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We All Need Dormant Winters to have Productive Springs


Whether it is thinking about a new job, getting married, getting out of depression, controlling your quick tongue or whatever change you might be thinking of, all changes include the three process steps I mentioned last time: 1) endings, 2) a lostness or emptyness and 3) new beginnings.

When something ends, as we noted last time, in a sense we die. The second stage of a transition, lostness, is a kind of neutral zone before a new life begins. It is a sort of no-man's land.

When I read of the no-man's land between the trenches in World War 1, I always imagined a very barren dark stretch of land. It was pocketed with big holes and a few dead trees or bushes might be there. It was a scary place to cross.

The period between what I have been or what I have done and what I will be or what I will do, can feel like this no-man's land. It feels very non-productive. However, it is really more like the starkness of winter where the plants and seeds need the dormant time to develop the energy for the new life of spring. For some, even the cold is a means of strengthening them to produce blooms, without this time and climate they really die.

So those looking for a new beginning of whatever kind, need to have patience with their dormant time when no change seems to be coming or things don't seem to go well. It can be helpful to seek a little time out for reflection and give yourself positive encouragement that this feeling is okay.

The new life is always a surprise when it comes, even when it is the change we hoped for. The timing, the feeling it brings contains the mysterious elements we could not know until it happened.

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