For the last 30 years I have been observing nature and studying the laws of our universe with the same question in mind. “How is our inner reality directly related to our outer reality, and how do the two effect one another?”
This has led me on a long journey that has included studying the sciences of complexity, chaos theory, systems thinking, NLP Coaching and many other psychological and spiritual models. Through this ongoing research I have developed a coaching model to help you consciously create what you want in life called the Universal Cycles of Change.
The Universal Cycles of Change are an ongoing process that’s been happening in our universe for about 13.7 billion years, so it is a really old model. There are seven universal cycles of change that occur in all living systems such as plants, trees, stars, cells and animals. You can also see these same cycles occurring in most non-living systems such as cars, houses, computers and the economy.
The Universal Cycles of Change can also be found within all aspects of human life and behavior. They happen in marriages, in business, with health, with families, with various states of mind and so on. We go through these cycles everyday and every year of our life. Being aware of these cycles can help you to consciously create the kinds of life experiences that you want, and to bring forth the reality of your choice. The people who do well in life are naturally attuned to these cycles of change.
Below is a brief description of the seven Universal Cycles of Change that I have identified:
This cycle is about new beginnings, birth and rejuvenation. All systems must have a starting point of some kind.
This cycle is about growth and expansion. When a living system begins to grow and develop, it becomes “self organizing”.
Complexity to Maturity
This cycle is about perfection and refinement. As a system begins to take shape and form through continued growth, it becomes more complex to the point where it reaches what I call a “steady state”. A system operates at its very best when it is in a steady state.
When the system becomes too complex in its growth, problems begin to develop and turbulence sets in. Turbulence is considered feedback from the environment that the system’s complex state can no longer be supported. Something has to shift for it to go to the next level of creation and growth. If this shift “does not” occur, then chaos will set in.
This cycle is about crisis, mass change and opportunity. This is when the system begins to fall apart because it has become too complex, and chaos sets in. The system can no longer hold it all together.
Releasing and Dropping Off
This cycle is about letting go of what is no longer serving you. Once chaos has set in, there must be some kind of a release or dropping off to bring the system back into balance.
Meditation and Dormancy
This is the final cycle in which the system regains its balance, which will allow it to recycle back up into Creation. The system now has less mass, yet more energy because it contains all the learning from the previous cycles.
Everything in our universe evolves and grows, and has been doing so for billions of years. Part of this natural evolutionary process includes going through different states of change. Let’s take a tree for example, since its the easiest metaphor I’ve found to describe the Universal Cycles of Change.
The first cycle that a tree goes through is that of creation, which happens when a seed gets planted. Then the tree grows– given that it has been provided with enough water and sunshine to grow. Over time the tree reaches a steady state of maturity in which all of its leaves have blossomed with complete beauty. Then the autumn season sets in; the leaves begin to change color. They turn brown and drop off to the ground. After this happens, the tree stands in dormancy without any leaves. But then spring comes around, the tree sprouts new leaves and the whole process of Creation happens again.
Because all living systems get too complex in their growth and development, they must have some kind of a dropping off or release to regain their balance. Trees do this all the time with their leaves. We can learn a lot by modeling trees. Have you ever been walking by a tree and its leaves are falling off. And all of a sudden you hear the tree crying out, “Pleeeease, don’t let my leaves fall off!”
This never happens. The tree has mastered the art of dropping off and recycling back up to Creation. Snakes are the same way when they shed their skin. I have never known of a snake to resist the process. Even most computers have trash bins to drop off the excess information that can slow down their hard drive, which thus allows for the computer to operate more quickly and creatively.
Interestingly, there is only one living system that does not allow itself, to naturally go through this 13.7 billion year old process of universal change. This same system allows itself to stay stuck in turbulence and chaos for extended periods of time. This same system often resists dropping off what needs to be dropped off. Can you guess which system it is?
Human beings, of course!
People represent the only living system that will allow them selves to stay stuck in turbulence and chaos. They are the only living system that will not drop off and release whatever needs to be dropped off in their life. We see this resistance happening a lot in relationships, career and health.
For example, one of my coaching clients was really stressed out because his teenage daughter quit speaking to him for over a year. After learning about the Universal Cycles of Change, he said,
“I finally understand why I have been having so many problems with my 17-year-old daughter. In my mind I still think of her as a little child, and even a baby sometimes. I now realize that I need to “drop off” my perception of her as a child and start treating her like a young adult. It makes total sense to me why there has been so much turbulence and chaos in our relationship over the last couple of years.”
