TRANSFORMATION: WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT MATTERS
What is transformation, exactly? At first, it may appear straightforward. It’s simply change, right? Yes and no. Let’s delve a little deeper. Change is constant. Everything in this universe is in flux and change is happening all the time in every facet of nature. As part of nature, we humans are also constantly growing. It is when we adapt to change in positive ways that we transform.
Transformation happens on many levels of our being—but most importantly in our consciousness. We can foster transformation or resist it. We can make choices that land us in a proverbial prison, keeping us stuck in our patterns and limiting beliefs, unwilling to engage in the natural and beneficial metamorphosis designed for us. Alternatively, through intention and greater awareness, we can transform with ease.
Like a blooming flower, our beauty is revealed when we transform. Life becomes a vibrant and exuberant expression of our inner fullness. It is a magnificent gift we can give ourselves.
Transformation is a defining part of our human sojourn. Sometimes it is automatic or subtle and we don’t notice it’s happening. Other times it is thrust upon us, tossing us about like a small boat in a raging storm. And then there is the type of transformation that comes from inside us with a high level of awareness. In this case, we seek and proactively bring about transformation. When we set forth on this type of journey, we can experience amazing shifts in our bodies, minds, and spirits.
FOUR AVENUES TO TRANSFORMATION
So how can we get there? We can choose to transform aspects of ourselves through education and practices that focus on supporting and expanding our well-being and inspire others to do the same. Just as there is an infinite number of ways we can transform, there are just as many ways to get there. Here are four powerful paths to transformation that can lead you to increased joy, healing, deeper and more loving relationships, and elevated consciousness.
Sounds amazing? That’s because it is.
1. Transformation through Creativity
We, humans, are inherently creative beings. Creativity is available and accessible to all of us. Always. It is not something exclusive for artists or those who have a flair for crafts. It is innate wisdom ready to be tapped into and unleashed. And it is one of the most amazing vehicles for transformation.
Creativity can be defined as imagination, inspiration, originality, innovation, or vision combined with action. It’s raw self-expression, channeling a deep part of ourselves and bringing it out into the world.
As children, everything was a new creation. Our imaginations straddled the atmospheres of infinite possibilities. We drew purple and orange dinosaurs wearing fedoras, played rocket-ship in the backyard, answered questions with more ridiculous questions, dressed up in outlandish outfits, and engaged with the world through a devout lens of curiosity and fascination.
Somewhere along the road to adulthood many of us lost our spark to create. We got pulled into a myriad of responsibilities and tasks and allowed our imaginations and creativity to go dormant.
The excellent news is that our creative core is still inside of us, eagerly waiting to be utilized. In fact, by not using it we are repressing an important part of ourselves: our vital energy.
Creativity is energy. Energy moves energy and begets transformation. We go from one state of being to another. We bring something that was only once an idea or thought into the world and move with it, thereby transforming ourselves and those around us.
How do you get back to being creative? First, make a conscious intention to create. With awareness and intention, you can resurrect the inspiration and imagination pulsing inside you.
Second, free yourself from any judgments or limiting beliefs. Know you have everything you need to be creative. You need no special skills or degrees. You are more than qualified just by being you.
Third, experiment. Try things. Anything. It doesn’t matter what it is, if you are drawn to it, go for it. Paint with your non-dominant hand. Or your foot! Dance-walk down the beach. Make up a song while you organize paper clips. Or bake a cake using sun-dried tomatoes. The opportunities are endless.
Fourth, involve others. Playing and connecting with a friend or group will harness even greater volumes of creativity. The energy becomes intensified and fuller. That’s why as kids we always asked, “Can you come out and play?” We knew the power of togetherness.
Lastly, practice. The more you practice the more familiar and easier it will feel. Every day make an effort to add your creative spin to your life. Ask yourself, “What am I intrigued with and how can I be with it or do it differently?”
You are the artist of your life. Be bold. Imagine, create, and notice the transformation that occurs. Your body, mind, and spirit will shift into something grander, something so full of joy that your passion for life will overflow. Once that happens, don’t stop there. Create more.
