Embracing Life's Transitions

change contentment creative process waiting Nov 09, 2022

Blog by Gem Fadling

For the last two years, I have been engaging the slow and tedious process of growing out my grey hair. At one point there were at least four different colors blending from one to the other. 


I first tried easing into my grey hair three months into the pandemic. This is the perfect time, I thought. No one will see me because we aren’t gathering right now. But then, as the weeks progressed, I began to doubt my process and decided to color again.


Finally, a few months later, I decided to go for it one more time and have now fully arrived at my new salt & pepper look.


I share this boring hair story because I’ve had a not-so-boring struggle dealing with all of the changes in my body in this season of life. Slowly, but surely, I am moving toward acceptance of the ever-changing ways my body is “maturing.”


I shared with my husband, Alan, that leaving behind my dark hair felt like closing a door on my youth and, yes, part of my identity. During the first half of my life I had long, flowing black hair. It was my prized possession.


I’m old enough to know that hair is not identity and yet I still had to think it through to leap over the hair-color wall. I know that the state of my hair has nothing to do with my actual identity or my age. White, black and grey are just colors.


I am still a vibrant, optimistic grower who loves to encourage and inspire people. A bottle of dye, either way, doesn’t change that at all.


Letting your hair grow out naturally for a year will do something to you. After leaping over the wall of the decision-making process, I still had to live it out. 


Ploddingly slow, quarter inch by quarter inch, I have been in a time of transition. 


Isn’t this what transition--changing over time--feels like? You’re not where you were and you’re not yet where you’re going. It’s at this point you can learn to love…what…is.


I think the fancy word for this is contentment.


Rather than hair color, what if I’m having a change of heart or of habit? Can I love myself and let go of self-consciousness during the process? 


The drawn-out middle is a valid part of the change, and I miss so much when I attempt to jump from the beginning to the end. 


It is in the waiting of the transition that deep work occurs. We get a chance to hold and accept all the parts, and variations of the parts. And this can happen in no other way than making our way through the entirety of the change. 


I’m at the place now where I don’t care what others think or if they think at all about my multiple shades of hair. This is so freeing. How else would I have come to this freedom except to make my way through


So, whether its multi-colored hair or a deeper work of healing going on inside you, the process of change can be accepted and even…wait for it…enjoyed


You can embrace what is and learn to love it. That, my friends, is contentment.



  • Identify a place of transition in your own life. 
  • Call it to mind or write it down and look at it.
  • Where are you in the process of this change?
  • Take a moment and decide that, for today, you will try loving what is. Experiment with accepting where you are in the process, without rushing or pushing.
  • The messy middle is a valid part of the journey.
  • Notice any inner shifts as you try this on.