Forty years ago, I learned that not all cultures see time as linear! More recently, I have learned that time is circular, always spiraling forward. And, even more striking to me is awakening to see this spiraling is purposeful, transcendent to human control, and inclusive of not just humans but every form of life. In our modern 21st Century era, scientists tell us, using evidences to support their proclamations, that we are transitioning from a planetary paradigm to one that is galactic. Change continues. The question: How will we live into and be transformed, or will we be?
Bruce Feiler in Life Is in the Transitions offers a model for navigating life changes in ways, using specific kinds of tools, to restructure our lives with greater depth, purpose, and potential.
Similarly in a small but impactful volume from the Center for Action and Contemplation, (CAC.org) called simply TRANSITIONS multiple authors assert the Universe’s myriad ways for using life’s transitions as portals for our personal and planetary evolution toward connections and outcomes that honor all impacted within and by both human and ecosystems.
Already, colleagues and I have two different Transitions courses slated to be offered online, the first in November 2023. The second to begin on January 11, 2024. Each course draws from Feiler and CAC’s works.
Brian McLaren in the CAC’s Transitions book, shares that he used to think of things as real while change was something that happened to the real things over time. McLaren’s revised paradigm places change as the constant and things as changing forms that materialize, exist, and disappear over time.
Many of us have thought of ourselves as matter rather than as energy contained within a form of matter that has come and will go. Thankfully, our paradigms are shifting which, itself, is transitioning. We now talk about ourselves as having a nonphysical essence that resides within our form, known as our bodies and personalities. Thankfully decades of research by scientists, philosophers, and practitioners show us that we have four centers of knowing; our cognitive brain, our heart, our body, and our depth which is closely aligned with our intuition. The latter is experienced as a noetic, immediate gift from a source beyond our self. Taken as a whole, when our four centers are in sync, our capacity to navigate transitions is enhanced, resulting in new identities, new levels and kinds of energies, new capacities, new relationships, and new commitments. For example, thinking of new energies, I think of a colleague who became a dear friend.
This person’s whole life seemed to be a series of tragedies that culminated in a personal struggle that left a family member dead. For this dear person, this experience was tough and had to be consciously grieved. The whole grieving process resulted in her transition from being a victim with her passions constrained to being a person with seemingly unlimited energies to do good for others. Among her accomplishments were the sponsorship and leadership of two humanitarian organizations whose legacies live on today. In personal conversation, she relayed to me that once she had lived through and processed the experience of her relationship with her family member who had been a local governmental and business leader with many secrets, she knew that she was invincible. Her courage to face her pain, coupled with her new awareness of rich inner resources positioned her to live her new life as a champion for others to do similarly; to tap into their own inner resources, to transform painful traumas into creativity, innovation, and service. This former student, then colleague of mine, became one of my dearest friends and teachers. Long after she is physically gone, her spirit and encouragement live on, not just through me but through many.
Each of our stories is unique. Yet in the diversity there is a commonality. Students of human behavior share confidently it is our learning, choosing, and conscious reframing of our life experiences through transitions in seeing, being, and doing that we become transformative agents for others. If or as we guide and go beside others as they develop, we empower them to possess the will and the ways to turn constraints into capacities, attitudes of fear and timidity into courageous empowerment that is infused with acquired wisdom and transformative love. BTW, in our Nostos Seminars program, we include a model of empowerment that includes an operational definition of love that spells out four characteristics: truth, respect, responsibility, and compassion. In definitions of love, hailing back centuries, we see presented these same four characteristics of love repeated. Consider Erich Fromm, THE ART OF LOVING; M. Scott Peck, THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED, Matthew Fox, ORIGINAL BLESSING & numerous other books, Dolly Parton – her life, movies like Devotion, change agents like Malala – add names that ring true for you, and finally put yourself on your list – as you live from your own unique life purpose!
Lest this blog become a book, I will close with these thoughts….
In the midst of Winter, may I celebrate the unseen life teaming below the surface.
In the midst of Spring, may I show my gratitude through generous efforts that reveal my faith in the coming Summer.
In the midst of Summer, may I do the work of tending, harvesting, sharing, and enjoying the fruits of Life’s abundance and my inclusion in the co-creative processes.
In the midst of Fall, may I finish the work of Summer, perhaps plant a Winter crop, and prepare for the season where Life works invisibly to set the stage for coming seasons.
In the midst of Winter…..Oh, here we are again, full circle and yet spiraling forward. Now, I can rest a bit as I celebrate the wholeness of life surrounding me. May I let it be a metaphor for the Life within me. May I honor the play that has been written by LOVE, Itself! (If you see Life’s messages in song, check out artist David Wilcox’s “Show the Way.”)
Check out my/our website….contact us with any comments or questions and/or suggestions.
If your “knowing” suggests that you join me or us in our planned, yet highly interactive learning and creating sessions, please do.
Thank you for reading and reflecting upon how Transitions are here by grand design that transcends but includes all of us! May we each be transforming so that when we meet each other down the way, transitions will speak clearly, affirmatively, and impactfully!
One last thought: Energy never dies; it just becomes more disorganized or more organized.
In honor of two cherished guides for me along this journey, Ben Woolsey & Pauline Pinder,
both born on November 8 in the 1920’s.