2. Transformation through Sound Healing
Music has always been recognized as having a powerful effect on human consciousness. Now, we are learning why different kinds of music and sounds have the effects that they do on the body, emotions, mind, and spirit.
Science tells us that all life is energy in one form or another. Each energy shape has its pattern of frequencies. When one form experiences a matching frequency in the form of a musical note, the form will begin to vibrate in unison with the note in sympathetic resonance. A strong enough vibration can cause a form to restructure itself, as has been noted with cancer cells, water crystals, etc. With Tibetan Singing Bowls, every note creates sympathetic resonance with every other note producing harmonic overtones that commence the healing process.
Healing is a transformative process; a movement from disharmony to harmony, from duality to non-duality, or Divine Awareness. The journey of healing then is a spiritual awakening with consequences on our physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. As we awaken, our perspective shifts. As our perspective shifts, our vibration shifts. As our vibration shifts, our cellular makeup shifts. These shifts cannot occur as separate entities—they affect the whole of who we are and extend infinitely.
A vital step in this healing process is that of establishing resonance with the condition in question. You cannot release that which you do not own. Sound is the transformational vehicle that helps us get to healing.
How? We now know that we can create brainwave entrainment through a process of sympathetic resonance. Our body is a perfect transmitter of vibration, being 70% water. Further, nerve bundles in our spine transmit vibrational sensory data to the brainstem and limbic system—our emotional processing center. Placing Tibetan bowls directly on the body significantly increases their effectiveness. The bowls vibrate at the frequency of perfection, otherwise known as the Sanskrit mantra AUM, creating harmonic overtones. Their sound brings us into health by entraining our parasympathetic nervous system to resonate with them in their perfection, pulling us back into a more universal energetic flow. Soothing and peaceful vibrations are transmitted through our entire nervous and immune systems. This initiates our relaxation response, bringing us into a theta brainwave state and helps to raise the disease-fighting immune cells while also reducing our stress response, creating the synchronized flow of our brain, respiratory, and heart rate waves. The ensuing sympathetic resonance between the brain and bowls reawakens the intrinsic blissful self in us.
Dr. Mitch Gaynor, former Director of Oncology at the Cornel Cancer Prevention Center states: “Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.”
Our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors will either engage with or sabotage the healing potential as well. Positive thinking can strengthen your immune system and change your life. The combination of the sound vibration of the bowls with positive visualization and affirmations can greatly enhance the transformational/healing experience.
3. Transformation through Relationships
To create a healthy, mature partnership, couples need to have the ability and willingness to create deeper emotional intimacy. This may require a level of personal transformation for both men and women that tests their abilities to become more emotionally vulnerable. This can be challenging depending on the accessibility and comfort level either person has had to their emotional world.
As social expectations evolve to challenge men to explore and share their emotional world, men must be willing to bring a commitment to doing so. They need to not only change the way they participate emotionally in their intimate relationship, but recognize how their emotional maturation must be an act of personal transformation to be more emotionally vulnerable with themselves.
Traditionally, men have deferred to the woman’s emotional sensibilities to carry the load for the emotional side of the relationship. While women play their own part in enabling this to become the status quo of most relationships, it also has been a way for men to ignore their half of the responsibility to create emotional intimacy in their intimate relationship. In other words, men’s lack of emotional awareness can limit the depth of the emotional intimacy in the one part of their lives where it is needed most.
Most men have not had healthy role models of how to be emotionally vulnerable because traditional masculinity has socialized us to believe that expressing our feelings is a sign of weakness. But doing the work necessary to open up to one’s true feelings—even the challenging ones like fear, pain, anger, sadness, and shame—not only can be a sign of strength, but it also is an honest expression of authenticity, personal integrity, and self-respect.
The depth of this kind of personal transformation has a ripple effect throughout a person’s life in that it creates a level of trust, compassion, and empathy for others that is crucial to have in a healthy, mature partnership. It establishes a profound feeling of mutual respect that promotes the vulnerable conversations necessary for every couple to develop a meaningful approach to family harmony and cooperation.
