If someone were to play the movie of your life before your eyes, what would strike you? My movie would play an impoverished childhood in a Romanian village, rising to fame as a singing sensation, escaping to America with $40 in my pocket (I spent the other $40 I had on a Chanel No. 5 perfume on the plane), my poor, frail parents passing away before their proper time, meeting and marrying my soul mate in a matter of weeks, children running in the halls of our first home, building a small empire, and my husband's last breath from lung cancer, among other tragically nostalgic glimpses. But what would strike me would be the incredible flux of my life. Just like you, I have both endured onerous burdens and triumphed over unthinkable challenges. That's because life is seldom monotonous; it is a symphony of measures and beats and sweet strings that form a grand orchestra -- a cadence of unexpected experiences and shocking surprises. To hear the many, wild melodies of our lives is to live richly.
Indeed, life is composed of phases that carry different energies: some brilliant, others terrible. But the cycles continue nonetheless. Nothing begins that does not end and nothing ends before something new begins. We can analyze these periods and break them down into five stages that accompany our ...
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