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True transformation requires an element of faith, a dash of hope, and a persistent sense of curiosity which far outweighs the fear of the unknown yet to come.  True transformation is rarely found without an accompanying element of brokenness, in that we must break free of old paradigms and ways of being in this world in order to make room for the truth of what “is” and of who we really are at the very core of our beings.

So often we seek transformation in our lives, whether it is to be healthier or to find work aligned with our purpose, we strive to be better and do better. We watch as time passes us by, wishing for better lives, and yet we do little to put our desire for change into action. It’s as if, on some level, we expect transformation to simply happen with little to no effort on our part. Even those who feel driven enough to take their first baby steps toward the undertaking of the process of change often quit at their first encounter of resistance, no matter its form. We assume that, because it is not as “easy” as we had hoped, it is not destined to unfold. How quickly we give up on ourselves and our desire for a deeper connection with life.

So many, including myself, admire the butterfly for its ability to elevate itself above its former identity and yet we so often ignore the tumultuous and painful experience it had to endure in order to BECOME the beautiful butterfly which captivates us. I suppose this is why I have adopted the symbol of chrysalis along my journey. For me, the chrysalis represents the dissolution of the “self” I have come to know… the melting-away of all that was and is no longer, and the rebuilding which occurs through the alchemy of history – mixed with the hope of what the future holds when I am “reborn” anew.

What I have learned along the way is that true and lasting transformation is rarely, if ever, easy. It takes a fierce commitment to oneself as well as a deep desire to see the process through to the end, no matter what. As it often does, Fear rears its ugly head at the very mention of transforming. To transform means change is imminent, for you cannot have one without the other. Change tends to illicit fear because it means facing the great unknown and all of the questions which arise with not knowing. Questions such as, “What if I don’t have what it takes to make this happen?” “What if my family and friends do not like the ‘new’ me?” “What if I pursue my dreams and I fail?” “What if I discover that everything I thought I wanted no longer aligns with my passion and purpose?” “What if I make a fool of myself?” “What if…?” The list of questions and nagging doubts can be endless. The trick is to ignore them, so long as there is no “real” danger to oneself or others.

If we stop our quest for transformation every time we encounter resistance we will soon grow tired and weary, and we will give up before we have even stepped foot onto the path of “becoming”. For every opportunity presented to us for making sincere change in our lives we will find just as many fears and excuses not to change. It is not until we face our fears, and dedicate ourselves to the work required of transformation, that we will ever move beyond the daydreaming and wishing phase. At some point one must look deep within and decide if they deem themselves worthy of living their best life, of stepping fully into their highest potential, of letting go of their self-imposed limitations so they may become fully realized. Only the individual can make this determination on a Soul-level. Only they will know if they are ready, willing, and able to take this leap of faith. Once a Soul remembers the truth, and they embrace the knowledge of their worth, nothing but their own ‘self’ can stop them from living a life of passion and purpose fueled by the recognition of their own, unique, Divine Spark.

The path to transformation is littered with false promises, “get rich quick” schemes for pocket and for spirit, as well as many who wish to be of assistance but only hinder our journey. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, so the saying goes, and it’s vital to remember that we are each students in this classroom called life. Each journey, each path, is as unique as the one who embarks upon it and an element of discipline is required… discipline to remember that what is good for one may not serve another. One should refrain from placing themselves above any other out of a misguided sense of who is ‘right’ and who is ‘wrong’. The ultimate truth, when it comes to choosing a path, is that no one really knows what lay at the end. To know this truth, and to accept the beautiful diversity of life-paths laid before humanity, is to take the first step beyond current limiting thoughts and beliefs of division among us.

To begin, one ought to possess a genuine longing to know oneself, as you are meant to be, and not as the façade presented in order to fit someone else’s ideal. To “know thyself” in the truest of light means you must learn to love and accept all that is “you,” even the parts you would rather stay hidden. There is no stone unturned on this quest for truth and transformation of the self. When authentic transformation occurs it leads us to create our reality based our own hopes and dreams rather than the ones we have followed out of a sense of duty or desire to please others. Embracing the truth of who you are equates to a great awakening of mind, body, and Soul. The past becomes like a dream from which you have finally awoken. You recognize that, on this quest for truth, a great deal of compassion – for self and others, a steely reserve to persist beyond fear and doubts, an inexhaustible desire to learn and question everything, and a strong sense of humor to carry you through the darkest of times is required.

As a species, we are ever-changing, ever-growing, and ever-becoming.  It is true that we will encounter difficulties on this path. We will be met with disapproving eyes and scolding tongues. We will find ourselves left by some who no longer fit our true self or who feel pangs of their own recognition for a need to make changes in their own lives. We will feel heartbreak and fear. To say otherwise would be to speak falsely. However, what is also true is that we may face these difficulties regardless of whether we choose to pursue our true selves or not. Time will go by as it always does and we will be better off facing the difficulties of life from a place of truth and authenticity, confident in who we are and where we are going. It has become evident to me, along my own journey and as I have stood as witness to the journey of others, that once the call for change is heeded, and we recognize the desire within for transformation, we will not be satisfied until its completion. We may try to go about our daily lives, as if nothing is different, but we are different and we will feel the growing discomfort of forcing ourselves into a life that no longer fits. If you feel called to embrace change… if the need for transformation beckons to your heart and Soul… be brave and respond with a fierce “YES!” You will never be the same again and you will be ever grateful that you took the risk of “becoming”.