Depths of Dormancy

I have to admit this has been where I have been residing for the last few weeks, well actually all month long.

The depths of dormancy overtook me as I found myself in a bit of a funk.

A malaise.

Sub-par; less than average. Not at all where I wanted to be.

So on this edition of “Becoming Today”, I’ll share my battle, my impending victory over it and how this test has reassured me that all things end in all is well.  

It actually started just before the beginning of February. I was reacquainted with some symptoms of a chronic nature that had not affected me for quite a while.

And what a reintroduction it was.

Literally knocked me off my feet, stumbling for the bed, where I would be for longer than I ever anticipated.

It began with some extreme weather swings. I am very susceptible to quick changes and extreme changes in barometric pressure. This causes winter to always be somewhat challenging for me. I become a prisoner of migraines, can’t focus, can’t see correctly and the pain. Constant throbbing, I want to rip the top of my head off. Then when it decided to let go of me comes the nausea and all the related ill effects that brings. 

I mentioned I had not been impacted by these surprises in a while, in fact this was the first time since “My Relocation” that I had an attack. 

It caught me off guard because one of the reasons I may not have spoken of publicly.  For a part of my moving had to do with my health and how many of my symptoms I had battled for a number of years, ceased to show themselves here.

I noticed this by day three of the “11 Days” of “My Revival” last summer. Symptoms were not only better, but some were completely healed. Then as I returned to my former residence, along the way about a two and one-half drive north, I noticed them coming back. It sealed my decision that I needed to make adjustments in my life.

A subsequent trip back to find a home had similar results though it impacted me with a big bang of its own. However again it took my body two days to re-tune to a more positive status after I arrived and I can mark on a map where when going back it changed again. 

Since I arrived here I have felt great. Better than I had in years, so I guess I let my guard down a little, however these days of literal pain and retreat were actually for my benefit and occurred right on time. 

Yes I had entered the depths of dormancy and this ‘Mama Bear’ was forced into hibernation. Didn’t think I needed rest, but the cycles of life prove how necessary it was. I can say that now that in the time of a natural cycle, 28 days later I know I am stronger and more prepared for the future.

Dormancy is a time in the life cycle when growth, development, and physical activity are temporarily stopped. As the Oxford Dictionaries offers us these explanations: 

  1. the state of having normal physical functions suspended or slowed down for a period of time; deep sleep.

As in , “the insects are able to enter prolonged states of dormancy, allowing them to resist freezing”

       2.) the state of being temporarily inactive or inoperative. With the example given of “his prolonged dormancy ended with the publication of Collected Poems”.

Both were true for me. I spent periods of 2 to 4 days at a time in the bed around the clock, unable to perform many daily functions. One of the keys to an organism being induced into a state of dormancy are environmental stresses including changes in weather.

Well my first “attack” during this period came when I experienced rapid barometric changes and temperatures literally swinging more than 70 degrees ( Fahrenheit) in 18 hours. Yes we went from a day of sunny and feels like 72 to the next day of 7 degrees and sub-zero wind chills. Within another day, less than 36 hours total , we also had more than eight inches of snow on the ground. 

Which stuck around for a day and the temperatures returned to the mid-50s. What a shock to my system and no wonder this dormancy-hibernation period began. 

Just as I was starting to regain my momentum and bearings, then another mid week storm system whipped going from the upper 60’s to single digit and more than a foot of snow. In fact with the winds my front door was not accessible as I had drifts of more than 40 inches high barricading me inside.

And just as with metabolic dormancy these temperature and weather changes definitely impacted my environmental parameters, such as the availability of food, as not only could I not get out but no one could get in.

Luckily I took it as a hedge of protection around me, accentuating the possessive since I am always well supplied with necessities, so I was bing shown I really didn’t need to go anywhere anyway and I should just relax and focus on my own healing and development. 

I joked that Spring would come eventually, and within two days all the snow melted as we tipped the scales of the thermometer to above average seasonal temperatures again. 

I realized that just like plants that go dormant for a season, it was not that nothing was happening  to or for me, but rather I was partaking in my own natural cycle. 

I was being allowed to understand the experience of a natural and amazing process of adaption. Just as what happens for plants beneath the soil, my roots were continuing to develop and thrive. 

I was being afforded the opportunity to prepare and make myself ready for a transformative transition. As nature will cycle next into Spring… in fact will do so here in the Northern Hemisphere within the time of a natural cycle, 28-days from today; I am ready to spring ahead.

I believe you can do so as well.

While your personal experience may not be as quite dramatic as mine has been, you can allow change to take place, resurrecting positivity and “Becoming” all you are intended to be. 

In order to help[ you do so, let’s make sure we are communicating clearly with each other. Let’s begin by examining this phrase of Transformative Transition.

Transformative is defined for our purposes as “causing a marked change in someone or something.” Meaning a significant, noticeable, appreciative difference.  

We are talking about a potentially life altering transformational reframing of our lives, circumstances and maybe even our very definition of our Self.

Transition can be explained as “the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another”.

So let’s agree to understand Transformative Transition as a period of life altering change. Fostering growth, unlocking new opportunities, learning new behaviors and coming into acceptance with new ways, attitudes and truths. It is a time in which we can choose to alter our realities for the better. 

