The first Wise Women group meeting of the Fall is always an exciting time. Women from previous sessions return and new women join us. It is a time of connection, reconnection and welcoming one another into our special space of time and sharing. It can be difficult to know where to begin and how to start or resume our conversations with one another, but with a little support and direction, we can move forward with hope and confidence.
New beginnings come in a variety of forms throughout our lives. They can be joyful, scary, exciting and anxiety-provoking. Some new beginnings are chosen, others are not. We may choose to begin a relationship, start a family, move to a new geographical location or pursue a degree. However, there are many new life chapters that we do not choose. These also come in many different forms: an unexpected pregnancy, a divorce initiated by the other partner, death of a loved one, a life-changing illness or being fired from a job. These are also changes requiring new beginnings.
Life-changing events require us to navigate new terrain and develop new strengths and abilities so that we can adapt to new situations and environments. There are things to grieve, things we must let go of and things we may choose to embrace. Virtually every new beginning is a mixed experience to one degree or another. Few major life changes are without loss and few are without gain, though the silver lining may not always be evident at the time.
Whether we eagerly jump into a new life chapter or have to be dragged kicking and screaming into it, new beginnings remain an opportunity for change, newness, personal growth and sometimes for healing as well. We each have our own ways of negotiating the chosen and unchosen beginnings in our lives and starting anew in our older years provides both particular opportunities and unique challenges. Let’s talk about new beginnings and how we can navigate these life transitions in the most positive ways possible.
- Share one example of both chosen and unchosen new beginnings in your life.
- Have most of the beginnings in your life felt like they were chosen or unchosen? Has this ratio changed in one direction or the other as you have become older?
- Which of the new beginnings in your life have been most significant to you and why?
- What changes and challenges are you currently encountering in your life? Are you currently facing or involved in the process of starting over or starting something new?
- Most of us have developed some skills, attitudes, and tools over that have come to serve us well in opening new chapters in our lives. Which tools, strategies or personal strengths have you found most helpful in allowing you to move forward with balance and grace?
- If you have been able to transform an unchosen beginning into a positive new beginning, how were you able to do this? What wisdom might you be able to offer other women?