Explorations in Transformation

Change is the only constant.

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. Carl Rogers
People don’t resist change, they resist BEING changed. Deutschmann
People may prefer not to change, but people love to experiment!

As many of you know, I have a keen interest in Psychology and Human Nature. I am also taking a Master class called Explorations in Transformation to go along with my TFT (and Reiki) Practitioner education.

We have made some wonderful friendships through this class led by Dr. Franzi Ng, and have explored some other healing modalities as well as Thought Field Therapy techniques:

The Emotion Code http://ladybugwellness.ca/emotion-code/
Byron Katie www.thework.com
Matrix Energetics www.matrixenergetics.com
Spiritual Companioning www.thevirtuesproject.com

Through exploring these healing modalities we have ultimately been looking at how people can CHANGE.

Our last class is coming up March 9th, 2011. We will be discussing THE MYSTERY OF HOW PEOPLE CHANGE.

For my own interest, and for some opinions to bring to this class, I would like YOUR help. I posted a note on the popular Facebook social networking site and also sent emails to all my contacts. Please send me an email at ourladyposte@hotmail.com . Let me know if I can use your information, and whether I can use your name or a pseudonym. I am adding comments received as they come in.

Some points and questions to spur some discussion:

HOW do people change? What causes them to change? It is a poignant moment, a child, a tragedy? Do they change for the better or worse from these instances? What keeps people stuck in the moment? Why do people stay in a ‘bad’ relationship where there may be physical or emotional abuse, or worse? Where do you draw the line of trust, personal space/individuality, invasiveness, and betrayal? What causes people to make the decision to be independent and lean on their own resources? Where do you draw the line in how much you lean on friends? What is the reasoning behind the idea that women fall for the bad guys who trample them like dirt, or the men who fall for b*tches who control them and treat them like dogs? HOW DO PEOPLE CHANGE from these unhealthy circumstances?
What is your opinion in how insecurities, control issues, faith and spirituality play a part in facilitating or hampering changes?

There are other reasons people change from destructive habits etc, or to bring out more admirable virtues. How do people chose to make these changes?

Some traits I found through Google:

7 deadly sins:
Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.
Envy is the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation.
Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.
Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.
Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath.
Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.
Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

7 Heavenly Virtues: Faith, Hope, charity, fortitude, justice, temperance and prudence
Feel free to add more questions and comments.. this is just a start…
Thank you for your opinions!!

Comments received so far:

February 26 2011:
Hi! Well not sure where to start but I am a recovering addict been clean for almost 3 years now in 39 days and it is a constant struggle. First and for most what you touched on about the MAKE A LIST OF GOALS is a big key but also to admit that change is needed. These goals should be short term goals for some so they do not set themselves up for failure. Then you should write a autobiography on your life. The biggest part of change is Honesty and admitting this to yourself and others, Now some people might not take kindly and may look down on you for this but, as long as you can be at peace with it then that is something they need to work out. People always say they have no control on what happens and this is some what true but what people do have is the power to control how they want it to affect them. OMG I am like babbling on sorry if you want me to go deeper then just drop a line I have too much to say and my fingers are getting sore. Kirk
Hi again, just have to let this out. A big part of change is FEAR for most people right, fear of what not sure in some peoples eyes but there are two ways to look at this word, Sorry for the profanity here, F*ck Everything And Run OR Face Everything And Recover It works when you break it down but change must be wanted inside yourself. You are the only one that can change for everything else stays the same. Kirk

(Thank you!! I really like the acronyms!)

February 27 2011:
The human relies on our initial perception of a person – we make decisions based on what they look like. We should close our eyes and open our hearts to the real person within. We are ALL IN GOD’S IMAGE so if we don’t like something about a person – we don’t like that image of God. Stephen
(Very good point!)