Another one on my coaching clients told me about an amazing experience she had with her children, after I took her through my Universal Cycles of Change coaching modal. “Kris, after I learned about your Universal Cycles of Change model, I made the decision that I needed to “drop off” the co-dependent relationship that I have with my five adult children,” she said with excitement.
“Even though my children are grown up, they are all so needy. I felt like my life was all about them and there was no room for me. On my drive home last night, I set the intent to release the co-dependence that has been keeping me enmeshed with my children for so many years. After I got home, all ‘chaos’ broke loose. One by one, each child phoned me with some major crisis. One of my children’s car broke down, the other had just broken up with a boyfriend, another was having a bad day and so on. The phone just kept ringing off the hook with their problems. I told each child one by one that they were responsible for themselves from now on and that they will need to solve their own problems,” she said.
At this point in the story, she was glowing as she continued to say, “I just wanted to tell you that today is the beginning of the rest of my life. I am no longer co-dependent with my children and I can have my life back! I am going to go back to school and I am also going to start painting again, and doing things that make me happy. I am going to start living my life for me now, instead of for everyone else!”
So often people are afraid to make changes, because they are worried about throwing their lives into turbulence and chaos. In the case of the woman, she was worried that her grown children would feel resentment towards her if she were not always fully present for them. Instead of being present for her children, she ended up resenting them because she wasn’t getting to live the life that she wanted. Once she released her children from the co-dependent bonds of enmeshment, she was able to evolve into a new way of interacting with her children. And in doing so, she found that she could be more present for her children because she felt more spiritually fulfilled in her life.
As mentioned earlier, the Universal Cycles of Change can influence every area in your life. The primary life areas that they affect the most are:
- Romance and Love
- Money Matters
- Your Present State of Mind
When you assess each area of your life, which of the seven Universal Cycles of Change are you experiencing in that area?
If any of your areas are in Turbulence or Chaos, then you may want to ask yourself, “What are some things that I need to drop off and release so that I can bring my life back into balance?”
It doesn’t always have to be a dramatic dropping off. You can drop off something as simple as reading the morning newspaper and drinking diet coke everyday. Some other examples of things that may need to be dropped off are: behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, a way of thinking, perceptions, habits, jobs and relationships. Other specific examples might include: smoking, drinking too much alcohol, weight, television, coffee, unclear boundaries, frenetic busyness, old relationships that need to be updated, a troublesome employee, a toxic friendship, clutter, disorganization, grudges, anger, jealousy, unnecessary debt and unfinished business with people.
In the case of the man who was having problems with his teenage daughter, it’s not like he could just “drop off” the relationship with his child. His only option was to reorganize who he was within the context of the relationship. As soon as he stopped treating her like a little girl and started treating her like an adult, their relationship got better.
The magic in what he did with his daughter can be found within the structure of his internal experience. He had an internal representation of her being a little girl. When he shifted that representation to her being an adult, then she started acting like an adult. By doing this, he was able to create an entirely new experience with his daughter.
What happened with the man and his daughter leads me back to the original question that I posed earlier in this article. “How is our inner reality directly related to our outer reality, and how do the two affect one another?”
Our outer reality is a reflection of our inner reality. What nature can do for us—is to serve as a perfect model for creating the life we want, as well as evolving to higher levels of personal and spiritual fulfillment. The answers to creating what we want in life can be found by becoming consciously aware of the Universal Cycles of Change coaching model and applying them to all the various life areas. There is no reason why we can’t harness the same kind of creative potential that exists within the seed of a plant, or a star in our galaxy!
1. Powerful Questions and Techniques for Coaches and Therapists, by Tim Hallbom, Kris Hallbom and Nick LeForce
2. A Brief History of Everything, by Ken Wilber
3. Complexity, by M. Mitchell Waldrop
4. The Web of Life, by Fritjof Capra
5. The Tree of Knowledge, by Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela
6. Chaos: Making A New Science, by James Gleick
7. Steps to an Ecology of Mind, by Gregory Bateson
8. Psycho–Cybernetics, by Maxwell Maltz
9. Beliefs: Pathways to Health and Well–Being, by Robert Dilts, Tim Hallbom, and Suzi Smith
Kristine Hallbom is an internationally recognized NLP trainer, author and professional coach. She is the co-founder of the NLP Coaching Institute and the co-creator of the WealthyMind™ Program, which has been taught to live audiences in over 20 countries and has helped thousands of people create more of what they want in their lives.
She is also the co-author of the book, Powerful Questions and Techniques for Coaches and Therapists, and has published numerous articles on wealth consciousness, NLP Coaching and systems thinking for a variety of psychology journals and magazines.
Kris can be reached through her website at: https://www.krishallbom.com
© 2020 Kristine Hallbom