BaZi Talk™: The Cycle of Life

My upcoming birthday is prompting me to reflect on the cycle of life: No matter how different each person seems (or their experiences), we are all living the dream—the human experience.

Ask anyone who knows me well—I am a huge fan of birthdays. (Maybe that’s why at work I earned the nickname “BaZi Queen,” as I do love looking at people’s birth dates!) I celebrate mine all month long and go overboard celebrating with friends and loved ones. I truly treasure that one day when I (and you) entered into this world.

Many years since his passing, I still wish my dad could have one more birthday, too…

When I reflect on celebrating another year older, I see it even more clearly how–and why–the Chinese Five Elements and the concepts Yin and Yang are so fundamentally real; because they map out the cycle of life in a very tangible way. Yin and Yang depict the two spectrums of life: birth and death, and even each of the Five Elements has its own evolutionary cycle, like all life beings.

Take a moment and look around you. You see babies, old men, pregnant women, and adolescent boys. You see couples on the verge of entering a new marriage, elderly sweethearts, and grieving widows. You know people shifting, seeking new adventures, recovering from heartaches, overcoming loss, creating new plans, and taking risks.

You interact with toddlers and young children who are fully unaware that a cycle of life even exists. That alone is such a sweet reminder for anyone to stay solidly grounded in the moment. Children emphasize the act of reaping joy that emanates from their experiences; a lesson for (cynical and busy) adults to enjoy the moment and to root down in gratitude no matter how unpleasant or painful the moment can be. The terminally ill are also at the forefront of the cycle of life, reminding us that time and moments should be treasured.

Every person is at a different place in the cycle that always begins with birth and ends with death (and contains everything in between). It is the clock that keeps on ticking. Every stage is but an impermanent moment, so that a new phase can emerge. Recognizing this ephemeral quality makes each phase deeply precious… because you know it cannot last.

Time does pass, and we all change—and grow older.

We all should treasure birthdays, celebrate them, be inspired by them, because every birthday is a milestone and a gift of life—an opportunity to do things over, to do better, a chance to recalibrate dreams, to create new memories. Birthdays gift us more time. So, being aware of the cycle of life and our place in it makes us wiser, not more fearful.

Difficult and challenging periods are inevitable, but—like everything that is a part of the cycle of life—they are temporary. When we are fully engaged with life, we get to savor and grow from each phase, and we are ready for the next one when it arrives. Fully embracing wherever you are in the cycle of life is the very essence to happiness.

Developing a true appreciation for our human experiences—wherever we are in the cycle—means we are living proof that life is all-encompassing of the joys and rewards. And every step is worth the effort.

If you’re a Libra like me, happy birthday! Blow out the candles and eat cake!

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