Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation
- Lao Tzu
I was asked a question as a result of that quote, which led to another question...
Q. There seems to be an implication that if I need to transform, then there’s something wrong or broken with me...
Not at all! Do we label water as “wrong” when it transforms into a gas or solid? Is a caterpillar broken? Isn’t transformation into a butterfly part of its true nature? A tree bears no resemblance to the seed it once was.
Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal and transformation. - unknown
In the same way, transformational shifts and changes - some of them radical and profound, others more subtle and slow moving - are an integral part of the human experience on every level, from genetics to beliefs and beyond. There are aspects of you that are dramatically different today compared to when you were six months old, twelve or twenty-six years old! Just as you wouldn’t judge the water, caterpillar or tree for being themselves at any given phase of their existence, making judgments about the right or wrongness of where you are in relation to where you’ve been and where you’re going is... unnecessary and unhelpful.
To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.
- Henri Bergson
Q. Why would I want to transform?
We’re going through the process of transformation all the time, whether or not we want it! For many of us, it’s usually suffering or discomfort that urges us to begin the conscious, deliberate process of transformation. “I know something has to change”.
The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
- M. Scott Peck
Others seek the process of transformation for spiritual reasons or because they’re curious about new ways to experience themselves and the world.
The purpose of enlightenment in our time is not just to transcend the world, but to transform the world. How do we transform it? Through the evolution of our own consciousness. We have to realize that this process completely depends on us, on individuals who are willing to push the edge of the possible. - Andrew Cohen
Q. What are we transforming when we engage in self transformation?
On a personality and systems level, we are working with those thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, or ways of relating and responding to ourselves and the world that we continue to hang onto despite evidence that they have outlived their usefulness, don’t work, and may even be causing damage to ourselves and others.
It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear ...It's like being between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to.
- Marilyn Ferguson
On the level of consciousness, we're engaging in practices that open our hearts to and expand our awareness of a unified reality, one containing multidimensional facets that we can explore and experience. If that's too woo woo for you, how about looking at it as expanding your potential ?
Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape. Walk out like someone suddenly born into color. Do it now.