It is my belief and experience that humans, like nature, are subject to cycles. Cycles in nature include seasons, lunar cycles, and life cycles (to name a few). For individuals, our personal cycles may be less obvious, but they are present, and the ability to identify those cycles can assist us to navigate through and forward.
What is a personal cycle?
Personal cycles could include mini cycles like our 12 hour day and 12 hour night. We could also view our health, career, fitness, parenting, and personal development as a perpetual series of personal cycles. Plus, there are cycles that accompany our short and long-term goals. When you think about it, cycles are a fundamental force in both our personal lives and in the world at large.
I recently reached the end of several cycles, and ended up changing my fitness program, my diet, my career goals, and aspects of my lifestyle, among other things. Yours may be different. I offer my own examples as a guide to get you thinking about the cycles that are unique to you.
How do you know you’ve reached the end of a personal cycle?
In my experience, the end of a cycle is best described as a liminal space. That is to say it is a transient, in-between space that feels like limbo and results in a sense of discomfort and restlessness. It’s almost like procrastination, except that we don’t know what we’re procrastinating about. If we are unaware that we have reached the end of a cycle, we sometimes react to that liminal space by trying to control it, or escape from it. That is to say, we resist. But the key to ending a cycle is not resistance. It is patience. When you find yourself in this liminal space, it is crucial to trust the process, accept the changes and growth that are taking place, and to have faith that the answers will arrive when you’re ready.
Using an example from my life and recent changes. I knew about a year ago that my fitness program was no longer hitting the mark. However, I couldn’t find a suitable alternative, and I feared that all of my hard work over the previous two years would unravel if I stopped. So I stuck with it for another year. Mostly unhappy and dissatisfied, but trying to convince myself that I had no other option. In a word, I resisted the change instead of practicing the art of non-resistance and just going with the flow. Having said that, it wasn’t wasted time, because I learnt a few important lessons that helped me eventually release the old program with unwavering conviction and zero doubt. Something I wasn’t able to do a year earlier.
So, it’s worth repeating this:
The key to ending a cycle is NOT resistance. It is patience. When you find yourself in this liminal space, it is crucial to trust the process, accept the changes and growth that are taking place, and to have faith that the answers will arrive when you’re ready.
How do you end an old cycle and begin anew?
There are three simple steps to ending an old cycle and starting anew.
Identify the lessons learnt in the old cycle and Release what no longer serves you.
The first step to ending an old cycle is to release what no longer serves you. I like to think of the old in physical terms i.e. as taking up physical space. Which, taken a step further, illustrates how difficult it would be to adopt something new without making space for it first.
Put another way, releasing is a lot like seeking closure or tying up loose ends. Just like closure helps you release an old relationship, for instance, so too does closure help you end an old cycle.
The best way to release the old is to identify the lessons you have learnt from that cycle and begin applying them.
Apply the lessons learnt and Reset your intention for the new cycle.
Once you’ve released the old and made space for the new, it’s time to RESET. You can do this by applying the lessons you’ve learned and formulating a new approach. This will involve setting new goals, objectives, and philosophies for how you wish to proceed in the new cycle.
Redefine your direction and begin a new cycle.
Once you’ve released and reset, it’s time to redefine your direction and even reinvent yourself if need be. Reinventing and redefining is crucial because it is an active acknowledgement that parts of your old self have become obsolete, and those spaces that your old self filled, need to be replaced with something new and improved. Improvements that will serve you on your new journey. Improvements that the old self was incapable of doing, achieving, and/or reaching. Reinventing or Redefining is essentially replacing old limitations with more empowering intentions.
I hope that this post about personal cycles has been informative and provided food for thought. Do you believe in cycles? Let me know in the comments.
Bianca @lobby4love ✌️❤️
Knowledge is power
Applying knowledge is empowerment
Sharing knowledge empowers others
~ Bianca Bowers