We’re all on a journey of self-discovery and living a full life. Sometimes that journey involves transformation. If you’ve experienced transformations in your life or witnessed one in someone close to you, perhaps you agree that they, like the journeys of life itself, are rarely linear or tidy. In fact, for me the difference between transformation and change is that transformation nearly requires a messy falling apart or reordering of things.
When a caterpillar goes through a metamorphosis into a butterfly, its body literally liquefies before becoming a beautiful butterfly. Radical transformation is the very process of becoming new by a thorough shedding of the old. When a business needs a turnaround, or you’re thinking of moving to a new home, there are sometimes just simple changes to make. Other times, a complete transformation is necessary. Both are perfectly acceptable ways to move through change. But if you sense a transformation is needed, be prepared for a twisting, turning exploration ahead!
For me the key is finding beauty, compassion and adventure in the process because it’s all too easy to find blame, shame or judgment in the messiness. For nearly twenty years, I had a successful career in commodities trading. For a couple of years, I knew inside that a change was needed, but I wasn’t sure what the catalyst would be or just how transformative those changes would be. Boy, did I make a mess of my leaving! A falling out with my business partner took years of care and resilience to repair. But I spent a lot of time blaming others for how and when it happened. As I look back, the deep inner work and complete re-ordering of the way I saw the world and my purpose in it was the only way to move forward to forgiveness and healing. Gratefully, most of the impacted relationships were fully restored, re-ordered and built on respect and love. Others are still a work in progress. But today, I look on the last 14 years since I left my former career as a beautiful example of the power of transformation, mess and all. What’s more, I built a new career around helping others through their transformations and I couldn’t be more fulfilled.
I wouldn’t be doing this work and loving every bit of it, were it not for going through the messiness of a life-changing transformation. While I wouldn’t have chosen to make, or be in that mess, I’m grateful for the lessons it taught me. Fear needn’t be a deterrent to real change. It’s truly an amazing, beautiful adventure!
What changes are ahead for you and how will you move through them?