cue the launch of my podcast, which I love so dearly, Transform with Travel , a way for me to share my transformational travel journey with others in order to inspire theirs.) But clearly, the lessons learned were impactful, but fleeting. 

One of my favorite quotes from author Sarah Levy is, “When you don’t know who you are, your job can be an excellent placeholder.” 

I believe this is the root of many of our problems. When we don’t know who we truly are, or have disconnected from who we are, we find placeholders to fill the void. For some it’s alcohol or online shopping. For me, it’s work. So here I sat, a mere six months later from one of my biggest ah-ha’s, once again staring at the colors of the rainbow splattered all over my Google Calendar, wondering where the space I so desperately wanted had gone. 

As a 500hr Yoga & Meditation Teacher and International Retreat Facilitator, you’d think I’d have this “balance” thing under control. All I can do is to give myself grace, consistently apply the principles of yoga and mindfulness into my life the best I can, and fully step into this “in-between” phase as I reach the tipping point of change.

Yes, I am in the in-between, a liminal place where I know what I need to change, but I’ve never operated in this new way, this slower way, before, so it’s difficult. It’s uncomfortable. I know my business will evolve and meet me where I’m at, as it always does, but I don’t know what that looks like, just yet. And as a recovering overachiever and people-pleaser, it’s scary.

We’ve all had times in our lives when we could feel a transition coming. It’s a visceral feeling in our gut, in the core of our being. Like you’re free falling, but have no idea where you’re going to land. 

Of course, there are the big life transitions, rites of passage if you will, like moving away from home for the first time, getting married, or becoming a parent. These are concrete, black & white transitions, because you know that with one simple day your life will forever be changed. 

But what we aren’t told, and even worse, what we don’t talk about amongst each other, are these smaller transitions, these micro changes, that take time to build. They are sneakier, quieter, easier to ignore, but sneak up on you like an avalanche:

  • Transitioning from your twenties to your thirties, or your forties to your fifties, etc.
  • Feeling uninspired with your job
  • Feeling lost
  • Wanting to leave the workforce to stay-at-home with your young children
  • Growing apart from your spouse
  • Wanting to move to a new city or change your job completely
  • Watching your children leave home and set out into the world
  • Caring for an elderly or sick parent
  • Evaluating your relationship with alcohol (or your version of coping mechanism) 
  • Unsure of whether to keep your business running or just burn it down to the ground

Are you nodding your head yet? 

These shaky, unsteady, ungrounding seasons in our lives live in the gray area, in the indecipherable parts of our minds and hearts, in the murk. And I’m there right now. In the murk, treading water, trying to cling to any sense of certainty that I can grasp onto. 

And I’m sharing it all with you.

I’m not even sure why. I don’t even know what the end goal is that I’m seeking. And that is the scariest part of it all for someone who color-codes her quarterly vision board.

Since this isn’t my first rodeo in the murk, I have enough experience to know that once I truly jump off the cliff and let go of this need for certainty and control, only then will the safety net appear below me. Only then will the dots connect. 

As I continue to unravel this journey for me, for my family, and for my business, I’ll be here to share what’s working and what’s not working. I’ll share my honest, raw thoughts and feelings, because I know that I’m not the only one out here thinking “There’s got to be a better way.” 

And maybe that’s why I’m sharing this all with you. To help me get closer to who I’m becoming. To help myself navigate this season of change, and support you through yours.

Until next time,