Transformation as a Lifestyle

In our last blog we highlighted how the wisdom of Heraclitus has, since 500 BC, continued to ring true across the ages.

The only true constant is change.

And, we do know that transformation, a change in form, will happen to all of us, whether or not we actively pursue it.  We’re conceived and develop in one world, and are born into another.  We grow, develop and shed teeth, develop more which sometimes decay.  We mature and our body continues to change throughout our lives.  We may grow alternately fatter and thinner.  Our hair and nails grow and are cut, and they change in texture and thickness with time. Daily, the sun and moon rise and set.   Our environment changes with the weather and the seasons.  Although the vast majority of us tend to either fear or seek to avoid change, we could actually take comfort in it’s inevitability!

Most of us have gone through periods of sadness, spells of anxiety, perhaps even lengthy bouts of depression. During those times we tend to feel helpless, as if we were stuck, powerless.  Generally we’re unable to see our way out of the situation.  It seems hopeless.  Even if these times last only a few days, the darkness can seem overwhelming.

In the last blog we looked at some of the laws of physics, and these laws also apply to the question of ‘stuckness’.  In the universe there is only expansion and contraction, growth and decay – everything is in a constant state of flux.  There is no state of stuck!  Wow!  When one of my  teachers first confronted me with this Truth, I was awestruck!  My perception of reality shifted in an instant.  I saw that I had the freedom to choose.  Would I grow and change or would I regress?

I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow.  Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process. – C.S. Lewis

Before he reached this awareness, C.S. Lewis had already been on the right track.  He wanted to draw a map of sorrow, which tells us that he was accepting and not denying it.  He was also interested in the sorrow.  He had stopped to take a careful look – to explore it.  So many of us today do the either/or – the deny and carry on, or the skip to the quick fix – take a pill.  Not to say that sometimes the ‘pill’ isn’t absolutely necessary, just that it may in itself not be enough.  Even those of us who are more inclined towards so called alternative healing can have the expectation that the practitioner we’ve chosen will ‘fix’ us.  If we are like Lewis and take the time to be with our sadness or anxiety – to get to know it – own it – treat it with respect – then we’ll begin to notice  it’s qualities. We’ll see that it had a beginning, and that it has evolved and changed – that it is a process and that we can engage with it – first by following , ultimately by leading , we can see it through to it’s conclusion.  For like our bodies, everything  must ultimately transform.  When we do that, we’ve gained useful insight  about ourselves.  Next time we notice that we’re sad or anxious, we have an understanding that allows us to put it in perspective.  When approached this way we can work with a practitioner, follow the process, and thus prevent these feeling from devolving into depression or an inability to take action.

Once we’ve accepted the reality of process, we can also begin to accept that the feelings are not likely to disappear overnight.  We know it will take time, and while we’re watching, we have a whole new layer of self to reveal and explore.

The only people without problems are those buried in the cemetery.

When we accept that life is all about change, and that change generates challenges, we’re in a position of power.  Rather than try to dodge the curve balls that life throws at us, we can step up to the plate and engage with them.  This way we develop our skills in playing the game of life.  And there actually are rules to this game!  Self described Mystic Carolyn Myss put’s it this way:

‘If we don’t align ourselves with the Mystical Laws, then a higher power is going to keep knocking at the door of our awareness until we get the message.’

The Mystical Laws she outlines are these:

  1. There is only Now
  2. Forgiveness is a necessity
  3. Everything is Illusion
  4. Trust in Divine Paradox, Irony and Synchronicity
  5. Maintain Spiritual Congruency

These are provocative statements!  In their brevity, they’re meant to intrigue us – to entice us into wanting a deeper understanding. If you would like more information on these laws, go to  

If these truly are the Laws that define the way life works, wouldn’t it be helpful to know them?  Like anything that really matters to us, we do want to know – so what to do?  This takes us back to Lewis and the business of process.  One of my teachers has repeatedly reminded me that we are Human Be-ings. We can learn to BE.  I used to wonder ‘what does that mean’?  In our culture we are so oriented to doing – while a necessary aspect of life, we over-rely on it,  get really good at it.  Then, as with all strengths that are overused, it becomes a weakness.  We want to control things, situations, and sometimes people.  If instead we befriend life as a process, then all of it, even our challenges, can seem like hanging out with friends.  Sometimes we lead, sometimes we follow, sometimes we’re frustrated or annoyed, mostly we have fun – that’s why we stay with them even through the rough patches!

It took me while to get this, but I’m a persistent one!  I finally came to the realization that being is simply paying attention and making choices that are in alignment with those Mystical Laws.  We have to stop and look at ourselves – look within- be in the process.  Then, gradually the process gains momentum – change becomes exciting and our transformation accelerates.  Before we know it Transformation has Become a Lifestyle!

If you would like to explore the possibilities of living this way, if you want to continue to hone your skills, check out our website.  Here at Clay Alchemy from the Voice of Clay we’re all about facilitating your process.  In classes, workshops, retreats, and individual sessions we’ll travel along with you for part of your journey. Together we can respect the pain, befriend the process and share the joy of Transformation.  Join us!

shannon Burke