If you’ve been following this series of three posts on making time for transformation, you’ll have no doubt in your mind now about how I feel about, well, making time for transformation … I rate it big time. (Read Part One here and Part Two here). But as well as making time for this in our lives, what else do we need to factor in? Here I share some of my learnings around what being on a journey of transformation can mean and require. Call it a cheat-sheet for what to expect and look out for.
Only you can make your journey important (and therefore prioritised)
I think we can find ourselves waiting for life to make this ‘finding time for me’ business easier and we might think, once the kids are at school, once work calms down, then I’ll do it. And you may have noticed, it somehow never comes! Or when it does, something else turns up to take up space.
Whether you can feel that you need to work fewer hours and have more time to yourself in the week, or just want a more regular timeslot for meditation, the only person who can really make that happen is you. And when you really own what is right for you, often the logistics start falling into place. That’s partly because the people around you respond differently when you are so internally aligned with your needs and stand in your own knowingness.
People will say to me – Well, I have to work to keep up with the mortgage payments, you know? Or I need to be home with the kids. Or I need to do these longer hours at the moment, the business is going through a lot of change. Now, sometimes this is the reality, so for a time it is the best call or a necessity. But often what they’re really saying is –
That other thing (mortgage, kids, staff, employer) is more important than me, or
I value the business over myself, or
My need to feel needed/important is stronger than my desire for growth.
The thing is, you are important. And getting to the point where you have an embodied sense of this (not just an intellectual concept of it) and really KNOW IT – that’s part of the process of really taking space for you and your growth as a person.
The power of readiness
In the early days of my private practice, one of my biggest learnings as a coach was around the powerful role readiness plays in how we grow. Being an eager and enthusiastic practitioner of change, I assumed that when people reached out to me – or got their husband/wife/employee/ brother to call me – that the person was ready to change their life and do the work required. I soon realised that was not always the case. We’re all moving at our own pace with our own levels of preparedness for change.
And it’s okay if you’re not ready. Honour yourself by honouring that.
However, don’t mistake some trepidation or resistance for ‘not ready’ because that’s not the same thing. It’s normal to be ready and excited and scared about embarking on personal growth. Just don’t let the fear stop you.
Readiness sometimes follows a wake-up call where we face some harsh circumstances or have the sh#@ hit the proverbial fan, so to speak before we will take the plunge. Gabrielle Bernstein once said in an interview, “People have to hit a hard enough bottom to wake up and say, I’m really ready to do this… and you can’t deprive people of their ‘bottom’; they have to have that experience naturally.”
Personal transformation is not a Tinder date –
no one said it was fast or easy –
but it also doesn’t have to be slow, laborious or full of suffering.
Transformation takes time – and often has its own pace
Even when you are ready, and even chomping at the bit to finally let go of old patterns or emotions, it can take time. It’s not because it actually has to take a long time – I’ve experienced profound change or guided others through profound change in a matter of an hour, sometimes even minutes – but because there is usually a collection of patterns, beliefs and parts for healing that each need their day in the sun. One of my clients put this succinctly just last week when he said “Yeah, you might be targeting one thing, but you’re never really working on one thing.”
Some of those parts won’t arise straight away and can take weeks, months or years to rise to the surface for healing. It still amazes me what I uncover in myself that I had worked on around the edges for some time – thus paving the way – that then comes right to the surface, ready for deep, extraordinary and lasting change.
I find that each of those parts come out when they are the next aspect that needs growth for you to move forward, when it feels like a safe space to do so, and when we the adult self is ready to do the work. A client recently said to me, “I can feel my teenage-self trusts me now to heal this old stuff, and I think now that I’ve met you, she also trusts you to guide us.” Beautiful.
For me, I had been ready for quite a while, but my deepest healing came when I found someone to work with who could totally hold the space for me, see me in my full potential before I could see it myself, and who had the ability to guide me expertly and safely. Then anything is possible!
If you do find yourself hitting bottom,
don’t berate yourself for that.
Celebrate that it has woken you up, and wrap yourself
in a warm blanket of compassion as you take the next step.
It’s good to bear in mind that you can speed up and slow down the process to some extent. Sometimes it gets slowed down somewhat because our schedule, work commitments or budget only allows us to have, say one coaching session a month for a while. At other times we might be in a position to have more frequent sessions and therefore do more work, faster. If I find I have some rather uncomfortable stuff arising for healing that I don’t want to be marinating in for too long, I will sometimes have a couple of sessions close together so I can attend to those parts more quickly, and sometimes I’ll have a few sessions close together – weekly or twice weekly for instance – because I want a bit of acceleration.
Personal transformation is not a Tinder date – no one said it was fast or easy – but it also doesn’t have to be slow, laborious or full of suffering. It might involve some emotional moments and upset because the body needs those emotions expressed and released – but in my experience, it is just that – a release and not a place we need to wallow in.
A friend recently said to me how she wished she’d done her recent healing work about speaking up for herself ten years ago. We can probably all relate to that, but I also see it as all in perfection; those inner parts of her that had learned at a very early age to keep quiet and not use her voice have now come forward for healing when she is in a place in her life she can do that lovingly and with the support she needs. They can safely step out of the shadows and help her start becoming more of her magnificent self.
Here’s to you too, becoming your most magnificent self.