Building Personal Capacity for Sustainability – Practice as the Wormhole for Transformation

“No transformation can take place without personal and collective practice.”

-Toke Møller

 What does it mean when you decide, “I think I am going to start a yoga practice?”

I was listening to one of my favorite teachers, Caroline Myss, last night. She was giving a talk called Navigating Hope. Myss poignantly revealed what is happening when you get the impetus to initiate practice like yoga, calling on a mentor, meditation, Aikido, running or any other practice scheme that involves a structure and container for self-awareness. What struck me was what is actually occurring, beyond our rational mind, when we initiate a new practice.

Running, yoga, calling on a mentor, meditation, and Aikido can become personal practices for inner awareness.

Myss relayed when we begin a new practice, unbeknown to us, we are building our stamina, and skill set to navigate upcoming transformations in our lives. We are preparing for what is to come, without knowing this on a cognitive level. We are building capacity to make changes in our lives more quickly than we are used to. We are, in fact, entering a wormhole to lead change in ourselves, and if you choose to be a change-maker, to assist others embarking on similar transitions. These practices prepare us for what wants to happen.

Then I thought about my history of initiating and enlisting various practices in my life. I realized that when I initiate a new practice in my life I am entering a wormhole of transformation. The practice holds space for me to transform into a stronger, more aware human being, preparing me for my next transition.  Practices have given me endurance to recognize the elements in my life that no longer serve me, and highlight the areas of my life that need attention.

Practices give me the courage to withstand my own transformation. When I have started practices such as yoga, Reiki and chi qong I have soon after made life altering transformations such as leaving a relationship, meeting people that have been key figures in my life, choosing a path more deeply aligned with my calling, or I have simply built a stronger backbone. These practices are a gateway to our new self.

In order to hold space for deep and profound change in the world, first practice transforming yourself.

The practices have also given me an inner strength and confidence that superseded my rational mind, allowing me to expand and grow and keeping the chatter of my mind out of my way. These practices are subtle and powerful forces that have helped me navigate my life transitions. They ground me and show me when I am full nonsense. These practices seem almost inconsequential when starting them, until you realize they are in fact, monumental.

Now when I have an inkling to begin a new practice, I will recognize I am entering the wormhole of transformation, and to get out of the way. I will let the practice build me and show me what to do next, rather than the other way around.

What does this have to do with guiding transformational change? As Charlotte Millar of the WWF said,

“For the level and depth of change that we seek to bring about in the world is directly related to the scale of change we are willing to undergo ourselves.”

In order to hold space for deep and profound change in the world, first practice transforming yourself. The more transformations you navigate in your own life, the more you can facilitate for others and for the world.

Dana Pearlman

Dana is Co-Founder of The Lotus: Authentic Leadership Development for a

Dana Pearlman is the instructor for "Facilitating Transformational Change toward Sustainability" commencing May 3rd - ON-LINE.

Just, Resilient and Thriving World.  She has a MSc Strategic Leadership Toward Sustainability and a MA in Clinical Psychology.

Join Dana in the upcoming On-Line Instructor-led course on Facilitating Transformational Change towards Sustainability part 2. Begins May 3rd and runs 5 weeks.  Student prices and scholarships available.

Join the Sustainability Movement - Donate to the Sustainability Learning Centre's Student Scholarship Program

About Kathryn Cooper

Kathryn Cooper is a committed sustainability practitioner and educator moving companies toward “green” profitability and sustainable competitive advantage by unlocking human creativity and technical innovation. Over the last two years she has had the privilege to work with companies like Dupont, Zerofootprint, WWF Canada, and Partners in Project Green on sustainability issues, best practices and renewable energy. Kathryn is a graduate of York University with a Master of Education specializing on Sustainability and the Environment. She holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Guelph.
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