The Trance of Trans-formation

TranceAn awesome colleague of mine recently hosted an event with the same title as this blog post. I loved the title, and while her focus was on the art of change through hypnotic trance, it gave me a different idea that I wanted to share.

Have you heard the saying “Change is messy in the beginning, chaotic in the middle and beautiful at the end”? There are obvious reasons for that.

When you begin to make a change, many aspects of life connected to the change become uprooted, or “unearthed”. This unearthing, is the sign that the change process has already begun and it’s getting messy. It’s usually around this point that people begin to panic, if they are unaccustomed to or avoidant of change. The trance of transformation begins!!

Suddenly, because we are in the throes of change, we have something else to focus on other than the change itself. We now have the drama of the unearthing. This drama becomes the distraction for our conscious “monkey mind”. We are compelled to avoid moving through the transition or transformation, in favor of hanging out in the trance of the messy chaos. Instead of looking for solutions to the chaos, taking the reins and steering through the brush, or finding the harmony in the plethora of sounds, we become leaves at the mercy of the wind and all we can focus on is what the wind is doing to us. Ah, trance!

This point in the experience is where we get the Drama Kings and Queens, and we all know at least one of those. They are the addicts of trance, and any preoccupation or distraction from the real issue of change will become the biggest, most important issue to address, right now! If you suggest their issue is anything other than the pivotal rotation of the earth around the sun, you will be accused of not understanding. To reject playing a role in the drama means you are not entering their trance. No admission, no entrance!

So how do we recognize we are in trance and move out of it, to presence, to move into the beautiful part of change and transformation?

  1. Recognize the signs of change before they begin. Whenever possible tune in to the small things that begin to shift around an aspect of life. For a relationship going south, you might notice the person being more distant, they avoid communicating with you, they are less invested or make less of an effort. This doesn’t mean the relationship is ending; it does mean there’s a shift that needs to be addressed.
  1. When you see the signs, embrace them! Congratulations! It is a celebration when we see the signs of transformation because it means we are entering into a new growth phase. We will learn more about our self, others, the way the world works, and it means we have the capacity to learn more and do more. Yay! Embracing the change means we go in with eyes wide open which prevents going into the trance of transformation.
  1. If you catch yourself already in trance, STOP IT! Snap out of it! Recognize what you are doing, congratulate yourself for realizing it and move on.
  1. Focus on what you can do, right now. Staying in trance means mislabelling the symptoms of change as the problem. That’s like saying a cough is my illness. The cough isn’t the illness, the cough is a symptom of a virus or bacterial infection. Treating the cough won’t cure the illness. Redirect your focus to the action you can take towards the end result of the change. Moving to a new home? Focus on the reasons you chose the new place, not the irritation of the organizing, packing, etc.
  1. Keep reminding yourself of the benefits this transformation will create for you. It wouldn’t be happening unless you are ready for it, and at some level of consciousness or unconsciousness, you want the change. So how this will improve your life once you get to that beautiful part of arrival at the end of a transformational phase.

Trance is a wonderful state to be in; I enjoy it a lot and use it in practice whenever possible. Like anything, trance has a time and place, and engaging in the trance of distraction and preoccupation in the midst of a transformational change is neither helpful nor productive.

Do yourself a favor, WAKE UP! Good, now focus on what action you can take now to move towards that change faster!