the power of seven

Yesterday was Chinese New Year and it’s a Vietnamese tradition to treat the lunar new year as a birthday.

What that means is, on the first day of the new lunar year, you are automatically one year older. So for example, I was born in November so technically I am 34 years and 3 months old but if someone asked my mum how I old I am, she would say I’m 35 (yes this tradition sucks!).

Why I am I bringing this up?

Well … the power of seven…

Regardless which way you look at it, whether I’m 34 and 3 months or 35, I’m heading towards the end of a 7 year cycle and the start of a new one. Which is both scary and exciting!

A different you every 7 years …
I remember hearing about the 7 year cycle when I was younger. Your body completely renews itself every 7 years – ie. every cell in the body is changed and you are physically a different person. They also say your emotional, mental and psychological development moves through a different stage every 7 years … but don’t quote me on this, I’ve never taken it seriously!

The only reason why it’s come back into my awareness is because of my Doctor.

He is actually a strange man – amazing, holistic, honest and a bit weird. In all the right ways : ) Although he is a medical professional, he’s very spiritual. The very first time I went to see him, I had a really bad chesty cough and I remember him being intrigued by my fear of cats and what it represented in my psyche and how it’s affecting my health and cough – yep I told you he was weird!

My fear of cats (random and slightly off the topic)
He also spoke about how my fear of cats relates to my ability to accept and embrace my feminine side. This was just a couple of months before I attended Eli’s workshop, upon reflection the timing is quite scary!

A cat expresses feminine qualities and may represent the positive, creative and sensuous aspects of femininity. Fear of cats may represent fear of the female in oneself; fear of females, difficulty in meeting feelings and intuition; sense of danger.

Towards the end of last year I was going through a weird phase where I was experiencing anxiety for the first time. I had never experienced anxiety before and had no idea what it looked or felt like. So during this really difficult stage I was seeing my Doctor regularly.

At one point he said to me … “Have you considered you are about to end and begin a new seven year cycle and a lot of what’s going on in your life at the moment is about transition.”

He told me to reflect back on my life in seven year intervals and see what comes up.

It was a fascinating exercise …

  • When I was 7/8 – we relocated so my parents could start a business and my childhood changed
  • When I was 13/14 – my parents got divorced and alot of illusions were shattered
  • When I was 20/21 – I lived in Canada and when I returned I was a completely different person
  • When I was 27/28 – I moved to London to explore the world
  • And now at 34/35 – I wonder what the future holds for me …

If you are interested in the 7 year cycle theory, I highly recommend you do this … even if it’s just for a bit of personal amusement!

With gratitude comes acceptance and flow
Before moving through and starting the next 7 year cycle (God knows what that entails!) I wanted to really take some time out and acknowledge the joys and learnings of the last 7 years. I didn’t realise how significant this process would be for me. I attended a one day workshop run by Danielle Marchant from Enabling Evolution called “Bloom where you are planted” and she encouraged me to plot in a graph, the highs and lows of the last 7 years and gosh that was fascinating also!

This is what my graph looked like:

Pretty cool huh?

What I learnt from this exercise is that life has a way of balancing itself out. Yes there were some low points and some learnings I needed to have. But damn, there have been some amazing moments along the way and so much to be grateful for!

And it came into my awareness that I always bounce back. I guess, there is a fear inside of me that one day I’ll spiral downwards in such a way that my emotions will swallow me up (I think that’s a girl thing) … but I’m learning with age and experience that life does get both harder and easier.

And on that note, I’m going to end this blog post with my favourite prayer. I went to a Catholic school and it’s one of the very few things that has stuck with me …

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”

Photography credit: The Blue Brick

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2 Responses to “the power of seven”
  1. Bill says:

    I really like the graph, were you given any criteria for deciding just how high or how low to plot particular events, or were you just left to plot them at will? I’ve seen something similar done for career highlights, but would love to do this for life highlights/lowlights.

    Happy New Year (and of course, happy birthday).

    • thaoski says:

      Hey Bill, thanks for the birthday wishes ; ) … She didn’t give me any set criteria for the plotting the graph. It was all my interpretation of the events. Most of the graph was done through memory. I figured if I can’t remember it and there isn’t a strong emotional attachement (high or low) then it probably wasn’t significant. And then I looked at my Facebook timeline (lol) … and added bits in that meant a lot that I forgot about. They were mostly my travel experiences that I had overlooked. Definitely worth doing – it puts a completely new perspective on life!

      ps. I also did this exercise for the last 12 months (ie. for 2012) and that was really enlightening too! Some patterns came up that I could no longer deny!

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