Tag Archives: Gary Bello


Cycles and Cyclones

In my last blog entry I wrote about the onset of spring. I would like to continue with this topic by focusing on something that has fascinated me for the past four decades: the ever-changing aspects of Mother Nature.

Everything that falls under the category of the material universe, including the mind and emotions, has a starting point, remains in existence for a certain period of time, and ends when its cycle is completed. For example, by the time I finish writing this sentence, cells in my body have taken birth, will remain in existence for a while, and then die. At this very moment, the cellular structure of my body is a microcosm of this remarkable, fluctuating macrocosm we call the universe. Nothing remains the same forever. There is no altering this law of nature. Einstein hit the nail on the head when he concluded that you cannot destroy or create matter but only learn to flow with its ever-changing nature.

If you are not prepared to deal with this fact, you may find it difficult to deal with the unknown possibilities that lie ahead for each of us. Fear of change is common, and with today’s financial and environmental changes, there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the air. Certain changes are cyclical and therefore predictable, while others appear suddenly, forcing the unknown down our throats. And then, on the other hand, some of the changes are welcome, such as the birth of a child after its nine-month stay in Mom’s womb.

Nature’s cycle of seasons is one of the predictable changes (check out our previous blog entry “Spring Ahead”), yet even within this recurring change of weather, the unpredictable still exists. Cycles are changes in patterns. In a way they are the constants in life, and they offer us opportunities to remain available to the winds of change.

Our relationship to the ever-changing nature of life forms the foundation for mental and emotional balance. While the predictable cycles that include birthdays, the seasons, and the moon cycles are easily accepted as a part of life, there are other changes we wish would go away and leave us alone. Tropical cyclones most definitely fall under this category. They arrive suddenly, with only a few days notice, and their cycling winds and unrelenting rain can cause a fair amount of damage. Thankfully, they are not permanent fixtures on the landscape, and eventually the sun shines once again.

Mental and emotional cyclones are also unpredictable and can damage our relationship with others. However, even these cycles have a beginning, a middle, and an eventual end. For better or for worse, if we are upset and wait a bit, the painful feelings will subside (for a while). Similarly, even joyful moments spent with loved ones will end. Everything changes, so the question is: How comfortable are you with those changes? Those who know how to navigate through the unexpected tempest fare well, while those who are lacking this skill get blown around and sucked into the vortex.

Just like the seasons, the lessons we need to learn seem to arrive in cycles. If we are unable to navigate agitating situations, they just might become cyclones, making it even more difficult to lessen our confusion or suffering. And if we do not learn the particular lesson embedded in the upset, we can always count on it returning at some future time. Like all things cyclical, these lessons have a purpose and are destined to reappear time and again to give us another shot at learning them.

I have heard it said that the compassionate universe always give us another chance . . . even if we would rather that it not be so generous. Change and cycles are inevitable. We are born, we learn how to live in society, some become parents, we age, and at some point, we begin preparing for our departure. A lifetime of possibilities cycle before us, and whether we are aware or not, the lessons keep coming.

Spring Ahead

Flowering HillsSpring is a time of transition. The warmer weather, combined with longer days and shorter nights, gives us more time for renewal. Gardens awaken, sending each of us an invitation to touch, smell, notice, and get involved. There is expectation in the air as tender shoots peek out from the previously dormant flower bulbs and birds seem to chirp with a happier song. Yes, it is the season of change and new beginnings are definitely appearing all around us. Each day, with the additional hours of light, I check off many items on a to-do list that was started last fall.

The end of winter always triggers powerful rumblings inside of me—strong sensations that whisper to me that something is about to shift. With no content to these feelings, there is no way of knowing what unforeseen possibilities lie ahead. Patience is required. It is a feeling of expectation similar to those moments right before a 10K race when the runner awaits the starter’s gun with a perfect blend of anticipation and relaxation. Every year spring ignites this feeling in me and I practice remaining available and ready. Calm anticipation is an interesting experience, especially since it is devoid of gloom or doom. It includes an inner knowing that something special and maybe auspicious is about to happen.

We live in an unsettling era of unforeseen possibilities. Although these are uncertain times, they also include a promise for something better. And even though change is often beyond our control, remaining open and available seems to be the best posture to take. There is excitement in the springing forth of new beginnings, and with Mother Nature once again offering her nurturing abundance, life is good.

So, as these feelings percolate within, I remind myself to remain open and receptive to all invitations, both subtle and obvious. Remaining responsive, instead of reactive, allows me to take advantage of the changes ahead. Those who have not yet prepared themselves for these moments of change may cling to the past and render themselves unable to appreciate the potential in the unknown. However, since living in an ever-changing world requires a strategy that accepts the inevitable, it would be more sensible for all of us to be aware of, and ready for, change. I personally continue the practices that remind me to remain balanced, flexible, and available to whatever is coming my way. So instead of seeing change as an upsetting inconvenience, I see it as a challenge and an opportunity for growth.

This season of awakening, offers new beginnings, and although they might be unsettling, there is no way to prevent the inevitable. Therefore, I conclude that I might as well go along for the ride. When I am faced with changing circumstances, I remind myself that surfing the waves of uncertainty is invigorating. Then, I take the opportunity to thank the sun for sending its warming rays once again as we prepare for yet another grand cycle of birth and death.

None of us are the same since November’s darkness began, and I welcome the spring ahead with an open heart and mind. I have discovered that being curious and receptive to life’s invitations is really a great strategy. As well, remaining available to change has some very definite benefits for it keeps us youthful and alive!