Changes and transitions are inevitable; we can't stop the world from turning and time marching on. Our lived experience is filled with phases and stages of life, and through those phases and stages, we are given the opportunity to grow through the changes and transitions that change us.
In today's episode, I share several examples of the changes and transitions that I've gone through throughout my life. We often don't think of going from dating to married life or becoming a parent as having loss experiences woven in. However, because we are in a relationship with others through these changes, and many others that I mention, it's impossible not to experience some loss and grief as we navigate the tears that often come with those changes and transitions.
One of the definitions of grief that the Grief Recovery Institute shares is that grief is a change to, or end of, a familiar pattern of behavior. If we think about how our lives hum along day after day, and we do relatively the same things day after day with the same people, when that suddenly changes or ends -- surely you will have some feelings around those changes, right?
Explore some of the common changes and transitions I address that you may have also experienced or reflect on some more that aren't mentioned today. Toward the end of the episode, I offer up an invitation of things to keep in mind as you navigate the tears of whatever change or transition you're experiencing. And know, too, that you are not alone in your experience! We are all grieving something (or someone)!
If you are struggling with grief due to any of the 40+ losses, free resources are available HERE.
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Victoria Volk: Hello. Hello. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of Grieving Voices, episode one fifty-nine already. It's crazy to think that yeah One fifty-nine. I'm on my fourth year of doing this podcast and it's been one of the joys of my life really to have this space to use my throat chakra. And to share what I'm learning, what I've learned throughout the years about grief, and to inform which plays into my human design which I'm diving deep into as of late, as a manifestor energy type. Shout out to all my fellow manifestors. If you are familiar with human design, and if you do follow human design or you know you're a human design, I am an emotional four six. Fine. So six, meaning I'm here to tell stories, I guess. From what I'm learning. It is why I use my own personal experience to share my insights and what I've learned. I draw from my personal experience. And today, that is actually part of today's episode. Where I'm going to be talking about changes and transitions and navigating the tiers through all of that. I've been through a lot of changes in transitions over the years and throughout my life as many of you listening probably have as well.
Victoria Volk: And so today is actually an episode two to highlight some of those grief experiences that really aren't thought of as grief. Too often in conversation, like, when we talk about these things, we're not talking. We rarely use the word "grief" or we rarely use the word "loss" when we're talking about these things. But I thought it was important enough to share some of these things that I just was taking notes before I recorded in the last few days, I've been jotting down notes, things that I felt were important to share with you today. And I will try to be concise, and I'm sure I'll be going round and round and some parts of this podcast episode, but my hope is that by the end of this episode, you will recognize some experiences in your life as grief experiences, as moments of loss that you may not have thought of before.
Victoria Volk: And so one of the first things that comes to my mind is just recently we moved our first child, our first born to college. And that's a huge transition. It's a huge change for any family because when you've been a family unit for eighteen years and all of a sudden one of your pop sleeves the nest or birds. Birds leave the nest. One of your birds leaves the nest. Or one of your pup sleeves the pack, I should say. It can be a little like a roller coaster. It can feel exciting and it can feel like a joyful time of growth and freedom for both. As the kids start to leave the house, you as the parents, have a different chapter of life to look forward to. All of a sudden, you have freedoms that you may not have had before. Right? You have more time to do things you enjoy. And more free time. Right? Because you're not chasing to one activity to the next and although if your child plays sports in college and you're probably chasing after those things, but it's still a change because there's that empty chair at the table. We eat as a family and that's kind of a time where we reconnect. And especially when all three kids were at home and doing different sports and things, certain parts of the year, the school year in particular, there wasn't a lot of meal time together and I recognize that more so probably this last year when all three of my kids were working jobs in addition to school and things.
Victoria Volk: So I guess I've had a little practice in getting used to this change that was coming just with the fact that we weren't always together as a family in this past year. And it didn't hit me until we got home. I didn't cry graduation. I didn't cry after graduation, I didn't cry on the way up to the college. I didn't cry on the way home from the college. It hit me in the evening and the next day in particular, waking up and realizing that my son's not in his bed downstairs and, yes, he's, maybe ninety miles away, which isn't too far. And I can go visit him anytime. I want to and he can come home. It's just different.
