Radical Transformation — Slowing Down to Speed Up

Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.     John De Paola

Radical transformation captures the essence of today’s paradox — the need to slow down in order to witness, learn and adapt to the rapid pace of change we currently face.  Because the world around us is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, yesterday’s solutions no longer apply to today’s unique scenarios.  Thus when we confront the unknown, we are obliged to explore and experience it, to merge and flow with it, before we seek solutions.  Such merging likens to the gestation period of the caterpillar upon entering its cocoon.  Through fusing seemingly opposing forces, it emerges as a butterfly, a radically new identity.

These gestation periods slow us down so we can absorb what we need to facilitate our transformation — see the glimpses of possibility and hear the whispers of inspiration speeding by us.  The other alternative is to continue to do what we have always done — unconsciously hurry to seek safety, shelter, something, anything, rather than stay in the present moment where guidance is waiting.

Slowing down our minds and bodies allows us to differentiate between wisdom and the “white noise” of constant mental and physical activity playing out within and around us.  When accessing this guidance, we choose with greater certainty the stepping stones that outline a path to balanced living.  Balance is merely the fusion of opposites — becoming the eagle (power, solitary) and the swan (purity, community), the feminine (receptively creative) and the masculine (actively creative), the head (logical, analytical) and the heart (emotive, intuitive).

Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free.  Stay
centered by accepting whatever you are doing.  This is the
ultimate.    
Chuang Tzu

The cultural need to hurry, to seek shelter elsewhere, stems from believing we are “not good enough”.  Not believing who we are and what we are experiencing in this moment is exactly what our transformation requires.  The constant search for someone or something better, rather than accepting the present moment as it is, emerges from our disbelief that home or safety is within.

Remember the adage, home is where the heart is.  We carry our “home” with us.  We are self-contained creations.  All that is required for both surviving (filling our belly) and thriving (fulfilling our potential) is contained within.  The challenge is not to seek home outside ourself, but to become at home in our own skin.  In effect, self-mastery is radical transformation’s output — our soul’s calling to become whole by fusing our opposites. Hence, the journey is an inside job, not the pursuit of endless external goals and destinations that keep us surging mindlessly forward like a hamster on a treadmill.  To learn more about this topic, read my latest book Creating Space:  the Practice of Transformation.

Our soul’s yearning for mastery energizes opportunities for us to recreate ourselves, to radically transform our urge to surge into an urge to merge.

The Urge to Merge

I stand with a foot in two worlds.
One planted firmly in the physical plane,
the other walks in a world of spirit and mystery.
One stands rooted to the past,
one steps gamely into the unknown.
One walks the feminine stride of receptivity,
the other leaps into the masculine gate of action.

I witness the ping-pong play of duality
while I welcome the synergy of integration.
Even the weather bounces between seasons.
One day feeling like winter and the next
favouring with the warmth of Spring sunshine.
So many walk this “in-between” pathway
recognizing the shift inside of either/or into and/all.
Everything outside reflects this passage.

Quiet acceptance accompanies knowing certainty.
How close we are to transiting this dividing line,
to stepping into integration — the oh-so-necessary thread
connecting us to mastery, that space where each
creates her own universe, where oneness
is the known experience not the treasured goal.

Tho’ not fully evolved, we see pieces of what is to follow.
Glimpses of the possible uncover themselves for viewing.
A bit of the story revealed here, another bit there.
Soon floodgates will open a deluge of connecting threads
and the mystery will be solved . . . but not today.

Today I measure my pace more slowly as my core
unwinds and rewinds in its dance to merge.
I have the urge to merge.
Gone is the striving and driving . . .
the rushed, irregular, ungrounded, off-centred frenzy
the bored restlessness of unconsciously seeking-in-vain.
No more feeling tired and overwhelmed,
living only on the surface of life.

I take one step at a time, not skipping ahead
instead creating the inner foundation
for a “design-do, in-depth” experience.
I slow down the urge to surge and stay peacefully
in one place for as long as it takes.

              2004

What one action can you commit to today that slows you down so you can adapt and transform?

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