Life transitions

Life transitions

Divorce, breakup, moving to another country, getting laid off, transitions are a part of life. They can take a toll on our emotions, as we need to grieve ‘the future we had imagined.’ We chatted with coach Nada Haddad who shared her insights on life changing moments.

Nada has been living an expats life, moving every 3 years. She was in Dubai before moving to Miami. After working in hospitality for 15 years, managing and opening numerous restaurants in Lebanon, studying projects across the world as a consultant, even launching a restaurant in Sardegna, and opening her own in Beirut in 2009, she became a mompreneur, balancing her time between motherhood and her website Beirut Bazar. The family arrived in Miami in October 2019, right before the Covid crisis, and they did not have time to meet anyone or fully integrate in their new home. Nada started looking into coaching when she was in Dubai. When she got to the States, coping with the difficult life transition and time in lockdown was the perfect opportunity to explore her passion. She learned coaching for herself but also as a career choice to help others. She pushed her training further studying Neuro Linguistic Programming and Time Line Therapy. NLP like the name indicates taps into the language we use, it says that most of our belief systems are in our subconscious, and we act, make decisions based on what is stored. We are often in ‘automatic’ mode, driving, eating, breathing by force of habit. NLP unravels that belief system, to become aware of it and eventually choose the beliefs that best serve us. The words we use for example, are a window into our perception of things, how we would describe a place, how we interpret a word like ‘love,’ tends to be biased by our experiences and beliefs, and we can rewire those to best serve ourselves. Time Line therapy taps into the unconscious mind, to go back to past experiences and release negative emotions in order to be able to change our reactions to those triggers in the present. ‘A lot of what we stock happened before 6 years old, children have no filter, they see things in black and white, no grey area. If a parent acts stressed for example, they will blame themselves, it is impossible for them to think there may be different sources for their parent’s stress.’

During a life transition, the way we saw and planned things changes and we need to let go of what we had; that job we lost, our family lifestyle if going through a divorce. We sometimes are far from our culture and our loved ones. We can feel lost. The possibilities, the choices are now new. The mind can be flexible or restricted and the objective is to tap into the power of our minds, realize we can see things in a different perspective, in a way that serves us. ‘It does not mean be positive all the time’ Nada tells us, ‘the idea is not to deny our emotions.’ A new situation will make us insecure, scared, sad, frustrated and worried, it is part of being human. We are scared of what’s next, we want to be in control and that stress and anxiety put us in survivor mode. ‘Anxiety is a future emotion, stress is a past emotion’ Nada says, we need to give ourselves the time and space to reconnect to the present, to ourselves, to let go. ‘To maintain your head above water, healthy habits are the strongest building blocks to sustain us; healthy foods, sleep, meditation, physical activity, sun, connections and avoiding numbing our emotions with social media or alcohol.’ We can start finding stability in those habits, in some routine. Practicing self-compassion and also acceptance; ‘compassion is saying my mistakes don’t define me’, acceptance is ‘what can I learn from my mistakes,’ facing our emotions and moving forward, ‘becoming aware and accepting the change is half the work.’ Also reconnecting ourselves to our values and reminding ourselves of what truly matters to us. As we go through more life transitions we grow more confident of our ability to handle them. We look back and realize that we could handle many changes in our lives. It’s about mindfulness, being aware of our inner talk and choosing to believe it or not. Our mind can tell us things that are biased or not always true, being aware of that gives us more power to adjust, revise, and shift our perception.  




Photo credits: Sonnie Hiles


* This article is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should consult your physician or other health care professional for specific medical advice.