Lots of folks like to confuse “change” in life with “transformation–when something is better or different, if it improves or has more of X (a quality or state if already had). Moving around the furniture in your home or apartment, can make things seem different, make life seem better, or like new. Things have changed, yes? But that is not “transformation”–creating a whole new personal/professional mindset unrelated to the past.
When things change (metaphorically “moving the furniture around), we are using systems of thought from our past in new ways. That doesn’t bring new truths no matter how much we tell ourselves it does. It’s all cosmetic, for show. The ingredients, in most cases, will look pretty much the same though we convince ourselves things have changed. All we did was make what we already had better or different. It’s an improvement on the past. Like making a cold glass of water colder with ice. That is change. When the water transforms into steam, everything about how we relate to water changes, not just the object but the way we relate to and its effect on us. That is transformation.
Change is not transformation.
I once went skydiving. I know, I know. Why? People ask me why I would jump out of a perfectly good plane. Well, before I ever did it, I had the same question. My point of view definitely changed. My view about the power of doing things you’ve never done before altered dramatically from jumping out of a plane on a dare. Actually it was a dare to raise money for foster kids. Conquer a fear and raise money at the same time.
First of all, relative to skydiving, I had no fear. It never occurred to me, coming from my family, from my neighborhood, where people don’t think they have the freedom or “luxury” to go jumping out of planes…it really never, ever occurred to me that I ever wanted to or would need to consider an offer to jump out of a plane, good or bad. It was beyond anything I had ever imagined in my life and I never knew or met anyone in my past interactions who’d done it, talked about it, dreamed about it. It was a non-issue for me. So I had no fear.
After jumping and landing literally on my feet, after a fall of 13,000 feet from a small propeller plane, my answer to the question “Why would you jump out of a perfectly good plane?” sounds like this, especially to folks in the black community:
“Most of us live in perfectly bad ‘planes’ all our lives–from our neighborhoods and cities, to family settings that don’t work, to schools the kill your spirit with stewards who misdirect your flight. ” I always add: “Most of us won’t even jump out of a perfectly bad plane!”
Jumping out a plane, I got transformation. It was not simply the experience of jumping out of a plane that caused or created it. It was the completely new mindset that now I guess I created for myself from nothing, totally distinct from my past. It was a departure to encourage anyone, much less myself, to jump from an airplane, good or bad. On second thought, perhaps even recommending the experience is not what reflects my transformation. I now see things differently. Everything changed after that jump. Risks were less risky. I embrace the unknown more freely and that is transformation for someone like me–a teacher, a know-it-all. That was a departure from my past.
Found a simple article that says it all:
“Transformation is the creation and change of a whole new form, function or structure… Transformation occurs when [people often with the help of a coach or mentor] create a vision for transformation and a system to continually question and challenge beliefs, assumptions, patterns, habits and paradigms with an aim of continually developing…. Transformation happens when people [manage and create] a new future that has never existed before, and based on continual learning and a new mindset, take different actions than they would have taken in the past.”
Once you get how it works, you can transform any place in your life where you are not empowered with velocity. You don’t have to wait days, months, or years for change.
I just thought I’d capture this thought in a short blog post today. It’s been a long time since posted to my own blog. I was inspired by a conversation I had with hubbie Jim Palmer and some comments on his Facebook wall. Yes I said hubbie. (YES SHE DID GET MARRIED!!).
Marriage was one of the outcomes of a transformation I caused last fall. I made a declaration last September after my 48th birthday on September 11th to change everything in my life. I quit a tenure-track position in NEW YORK CITY! I declared that I wanted to transform higher education through students rather than curriculum change. I had no idea where I was headed for months. During that time I traveled to China. Later to Moldova. Both were to give TEDx talks on education. Both were places I never thought I’d go. Never imagined.
In January, I had fibroids surgically removed to prepare myself for having a baby though what I truly wanted was a partner/husband. Jim showed up before I knew it and we married 3 months after meeting in real life though we knew each other on Facebook for almost a year. No amount of change would have prepared me for all this.
MY LATEST CREATED REALITY
This weekend, Jim and I are doing a course called the Landmark Forum in Atlanta together. It’s his first time, not mine. So, here’s to creating a completely new realm of career for myself and my life with Jim. I am declaring a new transformation before it happens. One aspect of that transformation will look like moving from piddling around with being a VOICE to be reckoned with to actually BEING that voice in higher education for young adults and other life-long learners, BEING that voice in products and services that allow me to remain outside of academia. I am a life coach with 15 years of training and coaching college students, 6 years of certification in transformational coaching with Landmark Education, and I ran an intimacy social networking group for 4 years with data that would support any man or woman in creating intimacy anywhere, anytime.
SO I AM PUTTING MY SHINGLE OUT!
KyraocityWorks Coaching. Interested? I am accepting new clients via telephone/Skype and locally in Nashville, TN. Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fees are negotiable. I specialize in success coaching with the following groups:
- Young adults in college, university or grad school
- Adults of any age who dropped out of college
- High school drop outs (bartering available)
- Parents of college students
- People interested in developing powerful, sexy and intimate relationships in romance, love, and partnership
- Singles interested in dating and creating partnership
- Married individuals and couples
See full article on transformation here: