Closing Cycles = Wowza!
Aunty was going to title this latest post, “Closing Cycles = Zounds!” but changed it after Aunty looked up the word. “Zounds” is an abbreviated version of “God’s wounds”, or a mild oath. Not very pleasant stuff. “Wowza” a better word in this situation, interpreted as surprisingly amazing or oh my gosh.
In this weekend’s seminar with Meir Ezra (review coming soon), we were constantly challenged to define the meaning of words – simple words that we all thought we knew. Truth, Ethics, Statistics, Product, Spirit, Money, and on and on. It was amazing how most of us were not able to verbalize definitions, or had a very wrong definition of a word in the data base of our brain. An example: do you know the meaning of the word “peruse?” Using the Webster dictionary clarifies a lot of misunderstood words.
Another powerful insight that Aunty got from this weekend’s seminar was the cycle of action: Start, Change, Stop.
I had heard it before: everything in life has a beginning, an evolution, and an end. Everything we do has the same cycle. Every task, idea, feeling has that same cycle. Example: if someone (or you) does something that causes you to resent them (the start), the feeling in that relationship simmers, bothers, bugs you (the change), until you can either forgive or let go (the stop). Open cycles of action are when you are stuck in the change phase – the simmering, the bothering, the bugging.
Aunty has a LOT of open cycles in her life
Because of this, Aunty feels stressed. Uncle has far less, and thus, he is a very happy man. The more open cycles we have, the more problems we have.
One of the exercises from Meir’s first workshop was to write down a list of all the open cycles in our lives. In our jobs, we have daily, weekly cycles of actions that we must complete, i.e. send out an email to employees re: reduction in hours (start), think about, get clarification, push it on the side, or format the email (change), send the email (stop). Students have assignments (start), they do research, start typing, leave it until the last minute (change), they turn in their assignments or don’t turn in their assignments and get an “F” (stop).
Aunty did the exercise, but poorly and without intention. It was not until this morning, when Aunty awoke, that Aunty really got it.
You see, there was a set of invoices that needed to be recalculated and go out to a customer for Uncle’s business. Because it was a bit of a headache to deal with, Aunty buried it under a pile of papers. This was an open cycle. Granted, it was a small open cycle, but it was open and causing a problem – we were not getting paid. It was also causing Aunty to have anxiety because they had to be processed.
You may think, “duh”, Aunty should just finish up those invoices and send them out. Well, that makes you far smarter than Aunty because Aunty just finally realized that and took 10 minutes to complete the task, address it and pop it in the mail.
It felt SO good to close that paper sized cycle!!
That small cycle closing made Aunty feel terrific, and Aunty now has a lot more locomotive steam to tackle her other open cycles, one by one. Some of them are also small (pack bag for trip), some are huge (downsize belongings). Some are relationships – big constant weights on Aunty that will take some time to clear, but just by writing them down, the problem starts to go away.
Many cycles are not problems because Aunty is great at closing them out, such as paying off credit card balances every month before the due date. The difference is that Aunty can give those a “Wowza!” each time they are done. Closing open cycles makes the problem go away.
Your open cycles
Look at your problems, your hurts, the things that cause you stress in your life, and find their open cycles. Sometimes it is a word said in anger that keeps eating away at your insides, sometimes it is an idea that you can’t stop thinking about.
Write down as many open cycles that you have and work on one of them at a time.
Turn your personal “zounds” into closed cycles and let Aunty know so that Aunty can “Wowza” you!!