When we transform our consciousness, we participate in the transformation of the world we know. Let us look through the fog to see clearly what a transformation in consciousness is and promote its development, also let’s examine catalysts and doorways we know of that produce a life long lasting transformation.
Because you have a hammer in your hand, doesn’t mean you know how to build a house. What is it that makes an extraordinary experience transform into lasting change? In a garden you must prepare the soil and plant seeds to have something to harvest later. Not all the seeds will grow unless you give the seeds what they need to thrive.
Transformation can be a gradual life long process, or it can be precipitated by a sudden shift sometimes painful, or possibly an exceptional experience. When we experience a shift in our worldview, we often feel nothing will ever be the same. Like water wearing away stone, integrating transformative experiences into our core way of being often requires time, patience and inner work. Reconditioning and reshuffling priorities may be required to catch up with our new expanded worldview.
Consciousness itself doesn’t change, instead it is our perception of consciousness that changes. Who we are authentically doesn't change, rather our false selves are shed and elements of our higher consciousness are recalled, integrated and aligned with who we really are. Being able to step back and look at our beliefs gives an opportunity to see the outdated ones and make room for the new ones calling out for transformation. Intellect can only get us so far, letting go, we can open to new states of awareness.
Transformation is aided by a strong sense of curiosity and inquisitiveness rather than being suspicious of new information. Become a soul in wonder - childlike, reaching a point where we look for what’s next. What is going to happen today? Yes we have things to accomplish, yet leave an opening for the new to present itself into the present.
Making time in life for creativity allows us to inspire new ideas. We are wired for seeking (since our hunter gatherer ancestors) and creativity allows us to open to our authentic selves. No matter what our outlet is: dance, music, art, writing and journaling, they are all full of surprise and wonder.
A necessity in the transformative process is to find time for silence, introspection and inner authority. Entering the realm of stillness requires that you pay attention to your daily rhythms and natural cycles. I enjoy taking a moment of silence before meetings and events, allowing my inner knowing to open. In silence we open to the inner realm of knowing and broaden previous understandings and experience. Intentionally stopping and being in silence is a simple practice that may feel uncomfortable, but over time can become a refuge.
When allowing these seeds of curiosity, creativity and stillness to mature, many times they will grow into direct knowing of authentic knowledge within our awareness. New realizations can be fragile just like the new sprouts in our garden. To have them blossom we need to reinforce them with practices like contemplative prayer or mindfulness meditation.
Because we’ve had an exceptional experience doesn’t mean we have a pass for a free ride. Instead we have tasted our potential and understand the imperative to evolve. It is a call from our authentic self to participate in the transformative process. Holding the intention of being open to transformation always helps us recognize the opportunities for transformation that present themselves in our daily life. This way we become “coconspirators” in the evolution.
There is a need to bring attention and awareness to our “Witness” or “Observer Self,” in everything we do. That way we become aware of any behaviors like addictions and jealousies that drive our wants and needs. Like pulling weeds, only by seeing them clearly can we overcome these self limiting habits. Cultivating mindful attention and awareness is an act of liberation. A range of techniques are available for learning to discipline the mind. Use the tools of mindful attention to substantially increase the transformative potential of our practice.
Guidance can come from external or internal wisdom. A teacher or mentor is a solid path to take with many known benefits. A good teacher should be balanced by our own internal wisdom. We are the best in discerning if a practice is working in our transformation. Practice on its own isn’t enough, always balance practice with life experiences. If practice becomes an end to, rather than a means, it can become an obstacle to the transformative process. Practice is a sort of flashlight we shine on our inner world to illuminate insight. Once you've gained the sight, there is no need for the flashlight.
The ego, the sense of a self as separate from the world, can become overactive and keep us out of our hearts and in our minds. Ego pulls us out of the present and into the past or future, out of our deeper wisdom and living shallowly. Yet, it is a mistake to try to destroy the ego, instead one of our primary functions in the transformative process is to reestablish an internal balance between ego and soul, or self and other, doing and being. Remove ego from the driver seat and let your creative, intuitive self have a turn at the wheel.
