It's a surprise to me, not an unpleasant one, how far my big “S” self has ‘traveled’ since my first foray into the concepts of personal power and energy back in the summer of 2003, when I traveled to California for a spiritual retreat. Seems like allot of that kind of stuff takes place in California! The travel I’m speaking of has less to do with geography, and more with the distance I have come from the lost, unhappy individual I once was to the spiritually aware, optimistic being I am and continue to become.
A journey is defined as, “distance traveled, a trip” (Thorndike, 1955). Transformation is defined as, “change in form, appearance, condition, nature or character.” My journey of transformation led to a profound distance traveled resulting in my personal ‘change in condition, nature and character’ – a remarkable leap forward in my perception of Self, others, spirit, life on earth, life beyond earth and the universe.
My search and breakthrough story goes like this…in 2003, over the course of 12 months, beginning with that trip to California when I began a doctoral program in transpersonal psychology, traveled back and forth across the country on my own for the first time, met and become engaged to a man, married for the first time, moved from the East Coast to the Midwest with 2 cats and a dog, left behind family and friends, resigned from a beloved job, sold my first home, became a wife for the first time, became a (step) mom for the first time, bought a new home, re-established ‘home’, friends and family, became divorced for the first time, became single again, left behind a precious (step) child, moved back across the country to another East Coast state (with the same 2 cars and a dog), re-established ‘home’, friends, and family, struggled with financial disaster (due to 2 cross-country moves and a divorce), found a new job and started a private practice. Minor were these external changes in comparison to the internal upheaval and personal growth.
Prior to that fated trip to California, I would most probably have viewed just one of these events as overwhelming. Now I look at these events, individually and collectively, as a gift from the universe, as opportunities to step out of imbalance, ego, and self-defeat into harmony, self value, and spiritual evolution. During that year, when I felt I was at my lowest was a crucial point – it was either a justification to stay in self-defeating patterns or an opportunity to respond anew and discover the spiritual deep within and far beyond. I chose the latter and felt the intensity of that shift deep within my being. In viewing these experiences as purposeful, filled with opportunity and potential, and as avenues of growth and healing (as opposed to victimization, the world against me, retribution, etc.), I came out on top, transformed in ‘condition, nature and character’.
Since then I have excelled professionally (as an entrepreneur and consultant), written and self-published 4 books (the most recent hit #1 on Amazon), created the extraordinary Monarch Method, am physically healthy and happy in my relationships with family and friends.
It is difficult for me to adequately and accurately describe the specific transformational moments, except to say that I very clearly recognized the crossroads, the opportunities, the poignant choices and paths that lay before me. This is not to say that I did not make mistakes - that I did not step away from my newly discovered spiritual self and from my truest nature more than once. However, I can say with certainty that, more often than not, I responded without anger and without fear with increasing frequency. I opted, for the first time in my life in a constant way, for the high road and am grateful to friends, family, and to Spirit for their presence, support, guidance and love.
The world of Spirit, both internal and universal, is truly a place for reflection, contemplation, resolve and peace. I have since read about and tried various life practices that are said to enhance mind, body, spirit integration and balance, such as spending time in nature, solitude, meditation, energy healing, daily affirmations, creativity and so on. Although my personal response and connection to the practices varied, I found each, in their own way, to be quite telling – some I still practice today while others never really resonated. Most beneficial, however, was my new found awareness of, and perhaps ability to, discern opportunity and joy from victimization and worry. These personal experiences, as well as my growing awareness of my big “S” self, were and continue to be the foundation for growth, evolution, peace, joy and success.
The moral of the story...do not be afraid to travel, literally and figuratively. Explore those dimensions, inner and outer, so fervently spoken of by spiritualists, philosophers, world leaders and the like. Do not be afraid to open your Self to inner discovery and exploration - which most often leads to healing and peace. Do not hesitate to reach out – to friends, family, professionals, books, classes or other resources - in an effort to experience life from a fresh, new perspective, to experience your Self from a fresh, new perspective and to truly begin to live, love and evolve as you