The inconvenient truth about transformation is that most often it involves hard, diligent work, over time, but if you are willing to do the work real, dramatic, and deep change is completely possible to achieve.
It is important to realize that we can awaken to new potentials in an instant because awakening occurs spontaneously and immediately. The source of revelation is always mysterious.
Suddenly our eyes open to new possibilities and we understand that we are much more than we had imagined and the world could be so much better than it is.
In these moments a future opens for us. It is a future born out of the higher potentials that already exist within us, but the living reality of that future is not guaranteed just because we’ve seen it.
Seeing our higher potentials takes only a moment and occurs in bursts of insight that are gifts of grace, but manifesting those potentials in our lives does not necessarily come easily. We must be willing to work for it.
In a moment of awakening, when our eyes open to a higher truth of who we are, it feels like we are already different. After all, we are seeing a part of us that already exists. We do not have to become anything. These higher potentials are already there, fully formed in our being.
Our higher potentials are already inherent in who we are. Many of us have seen our higher potentials and assumed that everything would be different because we had, only to find that a few days, weeks, or months later we were acting and feeling the way we used to before our awakening.
Often in the face of this common experience of back-sliding, we conclude that we were wrong about the transformation. We come to believe that we did not see the truth deeply enough for it to lead to change and we return to our spiritual practice determined to find an experience big enough to change us.
For many years this was the pattern that unfolded repeatedly in my spiritual life. I would have life-transforming experiences, assume that everything would now be different, then see myself acting like my old self and doubt the truth of what I had seen.
In the end I realized that the radical and dramatic change of transformation would have been possible after any of my awakening experiences if I had not been expecting to be different simply because I had seen my higher potential.
We have been taught to think of ourselves as having freewill. We are trained to assume that we can choose to do what we want to do. So when we see our higher potentials and want to live them, we assume we will.
Unfortunately, we are not just a person who freely chooses to act. A great deal of who and what we are is a messy tangle of habitual behaviors and emotional patterns that were formed during this lifetime and perhaps earlier ones.
In the immediate wake of an awakening experience our old patterns are temporarily eclipsed by the thrilling vision of who we really are and how we can live. In the euphoria of this revelation, we are propelled above our established tendencies and experience an exhilarating freedom. Often, once the initial euphoria of the awakening subsides, our old patterns resurface and regain control of our lives.
It is my opinion that anyone reading this essay has already had enough revelatory experience to live an awakened life. I also believe that most of us probably have already awakened more of our higher potentials than we have fully manifest. By engaging in transformative work over a long enough period of time we can replace old patterns and tendencies with new ones that are aligned with our own deepest recognition of truth.
Seeing our higher potentials is essential, but it is not sufficient to ensure real and lasting change. If we want to change, if we want to consistently show up in life in ways that are reflective of our highest vision, we need to see through our less awakened patterning and establish new habitual ways of being.
What thrills me about all this is that I know it is possible. It takes work, but the results are so magnificent that it is worth the effort. Once you establish new pathways in your consciousness, you will start to feel an awakened wind in your sail. Your new tendencies will work for your higher potentials instead of against them.
I don’t believe the transformative journey ever ends. There are always new depths of freedom to explore and new potentials to realize, but if you create a foundation of awakened ways of being, you will find yourself propelled forward.
The journey of transformation is hardest at the start. It is like pushing a large rock uphill. If you keep going the hill becomes less steep and the pushing becomes easier until eventually you find that the ground is starting to slope downward, and the rock starts to roll forward with much less effort. At that point ongoing transformation has started to become a habit for you and a new life begins.