All my programs are about massive transformation so I thought I would take some time to talk about what this lofty and somewhat overused word means.
All but one of the definitions in the dictionary implies that transformation is a sudden and dramatic change, i.e. “a thorough and dramatic change in appearance; the induced or spontaneous change of one element into another by a nuclear process.” These dictionary definitions mirror the lofty ideas about transformation that we often come to adopt in personal and spiritual growth circles.
When we think of healing and transformation, we think of deep healing and transformation that gets to the seed of the trauma or wounding and literally uproots it at the core for it to never be felt or seen again. This can happen through certain kinds of energy work, ayahuausca ceremonies,vision quest, maybe on a meditation retreat.
Though I have experienced all of these things and had major shifts in the moment during one of these experiences, it doesn’t mean that it always lasts. And, of course, it’s not the only kind of transformation.
However, we all secretly want this over-the-top major transformation and think when it happens it’s the real deal and that transformation that happens over time is not the real transformation. We can become allured by this big explosive type and that in and of itself can become an addiction (as well as for me simply the act of healing and getting to the bottom of pain, suffering
and trauma.) We believe that once we get there, we will finally feel okay. We are not in control of the when or the how…and that can be the hardest lesson. We can put our intention there.and develop discernment and trust about who we work with and what modalities we choose to try.
In my experience, most lasting transformation happens from simply showing up again and again. We develop greater honesty with ourselves about our limitations, shortcomings and shadows and develop more acceptance and true patient loving care and attunement for what we are experiencing.
There are so many small and important ways we transform our experience daily. Recognizing and celebrating these small and very important transformations are often life-changing over time.
Here are a list of daily ways to “transform”:
1. Acknowledge the feeling. Sometimes that, in and of itself is enough for the
feeling to transform
2. Be with the feeling in the body. You can do this by noticing and describing the sensations you are feeling. For example, I feel anxious and there is a fluttery feeling in my chest. As you stay present and go into the body more, the anxiety and all the sensation often lessens.
3. Deep understanding, seeing something that you didn’t see before about the reasons you feel a certain way (i.e. you thought your whole life that your dad didn’t love you because he died when you were 3 and your mom gave you that impression). You finally see clearly the truth of the situation and that allows for an instantaneous letting go.
4. Healing and transformation can be simply accepting what is arising, being with it with love and compassion, like a mother to a child over and over again until it feels seen and known and through that releases and heals. You as the mother are giving the child part what it didn’t get before. Through repetition and patience, it feels what it missed and then allows soothing and nourishing and eventually letting go. Though you may get to that place of acceptance and love and peace with it, it still may continue to arise.
5. Trauma work through the body where you titrate between a place in the body that is resourced and grounded or you orient out when you are feeling activated can immediately create a release and transformation from activation to deactivation.
6. You can transform a limiting belief or negative idea about the self and world into a new belief and idea that allows you transform your story and self-image and experience of yourself and the world around you. (i.e in Orlando, I want and expect the weather to be warm and it’s not, I could go around all day saying why isn’t the weather different and I would feel miserable or I can accept that the weather is what it is and appreciate the sun and the coolness, then my experience transforms).
7. You can also transform a negative emotion or thought by redirecting your energy and attention to something else or doing practices or rituals that allow the energy of the emotion/sensation/thought to shift.
8. You can also transform feelings, sensations and thoughts by seeing their inherent emptiness and openness. This is a Buddhist concept and one I have a lot of experience with – if you close your eyes and look for the thought that is arising right now or the pain in your body, if you look deep into it to see what it’s nature is, you may still feel it but you will actually experience it as inherently having no form or substance. That to me is transformation of form into open energy. Sit bones and butt begins and the ground begins.
Many of these take time…even if there is something instantaneous that happens, some big relief, it usually has come because we have been with it over and over and with patience, we are doing the work over time.
I used to be super impatient, I was always looking for that one thing that would finally bring relief, over the years, I could see exactly what I struggled with and where it came from (mostly) and still couldn’t seemed to release it. The biggest cause for transformation, allowing it to be what it is, trusting the process, trusting what wants to unfold when it does unfold, knowing that it will all continue to release on its own time and developing discernment and self-trust around which healers and modalities feel right for you.