From Aging to Ageless: The Space Between

Sondra Fields, Ph.D.

Cycles. Cycles of time. Cycles of history. Cycles of weather. Cycles within one’s life. Space between cycles.
Happy 2013. We made it through a 5,125 year cycle and we’re still here. (Come on now, did you really doubt it?) Soooo, happy New Cycle. Let’s make it a good one.
Did you make a New Year’s resolution or how about a New Cycle resolution? Resolutions with shallow roots, that are declared and never kept, in some quarters, are out of favor. Here I want to present a new twist to the old resolution.
Greg Braden, a scientist, former geologist, visionary, scholar, as well as a New York Times bestselling author, got me thinking about cycles and the space between cycles. Braden explains, “Science now is telling us that we, on this planet, our lives, and our planet in general, are under the influence of great cycles of time; cycles within cycles, within cycles. Some of the cycles we know about, like the 24-hour cycle of the day for day and night, or the 28-days of a woman’s cycle, but the great cycles cover such vast periods of time that we don’t remember them from one civilization to the next. Our present great cycle is a 5,125-year-long cycle linked to an astronomical event that occurred in the year 3114 B.C.”
When we look at cycles, whether it’s cycles of behavior, cycles of weather or cycles of time, one thing becomes apparent. Cycles repeat themselves over and over ad-infinitum unless there is some form of intervention.
Braden calls patterns established by the cycling of events throughout history “Fractal Time,” the title of one of his books. Just because there is an established cyclic pattern spanning thousands of years doesn’t mean that this pattern is immutable, he tells us. Whether you’re recognizing a pattern in your personal life or a pattern on a much grander scale they all respond to change in the same way.
Have you heard the statement, “the space between is where the magic lies?” The space between the end of one thing and the beginning of another is said to be pregnant with possibility.
Listening to Braden talk one day, my mind paused for a moment, hung out and then went a little deeper. I’d heard this statement about “the space between” many times. Thich Nhat Kanh in a meditation tape once instructed me to pause between the in breath and the out breath when walking. My mind at the time said okay and continued on, but on this day listening to Braden’s voice, I stopped and questioned. What does that really mean to you and to me? How can we take this supposedly “profound” bit of wisdom about a space and apply it to make a positive difference in our lives?
The energy behind the New Year’s resolution feels forced sometimes, strident in its execution, which often leads to feelings of guilt when not fulfilled. Cellular Biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of “The Biology of Belief,” studies genes and how they are altered by our behavior (thoughts, feelings, actions). A wish, he says, made in good intention creates no positive change if we just make the wish and sit down with the television and a bag of chips.
What it takes to give life to that wish or resolution is action. We need to engage the process by repeating the thought and action over and over again. Braden suggests that this space between cycles is the perfect place to intervene by planting a different seed and thus changing the elements of the cycle. His idea seems to complement Lipton’s instruction that repeated action is how we change an unwanted habit or sub-conscious programming. A seed requires nurturing, watering, feeding, weeding, pruning — repeated action — to help it grow strong roots and healthy fruits over time, which creates a new cycle.
All that is required is to plant a different seed within the space of that pregnant pause where all things are possible. Once you become aware of the elements that compose the prevailing pattern, you replace the old behavior/emotion with something different. According to Dr. Lipton “we’re talking to our cells when we’re talking to ourselves.”
When you plant a different intention, then tend the intention regularly over time with loving thoughts and actions you reprogram your subconscious, which can literally change your genes (a discussion for another time). By the way, what many in the field of psychology have been telling us for years is that the reason our wishes often don’t come true is because our wishes are controlled not by our conscious mind but by our subconscious mind. When you plant a new desire and nurture it you will eventually change that old programming and, wala, your wishes will begin to come true, and yes, it takes a little work.
Replacing old, inhibiting thoughts hidden in your subconscious mind with new more appropriate thoughts that better serve you gives youth to your years and years to your youth — definitely a prescription for agelessness.
When thinking about what you want to create for this coming year or set in motion for thousands of years to come, think about how you can plant a different thought seed that you can grow over time into a new way of being. Isn’t that what this new 5,125 year cycle is calling for — a new way for us to be with ourselves and one another, a new twist on an old way of being, a new twist on how to better relate in and with our world.
Until next month keep busy growing ageless.