We transition from babyhood to childhood, to adolescence, to young adulthood, and so on. These are both physical and emotional transitions. Other transitions are less organic, more challenging, and can be downright devastating; like the ones where you get a divorce, experience your children’s absence from your life, are forced into retirement before your time, or are entering elder-womanhood.
Ever since I discovered that my coaching passion lies with women in transition, I have been re-living all the transitions in my life — and there are so very many. Looking back from my 67 year old perspective, I see that life is a series of transitions for everyone. And it’s how we frame our experience of the transition that dictates how well we manage it, and where we end up. Here is my frame, and I find incredibly useful.
Transitions are a fact of life and anyone who believes they are immune to them is probably living in an alternate reality or on some other planet not populated by real human beings in a real world. That said, what is a transition? And is there some kind of predictability or uniformity to a transition? Well, I think there is. Several years ago while in WealthyMind™ training with NLPCA I learned about the Universal Cycles of Change – 7 patterns that govern our life.
The first cycle is one of Creation and new beginnings, a starting point where a new idea, a new way of life begins. Some examples are starting a new life after a divorce, upon retirement, entering another phase of your life such as elder-hood, starting a business, having a baby, creating a book, to name just a few examples.
The second cycle is Growth, when your creation begins to develop and grow, becoming self organizing. It begins to take shape and new behavior patterns develop around it to foster even more growth. After a divorce, retirement or becoming an elder, you grow a new life. In business, you begin to build a client base; the baby does what babies do — get bigger and more challenging (in a good way); when writing a book you are fleshing out the characters and story. You get the idea.
The third cycle is Complexity to Maturity, where your creation has grown to the point where it takes on a new form, and achieves a steady state where it operates at its’ smoothest. Things are good and everything is going amazingly well. You feel good about it, yourself, and life.
The fourth cycle is Turbulence. This is characterized by growth that has become too complex and a bit overwhelming. Problems start to develop and it becomes apparent that the current structure cannot maintain itself. Turbulence is characterized by minor physical symptoms that are distracting, signs of depression or dissatisfaction with your life. Depending on the subject of the creation, there are other signs and symptoms. For example, in business, perhaps you are dealing with a troublesome employee. In your marriage, possibly serious communications problems are arising. A shift must happen for it to go on to the next level of growth. Ignore the call to shift at your own peril, for if you do, the result is chaos!
The fifth cycle is Chaos. The system begins to disintegrate and chaos is rampant. For example, your marriage is on the brink of divorce, or that pesky employee has sabotaged the business to the point of damage. You always know chaos when it appears; it is unmistakeable.
The sixth cycle is Droppings Off. Life has become so complex that you have to let go of something in order to move forward through a a difficult challenge. In a marriage, that may be divorce. In a business, that may mean a complete reorganization. It usually means we have to let go of a limiting belief, change our behavior, and reframe how you experience the world. You may feel resistance to this phase–it is human nature to want to hold on to what we have–but is is essential to our journey to let go of what has been holding us back.
Even Chaos brings change that’s needed. Just remember to drop off things that aren’t serving you. It can be challenging, but once done, you’ll feel lighter, and more free to enter into the next cycle of Meditation and Inward Silence, where you can heal, rejuvenate and get ready for your next creation (beginning). It’s comforting to know we can get through the challenges life brings, and move on into something better.
The seventh cycle is Meditation and Inward Silence. This is the final phase in the Universal Cycles of Change. We stand in the moment as we are; it may be uncomfortable at first, but remain there awhile and heal. This is a time of rest and rejuvenation, of resting in “being” rather than “doing”. This crucial phase paves the way for the beginning of the next cycle of Creation, where something new and wonderful can begin.
If you examine different aspects of your life like your love life, finances, health, friends, family, career and so forth, you will see which cycle you are in for each one — they will probably be different — and now you’ll have a road map of what to expect and how to successfully navigate the cycle.
What cycle of change do you find yourself in and in what area of life? I’d love to know how this resonates with you!
My joy is coaching women make transitions that create opportunities out of obstacles, and design a new life where they jump out of bed in the morning eager to live their life. That’s what I’m here for — use me.