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From Change to Transformation & BeyondMaintaining Balance On The Fast Track
By Om Prakash
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2012 Om Prakash, PhD, PC
All right reserved.
Chapter OneExplore the Impact of Transformational Change
A Life-Altering Experience
Yoga enables you to remove the obstacles that obscure who you really are and it helps you to come into fuller expression of your true nature. We're not transforming into something we aspire to, [rather] we are transforming into the very thing we are, our true best. —Rod Stryker
Over the past thirty-five years of my practice, corporate leaders, professionals, small-business owners, and individuals have come to me with a wide variety of problems. These range from:
A corporate culture of stress in their organizations, and professionals who know where they want to be in life but don't know how to get there.
Personal issues involving dysfunctional relationships, the inability to balance personal and professional lives, and financial distress caused by the economic slowdown of 2008, which resulted in the loss of jobs and the foreclosure of homes.
During the years of my practice, I have discovered that the spiritual approach outlined in this book helped my clients produce transformational changes in their lifestyles. This approach enabled them to create sustained growth and steady movement toward establishing balance in their lives.
In this chapter I will share with you a clear definition of transformation, in order for you to explore transformation and its impact upon individuals. The transformation story of one of my clients illustrates the phenomenon. Next, I will discuss how change evolves into transformation and the distinction between the two concepts. I close the chapter with a personal invitation for you to embark on your own journey of transformation, in order to discover your maximum potential for success in life.
What is Transformation?
Every author defines transformation from his or her own perspective, and there appears to be no standard definition of this term. This book is no exception.
Through my own experiences with transformation and studying the transformative experiences of others, my perspective on transformation is very close to that of Werner Erhard. I maintain some differences in transformation's impact on individuals and organizations, and the process of transformative changes that follows the transformational experience.
Erhard used the model of transformative rather than informative learning, and formulated his landmark education programs to enhance the transformational experience. In my view, transformational learning can also happen in coaching sessions. It is often followed by experiential learning that augments the transformative changes ushered in by the transformational experience.
From my perspective, the hallmarks of transformation are:
Mindful awareness of the moment that enhances the potential for transformation to emerge.
Transformational learning, which may include learning the art of pre-sensing. Pre-sensing enables a person to bring into the present his or her highest future potential.
Experiential learning, which follows transformational learning, has three core elements: prepare, act, and reflect. This means that you learn project skills, create an implementation focus, and reflect on the outcome. This sequence translates into setting goals and objectives and establishing discipline strategies to fully realize the transformational experience.
I hope this outline of the definition of transformation will guide you through this book and enable you to experience the impact that transformative experience can have on your life.
Story of Transformation
I have been fortunate to witness the transformative experiences of some of my coaching clients and patients, unique individuals who touched my life. I will now present the story of Scott as he underwent transformational change.
Scott was an insurance agent when I met him in 2004. I was a member of the North Dallas chapter of Business Networking International (BNI). He was the president of our group, and had led the group in a leadership capacity for several terms. At that time Scott was a junior partner in an insurance firm run by an older gentleman, a veteran insurance agent who was mentoring Scott to help build his book of business.
When we started working together, I explained to Scott that coaches do not have answers. Instead, we have questions that can lead a client to find answers that he or she already has but is not aware of.
Next, I explained to him that before any meaningful changes could be made, he needed to be one with himself. He needed to bring into alignment his internal capabilities of thoughts and emotions with his external capabilities of words and actions. This alignment, I told him, was best achieved with the practice of mindfulness meditation.
He was receptive to this idea but had some concerns about his religious beliefs. I explained to him that even though meditation had evolved in religious settings, it was just a technique to quiet the mind. It had no affiliation with any religious tradition, and individuals belonging to a wide range of faiths practiced meditation without any conflict with their beliefs.
After several weeks of practicing meditation, Scott was still struggling with the conflict between his religious beliefs and meditation. "Can meditation and prayer work together?" he asked me.
"Yes," I said, and added, "meditation quiets the chatter in our heads, so that the divine guidance we seek through prayer can come to us without interference."
This explanation seemed to make sense to him, and he started to practice meditation in earnestness. Several weeks later, something happened that had a powerful impact on Scott.
As soon as he arrived home from work one day, his wife approached him and in a somber voice said, "Please sit down and relax. I have something to tell you."
