Sabrina Jo Atto
Transformation Doesn't Need to be Painful
This past year has challenged me to take a close look at unhealthy habits and leading me to implement new ways of living and thinking. Implementing change isn’t anything new I find that I challenge myself constantly. However this year with a number of lessons learned and still being learned there is one I hope to always remember, that is, transformation doesn’t have to be painful.
I’ll admit, some changes were easy to make, others came with a lot of resistance. However, with plenty of patience and persistence I was able to work through the resistance. Overtime, however, I found myself withdrawn and not allowing myself to do things that I always enjoyed doing. Partly because some of my past activities no longer fit in with the changes I had made. I found this transition to be very challenging and somewhat disheartening.
Excited about the changes I had been implementing, it was somewhat difficult letting go of the past. What I realized was that I needed to accept my new habits and activities to be fun. I was treating them as a chore. Judging myself if I fell of track or out of accordance with this new lifestyle. I assigned this new lifestyle to be something rigid and inflexible, the complete opposite of what I was looking to live.
Recognizing my skewed perspective on work, growth, and transformation encouraged me to take a closer look at the whole process. What I came to understand is there isn’t a need for transformation to be painful, change need not equal suffering. We can look at the butterfly whose transformation is so beautiful. It works hard to go from a caterpillar to a butterfly and the work is necessary. The butterfly doesn’t perceive the work to be painful or a struggle, it merely allows nature to takes its course and transformation happens with ease. Life is in constant flux and nature accepts this and goes with it. The birds, insects, animals and vegetation don’t resist the change of seasons they naturally shift with the change.
Shift, I like that word. It doesn’t hold a strong connotation like “change”. When we allow ourselves to shift subtly, naturally into a new season of our life there is no fuss, or struggle, just the necessary work that we are capable and inclined to perform.
I guess you can say nature has become my muse, my inspiration for expression and understanding. I did away with the label: “change”, “personal growth work”, “diet”, etc. the labels that came with expectations, and I allowed myself permission to shift. No more fussing over what I ate, how I meditate or when I work out. Rather I can allow myself the freedom to understand what works best me, I’m free to try new things with the attitude that it might work for me or it might not, it doesn’t matter. This openness to shifting and finding balance rather than pushing to be something or someone took off a lot of pressure. I no longer found myself so harshly judging the food choices I made, or the time I chose to meditate or how hard I worked out.
Allowing me to shift into a new season of my being has been a lot easier than trying to force myself there.