Victoria Volk: It's not you know, and people might say, oh, they'll be fine and oh, you can go visit. They're not that far away. And kinda be dismissive about how you're feeling. And that's not fair, is he going to be okay? Yes. I most certainly know he'll be okay just like you probably know your child will be okay after, if you did the same thing as I did and moved your child to college, but that's not the question. I'm not questioning if he'll be okay. What I'm feeling is deeper than that. It's this knowing that things will be different from here on out. It's the knowing that he is now an adult on his own. It is knowing that I don't know what he's really thinking or feeling. I can't see him or his face or his mannerisms or his behavior when it changes. If something, it's like when your kid is living in under your roof and in your home, you get a sense of their emotional state from day to day. You don't get that once they leave. You don't get that sense of okayness. Like, I know he'll be okay in terms of, like, he's got a good head on his shoulders and I trust that he'll make good decisions, but it's a different kind of mother instinct, I suppose, this mother feeling, I feel that, I want to know in my heart that emotionally he's okay. I think that's what it is for me. Because I am such a feeler. I am an emotional energy. Anyway, I feel very deeply and So I just it's I think that's where that's coming from. And just the change. Right?
Victoria Volk: The impact it has on me and that it probably has on him because he's now away from his pack. I can't just because a child goes off to college doesn't mean that they've craved this independence and they've craved this aloneness. Although that may be true, it's still also true or can be true that they will miss their siblings, that they will miss their family pet, that they will miss their bed, that they will miss the consistency of having that safety and security of being home. So it goes far deeper than well, they'll be okay. You can see him anytime. That's not where I'm coming from as I've just shared with you.
Victoria Volk: And so many of you can maybe relate to that experience of dropping your first kid off at college. Right? And what I will also add to that is that every relationship is different and unique. So maybe the people that say that don't have as close of a relationship with their child because every relationship is different. My son and I really didn't get close until after he had his accident. And before that, actually, I was feeling of some sadness around, how our relationship was struggling a bit. We both had this. He was sixteen and struggling for his independence. And we were pretty strict. I mean, we weren't we had rules and it wasn't to control. It was because nothing good happens after midnight. My friends, like, nothing good happens after midnight. And so we did have rules and things and still do. But our relationship was not near what it is now. And I think it's because of everything that he went through, he realized how good he had it, and he realized how loved he is. And how blessed he is just as we did. Like, wow we are so lucky that accident didn't go a different way.
Victoria Volk: And there's previous podcast episode about that. I can try and find it and link to it in the show notes, but it was a really difficult challenging time for our family and I think we all learned a lot from that experience, but it was that experience. I think that was the catalyst for bringing us closer as a family. And so to have that and to feel that so strongly and then for it to be gone, not gone, like, of course, we're still gonna be close and I still feel like we are. It's just different. It's just different. It's a transition and it's going to take time to recalibrate our family dynamic and to recalibrate moving forward as four people living in the household instead of five because he did bring a lot to our home.
Victoria Volk: And we just you don't get that sense on a day to day like you did, like we did before. And so what grief is is the change of familiar pattern of behavior, and so there is a lot of change that comes with your kid going off to college. Now let's say your kid didn't go off to college and you might be feeling this failure or this pressure from society. The child might be feeling this pressure and things from society that, oh, I should be going to college or I should be doing this. And parents might feel like, well, their child should be moving out of the house or what have you? Like, there's all these societal norms that we project and expect other people to follow these specific set of rules, like, well, you go to school for twelve years, you graduate, you go to college for four or two and you get married and you have kids. Like, that's those are the societal rules. Right?
Victoria Volk: And I'll just want to share with the parents whose child maybe has not chosen the path of college. For whatever reason, it doesn't matter the reason that they're not less worthy or they're not less smart or what have you and you're not less of a parent because your child is not choosing college. I went to college, I started college, I did not finish. And does that make me not as intelligent as someone who did or went and got there bachelors, master's, doctorate? Like, we all have our gifts. We all have our strengths. And it doesn't take a degree to develop those. In fact, a lot of our skills and our strengths are developed because of life experience, which you can't get from a degree. Right?
Victoria Volk: I'm a huge proponent of education, of course. But in this day and age, there are so many means of learning that I don't think there is one specific way. And I'm just gonna plug Youmap here for a moment because I had my son go through his I had my son do the Youmap and it turned out that a hunch that I had was accurate and healthcare was a good fit based on his Youmap, based on his strengths and his themes of mostly thinking themes and that is what he's going to college for nursing. And he did become a certified nursing assistant, for college, and he was loving that work.
Victoria Volk: And so I just wanna plug any college bound kids or kids that are contemplating college or maybe not contemplating college and just wanna go into the workforce to check into Youmap, and maybe parents listening to this, if you have a child who is unsure what they want to do, to check into their Youmap. And for those that might be thinking, well, a piece of this a Youmap is not gonna tell someone what they should do for the rest of their lives.
