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Transformation

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What is transformation? Oxford Dictionaries defines it in part as the following:

- a metamorphosis during the life cycle of an animal. (There are some additional definitions that relate to changing one’s outward appearance, as well as mathematical functions, however those are unrelated to our use of the word here.)

Some synonyms help to understand it even better, in simpler terms, according to Merriam Webster Dictionary:

- change, alteration, modification, variation, conversion, revision, amendment, metamorphosis, transfiguration, evolution, mutation, sea change, remodeling, reshaping, remolding, redoing, reconstruction, rebuilding, recasting, reorganization, rearrangement, reordering, reshuffling, restyling, rejigging, reworking, renewal, renewing, revamping, renovation, overhaul, remaking, revolutionizing, revolution, transmutation, transmogrification.

And the Cambridge Dictionary may define transformation best, as we are utilizing the word here.

  • a complete change in the appearance or character of something or someone, especially so that that thing or person is improved
  • a complete change in the appearance or character of something or someone, especially so that that thing or person is improved
  • the process of changing completely the character or appearance of something in order to improve it

In the context in which we are going to discuss and explore Transformation, we are referring to the process of inward improvements within our own spirituality, mentality, and the resulting manifestations thereof. Healing and Growth.

Some people refer to this type of process and inner work as Shadow Work. 

To everything under the sun, there is a season, and a time to every purpose for all living things. The Bible teaches us this, and it is a process that is in place and exists whether we decide to acknowledge it or participate in it or not. It doesn’t need our approval. It just is. Life is all about change. If we stop evolving, if we stop adapting, if we stop learning… we stop living. 

1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

- Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11

If we want to be in tune with the Earth, with its cycles, with the circle of life so to speak, and on the same page as the Universe, we’ve got to get on board with the idea that our inner selves are at all times a work in progress. We are never finished. We are never a final product. We will never know it all.

Flash forward from the beginning of Creation to August 2016 at my home. I live in the country, and I’m fascinated by the transformation Locusts, or Cicadas go through. I watched a cicada emerging from its shell, fit with brand new iridescent wings ready for new adventures.

So I began reading more about cicadas to learn about their process. I discovered that cicadas spend most of their life underground in another form than what we see flying through the air in late summer.

Cicadas (locusts) live approximately 17-20 years, however 2-17 years of their life is spent underground, where they tunnel and feed.When they emerge, they will climb up to a tree and begin the process of shedding their exoskeleton they are outgrowing.Free of their old skin, their wings will inflate with fluid and their adult skin will harden. Once their new wings and body are ready, they can begin their brief adult life, which is spent mating and continuing the life cycle.

So, last year, in 2018, I thought, what a wonderful metaphor for our own inner transformations! And my Cicada formula was born.It comes in an oil and a spray mist form and is used to help with needed change.If we change and transform our mind and our spirit, then we see those changes manifest in our everyday lives. If we change the atmosphere within ourselves (within our minds, our hearts, and our spirits), then those changes become evident and we change our atmosphere, our aura, and our circumstances.

When we have had enough of just existing, just flying under the radar, just hanging on by the seat of our pants, just doing enough to get by, just knowing enough to survive, just phoning it in, and just wandering around tunneling through the darkness, then and only then can transformation take place. We have to say we are ready, and we have to actually be ready and mean it. Then the Universe obliges us by helping us through these needed changes that have to take place in order for us to live our best lives and be the best version of ourselves.

And when I say we need to be ready, I mean we need to be ready. Transformation is not a pretty process. Just ask a butterfly. They go into the Chrysalis process a cute pudgy little caterpillar, and within the cocoon, they become a glob of goo that is probably not too beautiful to either look at or experience. When mother nature is finished putting the final touches on them, they are ready to emerge with their own beautiful wings, ready for new adventures.

We may go through many transformations and chrysalis stages in our lives. Most likely so, actually.Sometimes you just feel frozen in time for a little bit. You know you should be doing something else, but something new is brewing inside you. You may not be able to quite put your finger on it, but trust me, this is a good thing.You may find yourself needing more quiet time or alone time than usual, or feel as though systems are just shutting down. Your brain is like a computer that normally has 50 tabs open at the same time. So, why are you frozen? It’s like resetting your systems the way you would a computer or your phone when it is not able to do the things it normally would or is supposed to. Some people refer to this same stasis, this thing that happens to us sometimes as the Dark Night of the Soul or Soul Loss.

I call this process Chrysalis, and I tend to go through this process 3 or 4 times a year, just depending, and it is usually accompanied by or followed by a burst of creativity and renewed physical, mental, and spiritual energy.

This frozen state can occur for a number of reasons .Either undergoing a growth of personal power, or after experiencing a power drain.

Much like a caterpillar in a cocoon, the caterpillar goes into stasis, which it must in order to turn into a butterfly. Sometimes you need this time to adjust, otherwise you feel as though you will explode. Sometimes you need to conserve and regenerate.

Some people refer to this process as an awakening. It is a time of stillness to look within, listen, and learn, and seek guidance from your sources: Spirit, your Ancestors, your Guides, and so on. Learning what there is to be learned from where you’re standing. Why are you standing at this crossroads? What does Spirt have to teach you through this? That’s when you know you’re at the right place at the right time – when you are willing to ask the questions and wait for and look for the answers.

And only you will know when you are done, and it takes as long as it takes. When it is time to shut down and restart your system, it needs to be done sooner rather than later, or your body, along with your mind and your heart and spirit will do it for you and you will find yourself simply unable to function.

So, transformation happens when you are tired of life just happening to you, like you are floating around like a feather, or being pulled or pushed this way and that. When you have had enough of just being mediocre.

