Transformation is an inevitable aspect of life, as well as a sign of personal growth. When embraced, it can be a powerful and exhilarating experience of moving on in our evolutionary journey toward self-awareness. Yet we tend not to recognize the signs of transformation, and to resist its call when it knocks on our door. This makes life hard: effortful and stressful; full of resistance rather than fluid, forward-looking and joyful. How can we recognize the call of transformation and yield to its power?
All transformation involves change. Life periodically asks us to change. What worked at one time no longer works for us. We need to move on. We can experience this force for change in a variety of ways. For example, the habitual daily structure of our lives may begin to dissolve, sometimes against our will. We may lose a loved one, a home or a job. What used to support us or contribute to our sense of identity falls away. Or we may find that what worked for us at one time no longer works: a career, an avocation, a home or a relationship. We are no longer happy. We feel frustrated, angry, bored, empty or stifled. Finally, we may experience the call of transformation as a generalized anxiety, loss of energy, or illness. Here too our spirit is saying: change must and will come. Yet we are not yet conscious of the precise form of change toward which life is calling us, and therefore experience a generalized, seemingly inexplicable malaise.
Going through transformation is a birthing process. Like the birthing process, it is fraught with both excitement and dread. Transforming is a process of letting go of the known and entering into the unknown: a process of free fall. Since most people cling to the known rather than embracing the unknown, this free fall can trigger all our worst symptoms: fear, anxiety, exhaustion, depression, despair or even illness and pain.
The most important gift you can bring to yourself when transformation calls is to recognize that the voices of fear, despair or pain that fill you are nothing more than a pause or a hesitation before your forward movement. Don’t give them too much weight. Fear, despair and pain are frequently forms of addictive self-disempowerment: ways of telling yourself “I can’t” or “I won’t.” I can’t go forward. I won’t go forward. They are the voices of conservative, resistant habit.
Recognize that when in transformation you are in free fall. Be like the child you once were, unafraid of falling, careless about falling, not seeing it as dangerous, knowing that falling is an integral part of learning how to stand. Free falling is nothing more or less than the personal experience of expanding into being different from and more than you were. When fear, depression or pain call your attention and invite you to resist your free fall, you may not be able to eliminate them completely. Remember, however, to give them their proper place. They are just signals of the fact that you need to change, want to change (if not consciously, then unconsciously), and will change.
Let yourself be adventuresome. Embrace the call of the next phase of your life. Take heart. A big heart is a courageous heart. The word courage comes from the French word “coeur” that means heart. Be in your heart. Own your life. Own your courage. Let yourself fall, so that you can find your new ground. That new ground will support you even as the old ground crumbles. Practice trusting that fact.
Blessings and light on your journey to effortless living.