Are you focused on change or transformation?
I, Susan, went through four different cancers in my twenties.
I had various cancer treatments: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and diet. Getting rid of tumors either through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or diet, is what I think of as a “change” process. When I would be diagnosed, my medical team would offer a treatment to get rid of the cancer. Of course, some treatments had more chances of success than others. The similarities in these various approaches are the same: there’s a problem (tumors/cancer), let’s get rid of it.
That’s change. However, change is not transformation.
Cancer taught me the difference between transformation and change.
Change fixes the past. Transformation creates the future.
Transformation involves change but not all change is transformational.
With each of my different cancers, change occurred, but transformation was a much deeper and longer process. Transformation didn’t even register on my screen until I shifted my thinking from surviving cancer to living fully – that was the transformation. It is still an on-going process in my life.
My mentor’s, both physicians with deep beliefs in the medical model’s process AND deep faith in transformation, were the inspiration to me in getting the difference and living that forward.
When cancer would show back up in my life. I would be angry, upset, discouraged and not want to follow the traditional medical advice of just getting rid of the tumors. I didn’t want to go through chemo or the invasive ordeal of being back in the world of being a cancer patient.
However, my mentors would say to me – “Go to the doctor. Get rid of the tumors – this is what western medicine is good at. Maybe you could call on a miracle and simply transform your health but why mess around – make a change (radiate, surgically remove or take a round of chemo) – AND then let's work on transforming your life as we go.”
Their approach for me was, and is still is, a very different philosophy around health and well-being. They understood that working with western wisdom to ‘fix’ a broken part could be very valuable. They also understood the limitations and recognized the lack of wholeness in just this scientific medical approach.
Here’s though what I came to believe and bring into my coaching practice: Transformation is both – its does involve change and at times very invasive measures to correct a deeply rooted pattern or symptom. But without something more I don’t think change alone will result in transformation. That is where the person most discover how to reinvent and redefine their life. That isn’t work I can do. But I can hold a space and provide the invitation to create and believe outside of the current limitations.
In transformation something new is created out of what was – think caterpillar to butterfly. If you are simply thinking – “getting rid of cancer (or a physical symptom) is my end result.” Or “losing weight is my goal” – you may change.
However, with that narrow, past focus you will likely miss becoming a butterfly!
In setting goals around health and well-being – the emphasis is often on changing behaviors or getting rid of something. Lose the weight, get rid of cancer, exercise more, etc…. This is needed, but without a broader more holistic perspective the changes will be limited - not creative.
In our Get Unstuck: Live Healthy program, we focus on both change and transformation. You can still join us – the classes are FREE and can be applied to any aspect of your health and well-being where you have or are stuck. This new format allows for open enrollment and you can still join us.
If you want to join Get Unstuck: Live Healthy, simply click to here to opt in. When you sign up, you’ll receive an invitation to our private Facebook group and you’ll also receive weekly emails with all of the content, too.