I stood near a table, in the country club, and watched them walk into the room. He was dressed, as usual, with a jacket and tie, his back bent a bit, but his energy evident as he starting greeting his guests. She was next to him, beautiful and radiant, her hair perfectly coiffed, her smile genuine, joyful to be with those who love her. They mingled with the people gathered to celebrate their wedding anniversary, and their 90th and 97th birthdays. I was asked if I would share something about them after dinner. It was an easy-to-accommodate request.
Life Cycles, Time Passages & Autopilot
Just like the planet we live on, we have cycles of life, but we often don’t acknowledge, or appreciate, them. The daily processes of sleeping and waking, of breathing in and out, and of blood circulating through our body are all cycles. We are born, we grow, we shrink and we eventually make our way back to the spirit side (heaven, paradise, Nirvana, Eden) during our time passages.
Most of us don’t often think about the cycles that create the many “rhythms” of life.
There are biological age cycles:
birth to 7- formation of our basic personality
7 to 14- learning from the “outside” world
14 to 21- beginning to get a sense of self
21 to 28- choosing to move outside the comfort of “home”
28 to 35- finding a purpose; understanding who we are
35 to 42- reaching beyond constraints or beliefs formerly held
42 to 49- becoming “successful”; attracting more wealth
49 to 56- spiritual awareness and increased consciousness
56 to 63- understanding our purpose; living it out
63 and older- listening to our inner voice to find inner peace
There are yearly life cycles (that start on your birth date):
cycle 1- period of opportunity
cycle 2- time of movement
cycle 3- using good judgment
cycle 4- spiritual and mental awareness
cycle 5- success and prosperity
cycle 6- relaxation and fun
cycle 7- what you no longer need, falls away to make room for what is better.
There are the cycles of the seasons—on Earth and in our lives:
Winter- contemplation, and cocooning, and self-discovery
Spring- rebirth, where the seeds of emerging dreams are planted
Summer- when we reap what we’ve sown
Fall- where we assess what we’ve learned
(Too often I’ve tried to get through the literal winter because I want the cold to go away, but I know that without each important step the circle would never be completed.)
We live in a time when so much is automated that we don’t always realize the ultimate impact of our fast-paced, often overfilled lives. When we’re on autopilot—moving through a day without even realizing what we’re doing—we lose the experience of living; “hands on” control is no longer necessary. We often don’t even stop and check-in to make sure that any kind of monitoring is going on at all. It’s like a pilot walking out of the cockpit and falling asleep until the plane lands itself. The trip is finished, but the journey wasn’t experienced.
Often, our lives fly by without us even being aware of the passage of time. We’re not stopping long enough to experience it—to notice each precious breath before it’s hard to make them, to honor our moments or experiences or interactions, until we can no longer create them. We are constantly changing– emerging, progressing, stepping back, moving forward. To get the most from the process we have to be mindful of how we’re walking through each day, being in tune to the cycles that make the experience of this life possible. Like my dear friends, in their nineties, we need to choose to be in our moments.
We left that party on Saturday evening and drove to our daughter and son-in-law’s home for dinner. We walked in the door to a resounding “surprise”, by dozens of people I’ve known for five years and fifty-five years, gathered together to celebrate my sixtieth birthday. Late in the evening, when “Happy Birthday” was sung, I tried to find the right words of gratitude for all I have, for all those gathered, for the love I am blessed by each day. I’m not sure exactly what I said through my tears, but I know that it was heartfelt and honest, as the beautiful kaleidoscope of life continued to turn.