Why does my life feel like a roller coaster? Haven’t we been here before? I want to stop the agony of being so close, yet so far away.
She was job searching, had been since the election. It was beginning to feel like fun-ployment was turning to panic.
My favorite Q to ask is: Where are you in your cycle right now? And no, I’m not talking about your period.
Whenever we take on a big project or a life goal, we enter what life coach and writer, Martha Beck, refers to as the Theory of Change Cycle.
This remarkable diagram helps explain where you are AND the process of the cycle.
To explore, ask yourself these two questions:
1. Where are you right now? What phase/square are you in?
Square 1: Death and Rebirth
Square 2: Dreaming and Scheming
Square 3: The Hero’s Saga
Square 4:The Promised Land
2. What square do you tend to hang out in most naturally? Because anything else is going to feel uncomfortable.
Knowing What Square You’re In
If you tend to be someone who loves Square 1: Death and Rebirth, then you are constantly creating experiences of death and rebirth. Maybe you keep leaving relationships or jobs, or you move every few years (classic square one). You might leave relationships that are in the Hero’s Journey part when you hit a snag.
If you happen to love Square 2: You’re always dreaming and scheming about what comes next and love to be dreaming up the next big project. You get this overwhelming slew of ideas often right in the midst of the current project and it makes you want to jet.
If you’re a Square 3 person: You are in the trenches, new days, new adventures, new battles, up and down, AND YOU DO NOT WANT IT TO BE OVER because then you’d have to be in death + rebirth and that’s terrifying to you. You’re like Odysseus so close to his homeland just when the wind blows him off shore again for another decade.
If you’re Square 4: You roll up after the chaos has ended. You make sure shit works. You put in powerful systems and you keep the machine going. But it also feels a bit boring if you like Squares 1, 2, or 3.
Knowing Your Patterns
Here in lies the real issue. At this time in your life, you might be in Square 3 The Hero’s Journey, managing the ups and downs of the adventure you’re in. But you might be finding yourself dreaming of starting something completely different. You feel that panic of wanting to be able to dream about what’s next, yet you haven’t finished this current project.
IT’S A PATTERN!
Martha Beck explains that we often like one square more than another and so our subconscious might try to get us back to the square we’re most comfortable in.
If you’re in the midst of trying to get your side hustle off the ground (Hero’s Journey) and you have this amazing idea for a cofounded venture at the beginning of 2018 (Dreaming + Scheming), hold up. You have to finish the cycle of one before you head to the other.
I tend to love Square 1 and I’ve really perfected it. There’s a slowing down that happens in Square 1 where I really get clear on what matters. Things that matter to me tend to be very close friends and family (and no one else). Simple things like getting enough rest, and eating nourishing food. I spend time writing in my journal and really internally listening to my next step. I feel clear on my yes and my no. This year, I’ve lived at four different addresses and it’s only November (insert eye roll emoji). But Square 3 is much harder for me. It requires being ready for different battles and adventures. Building a business is all about being in Square 3. Instead of panicking that it’s not done yet, I have to remind myself that I’m in the middle of a mountainous climb.
Instead of thinking I need to switch things up (Square 1), I stay in the difficult climbs (projects) that are inherent to Square 3 (Hero’s Journey). Sometimes, getting up for a 6am meeting is a dang slog, but it’s all leading to Square 4, the Promised Land.
It is the awareness of where you are that frees you to actually engage in your life in THIS moment without anxiety or hustling to get to a different square. You get to own where you are.
What square are you in right now? What square do you tend to hang out in the most?
To getting off the dang roller coaster and being exactly where you are, XO JESS
Jessica Leigh Lyons brings a tender + fierce style to coaching. Her clients have been known to go on to start a biz, open their arms to a new love life, and take big leaps to new locations with new jobs.
She is also a facilitator, a writer and a gatherer, creating safe spaces and community to explore life and love more deeply.
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