Change doesn’t come easy. If you’re reading this then you’re likely someone who actively seeks self-improvement and being more conscious. Maybe you meditate, practice yoga or mindful movement, do energy work, practice compassion in your interactions with others, find ways to be a conscious consumer… the list of practices and approaches are endless. How do you format your change and is it working for you? If you’ve been involved with self-improvement for a while then you’ve learned change doesn’t come easy. I’m going to share with you a secret to change and self-transformation...
It Only Happens One Step at a Time!
We have become so accustomed to things happening quickly, almost instantaneously, that it’s easy to lose sight of what it means to experience incremental change. In the digital era if you want to hear a song you love – you can access it in seconds, if you’d like to watch that French mystery thriller film – you can access it in moments, if you desire just about any product in the world – you can order it within minutes and it’ll be at your doorstep in no time.
What does this do to our sense of wanting and getting? (not to mention giving and receiving!). Our desires and impulses are immaculately catered to by the technological scaffolding of our consumer culture. But what about the deeper processes of living, that take longer than a few clicks to attain?
There is an adage that goes something like ‘if you desire to walk a mile then take one step forward every day and you’ll reach your destination in due time’. If you’re looking to do conscious self-improvement where you actually sustainably transform you need to find a daily practice where you take one step forward every day.
A practice that provides a space for the dynamism, the support, the power and the stillness for you to see yourself clearly and identify what aspects of your inner and outer world don’t align with your true values. Such a daily practice enables you to walk towards your authenticity and deeper life pursuits.
The kind of expectations we have in our modern world (do this now = get that now) simply don’t align to the standards of self-transformation work where effort without expectation is part and parcel. For example, how to fell a (proverbial) tree: find an axe, find a tree, swing the axe and strike the tree. Repeat until the tree falls. Notice how every swing of the axe is basically the same. The immediate equation: one swing equals tree still standing. However, if you persevere and continue your effort without expectation then at some point the result of yet another swing of the axe (maybe the one thousandth swing!) will be the felling of the tree. This is how big change happens as a result of incremental change.
Reflect on a practice or approach you’ve used for a long time such as learning to play a musical instrument or speak a language - you’re now miles ahead of where you were to begin with, yet every day, every practice, was required to get to where you are now.
To maintain a transformation practice certain qualities are of the utmost importance: desire, commitment, determination, patience and acceptance. What is it you desire to change and are you willing to commit to transforming it? Do you have the determination and the patience to see it through? Can you accept that at times the process of change will be uncomfortable and challenging?
If so, what is your chosen practice – the space in which you sculpt your desire into actuality? It will require incremental change to get from here to there. Are you ready? If so, I have an axe for you.
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