What Is A Healthy Financial Transition?

Divorce, death, disability, loss of job, sudden wealth and sudden loss are examples of typical life transitions that include monetary considerations. Earlier I described Bill Bridges’ transition process including the three phases: an ending, a neutral zone and a new beginning. Financial transitions incorporate these phases as well.

But, financial transitions can be more complex than “regular” transitions because not only are you facing change, you are also adding the energy of money. While money is neutral, your relationship to it is filled with beliefs and behavior and habits that may or may not serve you and the impending change. In over thirty years, I have not experienced anyone who has been fearless in a financial transition. How can you coexist with fear and manifest a healthy financial transition?

First, recognize the ending. Honor and appreciate the ending – whatever it is – by putting a stake in the ground and naming what is so. There is an end to what was. This recognition opens the door to the next phase or the neutral zone.  In the neutral zone, or the pause as I like to call it, you pause to take stock of how to be in this phase. Always make certain you are breathing, moving and creating as much space as possible. (See the Five Minute Try-It:  Embrace Space.) If the ending was abrupt, you may need to reflect and complete in some area of your life (physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual). If the ending was a long time arriving, you may have a different experience moving into the neutral zone. In either case, one of the most effective processes to experience initially in the neutral zone was developed by Susan Bradley, founder of The Sudden Money Institute, called the Decision Free Zone.  The DFZ creates an environment that is free from emotion-based decisions and free from the influence of others. This is a time-out from making many important future decisions, such as investing, home buying, and promises to others. Once you create and commit to your DFZ, you have the energy to continue a healthy financial transition. The Decision Free Zone is another stake in the ground that provides clarity and structure to continue the transition. When something becomes wobbly, and it will, you have a place to put your feet while you find your heart.  A healthy financial transition includes both the structure, a place to sort your financial matters and the space, a safe and gentle opening to consciously explore the pause.  Done well, the new beginning will arise with clarity. I would be remiss if I did not share that a healthy financial transition doesn’t mean that it looks and feels … wonderful.  A healthy financial transition means that whatever you most want and need to learn at this juncture in your life, you do; that journey, be it elegant, messy, challenging, or easeful, is all up to you.