Category: Life Cycle Living

Life Cycle Living Sparks Important, Beautiful Questions

Beautiful questions often provide more value than quick and easy answers. Those who have had a chance to participate in Life Cycle Living weekends — two-day conversations exploring the natural stages of a human life — have raised many important, beautiful questions.

How is the path to adulthood affected when a person misses a critical factor of development during their teenage years? How does that affect their ability to mature and show up fully grounded in adulthood?

How is our society missing out on the gifts of elders? Are our seniors able to bring their communities the wisdom gleaned from their numerous years of experience?

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Life Cycle Living: Bringing forth the gifts of a life aligned with Nature

On a crisp, sunny, late Winter day, a circle of men and women gathered together in Greensboro, NC (USA) to explore Life Cycle Living, a model for the human journey from birth to death.  Facilitated by Sherry Boatright and Larry Messerman, the 1-1/2 day discovery process allowed those present to share yearnings, revelations, questions and concerns toward achieving fulfillment in each stage of life, with the good of community and culture as the ultimate goal. What are the different stages of a human life?  What is the work of each stage?  What is the gift? And what does it feel like when a group of humans – a family, a village, a People – helps to create the container within which each individual is supported through the many seasons of his or her life?

What does it feel like when a group of humans – a family, a village, a People – helps to create the container within which each individual is supported through the many seasons of his or her life?

The Life Cycle Living model describes predictable stages of a human life, each building on those that come before.  Not so long ago, people were supported by the traditions, ceremonies and rituals of their community in order to successfully navigate life.  It was recognized that the successful completion of any given phase of a human life would provide the foundation for the next, and that a community was enriched when each man, woman and child could learn, grow and manifest the gifts inherent in each.  For instance, the toddler offers his innocent joy and the young child her wonder at the natural world.  In the presence of children, adults can remember these same capacities even as they move into the more “serious” work that is part of later stages in life.  Ultimately, the accomplished elder embodies gifts of wholeness and grace for the benefit of community as well as of the world.  It is not surprising that in many indigenous cultures, one of the most important tasks was to create a strong connection between the youngest and the oldest members of the community.  This was seen as vital to creating a strong container for all other human endeavors.

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Living in the World the Way the World is Made: A Call to Action

What is a true adult?

Bill Plotkin, who has worked with the transition of youth into adulthood for many years, says that a true adult is someone who understands themselves as a member of the earth community; has had a revelatory experience of her/his place in this world; and embodies their unique place as a gift to their people.

One of the crises of the times we are living through is that true adulthood, what has been called “soulful psychological maturity,” is actually uncommon. Too often, people reach their adult years having missed the development into a fully human adult as nature has designed it. As a result, they may end up arrested adolescents at fifty, never maturing into the elders they were meant to become. They find themselves hindered in their contribution to their families and society. Relationships, child-rearing, education, business, politics, and even spiritual connection suffer the consequences.

We all know we are in a time of great transformation on this earth, a time of danger and opportunity.

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Around the Fire

Around the Fire is the newsletter of the Sacred Fire Community and is published once or twice a month as needed.

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Karen Fernandez
Lawrence Messerman
Bill Sutton

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Erin Everett
Christine Staub
Linda Azar

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