The Challenge for Men: To see the importance of expressing feelings as being a sign of self-worth and self-respect, even feelings of fear, pain, anger, sadness, and shame. It is also a way of showing respect to the person he loves by having the courage to be emotionally vulnerable. This will not only create deeper trust in the relationship, but it will also give him the ability to feel more compassion and empathy for his partner.
The Challenge for Women: To remember that a man’s difficulty in talking about his feelings is more about the lifetime of training to avoid feeling vulnerable, rather than about him not caring about you. As you hold a space for that more honest and vulnerable version of him, he can feel safe that he won’t be judged for whatever he reveals from his heart. This feeling of closeness with him will only increase as you both take more risks at being vulnerable with each other.
4. Transformation through Higher Consciousness
Exploring higher consciousness is the most direct way to bring about deep transformation. All human experiences bring about micro shifts within us indirectly. When we choose to draw our attention to our inner space—the space of consciousness—we can have significant expansion expeditiously. Higher consciousness is about getting in touch with the refined aspects of our being. Ultimately, it is the direct knowing of our essence.
Transformation through higher consciousness is like a highway taking us towards our peak potential. On this path, life experiences turn into learnings and expansion more readily. We realize profound truths; we cast aside limiting beliefs. And we live from a place of knowing these truths. Life flows and there is a sense of ease and joy. We are not dependent on outer circumstances to feel good. Instead, we are anchored in our infinite nature—a beautiful state of pure beingness.
Meditation is one of the most well-recognized and studied ways to engage with consciousness. Wisdom traditions have spoken about the highest states of consciousness and how meditation can take us there. In more recent times, science has studied the neurobiology of meditation and concluded that the brain, physiology, and behavior undergo measurable positive changes with the regular practice of meditation.
Research at Harvard Medical School has shown that meditation reduces anxiety levels. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which records brain activity, has demonstrated that positive changes in brain activity in subjects who have learned to meditate persist well after meditation. Other studies have shown many physiological and psychological benefits, such as improved emotional regulation and higher happiness levels.
How does one meditate? A simple but powerful practice is to sit comfortably and watch the breath as it flows in and out at its own pace. Even five minutes of observing the breath without interfering with its flow brings you to a more centered and stable state.
While sitting meditation is one of the more well-known ways of cultivating awareness, it can take other forms too. For instance, an activity like walking when infused with intention and attention expands awareness. Walking in this way is a form of movement meditation. Even listening to music can be expansive if you internalize and let the music take you to finer states of consciousness.
Raising our consciousness radically changes our relationships with ourselves and our understanding of what life is about. We see ourselves as whole and access love from the core of our being. Our presence radiates truth and light.
When we are in stillness inside and feeling expansive and free, we are tasting higher consciousness. This experience is not limited to periods of meditation. We can enjoy uplifted consciousness in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Inner expansion is desirable because it enables us to access love, peace, and joy easily. We feel content and can be of service to fellow beings. Beyond the delectable subjective aspect, elevation in consciousness offers us a way to reach the highest potentials available to us—tremendous inner freedom and unending bliss.
About the Transformational Authors of San Diego (TASD)
TASD is a collective of authors from San Diego whose books focus on all aspects of well-being. Our writings guide our readership on a journey toward deeper personal growth and evolution.
The authors are:
Cherie Kephart, award-winning author of A Few Minor Adjustments: A Memoir of Healing. CherieKephart.com
Diáne Mandle, award-winning author of Ancient Sounds for a New Age. SoundEnergyHealing.com
Hanalei Vierra, author of The True Heart of a Man: How Healthy Masculinity Will Transform Your Life, Your Relationships, and the World. HanaleiVierra.com
Suresh Ramaswamy, award-winning author of Just Be: Transform Your Life and Live as Infinity. JustBeBook.org
Transformational Authors of San Diego can be found at TransformationalAuthorsSD.com