They sat down together, and she continued, "Remember that you allowed our younger son to use your computer to do his homework assignment earlier this week? It appears he's messed up your computer and you may have difficulty getting to your business information."
She paused and waited for his reaction. He put his head down for a few seconds. When he looked up, he calmly said, "I will talk to him and see what needs to be done."
His wife was flabbergasted. This response was totally uncharacteristic of him. She had expected him to be outraged and angry, and then be upset for weeks.
Scott told me later that he was as surprised as his wife when those words came out of his mouth. He handled the situation calmly, and eventually everything worked out.
When Scott talked to me about this incident, he asked me to explain this change in his behavior.
"Meditation creates inner awareness," I said. "With practice this awareness rises to the conscious level, and in moments of reflection, instead of reacting, the individual has developed the capability to respond in a calm, collected way."
With excitement ringing in his voice, he said, "This meditation thing really works."
This was a transformation moment for Scott. After that, as he began to come together, his personal and professional lives evolved and he started on his journey to success.
Following is a very brief summary of his accomplishments:
Overcame adult ADD
Scott disclosed to me that as a child he suffered from attention deficit problems and he experienced similar problems as an adult. As a psychologist, I examined him, and the diagnostic evaluation confirmed this diagnosis. We worked on this problem for about six months, while our coaching work continued. He made steady progress and learned techniques to overcome the ADD.
Established own practice
Scott was not happy with his partnership with the elderly gentleman and wanted to move on to something that would ensure his family's future. We made plans to help him establish his own practice, and within six months he was able to accomplish this goal.
Assumed statewide leadership role
Scott had leadership qualities. He was offered the opportunity to teach a leadership course for five years for the Texas Association of Insurance Agents. He was state chair of the program committee for three years. After serving on the national program committee, he hoped to be the chair of the national committee in the near future.
Established own insurance agency
As his business grew, we discussed his next move to establish his own insurance agency in his hometown, with an agent working with him.
Joined a financial planning firm as a junior partner
After he established his own insurance agency, Scott's practice grew rapidly, and he came to the attention of an influential group of financial advisors in the Dallas area. This group is renowned for its innovation and creativity, and they are highly successful in helping their clients reach for the stars.
Dissolved the insurance agency
For about a year and a half Scott ran both his agency and worked as a junior partner in the financial planning firm. As his production at the firm improved, he was recognized as an employee who brought added value to his clients, and he won the confidence of the firm's senior partners. With the possibility on the horizon that he would be promoted to the upper levels of partnership, he decided to close his insurance agency.
Became a full partner in the firm
About two years later, Scott moved into the group's recently constructed building as a full partner in the firm. His business kept growing, and within another two years he was a senior partner in the firm. When everybody was losing their portfolios during the economic crash, his clients were gaining ground because of his investment strategy.
The future potential for growth
Becoming a senior partner in less than five years opened whole new avenues for Scott. This is the story of a man who grossed 60k as a junior partner in an insurance agency, and within a few years was a senior partner in a reputable financial planning firm, grossing 660k in his first year as a full partner. Scott told me that within the next two to three years, he will be grossing over a million.
After dissolving his insurance agency and moving full-time into financial planning, Scott thanked me for the work we had done together, but said that he wanted to take some time away from coaching and do his thing. I agreed. We stay in touch with each other, and I enjoy the updates of his trip to the top.
An Analytical Prespective
As I pondered my own transformative experiences and those of my clients and patients, I became fascinated by the process of change becoming transformation and vice versa. The transformative moments I experienced in prison evolved into a full vision of my future, and they helped me make the lifestyle changes that kept altering my perspective on life.
In contrast, the change that Scott made—that is, the regular practice of meditation—in order to pursue his quest for success, led him to experience a transformative moment. That moment had a tremendous impact on him and transformed his life. Most often, it appears, adaptive changes lead to transformative moments that keep influencing the individual, as my experiences with other individuals suggests.
Another example of transformational experiences following changes in attitude and behavior is illustrated by the personal experience of Reverend Lenn Harris Milam, as described in her web post "Stop: Discerning the Difference between Transformation and Change." She noted that transformation involves more than mere adaptation to outer circumstances. It entails a whole new perspective. Further, transformation is not always a part of the change that may be needed to deal with the situation. Rather, its effects are life altering, similar to my own experience.
