The Spiral Path

Ever had the impression of going in circles? Ever felt like you’ve been there before and now you’re heading towards the same destination? Ever experienced deja-vu sensations? Memories form the past which are surprisingly real? I certainly did.

Up until recently I faced those situations with frustration. Every time I was on a familiar life situation, a place where I’ve been before in almost identical circumstances, I was somehow sad. What am I doing here? Why I have to go through this again? Why can’t I just skip this part and move on? There were some life situations in my past in which I simply got bored, that’s how often I was stuck there.

Over And Over Again

It took some time and a lot of circling to understand that going around and around is something normal. Is not the expected behavior from you, but it’s normal. Going in circles means you have to face the same problem over and over again until you learn how to manage it. It’s like a riddle: if you don’t know the answer now, you can move on, but somehow, sometimes, your path will bring you back again to that riddle until you find the answer. And that answer will unlock your door to the next level.

As surprisingly as it may seem, you chose your riddles. You chose which life situations to confront and what you should do in order to solve them. But you forgot that. Or, to be more precise, you pushed those decisions back into your subconscious mind, in order to avoid… hurt. Yes, you are unconsciously hiding those challenges from your conscious mind, because your reflex answer will be to run away, to avoid, to escape. Most likely, you’ve been so hurt in the past and now you try to escape that trap.

Going in circles is not bad or good in itself. You can safely go in circles for your entire life. As a matter of fact, most of the people are going in circles for their entire life. They establish some patterns and then they remain stuck in them until they die. They go to a job, they pretend they’re loving their husbands and wives, they pretend they’re caring for their kids and then they’re starting over again.

Nothing spectacular happens if you go in circles. You can stay there for the rest of your life, avoiding the hurt and facing the same life situations until you die. One of my buddhist friends will interfere at this point and would say: “Well, the problem is that dying is not the solution. You’re not solving much by dying, because you’ll soon have to start fresh again. And you’ll take it from where you left.”

I’m not a buddhist but I do agree with that perspective.

Breaking The Circle

I really don’t know why I chose all the challenges in my life. Some challenges seems normal, like being financially independent, having a family or keeping a fulfilling social life, while others are strange, like learning so many different things, from astrology to business or productivity . But what I do know, is that I really have to solve my challenges. There’s no other way around.

Some challenges get solved with passion, some are solved by boredom, while others are solved by so called external-circumstances (according to the law of attraction there are no external circumstances, though). Somehow, they get solved.

I remember I was attracted by esoteric disciplines long ago, when I was young. At that time it was just curiosity and entertainment. But as I grew older, I started to meet those esoteric disciplines more and more in my environment. At some point, I decided it’s time to really study it, so I studied astrology for almost 2 years.

The same was with business. When I was younger, I always had this dream of being financially independent and running my own business. For several years I only dreamed about it while going to a job I didn’t like, but I was confronted with so many entrepreneurship situations that I couldn’t resist and started my own business.

Those two challenges were solved by passion, but there are other which are solved by boredom. One of them would be: keeping a healthy life. I always loved to exercise and when I was a teenager I played professional basket-ball. But as I grew older, I slowly started to gain weight and stopped exercising because I was too busy… I remember there were times in which I associated my extra weight with being successful. That was strange. 🙂 So, at some point, I become so bored to look in the mirror at a person who wasn’t me, that I started to exercise almost every day and even started a raw food diet for more than 7 months.

Did I tried to avoid any of those challenges? Hell, yes!  I did all I could to avoid them but all I did was in fact circling around and coming back until I decided it’s time for an upfront confrontation. Are those the only challenges in my life? Hell, no! In fact, the unsolved challenges in my life are far more complicated and itchy than keeping a healthy lifestyle or running a business.

Now I know that every time I’m facing a familiar life situation I have to go through it. I have to confront it until it gets solved. In theory that sounds nice, but in practice is not always as simple as it seems. The bottom line is that every challenge must be solved…

But what happens after? What happens with the challenges after I solve them? Are they disappearing? All those problems are simply flying away after you clear them? You run out of riddles? Well… nope. You get to the next level.

Going In A Spiral

When you break the circle you’re actually going to the next level. You go out of your old world, you climb to a new understanding of life, leaving behind what used to be familiar and safe. You start to explore a fresh world.

But what puzzled me the most, was that in this new world, you’ll face those challenges again. All those riddles you solved are going to appear again, but this time in a totally different light. It’s like going up on a spiral, and then, when you’re exactly on top of the old breaking point, you start seeing that thing again. You’re looking at the old you with a new perspective. You see yourself  from above.