Keep the transformative process moving toward increased insight by shaking things up. Try something different. Use a purification ritual to shed the old baggage or beliefs both spiritually and emotionally. Try living in the moment, developing a deep sense of gratitude, joy and love for your present environment. It takes courage and commitment but try surrendering to the mystery and allow life to unfold and worry less about the past or future. Stop resisting and get out of the way, so you can find your sense of aliveness and engage in life with the fullest loving intention. The transformative process opens us to the fundamental human core of love and divine truth. Once we learn how to open that door it’s like a well oiled hinge, it opens easily.
Understand that transformation is a form of spirituality integrated into all aspects of life, not a hat you put on and take off. It affects all arenas of the daily experience, goings and comings, work, play, in the car or at home; not just when we are in a sacred place, meditating or on a ten day retreat. Many times we spend our time attending workshop after workshop, group after group and we feel exhilarated at the time, only to return home and have difficulty integrating what we learned or experienced. We are attempting to be part-time yogis. The purpose of a transformative path is to change our way of being full time.
Finding a like-minded community with whom we can share our transformative process is essential. Our dominant culture does not always support a consciousness transformation that emphasizes meaning over materialism. Having people in our life who support our metamorphosis helps fortify our young blossoming plant. Transformative development happens in the context of shared experience and with connections, guides and peers. Being part of a community also helps us with learning how to behave with other people. New on the horizon are Internet and teleconferencing based meetings that have the potential of reaching even the most isolated individuals.
Use simple reminders on a daily basis to remember the transformation in our lifes. These can act as a trigger to keep us working in the present. Also develop ways to take action bringing our new perspective into the world. It can be creative expression or a form of service to others. When we take our ideals and put them into practice through action, we create powerful experiences. We can use conscious intention to propel ourselves forward with positive meaning and choose the life we want.
What’s interesting is the reversal that takes place. At first our transformative activities fed our life, now our life feeds our transformation, by living the art of transformation. It takes courage to live life with an authentic awakening and realized truth. It means facing everything and no longer pushing things we do not want to deal with in the corner. It requires bravery, commitment and love to be who you really are or risk the awakened state diminishing.
Now take what you have learned, the insights and direct experiences and give them form. Become the embodiment of your transformative process. Becoming the Spirit of each life interaction, we become the practice of our truths and love, making it a seamless and graceful partnership with our higher consciousness. Be a convergence of life and practice where yoe bring the fruits of your life journey back home.
The most common element of consciousness transformation is when self awareness extends beyond the boundaries of the individual personality and we find the interconnectedness of all beings. There is a gradual realization that there isn't any separation, with a knowing of unity and yet our soul is intact. Tentatively at first we step from center stage into the flow of shared identity. Transcendence from “I” onto “We”, is a natural progression people are finding globally; the shift is aways here and available to everyone. There is a growing intensity worldwide of shifting our consciousness and awakening.
As the transformative process progresses we experience an expanded view of reality and our place in it. Often we are led to a greater intimacy and interrelatedness with the people in our lives. A different kind of love plants a seed of openness and authenticity with everyone we interact with throughout the day. Many express how this process has opened their hearts, making them believe the transformative process is not a series of steps, but the path to love.
Compassion and a need to relieve suffering grows from this universal love. A love that calls us to act in ways to remedy suffering. The more we walk our paths with an open heart the more we realize that everything is sacred and divine.
Aha! Transformation isn’t really a change at all, but an unveiling and reorganizing of who we are and finding the divine that’s already within. Then we see the spiritual light shines brightly through every living being. With that comes a responsibility to be in balance with all life by staying awake and aware. With this noetic understanding our concern for a sustainable life is intertwined with all lives.
So tend the garden with a practice that is comfortable for you. Fertilize the soil, pull the weeds, stake the seedlings and provide the environment for the natural, never ending transformation process and rest ever more into your authentic self. The potential for awakening to enlightenment is within us because we are all interconnected beings of light and part of the greater all.
Not all transformative paths start with an exceptional experience, but most begin with some kind of deeply felt, unshakable realization. This shift can be triggered by something as subtle as reading a blog.