Or maybe at some point you forgot you had dreams. Or maybe you forgot you ever wanted to fly. Maybe you often wonder what your purpose is. You’re already there, but you feel that something is just out of reach. Seek it out, ask what you are missing, and you will find it.

Some of us get so busy, we have our jobs, we have people to take care of, we have obligations and responsibilities. But this is something we need to make time for, or it will make its appearance at the worst opportune time.

Some people call this self-improvement. That’s not a bad way to think of it. Transformation is an inner process that does help us to become improved and improve the life we live and the things that affect us and the atmosphere around us. Of course there are always going to be some things that are out of our control. And that stresses us out. It’s OK, we all have those things. But what we can control is ourselves, and the amount of space that is within us, and what is within our reach and grasp. and we will find that is a pretty far reach because we are, as the Bible tells us, wonderfully and fearfully made. There is an astonishing amount of room and potential within us.“Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?” – Robert Browning. (It means dream big. Go big or go home.)

Now let’s discuss obstacles. There are those who would rather keep you down, to keep you sleepwalking through life. Competitors, toxic relationships, those who have ulterior motives, and so forth.You get the idea and I bet you can name off a few off the top of your head right now. I know I can.

You get out of life what you put into it, basically. The same can be said for your inner work. You get out of it what you put into it. And if you let obstacles stand in your way, you won’t get there. No one can actually prevent you if you want it bad enough. We’re talking about changes within you, within your own mind, and your heart, and your spirit. You are in total control of those, if nothing else. Those are things no one can take away from you, unless you let them convince you otherwise.

And you cannot transform to please someone else. That simply will not work. And you cannot transform so that you can get (fill in the blank) out of life. That will not work either. And you can’t lie about it. Either it is real or it is not, even if we are not honest with ourselves.

You transform for yourself and your own self only. That’s the way it works. It’s between you and the Universe, or you and Spirit, or even between you and God.That’s all.

You might ask if learning from mentors or other teachers or wise persons whose opinion you respect or those you hold in high regard. Yes, absolutely. This can assist with your transformation, but they cannot do it for you. Riding off of someone else’s coattails is not transformation. And it isn’t something else you can steal or copy from someone else. Nor is it something that, once achieved, anyone else can take away from you. Knowledge is power. Wisdom is priceless and is beyond theft. What you achieve in your own personal transformation cannot be bought or sold or taken from you or even lost. And it’s not something you can put a rush order on. It’s not Amazon Prime.

What is it then? It’s something intangible, it’s the thing with wings that you want to be. It’s wondering and marveling at the fireflies and watching them instead of putting them in a jar to die. It is watching and observing, learning all you can from a butterfly. It is listening to the sound of the earth when you sit in your back yard on the ground and feel that there is nowhere to go but up and nothing but wisdom of the ancients all around you and beneath you. It’s hearing a thousand voices of those long gone at the cemetery. It is feeling the earth’s heartbeat as you kiss it with your feet.It is sometimes nothing more than just being in the moment, where you are, looking for the light within, and finding the strength to take a breath and breathe a little more life into that flame inside your heart and watching it grow, along with your hope. It’s faith. It’s hope. It’s love. It is truth. It is more than a few words can say. It is healing, it is growth, it is realizing you are wonderfully and fearfully made. 

Our minds and our spirits are the most powerful tools in our arsenal. We have the power to create or destroy, to hurt or to heal, to live or to die. To transform. 

What are some of the things that take place during these processes of transformation or chrysalis or whatever you choose to call them? 

Well, there is no step-by-step guide.  It's not a black and white process.  Everyone's transformation is different. Your issues are different, your needs are different, your goals are different. Here is a good example of what I mean:

Have you ever seen the movie Anger Management with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler? There is one scene in the movie where Dave Buznik is at his first anger management meeting or therapy session and Dr. Buddy Rydell asks him to tell everyone in the group who he is.  Dave Buznik struggles for a while, telling about himself, says he thinks he is a pretty good person, etc., but Dr. Buddy Rydell tells him that he's only describing what kind of person he is or what he likes or what he does for a living, but what he wants to know is "Who are you." Dave Buznik asks the man next to him, Lou, what he would say, what would be a good example for an answer.  And Dr. Rydell says, "You want Lou to tell you who you are?" And then everyone laughs.  

So, I tell this story because it is a good example of how nobody else can tell you who you are. You are not your hobbies, you are not your past trauma, you are not your abandonment issues, you are not just a wife, a mother, an insurance agent (or fill in the blank with your career path). You are you. Explore you, get to know you. Who are you?

So, as I tell my clients often, everyone is different, everyone's situation is different. What works for some may not work for all.  And there are any number of factors that make your situation and the people involved different, and so manifestations, growth, and outcomes depend upon all of those things and the choices we make.  

But some of the things you will likely learn and experience are: 

  • Releasing what no longer serves you. 
  • Setting boundaries
  • Healing
  • Facing fears rather than feeding them
  • Stop hiding and running 

And all of these things are very personal. They aren't done in front of the world for people to see. They are done in the privacy of your own mind, spirit, heart, and body. It is like going home and locking all the doors, stripping down naked and looking in the mirror. Being honest with one's self.  If you don't like what you see, change it. And I am not talking about body image, I am speaking metaphorically.  

But once you figure out some hard things on your own, you will fight hard to keep what you have learned and the wisdom you have obtained and the boundaries you have set. You will have faced down your own demons and fears. You have learned to stop running and stop hiding. You will learn that you will do much better without toxicity in your life and will release or banish all that does not serve a positive purpose for you.

And once you figure these things out for yourself, you will be able to tell people who you are, because you will know yourself.

The world itself is not your "safe space" where everyone has to tiptoe on eggshells to keep from offending you. The world does not owe you anything. Life is hard. Reality is tough. But we all go through it. And we do the best we can. We're all just walking each other home.


 

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