I had so many life changing moments when I reached a genuine breaking point and realized I’m sitting on top of a challenge I solved. I looked at myself and realized I did well. I almost congratulated myself: Dragos, you did a great job, now I can see. But while I was staying on top of that solved riddle, another magical thing started to happen. The riddle started to get new meanings. It was suddenly bigger. It wasn’t mysterious, nor threatening or boring, just bigger. I suddenly had another perspective and realized I have to continue to go on that path.

10 years ago I started my own business. Last year, I felt the need to break free from it and sold it. That was a breaking point: I solved something of the business riddle. Now, after almost a year from selling, I’m starting to meet a business context again. I’m on top of that breaking point. I’m actually looking at myself during all those years and understand what I’ve done and why. I’m on the next level. It seems like doing business is one of the key points of my life, so it keeps coming up, but in different shapes and sizes.

Every breaking point is an arrow which is shaping your spiral. Every breaking point in your circle is a key point in the wireframe of your path. Those are indicators by which you are creating your own Universe. Solving the initial riddle is only the beginning. As you create your own spiral, as you go over and over the breaking points in your life you realize you have so many new things to learn and to experience.

There’s really no end to what you can create in your life.



Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner


The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”

And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.

Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.

If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.

Running For My Life -from zero to ultramarathoner

Dragos Roua

The guy who started all this. Entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, tanguero, father and risk taker. I'm blogging here, but I also spend a lot of time in this marvelous space.. You're invited, by the way.

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Dragos, fantastic stuff my friend! I love your spiral idea. I think that is exactly what life is. You say some people go in a circle but I’m not so sure. I think you are spiraling up or spiraling down. Going in a circle implies staying the same and I think that is fairly rare.

    Stephen – Rat Race Trap’s last blog post..Living Now – Part I

  2. Smart and insightful post!

    One of my biggest challenges was to be able to say ‘no.’ My life was filled with things I didn’t want to do but I was constantly trying to please other people. When I finally learned to politely decline requests, a whole new world opened up because I had time to experience all the things I wanted to. Then came the next level of ‘no’: prioritizing and choosing what I had time to do amongst all the things I wanted to do.

    Laurie | Express Yourself to Success’s last blog post..Body Language Communicates

  3. Isn’t it all about learning how to let go in order to be able to break from the circle? First you envision, then you DO and ultimately you let go of it; that is when you really get to experience the things in your life and “advance” to the next level, or as you smartly state, you get to be the creator of your own reality.

  4. @Stephen – Rat Race Trap: again, you said it better than me 🙂 You’re right, we’re only spiraling and we’re doing it down or up. Thanks for stopping by, my firend 🙂

  5. @Laurie – Express Yourself To Success: saying “no” it’s difficult for many people. I know it was for me and I had this for many years. But one thing I notice at you is that you really solved this: your blog is called: “express yourself”. In fact, is “express yourself to success” but once you got to express yourself you can’t be anything else than successful.

    Also, you’re right about prioritizing stuff. You can say yes to a million of things, but you need to know which ones are really important.

  6. @Elena Diaconu: letting go is one powerful way to break the circle. I like the way you see things, especially the part about envisioning – or visualisation, to use a somehow overrated term. Seeing yourself “there” is the best igniter of your actions, of your “DO” attitude.

    Thanks for coming back 🙂

  7. Hi Dragos,

    I think breaking cycles is very important to growth.When you can identify what brings you to this familiar pattern.Recognizing the habits you have that has brought you there then changing them is good but often scary for many people.
    In order to grow, I think you need to expand and venture new horizons.Trust instincts and knowledge from experience.
    I am more incline to stick with friends that have similar values and interest but when it comes to business explore more. I think a change from time to time- does you good.Sticking to the same old associates/vender’s is a safe mode.I personally don’t think anyone can grow – intellectually or excel your business sense successfully by staying in a safe mood that has become comfortable.
    I still find, I am often bored while I am always trying to better educate myself in many areas.
    Astrology is something that I feel a need to explore since my future mommy-in-law is very much in to it and I admire her and her gentle spirit on things.
    So I plan to read your article on those.
    Great article here-
    Cheers

    Bunnygotblog’s last blog post..Under Pressure

  8. @BunnygotBlog: we’re very much alike in these maters of getting easily bored and trying to break the circle. As for astrology, I already started a new blog at Astrology Bits. It will be focused only on astrology. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  9. I also see our journey very much as a spiral – the yin-yang symbol is actually looking down on a spiral, it is found everywhere in nature, in fractals, in science, in physics…in consciousness…it is at the very core of our being both literally and figuratively – the key being, as you said, to continue that circle on upwards! Well said my friend, loved this.