Milam's observation suggests that changes are inevitable and often involve adapting to the demands of certain situations and circumstances. Adaptive changes do not necessarily involve transformation, for transformation entails inner awareness and the understanding of the deeper meaning of the change. Change becomes transformative in the few fleeting moments when we allow our awareness of the present moment to guide us. Transformation, therefore, is most likely to develop when individuals learn to enhance their inner awareness through lifestyle changes. This is the essence of Oneness coaching.
Distinction between Change and Transformation
We are likely to use the words change and transformation interchangeably. However, I would like to bring home the distinction between the two terms as they are used in the context of this book. The two stories of transformation I have shared with you will be more meaningful if you keep this distinction clear as you consider them.
For change to initiate and sustain:
There has to be a need to adapt to the changing circumstances or environmental demands.
It has to be initiated by an idea or insight that enables a person to adapt.
A change will only be sustained if it enables a person to be at ease with himself and the environment around him.
For change to turn into transformation:
Mindful awareness of what the change means to the person must occur.
A deeper sense of awareness (pre-sense) must develop, enabling an individual to tap into his future potential.
Transformation as distinguished from change:
May or may not include adaptive changes that led to transformation. Most often it is a unique experience.
It may create a new context in which new possibilities come into being.
According to Bommerez, transformation is very different from change. In his view, change addresses existing situations, whereas transformation ushers in new possibilities and opens the door to innovation. He cites the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly, signifying a higher order and a quantum leap in evolution as well as a new order emerging out of chaos.
Even though they overlap and one may lead to the other, change and transformation are two distinct stages in the process of self-discovery. In my experience, change most often preceded transformation, and that is why I felt that the title of this book should include both stages, reflecting the essence of the process of change becoming transformation.
Again, I invite you to explore and experience the impact of transformational change in your life by incorporating some of the ideas and concepts presented in this book.
We shall now explore the phenomenon of transformation through the next two chapters of this book, as they describe how transformational change evolves from the perspective of Oneness life coaching and mindful awareness.
Meditation for High Achievers: Presentation made to sixty members of the Unity Church of Dallas, on Sepember 29, 2009. The Unity Church of Christianity in Dallas is renowned for its open-minded approach to religion. In 1920, the church invited Paramahansa Yogananda, a monk, to represent Hinduism at their World Conference of Religions in Chicago, and supported him as he started his own organization, Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF). At Unity, meditation is a regular part of the services, and the congregation enthusiastically participated in the presentation, which was part of their Sunday school class activities.
Chapter TwoBecome One with Yourself
Bring Harmony into Your Life
The concept of Oneness originates in the universality of human connectedness as expressed in the scriptures of all the major religions of the world. We shall examine the origins of this concept of Oneness in the various religious traditions and its evolution into the secular concept of Oneness.
Excerpted from From Change to Transformation & Beyond by Om Prakash Copyright © 2012 by Om Prakash, PhD, PC. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
About Om Prakash, PhD....................xiv
I Discover the Mind-set of Oneness....................1
Chapter 1 Explore the Impact of Transformational Change....................3
Chapter 2 Become One with Yourself....................13
Chapter 3 Be in the Moment....................23
II Remove the Roadblocks....................37
Chapter 4 Overcome the Mind Monsters: The Gremlins....................39
Chapter 5 Manage the Demands of Daily Life....................59
Chapter 6 Deal with Workplace Stress: Establish Work and Life Balance....................71
III Prepare to Transform Your Life....................89
Chapter 7 Light the Spark of Innovation....................91
Chapter 8 Explore Wisdom Beyond Experience: Sechel....................109
Chapter 9 Evoke the Power of Mindfulness....................117
Chapter 10 Acquire Transformational Skills....................145
IV Transform Your Vision into a Roadmap to Success....................157
Chapter 11 Create an Extraordinary Life....................159
Chapter 12 Empower Yourself....................177
V Journey Beyond....................187
Chapter 13 Attain a Balanced Fulfilled Life....................189
Chapter 14 Observe the Guideposts on the Pathway....................201
Chapter 15 Rise to Meet the Challenge....................217
Appendix I Meditation as an Evolutionary Process: ATheoretical Formulation....................233
Appendix II Sample Goal Plans....................235
Appendix III Apprecation for Support....................239