Have you reached a turning point?
We tend to see life as linear, that is, in order to reach our full potential, at certain points, we need to have achieved whats required to take the next step.
But life is cyclical, we begin all over again at many points.
New cycles can be triggered by frustrations like a personality clash with a co-worker or a major event like a divorce.
Cycles are life’s turning points, where life as we’ve understood it, no longer applies.
My life had been linear for twenty years.
I had established a routine where work and life fitted neatly into separate compartments.
Until minor frustrations began to impede on my regular routine.
- After running on autopilot for years menopause drew attention to my health.
- I developed a desire to do something completely different.
- And yearned for a deeper connection with life.
Mid life presented me with signs that I was entering a new cycle.
Over the past two decades when problems arose I took the appropriate actions and all fell back into place.
When a new cycle begins small actions don’t work.
Chris Argyris developed the concept of single loop learning and double loop learning.
Single loop learning is when you make a plan to get from A to B. When an obstacle arises preventing you from arriving at B, you make an adjustment to get you there. This works well when life is moving in a linear fashion.
Double loop learning is throwing out all preconceived notions, to the extent that arriving at B may no longer apply. It scrutinizes everything. It is an intuitive rather than analytical way to solve a problem.
The double loop approach is whats needed when life reaches a turning point.
Freewriting as a way to dig deep and gain insight.
Insights are those ‘aha’ moments, that come out of nowhere.
They pop up from within when you remove yourself from regular routine.
Journaling can lead you to insights.
Free writing requires you to write the first thing that pops into your head before your analytical mind kicks in.
Writing is a natural tool we can use to ‘drill down’, question, unravel, discard and reorganize.
- You have to write quickly without judgment.
- And dump whatever pops up onto the page.
- Getting it out on paper (or computer screen) will identify specifics and clarify your confusion.
- Pinpointing areas of concern will detach you from the problem.
- You’ll naturally investigate further.
How to find time when life’s busy.
Wake up 10 minutes earlier.
Early mornings are good, your still in a dream state.
Writing first thing, makes your concerns the most important thing you do each day.
You’ll calm down because your getting the attention you deserve.
10 journaling steps to steer you toward your reinvention.
1. Begin by connecting with your feelings.
- How do you feel this morning?
- Do you feel angry, unappreciated, overlooked?
- Write about one specific feeling for 10 minutes.
Need more prompting.
Write why, where and when you feel this way and how it effects you?
2. You’ll tune to your needs.
Gradually, you’ll obtain a sense of where your at and connect with where your stuck.
Write about it.
3. Become aware of triggers in everyday interactions.
Each time someone angers, offends, lets you down, steps on your toes, write about it.
- How did it make you feel?
- What is the voice in your head telling you?
- Why were you hurt, offended?
Investigate this in your writing.
4. Where have you settled?
Your job, relationship, who you spend time with.
Why are you doing this, to keep the peace, to keep your job?
Write about it.
5. Test your belief system.
As life moves into new cycles, opinions, even your own, require updating.
Some reactions are triggered by past events like a rejection of some sort.
From a parent, spouse, boss, lover, friend, co worker.
Investigate their truth, then trace them back to their roots.
- How do you respond to this belief in everyday life?
- Is it true?
- Do you see a pattern?
6. Have your beliefs kept you stuck?
- What in life have you resisted?
- Where have you sold yourself short?
- How have you contributed to the myths?
- What consequences are you afraid of?
- Are they legitimate?
- How are your beliefs keeping you stuck?
7. Write about all the areas in which you see a trigger present itself.
How it repeats itself in various disguises.
Keep going over your story.
Until you’ve scrutinized it so thoroughly it’s driving you crazy. Your so fed up you take real world action.
Now you know what to move away from, but where do you go?
8. Reflect on cherished moments in life.
Mine in time line order:
- The birth of my daughter.
- Purchasing a couple of acres.
- Meeting the love of my life.
- A long camping adventure.
- A puppy.
- The birth of my grandchildren.
9. Move toward the feelings these moments brought about.
- Why it was important to you?
- How did it fulfill a desire?
- Why did it make you feel alive, like you belong?
- How did you feel valued?
- What yearning did it fulfill?
10. Lean into activities that fulfill this yearning.
I leaned toward feeling more connected.
Take simple steps to get you there.
What next step would you take?
I took the simple step of regular dates with my grandchildren.
Over the coming year I joined a Zen meditation group, took the dog for daily walks, found interesting spots my partner and I could explore on weekends, joined Toastmasters and connected with others via E learning.
Let’s Boom On.
You’ve gained insight and are planting seeds for new beginnings.
Your reinvention is underway ‘Let’s boom on’.
There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
- Nelson Mandela