If you believe marketing in the personal development industry, transformation happens in an instant.
A moment in time.
A weekend seminar.
Maybe a 30-day challenge.
Maybe, at most, a year of daily practice.
If you look at real life, a different story emerges.
Products of nature.
And especially human behavior.
Yes, “change” can happen in an instant.
But lasting change — total transformation —takes a long time.
It’s not a switch that you turn on. Transformation is a slow process that happens in small, often imperceptible shift, over a long arc of time.
In any moment, it may feel like we’re not getting anywhere.
In the day today of our experience, it may feel like we are retreading old ground.
This is how nature works. Progress, growth, and healing, like time, are not linear. They are cyclical.
The seasons cycle.
The planets cycle.
Everything comes back around in time.
When we are facing the same issue again, it’s not because we did something wrong or because we didn’t learn from the first time, but because there’s only so much we can glean from any moment or event.
In a yoga practice, we repeat poses and flows. If you’re paying attention you’ll notice that each repetition is different.
Your first downward dog of practice is not the same as your last downward dog of a practice.
In the gym, we do multiple sets and reps of an exercise or a lift. If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice differences.
The first rep of the first set might feel heavy and awkward. By the time you get to the last rep of the first set, you’re more in your groove. On the next set, you might notice how your body has adapted. Or where it still feels stuck.
Repetition creates revelations.
Each time around, we learn new information.
Each time around, we have the opportunity to gain new insights.
Each time around, we have new awareness.
The new awareness gives us new power to effect small changes.
Over the long arc of time, those small changes stack.
There’s no shortcuts here.
Transformation requires us to travel the same territory repeatedly, often regressing and progressing in small, imperceptible steps.
Each time we come back around, it may feel like we are back where we started.
But we aren’t. We are in a next level of that circumstance.
The repetition is the pathway to opening the next layer for healing, or taking the next action that we couldn’t take the previous cycle.
Each time around gives us new insights to the patterns of our behaviors and circumstances and new opportunities to adjust.
Over the very long arc of time, this is how transformation happens.