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Clarity on role of Cycles

    We are living in an action-oriented world. Meeting our needs as individuals and as a society demands action. If you want to eat, you need to prepare your food or pay someone to prepare it. Any change in our lives demands some action. If we could look at Europe as an ant colony from above, we would see that it is quite busy. People almost every day go to school or work, shopping, whatever. We need to act to sustain ourselves.

    Let’s look closer at human life. If you were lucky (which most of us are), you were born a healthy human being. The first three years of your life could be called an extended pregnancy. Most of that time, you spend very close to your mother. She was there, ready to feed you, clean you, meet any of your needs. From age 3 to 6, you start your first exploration into the world. You learn to speak, run, ride a bicycle, maybe even read. That is a precious time for play and learning in a very natural, intuitive way. You spend most of the day effortlessly following your curiosity, playing with other children, asking questions about more or less complicated issues of life. Most of your free day, I mean. Because the majority of 24 hours a day will still be used to meet your most basic needs:

    – Sleep will take from 10 to 13 hours. Let’s count 12.

    – Hygiene, together with dressing up, etc., will take up to 1.5 hours a day.

    – Meals are very important. You will eat at least 3 meals a day + some snacks in the meantime. That gives us around 3.5 hours for food.

    We are left with around 7 hours a day that you will spend on activities that are of your or your caretakers’ choice.

    Ok, that was your early childhood. You probably don’t even remember that. As soon as this period ends, you are sent to school. From now on, you will go there 5 days a week, and your time will also be mainly organized. After school, you are going to have around 2 – 3 hours left for yourself. For the next 12 years, you are going to live a life that is mostly not of your choice. Of course, you have something to say here and there. You can choose your hobby, what you are doing after class, friends that you are spending time with. Every year you are also going to have around 2 months of time off school. It depends a lot on the style of upbringing that your caretakers are going to adapt, how much of a choice you are going to have. But anyway, MOST of your actions will be motivated from outside. You are going to do them because YOU HAVE TO. That is how life in this huge ant colony looks.

    Wow, you turn 18 now! Suddenly you are asked: What do you want to do with your life? That question now seems to be much more serious than it was ever before. You can do literally whatever YOU WANT TO do. But what do you want to do? Do you even know? Should you study? If yes, what is the area that you are most interested in? Or maybe what your family wants you to do is an important voice that you need to take into consideration? How well do you know yourself? Because now, you are going to make a choice of your future career, and that choice has quite a lot of weight on how your life will turn out! If not studying then what? Blessed are those who were lucky to know that they can take a gap year or find some ESC volunteering projects. But if it was not in your field then, you are probably now studying or working. How much of whatever you do is related to your true passion, with your purpose? How much does it correspond to what your soul is calling for? Are you waking up feeling that every cell of your body is happy and full on board with what you planned to do during that day?

    You see, we are living in an action-oriented world. As adults, we act most of the time. As you can see, we actually act most of the time since we are 6. Don’t get me wrong; action is great. Without it, there would be no change, no improvement, no evolution. Action is necessary to meet our dreams, to build connections. But the questions that I am now asking are: How do we know what to do? How do we know that the action that we are taking is leading us where we want to get? How do we actually know where we want to get? And how do we want to get there?

    Let’s have a look at nature. We can observe, in this part of the earth, 4 main parts of the year cycle that all nature goes through for thousands of years:

    1. Spring – Everything wakes up to life. There is a lot of action here; leaves on the trees are being formed, flowers are opening to invite insects. Nature knows what to do perfectly; it does not ask questions. It just knows. That is the time of growth! Every week seems completely different than the one before. Green color is exploding everywhere around. Days are longer, and even we, human beings, see that something is up! We want to spend more time outside, smell flowers, meet friends. The feeling of capability is arising. We want to change jobs, relationships, learn something new. Open new business, or expand the one that we have. New energy is here to be used.

    2. Summer – Life is full on. The fastest explosion is behind us; now whatever managed to be created during the Spring has its time to ripen. Conditions are perfect! Days are long, the sun is sending a lot of energy towards the earth, and all the plants which grew leaves in spring are now working consistently to capture this energy. It goes to fruits; trees use it to grow. And what about us? We also have now the most energy that we could have during the year! Somehow, we sleep less; we can maybe eat less, and even though, we are able to accomplish more! If we started any new projects this year – now is the time to invest all that we have in them. Staying up late, waking up early, working for 10 hours a day with a little break for some rejuvenating walk in nature after which we feel like a proper nap was taken. We travel, work, celebrate. Life is easy now. Energy is everywhere, easy to access.

