I was asked today for advice or a book on how to help a person to work through transformation.
The first interesting thing in the question was the person didn’t tell me anything about their transformation at hand. Often when a person calls out for help, they are so shaken by the process of change, they cannot even think logically anymore. Transformation isn’t a logical process. It’s a jumping off of life’s path or tracks into a new place. It’s a very disorientating situation.
The second aspect of the question was the hope of there being a simple book to use in guidance. Don’t you think it’s strange people give up the power of shaping their change in trying to follow other people’s guides to transformation? It makes sense because people are afraid of the unknown.
Let’s turn this around and help show you a path towards a graceful life transformation.
What is essential to understand in transformation is this:
Each person is a unique puzzle; it isn’t as if there is a single book that has your name on it for the perfect change. I work with each person very differently to assist them to cross thru many different angles of a life transformation process. I strive to help each person find the best path that matches to their spirit and heart.
For example, I wrote A Personal Tao book to share part of my journey in transformation and to help others. I wrote it in a generalized manner, but even in this, it won’t perfectly be a guide for the masses, but only those in a similar place of mind and situation that I was in at that time.
Understand that transformation it’s a very personal process hence Personal Tao.
While guides like myself exist, you also must learn how to refine your shape of life around you.
In this, trust to your smile, learn how to release judgment, to open up the options that best match to your spirit. The process isn’t an easy one since it requires a person to test their boundaries and initiate growth. A life transformation is always a laborious process for any person. People seek books and resources to make that more comfortable, but those very same resources limit you to another person’s path also. You can get clues from such materials, but in the end, it’s about making the journey your own.
Two Truths About Personal Change
Truth One: A person in a life transformation will often feel isolated and alone.
The reason for this feeling of being isolated, alone: is that in a life transformation is often the first time a person is “truly” and fully connected to themselves. So the process disconnects a person from other people. Deep life changes are a very overpowering place to be within.
Know when feeling in this manner. You are not alone, many are experiencing the very same process and that countless others are in the same place you are.
It’s OK to be “alone” since this process is all about coming to terms with your truth. Don’t rush to fill in the empty feeling with other people. Spend some time with yourself.
The Second Truth: People in transformation often try to help other people first.
The people who come to me, also often have a deep desire to reach out, to aid others and help people who are down in their luck. But here is the secret that must be embraced:
No matter how many other people you are kind to, no matter how many people you might save or help discover “harmony”…
You will never discover balance, never resolve out your life transformation until you make some time for yourself.
So to people in the turmoil of great change remember this simple truth:
Be kind to yourself also.
Humans desire form so much, that when in the middle of a transformation, people fumble and grasp out to the nearest form that seems to fit. They then apply that form to be their new template for living.
In reality: transformation is freedom to re-shape yourself. It isn’t required to use another form to overlay on top of yourself. It might be easier to do so. However, this carries the risk of shaping yourself into something you won’t be happy with later.
So be careful when reading solutions to a life crisis, whatever it might be, since, it also has the potential to force you into changes you may not want or need.
In reality, I would say the steps of transformation as I teach it are
- Practices to explore one’s nature.
- Repeat 1-3 in several iterations. (Which equals patience)
- Relaxation into self
- You are now in a place where you worked most of the issues holding you back. Please note: never try to solve all your problems at once. Otherwise, new problems will creep in to fill the void.
- Move ahead with yourself in wonder and enjoyment.
However, this path I teach is very Taoist: most people will choose and have an easier time of just grabbing a form and running with that. Not many people are interested in taking the time to explore their life fully: most people like to stay in the stories they know already. I help people work through a midlife crisis by turning the crisis around and using the change to become your potential: over some pre-defined consumer fling event.
It’s a choice everyone has.
Awareness is very important for this process. Without awareness, people just react and grasp the closest pattern/form that fits their life in order to stop the pain. Without awareness, transformation occurs in a blind manner, with little control of final form. Sadly for too many people, this represents the various “flings” which break things apart more than heal.
Play to Help Your Change be Graceful
One aspect of transformation which people ignore is play.
Play is a critical part of any transformation
If you look at Taoist Masters, for example, they are a very happy bunch, always experimenting and exploring by playing around in life. I know too many people who can’t play, or who stop playing because they are an “adult.”
Play is about testing and exploring possibilities in life. When you’re transforming, you are changing, becoming something new. If you don’t play while in the middle of a transformation, then the chances are you will revert to what you already were, since you didn’t take the time to play and work out new options for your life.
I had a wonderful long conversation about play last night. Some people assume playing is a light happy thing. Play can have dark aspects to it. If you ever watch children play, sadly they can be quite cruel at times with their play. When exploring life, a person needs to examine various dark and light aspects of their being to be whole. Play can cross these boundaries and play can often touch the darker places safely compared to acting out the negative character of one’s nature in real life. Think about how violent some sports can be in their “play”. Perhaps this is one reason why Western culture has such a high crime rate: people aren’t given enough safe ways to explore life in play as adults.
