Imagine you woke up tomorrow to a life that was reflecting the fullness of the potential that you always knew was in you. What does your life look like? What sort of person have you become? Let yourself inhabit that vision for a moment.
You no doubt know that there is far more inside you than you have ever brought forth—more creativity, more contribution, more joy, more love, more life. You probably also understand that you have the capacity—as all human beings do—to consciously choose who you will become and to actively participate in how your life unfolds. The question is: How can you let go of the limiting beliefs and behaviors that prevent that potential from coming forth?
Why Personal Transformation Can Be Challenging
There are a couple of reasons why personal transformation can be challenging: we misunderstand what is real, and we misunderstand the nature of power. First, let’s consider our misunderstanding of what is real.
What Is Real?
Until you have achieved a certain level of self-awareness, you accept as true ideas about who and what you are that you have inherited or been socialized into. Even though these ideas are arbitrary, you take them to be reality: accurate and unchangeable.
You live as someone others believe you to be, and more important, you perceive yourself to be who others believe you are. These ideas and beliefs comprise your mental operating system, and it never even occurs to you to question them.
At the root of this operating system lies a fundamental error that almost all of us have inherited: the idea that we exist as solitary entities separate from one another and the rest of Life. This notion of being separate gives rise to a false self, often referred to as the ego, which we mistake for our true self.
And that brings me to our misunderstanding of power.
What Is Power?
As long as we are living from this ego perspective, we see ourselves as lonely strivers who must prevail over all obstacles through our own effort, and we see power as the ability to force things to happen—the ability to dominate, dictate and control.
This egoic understanding of power is what we see playing out on the national and global stage, and if we pay close attention we will see it within ourselves in our approach to personal transformation: once we realize that the beliefs we have inherited about ourselves are false, we try to overcome them through judgment and resistance and we try to become the person we wish to become through the energy of striving and grasping.
Ironically, this ego approach of force, with its judgment, resistance, striving, and grasping, is the very thing that assures that the old patterns stay locked in place. The ego approach to change keeps transformation at bay.
Transformation Arises from Acceptance
Despite our misperceptions, domination, force, and control are not power. Power is what has brought forth Life itself—it is an attribute of Love. Nor can transformation ever be achieved by the ego. It is a natural process which occurs in the presence of acceptance, appreciation, and blessing.
If you think about your own experience, you will probably recall times when being in the presence of judgment had the effect of shutting you down and inhibiting you from expressing your potential.
You will probably also remember times when being in the presence of love, acceptance, and appreciation allowed you to thrive. This loving energy is precisely the power we can bring to bear to support our own personal evolution.
Three Ways to Cooperate with Transformation
So how can you cooperate with the natural process of transformation? Here are three things you can do:
Lay Claim to Your Intention
You begin by affirming your intention to open to transformation, recognizing that it is not something you personally bring about. You move beyond your limited ego perspective and call upon the power of Love to assist you.
Setting an intention is very much like setting coordinates in your GPS. You use a GPS precisely because you don’t know how to get where you want to go.
What sort of person do you want to be? What sort of life do you want to live? What sort of contribution do you want to make in the world? These things make up your GPS setting.
You don’t dictate how your journey unfolds (which is what the ego would like to do). Rather, you lay claim to the person you want to be and the life you want to live, accepting that there is a greater Wisdom that is supporting you.
Accept and Bless
After laying claim to your intention, you practice something that seems counterintuitive and paradoxical, but which is extremely potent: accepting and blessing what is while simultaneously accepting and blessing what can be.
It sounds quite simple, and in a way it is. But it is also quite challenging because in order to do this you have to surrender resistance and disbelief. You begin to discover that you can yield to what wants to come forth, rather than strive to make it happen. You also begin to discover that you really aren’t in this life alone.
Become an Improv Partner with Life
Having assumed a stance of acceptance and blessing you enter into an improvisational partnership with Life, employing the improv maxim of yes. . . and. . .
You say yes to what Life has given you, and you offer up your own creative response to it without any attachment to specific outcomes.
Entering the Dance of Becoming
Through laying claim to your intention, accepting and blessing what is and what can be, and engaging in the improvisational practice of yes, and you open the way for transformation to occur.
Partnering with the power of Love, you enter into the dance of becoming. You allow your life to unfold in surprising ways that you neither dictate nor control, but in which you play a vital creative role.