If someone were to play the movie of your life before your eyes, what would strike you? My movie would play an impoverished childhood in a Romanian village, rising to fame as a singing sensation, escaping to America with $40 in my pocket (I spent the other $40 I had on a Chanel No. 5 perfume on the plane), my poor, frail parents passing away before their proper time, meeting and marrying my soul mate in a matter of weeks, children running in the halls of our first home, building a small empire, and my husband's last breath from lung cancer, among other tragically nostalgic glimpses. But what would strike me would be the incredible flux of my life. Just like you, I have both endured onerous burdens and triumphed over unthinkable challenges. That's because life is seldom monotonous; it is a symphony of measures and beats and sweet strings that form a grand orchestra -- a cadence of unexpected experiences and shocking surprises. To hear the many, wild melodies of our lives is to live richly.
Indeed, life is composed of phases that carry different energies: some brilliant, others terrible. But the cycles continue nonetheless. Nothing begins that does not end and nothing ends before something new begins. We can analyze these periods and break them down into five stages that accompany our years on earth. Understanding our present standing helps us not only to best handle situations that may be out of our control, but to anticipate the next installment to come. It is when we don't see the greater reason behind our circumstances that we become trapped in them. But when we acknowledge the role of universal timing, we can take steady steps towards our ideal reality. With each cycle comes a novel lesson, and it is in our full benefit to know what to expect during every era of life. We can't fight the current, but we can ride bravely through it towards calm shores.
Reflect on the five phases of life below and recognize your current course to progress onto your next personal chapter:
Stability. Stability is marked by consistency and continuation of prosperity. It is a time in which abundance and fruition pour in steadily. Stability equals predictability. For many people, stability is having a home, a family, and a reliable job. It is the invaluable comfort of knowing that things are in order. When we feel stable, we have a sense of what tomorrow will bring. Reap the delight of precious balance, as it is also fleeting. Stability is the joyful peak of all life phases and we must grip it as firmly as possible. Solidity is what we seek in our spirit.
Chaos. Chaos is the opposite of stability. It is discord and unease and usually signals a major turnaround. Walls come crashing down, often abruptly. But chaos is not always negative. I experienced complete disorder when I first came to America and had to sleep on a family member's couch for several weeks. The discomfort was transient and led me to a much better life. Chaos is temporary but necessary to regain stability. Order reemerges from chaos as new foundations are formed. While passing through a chaotic chapter, it's imperative that you remain well-grounded in your aims and ambitions. Don't allow outside influences to deter you from your goals and desires, for they will manifest if you continue to focus. Anticipate a more peaceful period to follow a surge of turmoil.
Movement. The stage of movement is hectic but rewarding. It is one of enthusiasm and exuberance, excitement and fresh possibilities. This may be the start of a new career brimming with responsibilities, welcoming a new addition to the family, commencing a new relationship, or relocating to a new home. In the phase of movement, you must launch yourself forward with the full momentum of the moment. This is not a time to wait or glance back to the past -- it is a time to take all that you are given and apply it towards your potential. You'll recognize you are in movement when, suddenly, you find yourself in the midst of much lucrative activity.
Stagnancy. Alas, we all reach the still waters of stagnancy. Things slow down; you may feel alone, isolated, frustrated, and confused as to what your next steps should be. Hard as we may knock, doors of opportunities do not open. The phase of stagnancy should not be one of desperation but of reflection -- of careful meditation on your upcoming moves when the appropriate moment returns. Stagnancy is a time to turn inward, to concentrate on self-improvement and personal evolution. Pause your efforts while you roam within your esoteric realms, resolving old issues and emotions. When the pace picks back up again, you will feel better prepared and more secure in yourself.
Adaptation. Adaptation is the intermittent phase between phases. We must take time to become familiar with internal and external conditions, whether they be of the stable or chaotic type. Even moving into a new home with your family, your source of stability, requires mental, physical, and sentimental adaptation. We often forget that we are creatures molded after our environment; nature designed us to survive under a great multitude of strains. Take time to adjust to recent changes and events. Study your surroundings and decipher how to make the most of them, all the while reassured by the truth that you are equipped to thrive through most anything.
Although certain phases pass more smoothly than others, recognizing the tides of life grants us the inner fortitude to confront our circumstances with awareness and acceptance. After all, hope is a simple reminder that momentary sorrow is a prelude to lasting joy.
To smooth transitions,
Dr. Carmen Harra
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