Adults tend to bury, repress or forget about play. Even worse society takes away play from adults, forcing them to work and complete the status quo. Not being able to play reinforces a person into getting stuck when they reach a life transformation moment.
Lack of a playful attitude is often the most critical part of life missing in a life transformation. So then later when a person lets loose, like buying that red sports car or performing more extreme actions, their transformation gets channeled in ways which are now destructive. Most destructive paths could have been avoided if a person was able to start with smaller changes within play.
Play helps a person move smoothly through their life changes. Remember to play more when you are changing in life!
Transformation is Always a Personal Process.
When finding guides or resources to help you, make sure that they respect your heart and nature. This is most especially true in books which contain static and fix states of mind. As powerful as any book can be, in the end, all books are still limited, by (1) how they were written, and (2) by how you the reader judges it.
Since a transformation is about jumping your tracks in life, no book can cover all the variations of problems you now face. While a smile and an open heart are always limitless in the opportunities that you can find to solve problems at hand.
The first step is then this: trust to the smile and open heart, then be aware that all around you: from, books, events, actions, people are the tidbits you need to assemble your take-off and path for your transformation at hand.
Transformation is Hard to Share
I received this wonderful statement from a friend:
I’ve been trying to let others know about the ‘transformation’ and they don’t get it … so I will just Live it!
The curious thing is after a person transforms, it’s such a profound process, the first desire is always to share. It’s a natural urge to share change since it’s a wondrous process, one which gives a person a deep clarity of life. The sharing is natural as part of testing the boundaries and nature of one’s change relative to how others see you.
Strange isn’t it? To go through a process which makes everything clear, to discover a fuller life only to discover on average, you cannot share your change. Now, this is due to many many reasons. But it comes down to the truth we already talked about in that life transformation is personal.
So many people after transformation often try to push their transformation to others. This is always a path towards conflict, which then would cause you to lose your inner peace.
I smiled when my friend sent me the statement because the truth is 100% correct in that you just have to live it :).
It’s in the living of your change you share change.
Life isn’t About the Path Most Trampled (Traveled)
Unfortunately, the fear of facing the unknown is what causes people to hurt themselves. Rather than change into something unknown, people will choose pain or harmful options that they know rather than risk the unknown.
I work with change, teach how to transform. Transformation can come from the outside. Typically when change comes from the outside of the soul, people resist and fight change. Which makes sense, change is often painful and represents a lot of work towards dealing with the unknown.
Most people don’t handle the unknown gracefully.
They instead fill the unknown with fears and monsters…
Change when personal, often means that a person resists outside help since the change is personal.
A friend was looking back at a partner who ran away and commented:
I wished that he’d seeked some help rather than just leaving the way he did…
When sorting out what happened to another person. Do take a moment to understand it not from your own heart, but from the other perspective for a moment. Especially in crisis which is all about a person facing the unknown.
It’s very difficult for someone in a personal transformation to ask for help because of the very nature of the process turning inward (or also the process of running away from themselves). Looking outward towards others for help is the last thing people see as an option in this situation. It’s part of the psychological of the inward transformation. Often the more you try to help from the outside, the more you force a person to go in the opposite direction so they can retain the focus of their transformation.
It’s what it is, a deep part of human nature. Understand to work against transformation opens bigger disasters later. Instead, you have to work with the energy of the given situation as much as possible.
In the aftermath, we are often left wishing for answers. After a long period of soul-searching, we even let go of answers, such as my friend saying:
Anyway I guess I’ll never know why he did what he did.
Many times as an outsider we are left to look at the wreckage of what transpired, looking at the broken pieces of life strewn about in a frenzy to tear away restrictions and pains.
People look for answers, answers to explain everything, but these answers are never complete and worse are never full. All the answers feel hollow because they don’t fill the void that is left behind. In the end, all a person is left with are stories of what happened. Stories, so many stories carelessly cast about.
In the end, the best answer is no answer.
This gives you the most freedom to be yourself without issues. In the aftermath of change, the people involved are upon new paths.
To restrict oneself to only a single story is to hide many truths from our life.
The search on how to represent our stories represents art, our soul, our endeavor to paint out what we saw.
At some point, we also must embrace release. Dropping the need for an answer is the first step to true release.
This is the start towards a new life.
I hope as the reader you see some of the distinctions in what I am saying. I am purposely leaving some aspects out, so I suspect this post will only truly resonant to those right at the point of letting go of the past to move on pass the wreckage in their own life. Releasing the need for an answer releases the need to be trapped by your past life.
This opens up many closed paths to your future.
Understand and discover this isn’t about the path most trampled (traveled). It’s about your path which is still virgin, unknown and to is explored. That means not having an answer because we go into virgin territories for new answers rather than old past gone stories.