I was recently reminded of a powerful distinction – the difference between change and transformation. With change, I can make a different choice, but, I can always revert back to old behavior. I can change locations yet return to where I began. I can change my mind about a person, but, I can also revert back to thinking about them as I had before.
Change allows for reversals. Transformation does not.
A butterfly cannot reverse the metamorphosis and shove itself back into the casing of the caterpillar. An oak cannot be reduced back into the acorn. Each are transformed into an entirely different way of being.
It’s easy to laud this analogy when discussing these physical form examples but it is a bit more rigorous when it comes to defining transformation in consciousness. Who among us hasn’t had dozens of epiphanies, been handheld to the banks of metamorphosis only to pull a Lot’s wife backwards glance and revert back to what’s familiar?
Peace is felt in an atmosphere of surrender.
An atmosphere of surrender is available through letting go of the conventional.
Letting go the conventional requires the understanding that there are far more options available to consider than what you've seen modeled by others.
The risk of being labeled foolish will actually nurture peace in your heart.
Playing it safe will not.
I realize that to be in integrity with the demands of transformation within myself, I must risk looking foolish as well as risk other’s judgments and the accompanying feelings of abandonment. Although these human responses can be expected, it is never easy to witness or experience.
My one blazing goal as a teacher and coach is to bridge you from a certain level of thinking to another – to open you up – to show you through example and ability how these spiritual principles that we espouse are modeled and manifested through practice. It is nurturing free from coddling. My nurturing...
There is a sustaining energy that is the nucleus of all livingness. It links everything and everyone.
It is infinite in nature - always has been, always will be.
This energy is personalized in our lives by our willingness to recognize it. To say that good does not exist for us is perhaps one of our greatest fallacies. It is self-inflicted disconnection. (Think of yelling at the electrical cord pulled out of the socket for not giving you power.)
By gathering evidence of its absence or forming coalitions to debate its demise only makes its apparent absence seem real. This nucleus of ever expanding Life is emitted in, as, and through us by continually removing known and unknown barriers of belief to Its existence. It is a reawakening to the pure realization that what we have longed for is already here.
Think of Divine Order as a see saw partner. It is there when you are down and there when you are up. These seeming up and down human experiences are natural...
We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. – Saint Clare of Assisi
In a recent airline magazine article, a biologist shared his research on the migration of monarch butterflies and their winter resting place – a forest in the state of Michoacan in Mexico.
It detailed the remarkable sojourn that millions of monarchs make and how climate change challenges are disrupting their flight pattern and overall survival. Assisted in his research by native guides through the heavily forested region, the author shared a profound experience he observed between a guide and a single butterfly. Upon discovering a female drowning in a puddle, weak and freezing, the guide held the distressed insect in his hand to provide warmth. Next, he began tenderly feeding the winged beauty by squeezing nectar from a flower into her mouth.
The butterfly drank the contents of four flowers, regained her strength and flittered away.
Being an available channel for...
A low self-image is usually not based on fact but on mismanaged memory. – Orrin Woodward
The phone rang in the middle of the night. It was the Veterans Administration Hospital calling to inform my mother that my father had passed away. I was 7 and where I slept and where the phone was located were in close proximity. After my mother received the news, she began calling family members and made the comment, “What am I suppose to do with a 7-year-old boy?” Overhearing that, I processed her words to mean I was a burden.
That one comment, when uttered, lasted all of 6 seconds, but my decision to let it define who I thought I was lasted for decades.
I often use this example to show the power of what I call 6 Second Moments – a few seconds worth of words from another which can have the power to shape our identity and what we feel we are capable of for the entirety of our lives.
In adulthood, that memory came flooding back and I realized how I had loyally lived out...
You cannot perceive beauty but with a serene mind. – Henry David Thoreau
The Mule Rule
A mule is the offspring of a female horse and a male donkey. A horse has 64 chromosomes and a donkey 62. The mule has 63. This one chromosome change has a strong influence on the general character traits of the mule. Its demeanor is noticeably patient and the animal is extremely intelligent, gathering the best features of its parents. Ranchers will often place a mule among skittish horses in order to bring a sense of calm to the corral.
As humans, we may share the same number of chromosomes, but we do not share a singular character trait. We carry within us the polarity of high strung or calm behavior. The predominant one expressed depends on the one we allow ourselves to choose.
Choosing serenity and calm comes more readily with understanding who we are at the most fundamental level. We are expressions of the Divine. The degree in which that divinity expresses as us on an...
When one suffers from cold and congestion there is a system we use in order to facilitate the cold to run its course. We rest, drink fluids, alter diet, take a medicinal agent. No one questions such a system and many rely on it to return to wellness.
When one suffers from the congestion of overthinking is there also a system to use?
Overthinking is a universal challenge that causes many to become paralyzed around decision making. We fear making the wrong choice and so we stall taking an action due to over analyzing what could happen if such a flawed choice occurred. Overthinking clouds our judgments, promotes anxiety and prevents us from moving forward by chaining us to heightened negative scenarios. Overthinking has been credited as being the art of creating problems that aren’t even there.
A system for relieving mental congestion caused by overthinking starts with awareness. To be aware that I am suffering from the paralysis of analysis allows me to redirect my...
Never regret thy fall, O Icarus of the fearless flight. For the greatest tragedy of them all is never to feel the burning light. - Oscar Wilde
Icarus, from Greek mythology, has often been associated with youthful carelessness. Donning wings of feather and wax, his demise came from flying too close to the sun. Not paying heed to caution, he became enraptured by the sensation of flying and ached to go higher. Rising too high, his waxed wings begin melting, sending him plunging towards the sea.
But what if Icarus was more a pioneer than someone filled with childish hubris?
The world can be harsh to pioneers in the midst of their exploration. A pioneering spirit surges within each of us. It is an inherent propulsion that tugs and invites us into mystery and discovery. Left unexplored, we might never leave the radius of what’s familiar.
It is critical to discern what behaviors are childlike - a pure willingness to be available to discovery, and what are childish. Childlike does not...
Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein
We are not born with a tentative stride. In our infancy, we are fearless, ceaselessly pulling ourselves to stand even after we repeatedly fall. We scramble across the floor with innate curiosity and start running with reckless abandon. Acquired experience teaches us to pay heed to the reckless part but it does not teach us to stop running, cease exploring, or to end our curiosity all together. Fear does that.
Fear chips and carves away at our trust. Left uninterrupted, we lose faith in others and in ourselves. We become lowly survivors in a land of plenty. Yes, it is fear that keeps us tentative in an arena of boundless exploration.
In her book, You Learn By Living, the great Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have...
If your knowledge of fire has been turned to certainty by words alone, then seek to be cooked by the fire itself. Don't abide in borrowed certainty. There is no real certainty until you burn; if you wish for this, sit down in the fire. ~ Rumi
In the metaphysical classic, The Science of Mind, writer Ernest Holmes shares, "An idea has no real value until it becomes an experience." This, as well as the instruction from the Sufi poet Rumi, ask us to look at something called borrowed certainty.
Borrowed certainty is equivalent to borrowed opinion. We may catch hold of some public discourse, read an article on the internet, or remain steadfast to some inherited dogma and never venture away from those borrowed beliefs to do our own experimentation.
Do we live from these borrowed systems of collective opinion or do we go out and explore what feels true and relevant for ourselves?
The poet Rumi’s words are a challenge to move beyond public theory into embracing active...