Victoria Volk: And I'll tell you that it's not a document to tell you what to do with the rest of your life, but it is a place to start where you are right now? Because like I said, your strengths change over time with experience. It is knowledge that will evolve and grow and change with you. You want to take your Youmap every few years. So once you've but the thing is that doesn't change, what doesn't change? Is your personality, like how you're wired. And that is actually taken to account for the whole Youmap. So there are very key components of it that really won't change. And I just wanna encourage you guys to check into it. If you are feeling a little lost in your life, which often happens when we are going through a phase of transition or change. We can feel a little lost.
Victoria Volk: A thing to consider is with the change and transition of child leaving the nest is honoring boundaries. One of the things that I've been educated on by my son is boundaries. And boundaries are two sided. Right? It's not just the boundaries that I have. It's the boundaries that he has in place. And I just so happened to send a text that was too long. He said, I don't wanna read a novel between classes. And I said, well I was just trying to find out, I was trying to actually organize when I was gonna stop in the next time I go to see him between his classes. And I had all sorts of things I was trying to work around for schedule wise and so I put it in a text and he's like you could have just said, call me when you get a chance. And you said, and I said, you know what? You're right. I'll do that next time. Keep it short and sweet is his boundary. So dutally noted, I will keep my text messages short and sweet and just say call me when you get a chance if I have more I need to talk out.
Victoria Volk: But honoring that this is his time. To find himself. This is his time to have the full college experience that I do want him to have and not be worried about, oh, I gotta text mom back or I gotta call mom back or I gotta make sure she's okay. Like, I'm okay. I'm okay. I don't need him to assure me that I'm okay. But will I text him every night and tell him good night I love you? Yes, I will, even if he doesn't respond. And that's just me needing to inform him of the thing that I said to him every single night since the day he was born. So that will not change. And I don't care if he doesn't respond, I will still tell him that I love him and wish him a good night.
Victoria Volk: The other thing that came up recently was and synchronistically that I wanna talk about in as it relates to changes in transition, is holding onto our youth. And moving your son to college it does cause me to reflect on my life and the time that I went to my college dorm and moved in and then moved out that same weekend because I freaked out because I was financially scared. I had a really overwhelming fear of debt. And later, I didn't end up going to college for a year and a half, and then I was deployed with the military, and so that's where that came to a close. But It caused me to reflect on my youth. Right? And my college experience that I didn't get right? Because by the time I did go to college, I was in a little bit older adult.
Victoria Volk: And one thing I heard the other day and it's really struck me and I'll just share it. It's a quote. And it was, it goes like this, "Everyone gets to be young, but not everyone gets to grow old." "Everyone gets to be young, but not everyone gets to grow old." And think about that the next time you have a birthday coming up. Maybe it's your fortieth. Maybe it's your thirtieth, fiftieth, one of those milestone-type birthdays that people make a big deal of. I did when I turned forty, like, oh my gosh. I'm forty, I'm like, half dead. I think I got one foot in the grave. We can be so dramatic about getting older. And here's me. Like, I'm just wishing gosh. I wish I had this wisdom when I was eighteen. I wish I had this wisdom when I was my son's age. I wish I had the wisdom I have now at eighteen.
Victoria Volk: And there's that transition too of a parent than becoming a grandparent.
That's another transition that we get that we receive with age. If we're so blessed to be a grandparent. Right? Not everybody gets that opportunity. So just like everyone gets doesn't get the opportunity to grow old, not everyone gets the opportunity to be a grandparent. That's a blessing to see your children have children. Like, not everyone gets that. And so if we focused on those things instead of the extra wrinkle we have, or the saggy skin or the, the breasts finding their way south, whatever it is. The lack of stamina, less energy, these things that can happen as we age. It just highlights the importance of self-care even more so that we can enjoy those things so that we can look forward to those things and feel vitality and joy instead of the pain in the back and the crook in the neck in the, what was me of aging? That so many people experience because they haven't taken care of themselves.
Victoria Volk: Another thing you may not have thought of a transition or a change is going from being single to married. Some people might feel a loss of self or be fearful of feeling a loss of self. Oftentimes when people become married, they have to move. That comes along with grief experiences. It could if you're in a neighborhood you love, or you had a job that you loved that moved you and you had to move. And then you lost your job too or you had to change careers or jobs because of a move. My husband moved for me, but I told him, I moved for one guy. I'm not moving for another. So he moved to be near me. And that was a sacrifice and a choice that he made. But I had a very clear boundary around that. Like, I did this ones before. I'm not doing that again. A lot goes into when you go from being single to married or dating to married. That's a lot of change. It's a lot of transition. And again, I think it comes down to honoring the boundaries that are two-sided.
