TranSpiration combines “Transition”, “Inspiration” and “Spirituality” and by definition, means water or vapor flowing through a living organism.

Small group meeting. Different perspectives matter.

Different perspectives matter

Finding hope in despair is not easy; sometimes it’s not possible. It takes time, support from others and often a radically different perspective. And we have to be willing to look for it.

The “work of transition” is hard, sometimes causing despair. It’s always filled with setbacks. Although you only need one “yes” from the right employer, there are many, many “no’s” before that comes. Often, finding success requires us to turn our approach to job hunting upside down. Sometimes, we can find hope in our efforts if we can identify a small success. It might come from:

  • An encouraging word from a friend or mentor
  • A productive meeting with someone who identifies an opportunity
  • A successful interview where even though you didn’t get the offer, the employer respected you and your qualifications
  • A valuable piece of research to use in your next networking contact
  • A different, more positive way of looking at your challenges

I experienced this change in perspective while waiting for test results at an important juncture in my lymphoma treatment. It occurred to me that no matter what the results were, I was still in the “game” and had a lot going for me.

From Tom’s journal–Fortifications for a cancer Journey*
December 12

Sunny, cold day at noon as another crossroads day looms. We find out how the “good guy” drugs have been doing in their battle against the “bad guy” cells in the past three months. I’m trying not to put too much into this deal. If there’s progress, great.

Regardless of what these nasty cells are doing or how many are still hanging around, I will continue to fight; my work and play will not stop. Dr. F is not kicking me out of his office. God is not going anywhere; Les, my kids, and my friends are still by my side; all my fortifications are in place. Hope springs eternal, some wise person said. My life is as full and rich as it’s always been. Thomas Merton reminds me that “perhaps I am stronger than I think.” I find hope in this new outlook. And hope is what I most need.

Parker Palmer speaks openly about his depression and how in his worst moments, he had this dark image of a fist pounding him into the ground. He was able to change that image through the help of a friend. His friend asked how it would be different if that fist was instead an open hand holding him and gently lowering him to the ground where he could stand and get his bearings. Parker formed this new image—and moved forward with new hope.

There are no quick solutions in the work of transition, but new perspectives can keep us going.


How can you picture yourself in this transition in a way which is more positive than the images you may have had? Who can help you? What small victories have you had? Let them form the elements of this new picture.

*Tom was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma in summer of 2012. Following 6 months of chemotherapy, the cancer went into remission and continues so as of this date. These writings are intended to draw connections between Tom’s experiences with this disease and challenges related to work/career transitions.

Thomas Bachhuber, Ed.D., President of the Board and Executive DirectorThomas Bachhuber, Ed.D.
President of the Board and Executive Director for The Center for Life Transitions. Tom is responsible for overall Center leadership and strategy. His individual coaching/counseling as well as workshops and retreats focus on integrating leading career development ideas with spiritual exploration. Read more.