    3. Autumn – There is still movement, but everything slows down. Because days are getting shorter, the sun is lower, temperatures start to decrease. Trees now start to withdraw all the essential nutritional ingredients from leaves, and they prepare to let them go. Otherwise, in the next phase of the cycle, these leaves would be a very weak spot for the tree. That is time to harvest! Fruits and veggies are now ripe; squirrels, for example, are now taking some of what was produced by trees, and they prepare their supplies for upcoming months. We, humans, start to feel maybe a little bit nostalgic. We look back at the year and wait for the last wave of summer, before it gets rainy. This is a time to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves, that we are prepared. All experiences of summer bring up memories; we can now see what we were able to accomplish in these highly energetic moments, maybe finish whatever needs to be done. We remember our trips, meetings, parties. We can now take a big inhale and say „Wow, what a summer was that!”. Now we prefer to stay inside, maybe even not so much around people, maybe just the close ones…

    4. Winter – Life is dormant. The sun is at its lowest. No leaves on the trees. Nothing is growing. Insects are sitting in their small caves, waiting for spring to come. In this time of the year, even water tends to freeze, manifesting non-movement. Nature is now having a break! Bears are sleeping; squirrels are eating whatever they prepared before… And we, humans? We also wait for spring but more subconsciously. On the conscious level, there is so much stuff TO DO! Christmas is coming; what are we going to give to each other? Maybe it would be possible to work some extra hours to save some additional money for gifts? We are acting, as most of the time. Now only with more sluggishness, with more tiredness. We want to sleep more, but not always we can. We would like to have some more free time, but there are expenses, especially if you need to pay for heating in your home. Anyway, you are going to take time off work during holidays. Are you going to really have some rest then? Or maybe you are going to travel to distant cities, meeting with your family members with whom you feel more or less comfortable? Maybe you are the one hosting? Preparing the space, food, taking care of visitors? Christmas is just after the shortest days of the year. A long time ago, before Christianity, it was the time to celebrate the birth of light. From that point onward, days get longer, and nights get shorter—a symbolic victory of light over darkness. That gives us hope! Now, there is not much left until spring comes right? So we clench our teeth and follow the routine. Work, school, whatever it is, you act!

    What if you could really do whatever you want to do? What if you could sleep 14 hours a day, spend days in bed, or walk around the house in your pajamas? What if you would not have to act? Would you waste this time? Would you fall into depression and kill yourself? Or would you really slow down, almost to the point of non-movement? What is there in this state? What non-action would bring? Is the tree depressed because there is no sun, and it does not feel like creating new leaves? Does the bear think of himself as lazy because he prefers to sleep for weeks?

    To me, this year brought a lot of clarity… I really got connected with cycles of life. Spring was a real new beginning for me. The relationship of a few years ended, I quit my job, sold my car, moved out from the house that I was renting. I started traveling. Summer. New people, new places, new experiences. I was everywhere, doing everything! I was a volcano of energy! It was even hard for me to believe how fast things are moving, how fast everything changes. How much experience can be packed in a certain amount of time? – I was asking myself. Then I arrived for good to Vrabsko, and I felt a complete energy change! I wrote a blog post about it: „Is Autumn already here?”

    As I am writing this post, we are already a week after bouncing off the darkest place of the cycle. Winter equinox. Last month was a very depressing, sad time. I had little energy. All the doubts, all the worries, all the unresolved things were coming to me, and I was unable to do anything to avoid looking at them. Everything that bothered me – but I was too busy to look at – was now standing in front of me. No! It was crawling under my blanket; it was sitting with me in the bathtub. It was in every flame; every bird was singing about it. Once I went to an ice bath. To do that, I had to break the ice on the pond. Guess what was in the ice hole ;_; Finally, I had to admit. I had to face it. I had to feel it. I had to be with it. I had to give myself to it. These were just parts of myself. Buried, repressed, unwanted. I was walking around, being busy with life, not seeing demons that I was carrying. And at the end, they were nothing else than just forgotten parts of me…

    Why does nature not ask questions in spring? Why does it know what to do? Because the time for questions is during the winter. That is the time to dive deep. That is not the time to act, but simply, feel. And from that feeling comes clarity. From that feeling comes knowing. With that, when the time is right, action is taken. But that action is now different. It is gracefully aligned. It is confident, simple, rooted in something deeper than whatever can be seen now, in part of the cycle dedicated to action.

    1 thought on “Clarity on role of Cycles”

    1. Pingback: Experience: Non-formal education for ESC Volunteers – SpoluZemě Vrábsko

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