Friday, September 25, 2015

Honouring where you are at different stages

Have you ever felt frustrated? Are there times when you tried everything you could but somehow nothing would happen the way you wanted?

Frustration originates from the non-acceptance of situations, things or people as the way they are. If we were to truly receive life as it is given to us, then we could flow with more grace and ease.


A couple of weekends ago, I took time out of work to attend a workshop called "Discover Your Sacred Gifts" with Monique MacDonald. It was a big deal for me to attend as I haven't taken any weekends off of work this summer, not even to go do fun stuff with friends such as camping or attending music festivals. Whenever I was telling people what workshop I was attending, I noticed that I had a funny way of enunciating the title. Maybe a part of me thought it sounded a bit new age-y. It was mainly a personal development seminar that helps identify your gifts and find meaning behind them, so that you could feel more on purpose instead of finding your purpose. As this was referred to me by a colleague, I decided to sign up as I hadn't done any workshop for awhile and figured it would be a good idea to do more self exploration which would build on my work and purpose.

The seminar turned out to be a mix bag of new age, spirituality and motivational style. Perhaps it was because of where I was at in life and the different kinds of personal work that I have already done in the past, I wouldn't say that I came away with earth shattering breakthroughs. However, I usually remind myself to trust in getting what I need to get at any given time, so I would say this workshop has helped confirm my knowing (or not knowing) of self. Aside from that, there were some new and interesting information. I am not going to get into the details of the workshop and what I have learned, but one of the her ideas which I am writing about here is something called "the chaos cycle." Like the four seasons, there is a natural cycle of 4 stages in life- chaos, creativity, rest and relaxation, and action.



Here are the 4 stages of the chaos cycle:

1. Chaos

Things are chaotic, busy and overwhelming. Projects pile up and strange incidents would be thrown at you from left and right. You might be losing your job, partner or home, and have no idea of how things would work out. If there is time to take a breath, you would ask yourself, "what more could happen?

At this time, best is to not make any important decisions,  simplify as much as you can, cancel commitments, declutter internally and externally, learn to have a lot of trust, and hold on for the ride meanwhile.

2. Creativity

This is the time to collect and write down ideas and inspirations, which need to be patiently brewed before they can be manifested. Continue to be still and hold space for the visions to come alive at a later time.

3. Rest and relaxation

Most people neglect this part: the being/non-doing stage. There is a tendency to feel guilty if you usually like to be productive. You might think nothing is happening but your non-doing is an important part of the doing. This is a necessary stage to be rejuvenated and strengthened which would prepare you for the next one- action!

4. Action

Things are happening in the blink of an eye and everything seems to flow seamlessly with ease. It's a busy time and smart decisions happen here because you feel good and aligned.

Then the cycle repeats itself. It is common for people to go from chaos, creativity to action, while skipping rest and relaxation. There are also some who tend to get stuck in one stage most of the lives.


Looking back, I could see how I would tend to force myself into creativity and action when I was in the chaos stage, and usually things would not flow nor be easy. Now that I have an understanding of such cycle, I can let go more and become more accepting as I honour life's natural rhythm.

For instance, as much as I love the sun, warmth and fun activities in the summer, I am also happy to have cooler and cloudy/rainy weather. Instead of needing to soak it up at the beach, I find myself getting more accomplished at home and on my projects, also more time to do spiritual and self care practices such as yoga, qigong and meditation. I find that organically this is a time for introspection and learning.

On the other hand, I feel that I am in the action stage. Things have been flowing and manifesting with ease and without expectations. I feel aligned and am surely grateful for that, but I also have to be thankful for all the difficulties at other times. As much as I was grinding my teeth down to my gums or raining tears like a tropical storm, deep down I had the understanding that everything that shows up is there to help and teach me. We can learn to appreciate every environment and situation that we are put into as they all have values.

Maybe the chaos cycle is just another belief system, but no matter what, trusting life is huge. It's good to strive for what you want, but constant struggle and going against the stream can be exhausting. Perhaps keeping your visions alive, relaxing and believing that anything is possible, would eventually lead to where you are destined to go.

What stage are you at in life? How do you cope with chaos?

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