I want to know about the yada, yada, yada part. This bit is where it really happened. The process of becoming is the ‘action’ part of the story. It is also the sad, scary and sometimes ugly part of the story. We don’t like to dwell in that part.
Oprah endured abuse, Bruno Mars slept on friends’ couches. The gold medal athlete endures physical and mental pain beyond normal limits.
Transformation involves transition. The process of leaving what you once were and becoming what you will be. Transition is hard and messy. It would be great if we could be like the butterfly and build a cocoon to escape to where we meltdown in private and emerge a fully developed butterfly. In reality, we endure our transformations out in the open.
How to tell if you are going through a transformation:
Step 1 There’s A Catalyst
A catalyst is some event, either internal or external, that changes your state of being. You got a diagnosis; you lost the job, your kids left home. Those are external catalysts. You can’t shake the desire to climb a mountain, move across the country, open a new business even though you have no idea what you’ll sell. These are internal. You are no longer who you were yesterday or you have a strong urge to shed who you are today.
Step 2 Desire to Re-create what was lost.
You immediately look for another job. You deny you may be sick, you leave the kids’ room exactly the same for when they come to visit. You tell yourself that what you have now is perfectly good enough, what is wrong with you for wanting to create such upheaval?
Step 3 Fear Confusion and Failure and Seemingly Lucky Breaks
Inevitably, even for those of us who are still trying desperately to stay the same or go back, there will rise up a desire to move toward something unknown. You have not been where you are going before. This is the real transformation processing stage. This is the part they/we like to gloss over. Enduring the treatments, researching alternatives, going back to school, getting that business loan, hiring a trainer is the elbow grease needed to change your current reality. Oprah suffered but she knew when she spoke out people were moved. Bruno Mars knew he had to write songs. These people didn’t know exactly who they were going to be, they just endured their circumstances and kept moving forward. They tried and failed over and over. The desire to give up is constant. This is also where seemingly lucky breaks start to happen. You meet the right people at the right time. Some sort of bridge is built over an impossible looking hurdle. When you keep showing up, things begin to show up for you.
Step 4 Stepping Into
The process of steps 1 – 3 are the necessary components that make step 4 possible. In order to step onto the stage and change society’s view, Oprah had to do her years of steps 1-3 processing. Before Bruno Mars could bring a football stadium of people to its feet he had to do his years of steps 1-3 processing. The caterpillar had to melt down. If they had not done the steps, they could not step into what was created for, by and around them.
Trying to obtain the happily-ever-after part without doing the transformation part is like changing your hair, buying a new wardrobe, getting a mani-pedi. You will be a shinier you, but it’s just a make over, not a transformation. You will look good out on stage but you won’t be able to hold that spot.
If you’re anything like me, you need to be reminded that the process is the point. We are all transforming in many ways throughout our lifetimes. Once we understand this, identify where we are in our own transformation journey, we (and I mean I) can maybe learn to enjoy the process of getting there.