What do you think is the secret of personal transformation? Here are two scenarios about personal transformation.
Cynthia, 42 has been a heavy smoker since she was a teen-ager. She knows how dangerous smoking is to her health, yet nothing has helped her kick the habit, until one day she read an anatomy book about the lungs, how they work, and how smoking damages them. What most captivated her were the pictures comparing healthy lungs to cancerous lungs. From that very moment she never touched another cigarette.
Robert grew-up with two verbally abusive parents. By the time he was ten, his self-worth was all but non-existent and the intensity of his shame had become unbearable. Everything in life was an uphill battle. He became hopeless and depressed as the years wore on. He was fortunate to find a therapist in high school that he connected with. After five years of psychoanalytic therapy he had a breakthrough. He walked out of the session with an absolute clarity that his parents’ picture of him was no longer the only picture that he had to accept. He felt empowered from that day onward to define himself on his terms and took ownership of his life. His life improved in every way. Friends couldn’t believe the transformation that had taken place.
The common denominator of these two transformational scenarios and of every experience of personal transformation whether provided by a life coach, therapist, counselor, friend, teacher, rabbi, healer, or self help book is an embodied shift in perspective. I recently met a spiritual healer on a plane. I asked him, “So what is the essence of what brings about healing and transformation?” He answered, “I blow people’s minds.” Upon further inquiry, he explained that this means people gain an expanded state of consciousness, in other words, their perspective expands.
Think about it. Is it not true that any significant change in your life has come about because you gained a new, more expansive perspective?
Intellectual realizations alone, like reframing, often do not bring about complete transformation because they are not emotionally embodied. Lasting transformation only happens when the mind and the body are integrated. When our perceptions expand, our experiential horizons expand. And when our perspective changes, our behavior changes as well, as we see with Cynthia, when her perception about smoking changed her behavior changed automatically and dramatically.
If you are feeling stuck it means you are probably trapped in a limiting and constricting perspective and need to find a new more expansive one. How does one change their perspective? The most effective way to gain a new perspective is by interacting with another person. The Talmud says, “The prisoner cannot free him/her self from their prison.” We often need another person to unlock the prison door. Often talking to a friend or family member is all we need to gain a new perspective. But sometimes when our limiting perspectives are deeply engrained in our mind and body and not fully conscious, we may need professional help in order to free us from our mental prison.
Are you struggling with something and feel stuck? Give me a call. I can’t promise that I will blow your mind, but I do feel confident I can help you discover a new more expansive perspective.