Sounds good to me. As I’ve shared often over the past year, I have no desire and truly see no reason to go back. Back to normal? When in your lifetime has everything ever truly seemed normal? And what exactly does that mean.?

While we all hear rhetoric about getting back to the good old days of 2019, I believe we should all be focused on becoming our future. Making this moment our best ever and living aspiring for even better days ahead. 

And I know I’m not alone if you look in the right places. Others are talking about the opportunities and advancements these past nearly 25 months of unexpected shifts have taught us.

One example I’ll cite is that of Rick Warren’s decision to transition his role at the church he has led for over 40 years.

In addressing his staff about the timing of his decision, Warren noted, “Thank God we are not what we were –  and we’re not turning back”. 

He warned his staff that this kind of  transformation will involve effort and that they will need to be ready for others to launch attacks against such momentous change. This type of transition involves you investing your life in something that will outlast you.

To paraphrase his closing statement I see some direct correlations for each of us, as he urged those in his immediate circle to:

GIve your best  (Always)

Step it up.

GIve more.

You have the skills, talents  and gifts necessary so take action now, because our greatest days are ahead of us.

Encouraging, inspired advice as we seek to change our own steps along this journey.

So how do we accept our time of Transformative Transition?

For me it’s viewing this as a metamorphosis. 

That involves an understanding of the cycle of these life-altering transitional developments.

Let’s begin with developing our shared definition of metamorphosis by looking at the origins of the word: 

From the late Middle English: via Latin from Greek metamorphōsis, from metamorphoun ‘transform, change shape’.

When it comes to changing our “shape” we’ll consider it in regards to distinctly different characteristics. This includes all four aspects of life, something for years I’ve referred to as P.I.E.S. 

Physical: Taking care of your body. Eating healthy, exercising, strengthening and conditioning to remain agile and flexible. Seeing that you are remaining disease free or taking proper steps and treatments, therapies, etc to ensure you are recovering.

Intellectual: Tending to your mind as well. Maintaining cognitive functions and abilities as well as having right thoughts. Keeping yourself motivated for the momentum to “Always Be “Becoming”.

Emotional: Maintain balance and control over your emotions. Celebrating the highs and guarding against the lows. Ensuring your mental health is fit as well.

Spiritual: Are you involved in a daily spiritual practice? How do you see yourself in relation to creation? Do you need rituals? Traditions? All very personal questions for yourself to consider.

In order to embrace these changes our metamorphosis will be defined slightly differently on each level . However, just like one of the best known symbols of transformation, the Butterfly, we can accept that our change will also come in four distinct stages.  

From the purposes of the stages of the butterfly life cycle (which I found at this site), I found interesting spiritual analogies.

EGG

First, the caterpillar hatches from the egg.  Just as all earthly life begins with a birth, spiritual life also begins with a spiritual birth.  (John 3:1-8 To be born again)

CATERPILLAR

The main purpose of the caterpillar stage is feeding.  In order to bring about the great transformation, a caterpillar must eat and store enough food to grow strong and support the change.  In order to be changed spiritually, we must also feed greatly on the Word of God, the Bible. The Word is what renews the mind and brings metamorphosis.

PUPA

The pupa stage is the transition.  During this time, the caterpillar grows the wings, legs, antennae that make up the butterfly.  As a Christian, we also are in transition.  As we feed on the Word, we develop spiritual attributes that weren’t present in our former worldly self.  Spiritual fruit and desires arise that give evidence that we are not the same as we were.

BUTTERFLY

The beautiful, gentle butterfly stage also has a main natural purpose– to reproduce.  Isn’t that also the purpose of believers, especially those who are mature and Christ-like? As it references in Mark 16:15 (ESV), ““Go into all the world and proclaim”.

As we embrace our time of Transformative Transition, just as the biological explanations of metamorphosis note we are accepting a profound change from one stage to the next in our lives. This can entail a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as well as differences  in  our appearance, character and intentionally intervening to react differently and either accept or deny your present circumstances.

My acceptance of this process followed this step of phonetically breaking down the word to Meta-Morph-Us.

Meta: denoting a change of position or condition; from the Greek μετα-, meta-, meaning “after” or “beyond”, is a prefix meaning more comprehensive or transcending.

Morph: change smoothly from one image to another by small gradual steps 

Us: You and I; “we” -our collective identities along the shared steps we undertake along this journey. 

There are other translations which include the word, metamorphoo, described as “transformed”. Something the Scriptures in Romans 12:2 explains as necessary:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

In this verse the Apostle Paul instructs us that we should not remain the same. Accepting this new way of living requires “transforming” from one who lives and acts just like the rest of the world into one who lives by higher, compassionate, merciful standards of compassion and love.  This “metamorphosis”, is the renewing of our mind.   

The individual ways you can realize our own Transformative Transition will vary greatly. No two people are alike, nor are we created to be the same. Embracing our differences and affording each other the compassion, dignity and respect which we are due ourselves will help to form our own maps along this journey.

I myself am ready to become a Butterfly. Spread my wings and take flight to higher altitudes with better attitudes, more clearly defined actions and pollinating creation with as much love as humanly possible.

I ask you to reflect upon how you can, if you are willing to accept this time as a season of great change for yourselves. Then tomorrow, here on “Becoming Today “I will share how I intend to focus my personal Transformative Transition,  as I awaken from the Depths of Dormancy and prepare to move forward. 

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