Last week, I had this “can we heal alone?” conversation no less than five times. Then this week, a healer and very dear friend of mine sent out a newsletter on the same topic! It clarified that I should just share what I keep talking about with you all.
I think there are four things required to fully transform. And I mean transform anything. This “anything” could be a physical ailment, e.g., chronic fatigue or cancer. It could be an emotional block that keeps you in a painful place. It could also be a project, something you long to accomplish in order to heal something that is out of alignment, e.g., transition into a new job, purchase a home, a spiritual goal, total freedom… and so on.
So, across the board, here are the four things you will need:
1) A very good, pragmatic step by step process
You need to know exactly what steps you need to take to change. Something vague or with no clear end is not helpful. In my private practice, when I meet someone for the first time, I always get a good read on the persons internal system first—their habitual programming, belief systems, history, etc. Then, I offer a step by step process for how they will transform it. I consciously list it step by step so they can intuitively feel how each of these steps makes sense to get all the way to the finish line. Some of us—most of us—have put a lot of resources toward processes that yielded very few results, and we naturally (and deservedly) need to understand why deeply investing our heart, time, energy, money, in a new process is going to yield those results.
So, you will need a very clear, step by step process laid out for you.
2) An ally
You will need support. It can be a therapist, a coach like myself, or a community that is focused on the same transformation, like you might find at AA. Or it can be a friend. But it needs to be a person (or people) who will encourage you with positive support, ask you for accountability, and be available for you to share your vulnerability in a process. We are human, mammalian creatures; we require attention as a basic need. When you are transforming, this is even more true. As children, we often would have these big developmental phases, like learning to walk, where we absolutely needed our caregivers attention. Painfully, many of us didn’t get it, and deeply suffer still today as a result. So, you will need a source of positive attention, because you are human.
3) Resources: money, heart, and time
Sometimes it’s about money. It usually costs to have a personal process laid out step by step, it can also cost to have a really great ally. These things cost money. And they should. You will get way, way more out of the process—and I mean more than transformation, I mean deeper connection to life, to loved ones, to a deeper sense of purpose—if you have to reach to uncomfortable levels of commitment and put something on the line. You get in what you put in. And this can be very true about money; it can usually force a person to show up regardless of the resistance when there is a big chunk of cash on the line.
But it’s definitely about time, because it will take practice. And practice is about hours logged. It’s that simple. You will need to put that step by step process above all else in your life. Which literally means you will need to weave all the aspects of your life together though the lens of this practice. And if it’s a really good step by step plan, like the ones I offer, then it’s obvious how that can occur. As I like to say to everyone who crosses my path: there is so much time in a day. A day is lots and lots of time. It’s all the time there is!
Last, and certainly most important, is willingness. Because ZERO will occur without it and 100% will occur with it.
Really, this whole article could all boil down to this one thing. The only thing you really need to heal is willingness. But since I’m very pragmatic and I like to spell it out as precisely and literally as possible, I include each step.
But willingness is a different thing than wanting it. Willingness is something you have or something you don’t have. And it’s very, very good to know if you have it or don’t. I will often refer to it as devotion. For instance, I am devoted to truth. I like happiness, I really like it, but when we are talking about willingness, I will always, any day, any time, regardless of the pressure to do otherwise, I will seek out the deepest truth. I’m totally devoted to clarity. I will not do this for happiness, not even close. I have a very blessed and blissed life, not because I am devoted to happiness, but because I am devoted to truth.
And I can’t control this in another person. I can’t make someone value what they don’t value. Recently I was visiting some folks. These friends are very aware beings, but I could not get them interested in sitting in silence with me for a few hours. I offered a lot of invitations. But they wanted to nap, or play, or go for a walk. And I saw there was no real devotion for sitting practice. Now, I value it; I like to sit and sit and sit and sit.
I couldn’t control it in them. I could, however, trust that everyone has their own values, and take my own invitation to sit unencumbered in gorgeous solitude with silence.
So, if you have these four things, you will change.
If your lover, your friend, your mother, your coach, etc., has these four things… then yes, stand by, because they will be transforming.
Without them? It’s highly unlikely you or them will experience any transformation. In which case, don’t keep waiting around, or fooling yourself that change is on the way.
But do remember: You have all the time in world. Every single day brings you more and more time. Just take a look at how you choose to use it.
Need that process? Come join us this summer! And start with the tools here!