The Wandering Monk

Brewmaster Rysu – New Posts On Tuesdays


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It’s been a long time (I feel like my last few have started this way).

I return to talk about Transformation.  Change.  Growth.  It happens to all of us.  Some might even say it’s the point.  But what does it mean, how do we recognize it, and how blasted long does it take?

I may argue that transformation and change are different.  Perhaps change that enables you to be something better than you were can be called transformation.  Let’s go with that.

Let me tell you a story that might help illustrate how I’m feeling right now.  About three months ago, I decided I wanted to move to Alaska.  I had mentioned this in another post but, for those who didn’t know, that’s a thing.  Up until when I made this decision, I had a lot of variables to consider — some were more important to others, needless to say, but all presented themselves, to me, as obstacles.  I interpreted them as such.  Each time I faced one, some part of me whispered “there’s always something.”

It had always been a negative connotation.  It had always been a “oh great, here we go, this again” sort of feeling.  Then something changed — transformed, you might say — in my perspective.  This perspective is likely one of the biggest considerations in making my trip here a successful one.

I realized that the obstacles I faced could be viewed a little differently.  Some might say that their being there were tests to my conviction.  Others might say that they make the journey more meaningful.  Others still might even call them blessings in disguise; fostering growth from within, adapting and overcoming and training myself to do that.

My realization wasn’t one of those things, exactly, but just that such perspectives exist and that when I perceive it that way, I ultimately arrived at a larger conclusion.

It is my choice.

No one else’s.  No one else can say that I can or can’t go, only me.  Sure, they might attempt to invoke a sense in me that might make me agree, but it’s my agreement that’s the contingency here, not their persuasion.  Prior to this, the world had always been an obstacle.  My daughter, my job, my debt, my family, my friends.  My life.  All these things aren’t things you can really negotiate with directly.  I can’t go to my life and say “Hey, life, would you mind..?” .. sure, I could go to my daughter and ask her how she felt, but in her response, I’ll already be looking for something specific:  A reason not to go.

But guess what? When I made my mind up ahead of time that I was going, the conversation wasn’t a plea for permission, but a statement of acknowledgement and inclusion.  My daughter said she would miss me but it would be cool to visit.  My Mom said “Go do what you have to do!”  My friends supported me.  The hurdles that I had perceived for so long were gone.  In an instant, my social roadblocks were gone.

Then it simply became a matter of logistics and logistics can always reach the goal you want if you try and you follow the plan.

You may be wondering what this has to do with transformation.

Well, consider this: the moment I realized that, I changed for the better.  I transformed. But there’s more than that.  Because I was able to change my view, I was able to change my world.  Because I could change my world, I was able to change my view more.  The snowball effect is that the more I followed my heart and dreams, the more the world reacted to my doing so and either enabled it or got out of the way.  When I did encounter a direct challenge, I thought about it and resigned myself to accept what I could change with the tenacity of someone following their dreams (a powerful source of willpower), to be patient with the things I could not change, and trusting that all of my unknowns would present opportunities for solutions.

I never gave up on it, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle.  I didn’t always resolve the problems that I needed to exactly when I wanted to.  I waited, and I watched, and I believed in myself.

These all sound like crappy Facebook memes, but I can honestly say that these basic fundamentals are what I followed and I can see now as I look back are what I did.  It isn’t like I intended on being a walking cliche.  It just so happens that how I reacted taught me the lessons that everyone had been saying.

That leads me to another idea of transformation.  Growth.

When our parents correct us, they often tell us the lesson.  Have any of us heeded what our parents said and learned the lesson through-and-through without life’s intervention? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “hell no”.

We all learned the lessons life wanted to teach us, just as soon as life taught them.  We applied them to our parents’ words when they told us because life had taught them too.  When your parents say “Don’t touch that fire, it’ll burn you.” You didn’t believe them, you touched the fire, and you got burned.  And then you believed them, and then you didn’t touch the fire again.

It’s only when we abolish doubt that we can be certain.  

While it may be true that we didn’t heed the words of our parents about the fire, it’s also true that we can influence just how much doubt we have by employing faith.  I’m not talking about God-fearing, spiritual faith, but faith in ourselves and in our ability to do our best when the time comes to do it.  Faith is the abolishment of Doubt.

Whether it’s remembering the sting of the fire that removes doubt from the equation, or it’s accepting and trusting in myself and in the universes’ responses to the energies I put out, being free from doubt is the first step in accomplishing your dreams.

Doubt, by the way, is a sub-category emotion to the core emotion of Fear. 

And so, I close this with a simple statement that has proven itself to be true to me just as assuredly as that fire was hot.

Moving through life presently and fearlessly is the only true path to happiness and to your dreams.  Go scroll through Pinterest for all the memes you need, then when you’re ready, it’s time to let life teach you the lessons you need to learn along the path towards the life you want.  

Today’s the day to start, the path awaits.


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