Change vs. Transformation. What’s The Difference?

Everyone thinks they want change.

Change is easy.

What people actually crave is, transformation.

And that is considerably harder.

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Change–the way we’re using the term here–are the kinds of shifts that don’t require much risk, incurs minimal inconvenience + involves very little emotion.

We change our hair colour, the position of our chair, the brand of supplement we use…with little discomfort.

Unless.

Unless these changes are associated in some way with our identity, our sense of safety + security.

In which case, they are no longer changes…

…they are transformations.

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Transformations revolve around the concept of letting go.

It alters our position to things, the way we see ourselves + the way we interpret + engage with the world.

When we transform, we drop who we think we were + become more of who we really are.

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For a phenomenon so central to the human experience, relatively little is said or understood about the process of transformation.

Our culture is not accustomed to dealing with the feelings of uncertainty that come with new things, and so a process that requires us by definition to let go of what is known to take up something new and unfamiliar can often be met with a heady cologne of apprehension, suspicion, avoidance and even, panic.

So although it is a process that is imperative to the growth + evolution of our individual and collective consciousness, it is stymied + sidelined by the ego’s delusion that safety is equivalent to keeping things the same.

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My experience is that it is a natural process, and that if more people understood it better–if they had a map of sorts–they might better understand where they are, so they can recognize themselves in the process + then orient + find encouragement + strategies accordingly.

Too often, individuals get lost, discouraged…and let themselves slide back when they are at the crucial tipping point.

When they are nearly there but the final travails seem so insurmountable that they relent to the pressure rather than dig deeper + propel themselves towards the inevitability of their new standing.

Sooo…for your inspirational consideration, I give you:

THE CHUNG TRAJECTORY OF TRANSFORMATION*….fanfares + confetti…:

TrajectoryTransformation

[*Best I could do on short notice, but you get the idea. Mind-blowing infographic coming soon…]

The Chung Trajectory of Transformation:

1. Curiosity
It starts with wondering. What are the possibilities? What could possibly be happening? You don’t even have to do too much, you just have to poke something out, and you wonder what is going to happen? What if?

There is very little skin in the game, there is no investment yet, you just are literally + metaphorically poking your head out the window.

2. Enthusiasm
You start a new project and you say to yourself, “Yes! I’m going to take on the world!” And with your enthusiasm there is really no way but up, you are really excited about this project, and Enthusiasm provides that initial thrust upwards. And that’s great. But then more is needed.

3. Seeking
If you are growing + figuring out how to be more, you’ll need more information. And the seeking–the incessant question + answers helps you assess how to best proceed along your path.

4. Adversity
After you get a few answers and you make your way a little further, this is when adversity hits, in some way, shape or form. It could be something real, or something imagined but working through it helps us refine our values, hone our beliefs and discern our judgments.

5. New Normal

There is a possibility of a new normal. A place where the thing you’ve become is vastly different yet essentially the same as when you started.

You’ve been transformed and something that has never existed in this way before, has been created. It seems effortless, like second nature and makes you unspeakably, unreasonably happy.

So happy that after a while, you’ll have forgotten about the intensity of the birthing pains and start to feel the stirrings to start the process once again…

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If you knew you were close to new Normal, would that help you continue?

Nowadays, health is largely about surface changes…

But true healing comes from a process of transformation.

It takes bravery + vision to do the latter.

But like the plant…it is the whole reason we are here.

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Where are *you along this trajectory?

How do you talk yourself through times of adversity?

 

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Questions Without Answers. (AKA My Inner 5 Year Old Still Seeking Resolution)

It’s 9pm.

Way too late for a 5 year old to be up. But it’s a Saturday, and my parents and I are curled up on the couch watching some tv.

It is 1978. I have on bell bottoms. I think we’re watching The Love Boat. And there’s a commercial with some disco music on in the background.

We’re in the suburbs of Toronto, Canada. I am cozy with a hot chocolate and a smushy pillow, am nestled safely between mom and dad.

A commercial comes on. My mom gets up to go to the washroom and as the couch shifts, the screen suddenly flashes with images that I have never seen before.

Black toddlers. Swollen bellies. Flies. And tears.

I look into their dark eyes.  I see hunger. I see confusion. I see fear. They are alone. Where are their moms?

Suddenly I am flooded with a succession of images that then reveal the devastation that exists around them. It is huts and desert and mats and unrelenting sun. Lots of kids, not many adults.

What is going on here? 

Why are they alone? Why are they crying? Why are they so afraid?

My eyes fill up with tears, and I know. 

Suddenly I am connected with a feeling, a knowing and understanding of how it had come to be. It all occurs to me in a flash and I watch it unfold on a screen in a mind with tacit horror.

It is like a silent documentary film being played. No words. Only images. No narration is necessary. 

This is what is happening outside my house. Off my couch. Out in the world. Somewhere.

It is not nice out there. It is hard. It is mean. It is wrong.

I feel I should be sad–but as the show finishes off and I am ushered off to brush my teeth for bed–all I feel is, confusion.

