Another hot summer day! I feel exhausted and it is only 10 am.

First thing this morning, I noticed that the front window lights are not working, including the OPEN sign. Next, the lab called to inform me that our shipment missed last night’s pick up and will be delayed by a day. Two patients are leaving on vacation today and were expecting their new sunglasses to be the ultimate accessory. Needless to say, my phone call was met with great disappointment. And the saga continues. One optician is on vacation, and another one came down with the flu and called in sick this morning. What next?

All of this is occurring in addition to my personal worries. My mother was admitted to the hospital last night; no update on her condition, yet.

Okay Universe, why me? What have I done to deserve this? Of course, I understand that no gods have turned against me, but it sure feels like that. I am in the ultimate “No-Flow-Zone.”

Do you know what that feels like? Right, no fun at all! What can you possibly do to get out of this debacle?

The reality is that we can rely on things constantly changing in life and in business. There is actually a cycle by which change occurs; you are always in some part of this change. You may be in various cycles at the same time in different areas of your life. However, for each area, you will experience four phases.

Phase 1: SHUFFLE

The “Shuffle” phase is a period of detachment from what was not working or what has been completed. It is a “time-out” phase to emotionally heal, reflect and research, and search for new directions. This phase begins with the experience of overcoming, or, at least, with being able to deal with the loss from the “toss in” cycle, as it always takes an ending or a closure in order to find a new beginning.

Phase 2: DEAL

The “Deal” is an action phase – a time for experimenting, training and networking, all of which would be an implementation of the plan that was developed in the Shuffle phase. In this stage, there is a lot of optimism, as a direction seems to have been found. People are now ready and able to experience their next step.


“Play the Hand” is a mostly positive time of the cycle when individuals seek implementation of their new plan. While this stage is usually associated with success, it can also be the setting for new challenges.

Phase 4: TOSS IN

In this world, all things come to an end. Sometimes, things end with a “failure,” and other times, with a “success.” Either way, people are rarely ready for the cycle to end. Whether it is the end of a job, a relationship, or any aspect of a goal or project, people in this part of the cycle are usually unhappy and unsure of the future.

People in this part of the game will take little action on their own, and resist change because of fear and a possible lack of hope. Those with negative energy have the tendency to dwell in the “Toss-In” phase, because they often feel victimized and immobilized by situations and forces beyond their control. They may complain and report feelings of pain, and will remain this way until they can release negativity.

At the end of the cycle, there can be a state of “hibernation” or “cocooning,” which eventually passes and opens the door to a new beginning – another shuffling phase.

No matter which phase of the game you are in, you can totally rely on it to change. Knowing that you will come out of your challenging time will not make it feel any better, but seeing the light at the end of the tunnel will let you get through it quicker.

Getting back into the FLOW

Be mindful.

Practicing mindfulness, which is defined as the art of living in and focusing totally on the current moment, lies at the heart of the psychological state of flow. Take a time out, sit back, relax, and take a breath. Remember, there is always more right with you and the world than there could possibly be wrong.

It’s easiest to slip into a state of flow when you perform a task that you love doing. Give yourself a break. Do the easy stuff. Get back in the game. The tough stuff will be there when you are ready.

Pain is a great motivator. At the moment when I thought I was going to jump out of my own skin, I remembered the Cycle of Change. I remembered that even the toughest days come to an end and there is always a new beginning.

Maggie Sayers is a professional development coach and a Master Optician. Her optical career started over 30 years ago in a family business in Germany.

Since she came to Florida in 1987, she has worked diligently to promote high professional standards in opticianry. Her mission is to help opticians achieve their personal success through serving the public as vision experts.

As a professional development coach Maggie provides education workshops that focus on leadership and personal engagement. Her time management course has inspired many participants to think outside the box, apply newly acquired knowledge and achieve extraordinary results.

Maggie's enthusiasm for opticianry is inspiring and her keen business sense paired with excellent communication skills make her a highly sought after motivational speaker.