The Center for Life Transitions is pleased to bring words of encouragement and inspiration twice a month through “Respite, a short interval of rest and relief” authored by Dr. Connie Popp, a board member and collaborator with The Center for Life Transitions. We hope you’ll enjoy these short messages of hope as you bravely face the transitions in your life.

Respite Reflections’ purpose is to help people push the “pause” button in their transition work — to take a break from the thinking, researching, networking and preparing for interviews.
Taking a moment to center yourself, ponder a positive thought, and focus on a broader perspective is invaluable during a time of transition.

Respite: A short interval of rest or relief

“Then I said to myself
– this time it will be different –
and I began.
I did not begin again.
I just began.”

Gertrude Stein

Where we are now is where we are to begin. A diet does not necessarily begin on an appointed day. It simply begins when we are ready to change the bad habits we’ve gotten into surrounding our exercise and eating patterns. It is often said that weight loss happens in the head before it ever happens in the body.

Could there be other negative habits we’ve gotten into that we need to diet from – like blame, anger, jealousy or disappointment? If so, the “bad” habit can actually be used to trigger our thinking into a positive response. For example, when being cut off in traffic, feeling the anger rise, we can recognize “here it comes again,” and instead of letting ourselves suffer the negative consequences of anger, we can choose to use that moment to think positive thoughts of joy and gratitude. Thinking a positive thought, and pronouncing an affirming word, are much more nourishing to our bodies and spirits than angry words and vengeful thoughts. It’s worth a try – what is there to lose other than the weight of negativity?

Dr. Connie PoppDr. Connie Popp is a board member for The Center for Life Transitions as well as an active facilitator for the Center’s Life-SHIFT and Job Search Courage programs. She is also the Director of Campus Ministry at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Read more.