March 5 2011:
Hi sweet Jackie, I have been pondering your query about how people change. In my own life, I have found that profound positive experiences do not change me in a radical immediate way, but have a kind of resonance in my life. My fondest examples of profound positive experiences are the early morning stillness at teen wilderness camp, the birth of my goddaughter, and playing soccer with a horde of boys in an alley in Cairo. I feel a deep spiritual connection to nature, a real sense of the sacredness of childbirth, and a connection to the longings of childhood/the playful inner child. I guess these experiences confirm things deep and true. In contrast, I have found that terrible experiences, while equally profound, can have a more immediate impact. The moment someone you love dies becomes a mile marker on the path of life. You measure everything relative to that event. My darkest times have also been the times I have changed the most. Some people say life never gives more than you can handle, and what ever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I do not believe these things to be true. I think everyone of us has a breaking point. Look around and you will see examples of those around us who cannot function fully in society – people crippled by addiction or mental illness or just so broken that they cannot function. These individuals are not weaker or less. They are US. There, but for the grace of God, go I. And all of us. I believe we all try to make the best, smartest, healthiest decisions we can, but life and our limitations get in the way. To pull oneself out of a bad situation, one must choose to make different choices(dump a cheating abusive partner, get into a treatment program). But this choice alone is not always enough; the support of friends and family and all manner of other types of resources are essential. When I was at my sickest, suffering from depression after my miscarriage, I chose everyday to do what ever I needed to do not to die. I visualized a future as a homeless person as a better choice than suicide. Slowly, over the last couple of years, I found my way back to relative normalcy and healthy daily functioning. I have pondered why I survived to normalcy when other do not. I came up with two reasons. 1) I chose to survive 2) I had the support of my husband and very good friends. If my friends and family had not supported me I would be dead or homeless. Well that’s my two cents worth. Good luck on your project. love you. M

(I have also found that some people in my life who have been through dark times are also the most compassionate and caring people I know! Love you too!)

I think the force behind change is the realization that there is a point of no return, and to face that point is to realize that your life needs to take a new direction or take a turn or else you will not be having the life that you so wish to live. Whether its drugs or finances, your life is not going to change until your inner self gives you a wake-up call and you come to an understanding with where you are, why you are not where you want to be, and what you need to change to get there.  Changing means coming up with your goals, learning more about yourself (self-realization) and making a plan to facilitate that change.
Accountability for what you do will bring about awareness as to the road ahead of you, and if its not the road you wish to travel- you need to turn on your signal light and find an off-ramp! Wendy

I do know that the amazing devil works through our direct exposure, in subtle ways, to trip us in our new direction of grace that comes from God’s placement of good things…I can now really feel it, and must find ways to implement God’s grace. It’s really amazing, the gift of discernment, most people don’t have it..so there are a few choices in our lives when we have to find, and trust the disciples in our lives.

It’s been my experience that people change because they’re tired of how things are, or because they have no other choice.
A person decides to get fit because they don’t like what they see/how they feel about themselves.
From what I’ve observed, people are usually resistant to change for no reason. Who wants to fix something that “isn’t broken”, right?
When change does happen, it’s mainly due to 1) one’s dissatisfaction with how things are in their life, and\or 2) something, or someone, has pushed them into it.
Either way, how long it lasts all depends on how much of their heart is/was in it.
If they don’t buy into the reason for it, it won’t last.
Like so many things, how we feel makes all the difference.
Happy. Curious. Sad. Angry. Indifferent, etc.
We can know something in our heads, but it’s how we feel about it that, for the most part, determines our beliefs and actions.
If changing isn’t “worth it” in terms of how we feel about it, it’s more or less an uphill battle.
Only one problem: feelings change like the weather. How you feel now isn’t necessarily how you’ll feel tomorrow, or even later today.
It’s the battle between Passion and Reason. Both are “right’ in their own way.
When you can get them to agree, permanent change becomes a great deal easier.
This is a somewhat technical way of describing it, but it works for me. ~WA

Thank you to Rachelle’s friends for adding comments as well:

By experiences, inner motivations, peer pressure, family changes, and most importantly, maturity from all of the rest. RK

Desire to do so. DD

Usually it is some disaster or catastrophe which causes people to rethink their priorities and then their behaviour changes to reflect their new perspective. HD

I believe people change with experience. They grow/change with the knowledge they have gained or experienced. That is my two cents worth. MP

Sometimes Spiritual intervention….(my experience)…Getting honest and showing up for your life….Choosing it…. RS

Changes are done when the person ran out of options… but true change is always from the person himself… religion is one change agent more motivational and enduring. however, family also extends a big contribution to change. MC

By changing their beliefs through their emotions . GC

Personal growth ,honest looking with in yourself at things you do not llike, then change them. Being aware of the process, embrace the change. MJ