Victoria Volk: And I'll actually have a list of things to keep in mind. In any change or transition, but that's one that keeps coming up as I'm talking here is the boundaries thing. And boundaries can be taken as a negative connotation, but boundaries are really I mean, they don't have to be like, set in stone, like, verbal. I mean, it can be an energetic boundary too. Right? Like, just a way to protect your peace. It doesn't have to be this negative thing that you impose on people. It's honoring your peace, really.
Victoria Volk: Circling back to the so societal norms. Right? So you go from being single to dating to married, and now you have kids, well, now your new parents, oh my gosh, that's a huge transition and a huge change. Not to mention, like, as a female, like, a woman, like all these hormonal changes, it's so overwhelming. I just remember like, oh my god. How do people do this? And what I'm learning too with my energy type as a manifestor and having all three of my kids being manifesting generators like no wonder I was exhausted. Like they had energy to no end. And that's not me. That is not me. Like, motherhood when they were little was, like, absolutely draining on me. And so when I started my business, it was I think out of survival of my sanity because I needed an outlet. I needed something that lit me up because parenting only drained me when they were little, drained my energy.
Victoria Volk: It wasn't and the previous episode I recorded on this was how motherhood wasn't necessarily the most fulfilling thing to me when my kids were younger. And I felt a lot of guilt and shame around that. So if you're interested in that episode, that's the one before this one. I mean, these are just few examples that I have been going through about change and transition and the grief that comes with it. So moving job change, I kind of mention that with relationships. Is often when that happens or once you become a family, the children are supposed to start school. You wanna put some roots down somewhere so they can get into a school system that, is the best fit for them or whatever the case may be. And with that, with a move or with a job change, I'll plug Youmap again because if you're feeling lost in that space of well, that wasn't for me like, because all these experiences. They're clarifying. What do I really desire? What is this showing me? What is this telling me? What do I need to learn here? Because if you're feeling anger, if you're feeling frustration, if you're feeling those types of emotions, those are indicators that something isn't right. You're not in alignment, energetically, with yourself.
Victoria Volk: So what needs to change? And oftentimes with careers and jobs, that's a very common experience is that if we are not in alignment with what we're doing and spending most of our time doing that can create a lot of grief for us. A lot of people can experience loss of their loved ones, significant other, their spouse. And with that, you might come a new love into the picture. Someone another person you wanna share your life with. And depending on the phase of your life, like was, are you a young widow or widower? Or are you in your forties or older? Like, all of these things they influence how you might respond to the loss. If you have adult children, your spouse passed away of adult children. You'll probably handle things. You will handle things much differently than if you had teenagers or younger children. So that's a huge transition transition and change for the entire family. For the kids, whether they're adults or young children, going from being in the office in your career job to being fully remote. A lot of corporations went fully remote. What is the impact on the social connection and support that employees feel in the workplace? I mean, we're some for some people that was their only connection to the outside world. Let's say you have a very small family unit, and your family unit lives two thousand miles away. And you're living somewhere where you go into the office every day. And then all of a sudden, you're not going into the office. You're stuck in your apartment or are you stuck at home? You went fully remote or even hybrid. Hybrid is a little bit better for some people. Because especially those who, like, for example, I'm saying, who don't have a lot of support system around them? So maybe that's the only place where people might have connection and support or feel that in their lives. That's an unfortunate place to be in. And so how can you widen that circle and expand and find your people.
Victoria Volk: And again, I mean, we can come back to the Youmap on that because I've actually given clients ideas on where to find expand on their interests to widen their circle of support. Because especially with COVID, I've had clients who've lost friends through that experience, whether the person died or it was a conflict of beliefs, which brings me to loss of friendships, and relationships, how we outgrow people, which is possible, like we can outgrow people, we have those relationships that may have just taken their course. Like, they've fully just ran their course and it is what it is. And if you were in close relationship with a friend and that ended that's a hard loss too. Like for so many people, friendships are some of the most sensitive heartbreaking losses for some people. And so, yeah, we don't think of those relationships necessarily all the time either when it comes to grief and loss. Everything has its season. Right? And so that brings me to seasons.
Victoria Volk: Some people have a really difficult time with the changing of seasons. You know, just like all these changes and transitions will have their seasons of ups and downs we have nature that reflects back to us, that nature itself has its ups and downs. It has this energetic thrusting of life to this polar opposite dormancy, especially where I live. We are in the darkness, most of our days are dark six months out of the year. When winter comes, it's dark by five thirty PM until probably eight AM the next day. We have a lot less light. I didn't realize how affected I was by the changing of the seasons until probably five, six years ago when I got a sad light, seasonal effective disorder light, I had to use that religiously for the first two years, like, to help me, like, when I know when I need it, I can feel it when I need it. It's like, there's something psychological too. I'm sure there's a psychological component, because we need sunlight. Sunlight is our life-giving force. It's our energy source for all life.
