I sat on the balcony of my flat a couple of days ago as the sun rose, perfectly positioned to soak up the first rays of sweet morning light. This is my favourite thing to do now that spring has arrived – I've even masterfully figured out the exact angle my chair needs to be to get maximum exposure before the sun disappears on his journey overhead. This particular morning, as I watched the steady stream of traffic below, I noticed that a huge lorry had inconveniently stopped in the middle of my one-way street, making it impossible for cars to pass either side. Whilst, there was nothing particularly fascinating about this, what was interesting were the very different reactions I witnessed as I sat and watched the scene play out. Some people were initially patient, then grew pretty irate once they realised that they wouldn't be getting anywhere anytime soon. Others were enraged almost immediately and failed to hear the advice of the workmen attempting to redirect them. And an impressive few simply turned around, barely reacting, calmly concentrated on where they were heading. Generic as this whole display was, it struck me as the perfect metaphor for the everyday human experience: a shared, universal unfolding materialised and completely transformed through the perceived reality of the individual.
Observing that simple yet insightful scene instantly sparked thoughts around my own attitude and behaviour in response to life's challenges. Ultimately, so much of our power resides in how we choose to view perceived obstacles. How do we react when the plan changes? Are we able to adapt quickly and be flexible, neutral, non-reactive? Or does our anger and mistrust temporarily blind us from the lessons and opportunities being presented to us in any given moment? Can we map out alternative routes or do we give up on our journey altogether? Maybe we're able to momentarily soften our gaze for long enough to take in the full scope of the bigger picture; to see beyond our current limitations? Perhaps we're even present and open enough to recognise and embrace the various guises of change? Fundamentally, do we trust the process of transformation? (I know, all of this from a regular traffic incident!)
These are all important questions to ask ourselves if we consider that transformation or a metamorphosis of any kind requires a certain level of surrender. How much are you willing to let go of in order to become the you you are destined to become? Are you prepared to make the necessary sacrifices, knowing that the new you may cost you the old you? Transformation begins the moment we decide our commitment to living a fuller life is greater than any fears we may be harbouring; the second we decide that we want more. It's a process of allowing and letting go, whilst at the same time hanging on – hanging on desperately to our inner conviction even with the voice of self-doubt echoing loudly throughout every cell of our being. Knowing that sometimes new beginnings are disguised as painful endings and that momentary setbacks are in fact often blessings in disguise. Truly trusting that what is meant for us will never ever pass us by.
Whilst the sensation of free-falling as you take a leap of faith might feel nauseating, what if trusting in the process meant that your free-fall became the most authentic and expansive encounter with reality you could have ever experienced? Similarly, what if you could take that dark, familiar discomfort and reframe it as an uncharted journey down the birth canal to where your new life awaits you; or the moment a shoot chooses to sprout forth from the confinement of its seed; or the point at which a butterfly breaks free into the unknown from its cocoon? What if that dark moment in actual fact gives birth to most immense clarity and joy you have ever known? I guess it all depends on how far you're willing to push past that pain threshold. But remember this, you'll never learn to fly unless you're willing to fall.