Well money it could be change people. SA

well, people actually do not change, as it is well established that a persons ” personality” get matured as an adult. People adapt themselves to change in circumstances, as a type of self defense. Their real personality are soon back again… on stage once overwhelming circumstances are over !
What do you think ? MS

mmmh got this friend lost 50kg well i think it’s brilliant but the change that came after that weight loss i wonder sometimes if i still know her & well would love to have my friend back…. so i guess money, friends, work, obsessions, just something that happens in someones life can bring a huge change or difference in someone…. sometimes not that good though… i think its for one self to realize what’s good or not good…. MCK

They change through situations going on in there life. it can be a good one such as having a baby and how you change as a person now that your a parent. it can be a bad one such as a lose of your job. situations change us and hopefully make up change and grow as a person. KM

They change when what they did before ceases to serve them…. JB

This is one from Rachelle’s friend B.C. who did a copy paste version and answered accordingly:  (Thanks B.C.!!)

How do people change? Adaptability What causes them to change?Circumstances.  Is it a poignant moment,  a child, a tragedy? Could be either or both.  Do they change for the better or the worse from these instances? This depends a lot on the character of the person.  What keeps people stuck in the moment? The lack of the knowledge that they can move on.

Why do people stay in a “bad” relationship where there may be  physical or emotional abuse? Most are stuck there because they grew up that way and think it is the normal way to live.  Where do we draw the line of trust, personal space, individuality, invasiveness and betrayal? all of these are totally dependent upon the character of the person.   What causes people to make the decision to be independent and lean on their own resources? The lack of support in their lives. 

Where do you draw the line in how much you lean on friends? Dependent people don’t know how to draw the line and independent people won’t lean to start with.  What is the reasoning behind the idea that women fall for the bad guy whom trample them like dirt or the men who fall for the b*tches who control them and treat them like dogs? This one, I don’t know the answer too, never went there.   HOW DO PEOPLE CHANGE FROM these unhealthy circumstances? Dependent people can change with help from professional sources. Independent people see themselves going down the wrong path and stop themselves. 
What is your opinion in how insecurities, control issues, faith and spirituality play a part in facilitating or hampering changes? People with insecurities generally don’t make changes, that would be rocking the boat. People with control issues will only change if they don’t lose anything in the process of changing. Faith and Spirituality will give a person strength they didn’t know they had and allow them to move forward in their lives.

There are other reasons people change from destructive habits etc. or to bring out more admirable virtues.  How do people make these changes?Sometimes, by sheer will power.

Scroll for more.  I did all the one liners, now the story abbreviated:

at 3 I was hit in the head with a hatchet

at 5 1/2 I stood in a door and watched my mother burn

at 6 I held my baby brother in my arms while he hemorrhaged to death.

at 6 1/2 I was put into an orphanage

at 12 1/2 I was taken from the orphanage and for the next 3 years was mentally, physically, emotionally and sexually abused on a daily basis.

At 15 I was left on a city bus bench and then taken into foster care.

at 16 I was married and had a baby

at 18, I attempted to murder a man

I am an alcoholic although I have been dry for 49 years now

I have been married twice and have 10 children by various means.

Ask any questions you want. Hugs, B


Our final class was several hours long. The following are just SOME of the interesting notes I took. This class was amazing and I highly recommend taking it!

To be free is nothing. To become free is heavenly. J. G. Fichte

Never under estimate your power to change yourself. Never over estimate your power to change others. Wayne Dyer

SLOW DOWN to the speed of life!!

Change occurs through varied, natural, repeated experiences.

Change happens when we discover that we might be more of who we are by becoming something different.

All change originates when we change our awareness of who we are. Wheatley & Keller- Rogers

The worst thing that can happen is a thought. Byron Katie

Perception is reality.

Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

Four levels: Emotional, Social, Physical, and Spiritual

Usual method of helping/making people change: Facts Fear and Force through Protection and Admonition

Bottom 1% of population most resistant to change: Coronary heart transplant survivors, Prison inmates and Labor Union Workers

Hopeless people need unreasonable people to say “YES you can” and believe in them.

Relate (New Hope), Repeat (New Skills), Reframe (New Thinking)

Positive regard is more important than technique.

People don’t know how much you know until they know how much you CARE!

Final thoughts:
Go through transitions consciously
Trust GRACE to pull you along

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. Carl Rogers