Cycles of Change

Cycles of Change

Life is made up of rhythms, each cycle of change has a start, middle, ending and end.  One whole cycle might pass quickly, like one breath or take a whole lifetime.  People often compare this natural rhythm to the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter. 

How we respond to the different parts of the cycle of change depends a lot on context but we can have familiar patterns. It can be really interesting to notice how you are with cycles. You might notice you have a preference for certain seasons over others.

Cycles of a story

All stories have a start, middle, ending and end.  Can you notice a pattern when you’re reading a book or watching a TV series?

  • Do you get hooked quickly or does it take you a while to set aside time to get into the first few chapters?
  • Do you rush through the middle to find out what happens toward the end?
  • Do you drag out the last part hoping it won’t end?
  • Do you pick up your next book straight away or do you allow a few days for one story to settle and get absorbed before diving into the next?

I’ve realised that I’m not much good at allowing time to rest before starting something new. I’m now trying to block time off between one thing ending and another beginning to allow time for rest and recovery.

What would your pattern be?

Do you skip winter or are you good at allowing time to rest before moving on?

Story book

Relating and developing parts of the cycle

Here are a few tips to notice any patterns you may have with aversion or grasping towards parts of the cycle. There are a couple of examples of things you can try during your yoga practice or at different times of the day to allow more time for that part of the cycle.

Spring

Do you arrive early; does it take you a while to leave the house or are you often late?

Yoga – Spend more time in Samasthiti (standing) at the start of your practice before you begin to move. Take a few breaths between postures.

Life – Look at your diary every morning and make a plan for the day, if you’re often late try to arrive 5 minutes early.

Summer

Do you enjoy when things are in full swing or are you thinking about what’s coming next?

Yoga – Take time with each movement in the repetitions to really be present notice how your breath is or how you can tweak your posture.

Life – Be really present when eating lunch, try not to think about what you’ve got coming up that afternoon.

Autumn

Do you allow time to reflect and absorb an experience, are you often the last person to leave an event?

Yoga – As the practice draws to an end do you allow time for the counterposes or do you rush to finish.  Maybe add a couple of repetition to see if you can prolong the ending.

Life – spend time journaling allowing time to reflect on your day.

Winter

Do you stop and rest, to allow time for dormancy and recovery or do you start something new before you’ve had chance to sit down?

Yoga – How are you in Śāvāsana (lying rest) at the end of your practice, do you get up straight away or do you stay for too long?

Life – When you leave a room close the door.

Which season do you relate to the most, which might you skip?  Are there any disadvantages to spending more time in one part of the cycle whilst skipping another?

These natural rhythms and cycles are described in many different ways.  This model is based around models from the Embodied Facilitation Course I’m currently studying with Mark Walsh.

Four Seasons

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