Finding Your Own North Star


I’m reading a lovely book right now by Martha Beck called Finding Your Own North Star and I’ve just come to the section where she describes the change cycle that we all go through over and over again in our lives via whatever event serves as the catalyst for throwing us into the cycle.

Catalyst events can come from inside you or from the outside world and include; discontent (when the life you are in just is not a fit for the real you); getting married, divorce, moving, having a baby, losing your job, having a nervous breakdown, etc. The part that fascinated me is Martha’s description of the cycle of change as a circle broken down into four squares:

Square One (called Death and Rebirth) is the chaos and tumult of leaving behind much of what you previously new and starting out afresh.
Square Two (Dreaming and Scheming) is where we formulate our dreams and plans for a new ideal life.
Square Three (The Hero’s Saga) is where we put our dreams into action in the real world. This is the real, nose to the grind stone, pragmatic phase.
Square Four (The Promised Land) is the square that seems like it would be ideal for everyone but along with being the whole point of the change cycle it is also the steady eddy phase.

Martha explains that most people are only good at one or two of the squares of change and so often end up hanging out in them. Hmm. That sounds vaguely familiar. And here I had a moment of clarity. I am a Square One and Square Two gal! I love change and I love to dream and scheme of my ideal world, self, life… Square Three – not so much. Square Four? I’m not sure if I’ve ever been there but I might not recognize it even if I were because I would still be dreaming and scheming of change on the horizon.

What square are you in?

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5 Responses to Finding Your Own North Star

  1. Oh, fascinating. I’ve often looked at this book actually and wondered if I ought to read it. I think I lean instinctively towards the same squares you do. Would love some steady eddy in my life, though, I have to admit! xo

    • Kathryn says:

      I always thought so too! That I was aiming for square 4, and I think I am but I guess I really do enjoy swimming in squares 1 and 2. Recognizing what you’re inclined to though is probably this first step in moving along to that steady eddy square…for at least a visit. 🙂

  2. Marianne says:

    At this point in my life I feel I am in square 3 and 4, for contented moments. And then I get restless and question it all. And then again I feel content. It’s the ebb and flow of life. Being in Square 3 allowing me to be in Sqare 4. Does that make sense? Well, it does for me. LOL! Thanks, Kathy for putting your heart into this and giving us reminders of what it’s all about. I appreciate it.
    Marr

    • Kathryn says:

      Completely makes sense! And that’s a great way to put it…square three is what really gets you to square four and square one is really what gets us to square two. In other words the shake up allows for the dreaming; the pragmatic buckling down allows for the contentedness. Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment! xoxo

  3. Pingback: Are You Making the Most of Your “Empty” Time? | Writing Your Destiny

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