Updated: Feb 28, 2021
We all experience them. Some are short, some are long. The seasons are one of the cycles of nature. The movement of day into night is a cycle too. For all of us, life moves through a series of cycles, from birth until death. As we journey through the cycles of life, we will experience many breakthroughs and also many setbacks, in a continuous series of highs and lows.*
When we find ourselves in the low part of the cycle, it may feel like our energy has slowed or we have hit a point of complete standstill, or perhaps we feel like we are in a hole and cannot see the way out. Although it can feel overwhelming at these points (and I’ve had my fair share), we must keep in mind that before a new high can be reached we must experience the low in order to gain momentum for the next rise. Sometimes it’s just about learning to sit and experience the low, to pause and wait for the new insight or discovery about ourselves that will help us find the way back up.
I like to imagine the process is like a swing in the playground – in order to move forward and upward, we must first push backwards. In fact, we rely on the backward swing to get a stronger forward and upward motion. So, without the swing backward, there would be no forward movement.
How can our understanding of this process help us in real life?
Thankfully, having an awareness of the cycle is the first step in the process. Now that you know that the downward part of the cycle is a necessary and essential part of the process for growth and moving forward, you no longer have to battle with it.
The opportunity is there to know that the frustration / anger / disappointment / sadness that you are feeling is part of the process. This is a great opportunity to pause, reflect, journal, or talk with a friend about how you are feeling. Doing this will give you some valuable insights and help you manage the darker moments. You could also use this exercise to consider how you will approach and ready yourself for what will eventually be the next upward spiral.
Taking this further, the addition of some kind of daily practice that connects body, mind and spirit can help to bring you more in tune with the turning cycles, enabling you to stay grounded and centred as you move through the low cycle. This will help you rise with a sense of joyful balance on the upward cycle too.
Eventually, you will be able to face the twists and turns of life – at best, with a sense of optimism and excitement, and at worst, with the understanding that every step counts in the bigger picture, even the backward ones.
* Please note that extreme highs and lows may indicate a deeper problem, so please seek help if you find that this is an issue in your life.