I’ve been thinking about cycles a lot lately.
In many cultures around the world, there is an increased emphasis on change. There are even professionals to help people manage change and its impacts. This is great because change is a constant that we are all dealing with.
However, with all the focus on change, the concept of cycles seems to be getting lost. Since a cycle is a “repeat” of something, and we are constantly changing and increasing the speed of the changes, it means that there are no repeats. Right? Not!
There are a lot of cycles that come easily to mind:
- The turning of the year
- Political and economic cycles
- The events of a school year or sports season
- The “return” cycles of hair and fashion (yes – I can see feathered bangs making a comeback…)
In and around these cycles we weave our life lessons as we move through the overarching cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth.
We are here to learn, and grow, and teach, and play. Cycles have an important part in all of this for two reasons.
First, we have bodies and as a general rule, bodies don’t particularly like change. Cycles help reassure the body: The sun comes up in the East and goes down in the West – everyday; tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils always bloom in the spring; and baseball players report for the start of Spring Training every February. Cycles provide a background – a context – for our life events and lessons. They help us feel safe as we make change.
Second, noticing and validating all of the cycles around us, helps put the overall life and death cycle of our body into perspective. We can look at the cycles of the moon and see that the dark of the moon ends the lunar cycle just as the new moon the next night begins the following one. We see the new green of spring give way to the abundance of summer; the harvests of fall ease in to the dormancy of winter.
As we face the end of a personal life cycle – our own, or someone we love – remembering all the other cycles surrounding us eases the transition to that final phase.
First there was birth and childhood – full of exciting adventure and rapid growth while getting used to a body. Then there was the whole living of life as an adult. The third phase is the winding down of old age - finishing life lessons and culminating in the death of the body.
The final phase is one for spiritual rest; it is a time to review the life completed and lessons learned without the encumbrance of a body. For many, the end of this cycle is a new birth.
Notice your cycles. Recognize them and their value. Most of all, allow your awareness of all the cycles around you to ease your fears about moving from one phase of your life to the next.