I see myself wearing many masks, my body on various stages, playing different roles. With time, the visage has altered, my container transformed, and although my uniquely imprinted snowflakes accounting for every single one of my life experiences have often been churned, shaken and flipped upside down, they’ve been invited, time and time again, to slowly fall back down through the water held within my soft permeable shell to resettle upon and within their familiar surfaces.
But this year I traveled a different path.
For the past twelve months I’ve allowed my deepest of muscular constrictions (my most traumatic memories) to soften and surface. For moments, days, and months I’ve allowed myself to feel what I’ve been avoiding, holding and carrying for so, so long. Approximately 650 muscles holding memory of abandonment, rejection, abuse, neglect, confusion, blame, anger, loneliness and sadness…
Muscles — a source of power and motion, file cabinets filled with old Polaroids, wrapped in fibrous emotion.
I practiced sitting delicately in these spaces, trying not to be logical and fit the puzzles pieces together, but to separate the narration from the gripping, so I could feel the sensations clearly, so I could start to let go. I’ve commenced the melting process and have invited my muscles, my cells to reveal more than their ability to record and save trauma, but also to mimic the power and motion of change, of transformation.
I am still in this process.
A great change is upon us and available to us with every breath, but it is up to us individually to allow this change to truly transform ourselves from the inside out so that the masks we wear become authentic and the performances we offer are a reflection of our deepest freedom and wisdom.
Nothing has to go back to the way it was — nothing really can.
Is there a difference between change and transformation?
I tend to think so. Check this out — most of us have probably experienced a short-term change, especially this time of year when New Year’s Resolutions are being written and attempted for action.
We change our diet for a few days, we exercise for a few weeks, we engage in some sort of meditation practice after our morning tea (for a while), and we invite the possibility of (this time) sincerely listening to and turning ourselves in the direction of our heart’s deepest desires. But, for the majority of us, these changes are only temporary. There may have been shifts, veils lifted and a new mindset invoked, but before we know it, we’re back to old patterns and habits, and perhaps feeling a bit blue, bruised and well, there we are… again.
How can we make change stay?
Let’s first re-visit the original inquiry: is there a difference between change and transformation? Take a moment to reflect. What conclusions have you drawn?
Change is often illustrated via a modified action or actions – we attempt to change an inhibiting behaviour and/or we attempt to acquire or replace it with a new, healthy one. The tricky bit to change, despite our best intentions, is that we can revert or ‘change’ back pretty darn quickly, making change short-lived, impermanent, non-lasting — a thing of the past.
Have you tried this? I have – a million times. (Hey, no regrets… not even one, aye? Aye.)
Which brings us to the small, yet profound difference between change and transformation. Transformation stays – you’ve transformed and thus the change created has become the new standard, the new mindset, the new pattern and the new habit. More or less, it is the new you.
In the words of Lynne Twist:
“Change can change back. Change is volatile. Transformation is completely different – though sometimes it is called change. Transformation never makes the past wrong. It transforms it. It doesn’t deny it. It honors it in a way that you can move forward without making anything wrong, and having the past somehow now become complete, rather than wrong. Transformation has a permanence to it – where once you transform, once you awaken, once you see the stations you didn’t see before, you can’t go back. Transformation has the ultimate power of time, and what the world is crying for now is transformation, not necessarily more change, though some change may be a part of it, the route to transformation. Transformation suddenly makes the past make sense, and new futures open up.” ~ Lynne TwistInviting change to stay is allowing our selves to be truly transformed. The evolution of change is a sincere living, breathing transformation of you.
So, perhaps it’s not true — a New Year’s Resolution can transform your life, but given the odds it will more likely change your life for a short period of time unless you, we and I keep going to create, allow and become a walking, breathing act of transformation.
Here are some tips for building sustainable change:
#1 Practice moment-to-moment being. Presence is true freedom, true wealth and a true sense of being. You can choose to live in the experiences of the past or in the fictitious worries of the future. Or, you can choose to live in a rhythm of ease and response within the present moment allowing yourself to be fully available for what is needed within each breath.
Refuse to become a slave to the perceived time-space continuum and instead, live this practice of freedom, moment by glorious moment – right now.
#2 How will you grow if you are never challenged? It is possible to dream and live big, while still having time to meditate, to patiently nourish your body with nutritious meals, to get the laundry done and spend time with beloved family and friends. Truly live your purpose and life will wrap its arms around you. Challenging ourselves to live our truths may not always seem easy, but it can become one of the best anti-depressants, and inspire the life around you to do the same.
Living truthfully also creates a mastery of focus — and, where focus goes, love, creativity and transformation grows.
#3 Allow your goals to unfold. They will evolve, blossom, expand, shift and revolutionize as you continue to transform. Your goals, if held delicately without gripping, will become your biggest sponsor, your most congenial cheerleader, and if allowed, they’ll continue to invite you into a space of non-attached growth and abundance beyond what you ever thought possible.
And, don’t forget to acknowledge the fruits of your effort. Life is always speaking to us, holding us and acknowledging our presence. Feel the effects of your efforts, even in the slightest. Nothing is in vain.
#4 Invite consistency and commitment. Consistency and commitment invites strength and positive forces into our lives. They are the initiation of change and eventually open the flood gates for transformation. These two elements can help us to create and divulge clarity and vision. A healthy structured life that contains a consistent and committed source of nourishment — one that nourishes us deeply without rigidity – can help us to allow our dreams to come to life. What makes up a consistent, committed structured life? The stuff we know we should be doing…everyday.
You are the creator, the alchemist, the explorer and the artistic expression of you.
#5 Use your body. It’s the best instrument you could ever have to experience this life. Your body is waiting for you to explore and sculpt it. It’s waiting for you to reveal its wisdom. Use it to lift the world and to express your authentic self. Seek a loving connection and embrace, shine and flourish in your perceived imperfection…and, not as the body you had yesterday or ten years ago…the one you have right now.
Don’t wait for the last song to move, cherish and feel the sensations — the deep creative wisdom of your body.
#6 Workout your Gratitude Muscle. Gratitude for the little things. Gratitude for the big things. Gratitude for the experiences we have yet to find words for. Gratitude for what is yet to be revealed.
Gratitude for being here.
#7 Rest—Recover—Rejuvenate. Allow yourself to experience ease, to regroup and to relish within periods of doing less, not more. Get enough rest, enough greens, enough hydration. Get enough you time, enough nature, enough art, enough movement. Allow yourself to step away from technology, work, your to-do list and your schedule. A matter of fact, allow yourself to break all your rules.
Listen intuitively and although there is much to be done and life seems to call us to action in so many ways, don’t forget to be. Return to #1.
On that note, I wish you all an abundant New Year that is overflowing with love and creativity beyond what you ever thought possible, and in the words of Neil Gaiman:
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.Source: rebellesociety.com
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”