Editor’s Note: This article is the last in a four-part series.

Every single one of your clients will experience a major life transition. It’s entirely possible that many of your clients are in transition right now and you don’t see things that way. Maybe you consider the event they refer to as “just talk,” because it hasn’t happened yet. Or maybe an event happened so long ago that both of you have stopped referring to it.

Recall the first three stages of transition:

1. Anticipation – the event hasn’t occurred yet.

2. Ending – there is no going back for the client. The event is happening or is imminent.

3. Passage – the big pieces of the event have been assembled, but there is still more work to do.

The fourth and final stage, new normal, signifies the client has integrated the event into their life. Their mindful reflection on their event is full of wisdom, and any sharp edges that existed have been transformed into flowing grooves in the narrative of their lives. They speak about their event in the past tense.

Like anticipation and passage, new normal is far easier to miss than ending, when life is all about the event and its immediate aftermath. Clients in new normal are energized and have a sense of renewal. They are present, composed, open and collaborative. We call that flow. They are able to do long-term and short-term thinking and planning, but most of all they are living their life with comfort and more predictability than during the previous stages of transition.

After going through the grueling work of selling her business and putting her new life into order, one woman described arriving at her new normal as akin to moving into a new house built just for her, and now she’s rearranging the art and the furniture, making the house her home.

A client in the new normal stage is very similar to a client who is not in transition, with the addition of the fresh appreciation for what it means to have completed the journey of a major life event. They have confidence that they can take life as it comes. They know how to thrive while life happens. If there is any struggle during new normal, it’s usually around identity, but it’s a less intense struggle than during passage.

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