    Angela’s last blog post..Zombies, Food Security and Little Shifts

  10. @Angela: thanks for the insight, you’re right, I only now realize that this symbol is very common and it appears at all levels of perception. Going up is the key 🙂

  11. Hey Dragos, I just love listening to other peoples growing experiences. As we get older, and if we are really paying attention, the realization process opens up our awareness of whole new dimensions of understanding. To me this is one of the most rewarding aspects of life. It unfolds with deeper meaning and understanding if we embrace those apparent challenges, which are usually just valuable lessons waiting to be uncovered. I really enjoyed this article.

    Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills’s last blog post..Who Is Really In Control Around Here?

  12. […] Whenever I finish doing some task or project, I go back to the Assessment realm, closing the circle. At this point, I finished an ADD cycle. In this cycle I included a lot of activities, from assessment, to decision making and to actually doing the specific project. Usually, whenever I finish an ADD cycle I have a very deep and powerful sense of well being. Every cycle I finish add to my self-respect in a way I never experienced before. Every ADD cycle is far more than a checked task on a list, is more like reaching the next level on a spiral path. […]

  13. @Jonathan: totally with you in taking the setbacks as lessons, I’ve been there so many times that I have to think like this, otherwise the Universe will be just a giant setbacks producer. Which is false, of course, because it also creates beautiful living creatures and the powerful glue between them: love.

  14. @Reasonable Robinson: wow, thanks for the heads up, I admit I never heard about Spiral Dynamics so far, but googling a little about the topic revealed a fantastic source of information. For the busy reader, here’s a quick starting point:

    Spiral Dynamics at Wikipedia

    This should get your started.

    Thank you for your contribution here 🙂

  15. “…if you don’t know the answer now, you can move on, but somehow, sometimes, your path will bring you back again to that riddle until you find the answer.”

    This is just wonderful. I wrote a lot about this when I came out of the jungle and putting it in my third book. I use different words but a similar concept. So I found this very exciting. At a young age I worked out that there were lessons in life that I needed to learn, things I wanted to know. Even, things that Life itself wanted me to know. Many of these lessons were simply Universal truths or laws of nature. I quickly worked out that if I avoided them or wasn’t ready to face them that Life would circle the avoided lesson back around again and give me another chance to learn, understand and grow “through” these lessons. And (for me) I found that they just kept circling around again and again until I finally said okay this time I am going to learn this. This time I have the courage or insight and can now grow.

    When I saw all this I felt that Life was amazingly holistic, intrinsic and perfect. And although we humans sometimes curse that fact that we keep stumbling into the same hole, so to speak, I grew to see this infinite cycle as a most wondrous gift. One I cherish. I knew I dwelled in the arms of a highly intelligent Life Force.

    Thank you Dragos for sharing such a powerful insight, one that is often overlooked. Beautifully presented.

    Robin Easton’s last blog post..Are You Still in Survival Mode?

  16. Love what you shared in this article. Most certainly, to spiral up, we need to step outside the circle first and see for ourselves that we have been stuck. You have powerfully inspired hope with just one statement “There’s really no end to what you can create in your life”. Stumbled!
    [rq=3941,0,blog][/rq]No Such Thing as Failure; Only Feedback

  17. Been enjoying reading your blog, thanks dragos. The spiral is certainly something I’ve experienced too! Meeting and re-meeting the same old situations and then sometimes meeting them again from a different perspective with more maturity or whatever. Thought you might be interested in the buddhist teachings about the wheel of life (the circle part!) and the spiral path, which deliniates different stages of the path up which can be useful and thought provoking sometimes. I particularly find when the newness starts to feel too big I just need to remind myself to become bigger – the buddhist analogy for these two stages are: an elephant jumps into a small pond (all the water splashes out) and then an elephant jumps into a large pond (the water accomodates the elephant with just a ripple).
    I read about both (when I used to be a Buddhist!) in “A guide to the Buddhist Path by Sangharakshita, and there’s a free talk here: http://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/audio/details?num=LOC775
    which I haven’t listened too! But it’s free…!
    Tara xx

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