Victoria Volk: And so when that greatly decreases, we can experience these effects, these impact of that. I just wanna mention things to keep in mind through changes and transitions like these. As I'm thinking about wrapping this episode up. And there's so many more. Like, if I would've taking more time to really think about reflect on my life, I would probably would have thought many thought of many more different changes and transitions over the years. But some things I want you to keep in mind when you're thinking about things like this or you think of something new that you've experienced is that your response is up to you. It doesn't it's not up to anybody else. How do you wanna view the changes in transitions that you experience in your life? And your level of awareness is up to you as well. This is where emotional intelligence can play a role and how we build that is through our self-awareness. How do we become more self-aware? We pause and reflect.
Victoria Volk: So I encourage you as you're going through a significant change or transition to pause and reflect on how you're feeling, like checking in with yourself on how you're feeling, how you're doing, what your level of awareness is? Maybe try and put yourself in the shoes of those around you. Like, what is the impact I may be having with those around me as I go through this change or transition, like how am I projecting anything onto others? What do I need? Like, what are what are some of my needs as I go through this change and transition? And the things that are out of your hands need to be out of your mind. And I know that's easier and said and done, but we only have so much mental real estate. And I have to remind myself often that if it's out of my hands, I need to let it out of my mind. I am not doing myself any favors by bringing it to bed with me and ruminating and stewing on it. Write it out, talk it out, get it out in some way, let it out, let it go. Don't let it take up mental real estate because you can't let anything new if you're bogging up your mind with shit that you can't control. And that probably won't matter in five days or five years. And the last thing is boundaries are two-sided, and I know I mentioned that a few times throughout this episode, but it bears repeating again that boundaries are two-sided. It's not just your boundaries. Other people have boundaries too. And so where can you compromise? Do you need to compromise? Like what are the things you will not compromise on? Again, that comes back to what are your needs? What are your wants? And then picking your battles along the way.
Victoria Volk: I don't know if you know this, but on my website, there is a link to I wrote a book. I self-published a book in twenty seventeen. It's called "The guided heart moving through grief and finding spiritual solace." And in a hundred and fifty-nine episodes, I think this is the maybe first or second time I've even mentioned my book. That book was written as I was reflecting on the changes and transition of closing my business and of my youngest going to kindergarten and just all of this spiritual stuff I was kind of experiencing and going through this a lot of growth was happening as I was writing that book. And so that book is really the stuff that I had been leaning on and leaning into for my own personal work and development, and healing. And so if I were to write a book today, which is brewing. It would be a very different book. Right? Because I'm in a very different phase of my life right now. And that is my intention to write another book. But I just wanted to share that with you that we will continue to have changes and transitions in our life because we can't stop life from happening. My kids are gonna continue to get older. They're gonna continue to move on with their lives. I'm going to continue to get older. Did I mention that already? Like, we can't stop the age bus for ourselves or our kids. And just today, I'm just leaning into that message of not everyone gets to grow old and how blessed will I be if I get to. And so what do I want that time to be between the dash for me. I think there's a poem between the dash. I'm gonna have to look that up. It's a really moving poem about this one shot at life that we all get.
And what do you want to put in that dash. What do you want your life to be made up of from the day you were born till the day you die? Because inevitably, it's going to be filled with tears and transitions and changes.
Victoria Volk: And so if you need support as you navigate these things that will just can that will inevitably happen in your life, I do offer a in case you don't know this either, I do offer a heart with ears session. It's a one-off session or maybe two to just kinda talk through maybe a challenge or transition that you're going through and you aren't sure, you just need someone to talk it out. And to reflect back to you, something you can't see yourself because we can't see the inside of the jar of our own lives pretty much. So it's helpful to have an outside perspective, someone who doesn't even really know you. Who has nothing invested in your life and in your story. Right? Because it's really hard for us to be biased unbiased rather. It's really hard for us to be unbiased when the people we love are seeking our advice or counsel because we love this person or we're close to this person or we've got some skin in their game. So that's the benefit of talking with someone who is completely unrelated and doesn't know you is that, I don't have any skin in your game. So I'm gonna be completely honest with you. And so that's something that I offer. It's called a heart with ears. I can put a link to that in the show notes as well.
Victoria Volk: But yeah, yeah. Navigating tears through changes and transitions. Life is such a ride, isn't it? I send you the biggest hug, lots of love today as you navigate, whatever change and transition you are going through. And I implore you to remember when you unleash your heart, you unleash your life. Much love.