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Volume I, Number 15                                Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved 

How Is This Life Passage Designed? 

Learn How This Underlying Pattern Is Constructed So You Can Use It to Create a Smooth and Fulfilling Grown-Up Life Journey  
The Basic Elements of 
Our Adult Life Cycle 
Knowing the stages that make up our ever-evolving cyclical life process as adults means taking the power in our own hands to create a satisfying emotional life, better relationships and smoother life passages.  
Before going on to the stages themselves, summarized here, be aware that each stage is an entire universe with many characteristics. Among them are: 
  • Emotional Elements
  • Social Traits & Patterns of Relating
  • Neurological Components
  • Basic Needs
  • Developmental Tasks
  • Commonality with Childhood Stage
  • Inner Experience

1. Being: The Ground of Our Existence is all about showing up to partake of life, and then doing what it takes to survive and thrive - everything from air, water, food, emotional connection and nourishment. As infants, our concern is "how do I get fed", and as adults, it's "how do I feed myself"-but otherwise the themes and issues and challenges are the same.

2. Doing: The World of Senses and Action has to do with the world of action - getting our bodies organized to be able to do things, and then doing them - all the way from learning to reach out and grasp and learning to crawl, walk and talk as a toddler, to carrying out activities that are often highly sophisticated as adults.

3. Thinking: The Conceptual Realm is the stage where we begin our lives as independent people, creating boundaries, exerting our will in relationships with others, and yes, sometimes even in adulthood, having temper tantrums!

 4. Identity: Our Ever-Evolving Self is the time we explore and establish who we are in the social world and where we fit in... and don't fit in. It's our introduction to the world of politics. As children it means figuring out what it means to be a boy or girl,who all these other people are and what can be done to impact them. As an adult, it means figuring out those exact same things, and doing so every time we undergo a major change (a job change, birth of a child, death of a loved one, etc.)
 5. Skillfulness: The How-to's of Our Lives  In this phase we concentrate on either creating for the first time (as in childhood) or updating and upgrading (in adulthood) all the values and skills we need to manage our lives and do what we want to do, much of it based on the 'tribe' to which we belong, and the culture in which we operate.

6. Regeneration: Creation and Procreation This is the bridge phase between the world of childhood and adulthood, initially, and it is one we repeat many times in adulthood. Our primary focus is around our sexual selves, maturing as sexual beings and integrating all that into one, cohesive functioning personality, culminating in a new level of emotional maturity and personal power in adulthood. 
7. Recycling: Manifesting the Promise of Life is the time when our foundational layers are all made. Still, we cycle through the same stages we did as children, but now our focus is on using that foundation to build our life structure as adults, and to remodel, repair and rebuild it as necessary throughout our adult lives. 
(Note: Emotional Development 101 spends a full hour on each of these stages. Click here for more information: 
"When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability... To be alive is to be vulnerable."
  Madeleine L'Engle

Who Can I Trust? 
Here's just one example of the issues we first encounter in childhood that we find ourselves needing to deal with again and again in adulthood.  
This illustration is part of the work of the first stage described above, which we first grow through as infants: 
Who should I trust?" 
"Who should I not trust?" 
"When do I switch from one to the other?" "How do I know when to decide?" 

These are some of the confusions about trust we often carry as adults. The who, when, how much and even whether to trust ever can seem overwhelming. But for infants, this a no-brainer. What can infants teach us to clear up this confusion?

Why is this confusing for adults but simple and procedural for infants? In a nutshell, it's because as adults we have layers and layers of different experiences covering over our basic trust-building process. And these experiences - many of them painful and perhaps even unresolved and remaining to be healed - often result in our taking on a fixed position about trust.

* "I will never trust no matter what." 
* "I just have to trust everyone, no matter what they do or say, otherwise there's something wrong with me." 
"I should trust people." 
"Trusting others is just plain stupid!" 
"It's inconceivable to me that people just trust naturally." 
"What is an adult? 
A child blown up by age." 
Simone de Beauvior 

You're welcome  to forward this
to others so
 they can have 
greater health and
well being too.
Did anyone ever tell you how to be a grown-up?
All too rare is the person who can answer "yes" to that question!  Yet, learning the fundamental pattern that drives the basic stages of adult life has a myriad of benefits.  It can be a tremendous relief ('wow, I'm normal, I'm not crazy, sick, bad, not-OK!). It can provide guidance for how to move through the various passages in healthy and satisfying ways.  It can  provide much needed direction for improving your relationships with your partner, your children, your parents, your friends and your co-workers.
It can even reduce or even eliminate feelings of insecurity and feelings of not-okayness.  How is this possible? 
It comes about because most of us are suffering under the false belief that being grown-up,  having reached 'maturity' means that we should have put away the things of childhood - that we should have outgrown the needs and feelings and processes we grew through in the stages of childhood.
But that is absolutely incorrect!  We are not designed to outgrow the stages of childhood - we are designed to repeat them in more sophisticated form throughout our entire adulthood.  In fact, a good definition of emotional maturity would be being able to continue meeting the same emotional requirements for ourselves in adulthood that we first experienced in the dependencies of childhood.
If we continue to hold on to the belief that repeating these stages in adulthood means that we're not mature people, that we're not really grown-ups,  our holding on gives rise to a huge amount of internal stress and all those horrible feelings of insecurity, thinking there's something wrong with us, lacking confidence, etc. 
But accept the fact that not only did you not outgrow the stages of childhood, but that you're not supposed to,  that you're perfectly normal in that respect, and suddenly you're free of all that awful, self-generated stress and upset.  You might even feel, as some people have reported, like dancing in the streets!
What do your grown-up life stages have to do with your parenting?
In a word: everything! Here's why: It is part of our basic nature as mature people to be able to repeat the same stages our children are growing through.  That means that we have the same growth tasks to carry out (on a more mature level) that our children are carrying out in their foundational years.
It's as if nature gave us an automatic way of reminding us  what our children are growing through so we can assist them in their growth tasks.
So deep and so profound and so fundamental is this evolving pattern, that it is one that we share with all of nature.  Understanding this fact illuminates what we are up against if we try to deny it and try to fit our lives into some pre-conceived, or rather, ill-conceived mold. 
That turns out to be an incredibly costly process - one that robs us of our health, our sense of well-being, our security, sabotages our relationships and more.
Remember that other saying:  Don't fight Mother Nature... she always wins.
That's an expression that really is true - and it's also excellent advice for how to be a grown up.
Much better to join with our natural, inborn pattern as we evolve through our adult lives.  We need to conclude - once and for all - that we will never outgrow the stages of childhood, and that we are destined to repeat them throughout life.
No matter how old we become chronologically, it is our fundamental nature to remain in the same growth pattern as children in this vast universe we call home.
"Time is a flowing river.  Happy those who allow themselves to be carried, unresisting, with the current.  They float through easy days. They live,  unquestioning, in the moment."     
Christopher Morley
Do you want an emotional life that is more grounded, calm, rich, secure? 
Start your New Year learning to create that healthier, more satisfying emotional life.  Join Emotional Development 101, starting January 16th, 2012.
And once you graduate, you can repeat the class at no charge for as long as it's offered.
You'll learn how to: 

   * Take care of your emotional health and live an emotionally healthy life.

  * Raise your own EQ (Emotional Intelligence). 
  * Decide what emotional tasks to carry out to address physical symptoms when you experience them. 
  * Be a better parent - to yourself, your kids and grandkids. 
  *Understand yourself and others and use that information to improve your relationships and more. 
Full course outline and other details at