Honoring Your Life Cycles

Photo Credit: BRJ INC

“No road is too long for him who advances slowly and does not hurry, and no attainment is beyond his reach who equips himself with patience to achieve it.”– Jean de La Bruyere

As we begin September, I have been thinking about life and the natural cycles that occur. As a new season commences, I realize that it is also the beginning of my next cycle of life as my youngest child will be graduating from college this year. So, I started pondering about how I sometimes operate in cycles of fours- the four seasons, four years of college, etc….so I considered, “what is the significance of the number four from a Life Coach’s point of view? What could I possibly convey that would be meaningful, insightful and inspiring based on the number four and the cycle of life?”

So I did what I often do… I asked someone, and the answers started to come. My daughter Tess’ response was brilliant. She explained that we celebrate endings and completions every four years… the president’s term lasts four years and the Olympics are held every four years. Most people earn their high school and college diplomas in four years.  And, annually, we celebrate the beginning of a new year after four seasons have been experienced. So, I started to think…why four?

The number “four” seems significant because having a designated period of time, such as the four seasons or a four-year program, allows for an entire cycle to take place, thereby allowing for optimum growth and learning. There is a natural order in life so that whatever is being created can come to fruition, fully mature and then set the stage for the next phase. There must be enough time and space for something to incubate, unfold, grow, develop, change, ripen and be established. By experiencing a complete cycle, it will bring the truest form of what is being created. This must occur in order for there to be fullness, understanding, sustainability and gestation of life.

Let’s examine this further. The president takes office and he must learn the ins and outs of being our country’s leader. There must be a designated period of time for the person in charge to assess the current situation, make a plan, build alliances, take action, make adjustments and hopefully achieve success for the country and its citizens. Time is needed to allow positive progress to take place.

An Olympic athlete spends four years training and developing their physical, mental and emotional selves in order to compete at their personal best level for the next Olympic Games. Time is needed to create good habits, peak performance levels and a flow and rhythm to their specific sport. Not only are they training to be at their highest individual levels but sometimes also working together to grow as a team.

A student needs four years of higher learning so the body, mind and spirit can develop and evolve. There is a progression of learning that takes place on many levels, not just the education itself. During their studies, students deepen their knowledge of the basic subjects of reading, writing, math, foreign languages, history, the humanities and sports. But more importantly, they are learning a sense of responsibility and commitment, the development of self-confidence and self-esteem, the endurance of hard work, the value of honesty and integrity, the necessity of organization, the freedom of creativity and the expansion of critical thinking and leadership skills. They are growing up.

Like the leader, the athlete and the student, individuals who engage in a purposeful self-growth process such as Life Coaching or therapy, are more likely to maximize their personal evolvement and create life changes that stick when they allow the full process to happen.  By allowing time and space to fully complete a task, reach a goal or change a behavior, fulfillment, joy and sustainability can be achieved. The coaching process is best when there is a full sequence of evaluating the starting point, setting intentions or goals, excavating a plan, implementing inspired action, evaluating the results, recalibrating the path and starting again. Each step must be acknowledged and honored.

As novelist Katherine Anne Porter wrote, “There seems to be a kind of order in the universe, in the movement of the stars and the turning of the earth and the changing of the seasons, and even in the cycle of human life. But human life itself is almost pure chaos. Everyone takes his stance, asserts his own rights and feelings, mistaking the motives of others, and his own.” Be in charge of your final destiny by choosing to grow along the way and honor your process, including completions.

Tools for Achieving Completion and Finalization:

  • Know your starting point
  • Decide your destination or desired final outcome
  • Put an action plan in place
  • Get going and try something, anything
  • Slow down
  • Observe and evaluate
  • Process along the way
  • Savor the journey
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Adjust your plan
  • Begin again
  • When complete, fully honor the achievement

How do you honor the cycles of your life? Do you give adequate leeway for the necessary stages of growth and completion to occur? Can you stick with the ups and downs, ebbs and flows… for the sake of a full and satisfying life? In today’s impatient world of hurriedness and instant gratification, there is an opportunity to slow down, be fully present and savor each stage of the journey. And, when the cycle is complete, honor what has been learned, and then start again.

Coaching Questions for Completion:

  1. How far have you come?
  2. What do you want to complete?
  3. What are you learning about yourself?
  4. Who are you becoming?
  5. How do you want to transcend?
  6. What is it to live life fully?
  7. Who are you impacting or influencing?
  8. What is your gift to others, to your community, and to the world at large?
  9. What have you built and what is your legacy?
  10. How will you honor this completion?