By Lacy Frazer

I believe the purpose of our personal existence on this planet is to ‘evolve’ as human beings. Not to evolve as in Darwinian evolution . . . but more to evolve our SOULS. I have lived long enough now and have been through so many experiences that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the purpose of my existence is to grow and expand the wisdom of my soul. The purpose of life is not to get a job, pay bills, be a slave to a mortgage, sit in a carpool line, do laundry, or even be in a relationship. To me, the purpose of the journey of life is to learn from all of these many experiences, and to incorporate the lessons from the journey into my own greater awareness of my place in the universe and the path of my soul.

Viewing the purpose of my life through this lens has been and continues to be the greatest gift. It has provided an enormous context for everything that happens in my life. It has allowed me to have gratitude for the negative and challenging experiences in my life just as much as the gratitude I have and hold for the positive and joyful experiences. It reminds me that every person, experience, interaction, and challenge has a lesson to teach me, to show me, or to mirror to me. As I accept that my journey is “my journey,” I am less inclined to take responsibility for the the journey of others and I am less inclined to judge others, as I know they are walking their own path. There is great peace in this knowing.

So ~ how does one transform their own lens through which they view their world? How does someone remove the lens crafted by their early childhood conditioning and replace it with this bird’s eye view of a much greater and more expansive vision? While I wish it was a decision made one day and a ‘lived experience’ the next, I believe it is much more of a process. Through my own personal experiences as well as witnessing the experiences of others, I believe there is a Recipe For Transformation.

At some point in our life journey, there is a catalyzing event. There is an experience that forces us to question not just our existence and our purpose, but the existence of a higher power, a higher purpose, and a higher love. This catalyzing event may be a trauma, a loss, a healing crisis, a death, a legal conviction, or a failed marriage. Or perhaps it is a paranormal experience, a moment of ecstasy or euphoria, or the experience of magic or a miracle. Whatever the catalyzing event is, it wakes us out of a sound sleep and gets our attention. Like prescription lenses that no longer suffice or meet our needs, we are called to gain better clarity about where we have been, who we are now, and where we are going. We begin to ask “what is real,” “what really matters,” and “who am I?” No longer are we interested in the status quo. And so the journey of transformation begins. . . .

We ask these questions first to ourselves out of a necessity to change, to find a solution to a problem, or to simply move away from what is not working or does not feel good any more. We then may begin to verbalize our questions to others, or seek the answers in books, or films, or from “gurus.” None the less, it is in the question asking that we begin paying attention to our own patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving, and we realize that we play the leading role in the movie of our life. In realizing that we ARE the lead, we have to take responsibility for our life. And this requires us to get to know ourselves: the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is the time to listen to feedback, to witness our negative aspects such as our tendency to judge others or our desire to compete or compare ourselves to others. This is the phase of the journey when we have to face the heat of how we have hurt others, the places where we have crossed the line, and the aspects of ourselves that we deny or don’t want others to see. As we face our shadow, recognize and acknowledge the EGO, and identify our defenses, we are called to let the old way of being burn away.

Humility and vulnerability are the key ingredients in successfully shedding the “old self” and transforming into a newer, more improved version of ourselves. As we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and to feel our own emotional pain, we gain strength. As we find the humility in admitting that we are not always right, or that we do make mistakes, we feel empowered by our truth. This phase of the journey is about bringing ourselves into balance. It is about letting go of old, dysfunctional, conditioned patterning . . . and integrating new and more healthy mental, emotional, and spiritual practices. This is the Phase of Transformation that incorporates self compassion, self forgiveness, and self love.

As we connect more deeply with ourselves, we are now free to connect to everyone and everything else in an authentic, meaningful way. As we feel more balanced, we are able to relate to others in a more balanced way. As we open our heart to practicing new skills, integrating new experiences, seeing our lives through a new life lens, and prioritizing feeling whole inside ourselves, we begin to sense that we are much more responsible for the course of our journey than we had originally thought or have ever been told.

We begin to understand that our life journey is unique to us . . . our lessons, our gifts, our challenges, and our triumphs. All of these contribute to the meaning and purpose we most deeply desire to experience in our journeys here. And we are also a part of a much larger collective experience with everyone else on the planet, uncovering, self-discovering, and un-earthing this greater awareness and freedom inside ourselves. Individually and collectively, we are here to expand, enrich, integrate, and liberate the soul. And that is perhaps the Greatest Gift of All that lives inside the Journey of Personal Transformation.

Is that Journey into Something “More,” something Real, something Meaningful, and something Expansive calling to you?