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Square One Sucks

Sometimes I fantasize about getting sick.


Not Covid 19 sick mind you.


Just sick enough to give me an excuse to cancel all my meetings, not make any meals and lay in bed reading The Fifth Season all day.


Martha Beck writes about The Change Cycle in Finding Your North Star. It’s a tool to help people navigate change successfully. There are four squares that we cycle through over the course of our existence. But today I want to talk about the hardest square…


Square One.


The thing about Square 1 is… It’s fucking scary people.


Covid 19 is a classic Square 1 catalytic event.


Something out of our control that throws into uncertainty, an entirely new way of life, and eventually a new identity.


In Square 1…


You feel out of control.

You feel afraid for the future.

You feel sad about all you have lost.


You want to protect yourself. Your family. Your way of life.


Sometimes the catalytic event is the death of a loved one, or an earthquake, an injury, divorce, you get the idea.


Thanks to this global pandemic, the entire human race is experiencing a collective Square 1 catalytic event.


Have you noticed people acting a little coo coo?


Maybe some of your friends have gotten over the top religious. Some are hoarding toilet paper. Some are getting militaristic about masks. Some are getting militaristic about no masks. Some are sharing conspiracy theories. Some are the conspiracy theory police…


Martha created The Change Cycle to help people navigate change EFFECTIVELY. You know those folks who get a divorce and ultimately end up – over and over – getting together with a different version of the same person?


That is an example of NOT navigating change effectively.


I’m seeing plenty of knee-jerk, not so helpful behaviors out there from folks trying to cope with the chaos of Square 1.


Me as case in point.


I’ve gotten really into time management during lock down. That part is good. BUT I’ve been using my calendar to revert back to an old pattern. It’s a coping strategy that I turn to when things feel out of control.


I work.


Work is good but too much of it and I start hating my life.


And then I really do get sick.


I forget that rest and fun should also be a part of life. My life. Especially during a Square 1 catalytic event.


Luckily I’m familiar with the change cycle.


I quickly realized what was going on. I still fricking love my time management system. But I removed some work and put in some fun. So this week I am no longer fantasizing about getting sick.


Instead I’m reading The Fifth Season, I’m planting things, baking cookies and getting out my old knitting projects.


So keep this in mind peeps.


Square one is not easy.


But we don’t have to go all coo coo for coco puffs.


What are your not so helpful, knee jerk patterns to stress?


Stuffing your face?


Arguing with people on Facebook?


Drinking all the wine?


Hey, no judgment. This shit is hard.


Try asking yourself this:


How can I love myself through this out-of-control situation?


How can I get to the other side with some new coping strategies that make me feel good about myself?


How can I cope in a way that brings me closer to other people on this planet who are all feeling just as out of control and scared as me?


Because it’s true, the only way is through not around.


But you get to choose how you get through it.


And by the way, I coach people through square 1. It’s kind of my super power. I have a few spots open for 1:1 clients. Send me an email if you’d like to hear more.

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