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I lie in my bed. I cuddle up with my Holly Hobbie doll. I am awake and looking at the ceiling and breathing the shallow breaths of someone who has just witnessed a crime being committed.

Then suddenly, overwhelming grief and helplessness take over, and I succumb; deep, heaving sobs alternating with gasps for breath and hot, bloated tears.

My parents rush into the room, disoriented and frantic. I am typically a quiet, dutiful, and proper child and they are confused and concerned at this rush of emotion in me.

As am I.

What is it? Are you hurt? Mom asks in Chinese. I can’t answer her. I sob and I sob, and it becomes clear that I can’t speak, even if I wanted to. I am unsure of what has taken over, but when she sees I cannot be consoled, she mercifully gives me time to cry and feel.

Finally, I look at her in the darkness and ask her one question before I bury my head back into her shoulder.
 
Why?

She holds me until the sobbing settles into a breathless broken plea. I don’t even know what I am asking, but somehow it comes out of me:

Why is this happening? Why are those kids alone and hungry? Why aren’t we doing anything? Why doesn’t anyone care? What is wrong with things here? 
 
What? Mom searches my face for some clue of what I am talking about.

I continue…

We have to do something. What can I do? How can I help? There is something wrong with the World. It shouldn’t be this way. I need to do something.

My mother looks up at my father.

They look down at my tear and snot streaked five year old face.

Neither has an answer for me. They hold me some more.

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Finally, my father says, “it is not your job to fix it. Other people are in charge of taking care of those things and your job is to take care of yourself and go to sleep”.

My mom doesn’t say much at all at first. She looks at me close and considers my small face a little. Hugs me close again and finally says something like, it’s okay, don’t worry about it, tomorrow is another day.

I wonder if they knew about this. I wonder if they have found a solution. I wonder who, is anyone doing something, anything about this?

No more answers come.

I reassure them that I am fine, and then settle back into my soggy pillow.

I am tucked in.

But I don’t sleep.

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I Want To Be…

iwanttobe

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Anger, Sadness + How To Become New

 

Emotions are present for a purpose. To tell you that you are missing information.

In order to extract that information, they first need to be accepted + fully expressed. Once you do this, you can see and feel clearly what is underneath, understand it and then move forward with new wisdom and insight.

Explosive anger is repressed truth, unleashed.

Anger expressed daily, honestly, in the moment, is known as….truth.

Anger informs you about letting go of what you cannot control. So you can claim and engage with what you can.

Sadness and grief helps us dissolve and release what no longer works, and make room for something new, that does.

Sometimes the biggest obstacle to change is convincing yourself you really can, that it’s possible, and to really do it differently this time so it is.

See if you’re clinging desperately to old, outdated ideas of who you are, and aren’t, and see if that’s preventing you from becoming new.

If you want to be more in your power, you have to take on the responsibility of loving yourself unconditionally enough to offset the possibility, the inevitability, that in the event that you screw up, that you can still forgive yourself.

Listen more.

Invite in more compassion and joyful aliveness.. Detach from the emotional baggage of having negative and hurtful experiences as a child and invite in compassion and open to the possibility of connection with others and the world.

The capacity to learn from our mistakes is highly underrated and underutilized.

Don’t be confused. As long as you know that you are moving forward, no one else’s opinion matters.

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4 Ways to Deal with World Crisis, Global Tragedy and Planetary Anxiety

 

This is a time of massive upheaval and change.

Just in the past two weeks, there have been natural disasters, threats of nuclear fallout and political and social unrest.

And this turmoil reflects the growing stockpile of confusion and conflict within each of us, and each other.

It’s seductive to allow fear, anger, guilt, regret and hopelessness to take over. To engage at the extremes of active despair, or alternately, to be numbed, passive and disconnected.

I invite you to choose another way. To create a new option that is unique to you and allows you to be at peace with what is right now so you are a force for something positive, cleansing and harmonizing for the turbulence out there.

And if you’re reading this, it is likely you can.

OPEN UP ANYWAY

I understand that this requires effort. We are all witness to the frantic scramble for potassium iodide and overwhelmed by the news stories of mounting tension of world events.

But when I ask myself what I should do, how I can best serve, it abruptly becomes clear that I have to expand. To continue to do what I do and do it well, but do it bigger, share it more widely and voice my truths even louder. To stop being shy and self protective and self conscious because it contributes to the same postures of fear and selfishness that are at the centre of this political, social, economic and environmental unrest.

I understand that I have the ability to address the physical aspects of life, comprehend and communicate the unseen, to be able to see the greater perspective and provide context to the opportunities on an issue or troubling situation, and this could provide some guidance, comfort and hope to others.

Yet honestly, doing it outside the confines of my office scares the hell out of me.

I fear being ostracized, imagine ridicule and backlash, fear being wrong; yet know it is necessary to continue and expand, because being here on the planet now necessitates that I pick a side, and fast.

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

So here is the question: Will you advocate for positive outcomes, transformative and positive resolution, or not? Are you willing to put aside your personal neuroses and side fixations, irrational fears and protective selfishness for the greater cause that is afoot?

