I was listening to a video from Davidji (former Dean of the Chopra Center) posted on the Infinity Foundation website. He was talking about the difference between change and transformation and offered some examples of change. It’s what we do when we are flipping from one channel to the next, or when we choose a different hair color. It may bring something different…but you can always go back.
Transformation, on the other hand, is evolution. Like baking cookies…you can’t go back.
The “baking cookies” part sounds wonderful! I can smell and taste the melted chocolate chips just thinking about them! It’s the part about “you can’t go back” that triggers a slight pang of anxiety in my stomach. What will others think? What if I make a mistake? What if it doesn’t turn out the way I planned? What if I regret it later? What if I disappoint myself…or others? When thoughts go on like this, the anxiety grows and it feels as if I might actually fall off a cliff.
It reminds me of an experience I had a few years ago standing on a cliff in New Mexico. I was panic-stricken with fear of falling into the canyon below. I could have decided to change where I was standing and step away from the cliff. Instead, I decided to change my focus of attention to the distant mountains. The view was spectacular, awe-inspiring. Slowly, I felt my feet in contact with the ground, followed by the sensation of my hips becoming balanced, strong, and anchored to the Earth. I recognized this experience of grounding, having practiced it many times in yoga and during meditation. Bit by bit, the feeling of panic softened and was gradually replaced by a feeling of confidence. With a new sense of self assurance, I looked back down into the canyon. Not only had the fear of falling disappeared, but also a lifelong fear of heights. I still respect the danger of high places, I approach with a healthy measure of caution, but the fear is gone.
Seems to me that change, compared to transformation, is a piece of cake when we go at it with the notion that we can always go back. But where is the adventure in that? Where is the growth and healing? Why would I ever want to go back? Yes, I can give something a try and then go back to the way it was, like flipping through channels on the TV or changing the color of my hair, but that seems like pretty mindless stuff. For me, small changes can be much more useful. When used mindfully and with intention, they can become the stepping stones that lead the way to transformation.
This is a fantastic time to actively envision the transformation you would like to see, in your life and in the world. The moon is full, we have stepped into a new era according to the Mayan calendar, and we are preparing to welcome a new year in our calendar. What small changes might lead to your own growth, healing, and transformation? Please join me in the next few days by responding to this article and sharing your vision of the future, personally and globally.
In spite of the “what ifs,” I know that transformation is the way to go. Looking back over the past several years of my life, I am amazed with all that I have learned, all the ways in which I have grown, and all the ways in which I have healed. There have been ups and downs along the way, but in the process I have learned to face my fears and trust that I am supported. It’s a wonderful, sometimes miraculous process that continues daily. Indeed, transformation is the way to go. By the way, the cookies are delicious!