Thursday, April 16, 2009

Everything is Changing and That's Okay

The fourth square of the Change Cycle, is called The Promised Land. This refers to the times in our lives when we have went through the fog and difficult times of square one, the dreaming and adventure of square two, and the hard work of square three, and reach the shores of success in square four.

So then how is it possible that the mantra for square four is Everything is Changing and That's Okay? Well you see the dirty little secret is this. The four squares of the change cycle repeat themselves many times throughout our lives. Sometimes they even repeat themselves completely while you are traversing any one of the separate squares. I know!! This is not what I thought I wanted either. Let me explain why.

We live in a society that places a lot of emphasis on getting somewhere, and an even greater emphasis on the idea that we will be happy when we achieve whatever it was that we were striving for. However, the truth is that we are often disappointed when we get there, and aren't as happy as we think we should be. Then before we know it we fall back into the soup of square one and start all over again.

I'd like to propose a different course. What if instead of believing and thinking that we will be happy when we get to square four, we simply enjoy life and be present and authentic in every square? Hard to do? Maybe. Let's look at one of the most common examples of the change cycle all over the world, the four seasons. I like to ask people, what time of year is their favorite. Many people say spring because of the beautiful flowers, and the new growth, and the opening of new possibilities and ideas. Others immediately choose summer, because they love the sun and the playtime, and the chance to vacation. For me, my favorite time is the fall. I love the colors, and the crispness in the air, and the feeling of stepping back and drawing in for the winter. My son in law loves the winter. He loves all the things you can do in the snow.

Everyone I ask has a favorite and least favorite time of the year. The same is true for the change cycle. Some people love dreaming, some people like implementing, and some even like when they need to go deep and deal with emotions. As I have been moving through the change cycle over the last six months or so, I have tried to stay present and enjoy each part of it, without a thought about what to do in the end. This has been difficult because it goes against what I have been taught early in life. What I have found though, is that is can be very satisfying. I have enjoyed digging deeper into my old thoughts and beliefs, and became willing to be open to pain as well as joy. I have loved the dreaming and scheming (this is my favorite square of the change cycle), I have loved the hard work, although that is not always easy, and now I am sitting back and enjoying the fruits of my labor.

Even as I write this, I can see that there is another change and more cycles to come. So I am doing what I can to stay present here and now, and to welcome all that is yet to come. Care to join me?