Because if you are indecisive, you risk being swept up by the panicked tides.

It’s time to leverage your years of yoga/meditation/personal development/spiritual work, and take the opportunity to step up with courage, hope, empowerment and joy into your full service and engage with the underlying interconnectedness.

So yes, this is the work; and no, it’s not for the weak of heart…

HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO TRANSFORM CRISIS, TRAGEDY AND ANXIETY:

1. Compassion. Feel the grief. Do not resist it. If you have the heart capacity to observe it and not absorb it, allow your emotional body to process it. Allow it wash over you, and breathe the until it passes. [Preferably the "Breath of Fire" as taught in yoga: in and out through the nose, as fast, or as slow, as you feel.] There is a surplus of fear, anger, grief, hopelessness and despair accumulating in the world right now. Your compassion for those experiencing it directly transmutes it back to pure energy–it effectively does it for those who can’t–and helps to clear the overall emotional toxicity on the planet.

2. Confront. We are in a crisis. Accept what is chaos on the physical plane, and stay anchored in the truth, that what is happening is clearing the longstanding suppression on the global mental-emotional and spiritual planes. It will move us towards something more balanced and sustainable, perhaps not immediately, but certainly eventually, and maybe sooner than we think. By actively accepting the situation, you clear the emotional static and allow practical solutions to be revealed. (BTW: This is distinct from passively accepting, which is…apathy).

3. It is done. One of the most powerful meditations around is to feel the outcomes of our heart intention as if it is a done deal. Being disillusioned and cynical about our capacity to help ourselves, perpetuates feelings of being trapped and restricted. It closes off hope and limits the potential of a positive outcome. Staying in a mindset of abundance for our resourcefulness, power and creativity, opens the door to limitless possibilities, solutions and resolution for the big issues and challenges that we face.

4. Extract your lesson. These events will affect everyone differently. As with any sudden event there is opportunity for reflection and re-evaluation of priorities. There is invariably something embedded here for you to learn and take forward. It may be your fears, your selfishness, your relationship to nature or business, injustices you endure or perpetuate, things you have said/not said, done/not done or still cling to needlessly. What is this trying to tell you, show you, teach you? It is time to extract the lesson and apply it. You can shape personal meaning from world events and have it inform your actions.

That’s a lot, I know. But these are big times…

And there is much more happening than what appears on the surface.

There’s a reason you are alive during these times.

You have a role to play, an energetic imprint that is uniquely yours to make.

Choose yours.

Expand. Share. Hold space. Be empowered and act.

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Your Body Is Smarter Than You Are

 

Your body is intelligent. It communicates to you in patterns and symptoms. It conveys truth through your constipation, and emotion through your earache. Your body serves as your truest companion and closest ally in your excursion through life.

As a doctor and clairvoyant, my experience of your body is one of innocence, it exists as pockets of earnest emotion, and platters of clear insight. It communicates. Sometimes in snippets of dialogue, frequently as raw and unaffected yearning, and often in clear, kind—yet neutral—directives.

I wonder often with clients how things would be different—for all of us, as well as for the collective—if we just listened to what our bodies already knowrather than judging it. Rather than condemning it, accusing it of betrayal, and belittling it as weak and not resilient enough to handle all we subject it to.

RANDOM PERFECTION? I DON’T THINK SO.

I remember a class in 1st year biochemistry where I wondered aloud how the dopamine neurotransmitters knew where to go, and what to do, and how the other key brain monoamines, like serotonin and norepinephrine knew that they weren’t needed then and stayed out of the way. Suffice it to say that it was stunning to me that the communication, collaboration and interactions of the body would be so precise, orderly and efficient. I had to know, how it could possibly orchestrate and execute such a sublime feat every millisecond of our existence?

The response I received was curt, matter of fact and neutral. “It is random”, the Prof stated.

I just stared at her. And that response forever altered the respect and reverence I felt for science at the time.

Her response didn’t match the experience of my life. Intuitively it didn’t fit and empirically, the answer was illogical and insufficient. I know now that I was looking for her to lay out the principles of consciousness and I was disappointed and shocked that she didn’t have the answers. I was savvy enough to fill in enough multiple choice bubbles in the right patterns to get through school, and do well, but knew that inside, I had to continue looking for answers that satisfied my intellectual and spiritual curiosity.

IGNORE AT YOUR OWN PERIL

In my expeditions so far, I have unearthed a convergence of these concepts: That the body has a physical function, but it also has a mental-emotional and psychospiritual one. Thankfully, patterns in one area are reflected in the others. And they intersect at one’s essence. Your symptoms can show you the truth of your health…and your life.

The power, responsibility and tremendously humbling aspect of this principle is overwhelming for many. You might think: “I have tons of aches and pains, and my energy/digestion/back/sleep/insert random body part-symptom here, has never been quite right. Oh merciful heavens, what could that mean is wrong with me? Can’t I just take a pill, or get a massage or just ignore it until it goes away?”

Oh. I have been there. And sometimes this works.

Other times…not heeding its call, can bring us to our knees.

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