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Keys To Life: How To Transform Yourself In Times Of Change

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As we are all witnessing, the world is undergoing a tremendous time of change across social, economic and political boundaries. The presidential campaign has brought change front and center and Barack Obama is being heralded as a transformational leader.

Transformation and the theme of change seem to have overtaken much of what we read in the various forms of traditional and online media. Today's Huffington Post front page heralded the coming of change and Arianna wrote in her blog of tapping "the better angels of our nature."

Rather than focus on what Barack Obama may or may not be able to do, let's turn our attention to the one place where we surely can create the impact we most want to experience. That focus would be on our own self, on our own personal transformation.

So what, exactly, is transformation? And why would you want any? defines transformation as:

"A marked change, as in appearance or character, usually for the better; A qualitative change; a change in form, appearance, nature, or character; the process or result of changing from one appearance, state, or phase to another"

Transformation is a complete change in how you think, live and interact with others. Personal transformation changes the quality of life you experience on a daily basis, and the quality of living you bring to your interactions with others.

One version of recreating yourself, of transforming yourself, might have to do with your ability to access your "better angels" more often, in more circumstances. What are your better angels? Caring, compassion, and service come to mind for me.

Are you in need of this kind of transformation? Could you use a change for the better, a qualitative change, a changed set of life results? If everything is OK as is, then keep on doing the same things you have been doing because clearly they are producing the results you want.

However, if you recognize the need for change at your own, personal level, then perhaps the biggest key will lie in how you manage to recreate yourself in light of changing world circumstances. The promise inherent within personal transformation is that you can create an improved set of life experiences regardless of the life conditions in which you may find yourself.

So even if the economy continues to go through seismic shifts, if the political animus returns, if the whole world seems to turn upside down, you can still find yourself in a positive, expansive state, rising above the day-to-day impact of the world, restoring yourself to a state of well being.

I am saying that personal transformation can enable you to transcend circumstances. Personal transformation is a form of expanded consciousness, often characterized by greater enlightenment and awareness of your ability to impact not only yourself but others as well.

On the web, Great River offers the following description:

"Personal transformation also can bring deep and lasting benefits into your own life: greater peace-of-mind, more enjoyment of life in general, including family and community, contentment with what you have, the satisfaction of meeting your needs without damaging the Earth or causing other people to suffer, and a deeper sense of rootedness in the physical place where you live and awareness of your interdependence with the people and other beings with whom you share it. These benefits you experience in turn spill over into the community and the wider society, causing unquantifiable benefits to the entire system."

The challenge for each of us is to become increasingly aware of what we truly seek in life, and then learn how to become that which we seek. I have written about this in the past when I spoke of the difference between symbols and experiences. Creating the experiences that you truly want in life requires a great deal of personal responsibility, something I have called response-ability in a previous post.

In future posts, we will drive deeper into both the qualitative aspects of personal transformation as well as the key tools you will need in order to navigate the journey.

In the meantime, perhaps the words of Gandhi will suffice: "Be the change you want to see in the world."


You can find out more about Russell Bishop at Contact Russell at:

The author of Lessons in the Key of Life, Russell is an Educational Psychologist, professional life coach and management consultant, based in Santa Barbara California.

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