“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” –Joseph Campbell
Throughout any woman’s life, there are a series of years that she can consider highly transformational. These years don’t happen all at once. During each year that can be considered transformational, she often feels like life is a bit of a roller coaster: Spiritual shifts, personal losses and gains, and professional changes, just happen one right after the other.
From the joy of new accomplishments to the pain that comes with letting go, a transformational year throws her life into a continual state of change. And if she’s not paying attention, these years can spiral out of control quickly.
Experiencing transformational years.
When they happen, I consider transformational years grand and welcome every evolutionary change they bring; I also welcome the ones that are deeply painful. As someone’s who’s experiencing her fourth transformational year, I feel it’s safe to say that –– positive or negative –– transformational years are the universe’s way of resetting our baseline. These years are designed to ensure that we are psychologically and spiritually where we need to be in order to align ourselves with the path that the higher power we believe in wants us to be on.
It’s easy to wander off the path that we’re meant to be on. I’ve come to believe that we start our lives looking for that path (even if it’s right before us) and in searching for it, we get easily distracted by people/places/opportunities that are put in front of us. These things appear to be things that could help us find/continue down the path we seek, but they are false opportunities.
After following these faux chances and false opportunities, a woman can find herself a little lost and in need of course correction. This is when a steady series of events that make up a transformational year push her into a state of evolution, almost cosmically forcing her to adapt and change her habits, values, and focus, especially if we’re off course!
As humans, we’re evolutionary, we’re designed to learn, change and grow. It’s natural that a higher power (God, The Universe) would need to shake a lady up in order to get her onto the path she’s supposed to walk (something that exemplifies all the amazing things that we are and aren’t).
My latest transformational years is one I know deep down will be my greatest because of the lessons I learned and callings I’ve accepted. There were about a dozen things I came to accept in the past year, but four that really stood out, I’d like to share them with you because I feel they are realizations many women may have.
Lesson No. 1
We never lose our demons, we only learn to live above them.
Yes, I just quoted the 2016 movie, Dr. Strange. As human beings, we appear to be tortured, we all have our weakness, flaws, and vices. There’s no way we can permanently getting rid of our demons, we can learn to balance them and contain them within the lives we live. We always know they are there, but we don’t succumb to them.
It’s a delicate balance, an imperfect harmony, but it can be achieved. Whatever demons we carry, we must simply learn to rise above them, encouraging them to go dormant, so that we can wake up. When the demons go to sleep, we become conscious. That consciousness brings about the change that needs to come from transformational years, things just start to come to fruition faster than we can imagine.
Lesson No. 2
Graceful honesty with carefully chosen words is freeing.
It’s always been hard to be honest with myself, and openly speak what I feel should be said in many situations. Our society has taught women to keep the status quo, always asking us to be cautious in how we let the words we uttered from our lips flow. Women are encouraged to overly edit what we want to say. From what I’ve come to learn, this continual editing causes anxiety, stress, and discontentment.
This year, I would not let myself be driven by anxiety in my responses, I instead took my desire to be gracefully honest and created some very kind, but direct ways to say what I needed to say. In doing this:
I found some people were taken aback, some were shocked, and some looked as if they were trying to figure out if I was playing a game as the simplicity of my statements might actually hold some hidden meaning.
Very few people reacted positively to it. In a few long standing friendships, I was cut off. In client situations, I was made the villain and I dismissed. It’s okay, I’m not going to hold myself back from sharing gentle truths or giving honest answers, even if it means something comes to end (it probably needed to anyway). I’d rather be free.
Lesson No. 3
It’s okay to wander.
Not all those who wander are lost, in fact, they’re probably the most aware, conscious and observant people you’ll ever meet. Our culture goes to extremes in trying to convince us how we should act, what we should think, who we should be and what we should seek to do in our lives.
So if you find yourself diverging from what society says is how you should be, good, do exactly that. Going down different paths. Happily march to the beat of your own drummer, it’s no longer taboo.
Those who are awake are will tell you so. Personally, I like mobility, impermanence and wandering, I hope you realize it’s okay if you do too!
Lesson No. 4
There’s nothing as disenchanting as obtainment.
This is a big one, I set goals during my last transformational year (2009), I achieved them; I actually shattered my own expectations. Getting there wasn’t always joyous; sometimes that achievement only came with massive amounts of pain and hardship. But when I accomplished each goal and had finally crossed the last “to be achieved” off the list, I was left with the realization that there was nothing a disenchanting as obtainment.
Somewhere along this last decade’s journey, I’d become a different person, and it was a person I that I truly didn’t know. Looking at all my “accomplishments” made me feel hollow because they were hollow.
I couldn’t figure out why I had worked so hard to do all that I’d done. I asked myself, “Why did you do this?” There were three answers that came up:
- Because someone told me I couldn’t.
- Because it’s what the world said I should do.
- Because I had to provide for “X”.
When I dug beneath these answers, my heart hurt. Most of my achievements came from the need to prove my worth. I also realized they came from a subconscious belief that I was not worthy nor good enough (which I know now was far from the truth).
So what did I do? I began to burn it down. Clearing the fields was the only way for me to regain my center. For now, I’m letting the fields rest before I replant them. The empty pages for my next set of goals await to written. When I’m ready, I’ll write new goals that are based on the result of the decisions and epiphanies that came from this transformational year. Until then, I’ll just be “here.”
“Make what you do in life your Unicorn instead making it your Workhorse.” – Macala Wright
What have transformational years brought you?
What have you learned from transformational years you’ve experienced during your life?
If you’re not in a transformational year, are their things in your life that require your attention?
If you haven’t, I encourage you to start to look at what may need to be addressed before your next transformational year comes knocking