“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit
the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
– Author Unknown
You may have noticed that this article has arrived a few days later than usual. I apologise. I’ve been putting the final touches on an exciting new project, and didn’t want to send this out until everything was ready (I’ll tell you more at the end of the article). Back in 1998, when I decided to hand in my notice to my last boss, I knew that I was starting a big adventure. What I wasn’t consciously aware of was that I was going through a major transition; a series of powerful transformations. Over the next few articles, we’re going to be exploring the 3 essential transformations you have to go through to become a transformational coach, and do that work professionally. In this first article, we’re going to look at the nature of transformation.
Here’s an excerpt from my book CLARITY: Clear Mind, Better Performance, Bigger Results (©Jamie Smart, 2013) that sums up my perspective on transformation:
The end of the caterpillar’s world
Once a caterpillar sheds its skin to reveal the chrysalis that will offer protection during the process of metamorphosis, something extraordinary happens…
The caterpillar starts to disintegrate!
The digestive juices that used to break down its food now dissolve most of the caterpillar’s body, resulting in a kind of “caterpillar soup.” This creative broth contains a small number of surviving body parts as well as a huge number of imaginal cells that have been contained within the body of the caterpillar since it was born.
The imaginal cells join up to create the tissues and structures of the adult butterfly. The change from caterpillar to butterfly is not an incremental process; the caterpillar doesn’t sprout wings. Rather, as the imaginal cells form together around a pre-existing pattern, the butterfly emerges from the caterpillar soup.
The metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly can be a compel- ling metaphor for personal and collective transformation…
– The blueprint of the butterfly already exists within the body of the caterpillar, “contained” in the imaginal cells. Similarly, the pattern of your transformation is already there within you, “contained” within the formless energy of who you really are.
– The caterpillar doesn’t “work at” becoming a butterfly; it trans- forms in harmony with its pre-existing nature. Similarly, you don’t have to struggle or “work at” transformation. Aligning to who you really are is in harmony with your pre-existing nature.
– The change from caterpillar to butterfly is a metamorphosis; a genuine transformation at the most fundamental level. Similarly, aligning to your most inspired and inspiring life is a genuine transformation; a profound reordering of your experience of life, and how you relate to it.
DISTINCTION: Augmentation vs. Transformation
Augmentation is the process of enhancing, improving or increasing something. Most business training, coaching, and personal development processes are oriented towards problem-solving and goal-setting; helping a person augment their lives and become more “well-adjusted” to living within the context of the outside-in misunderstanding.
Transformation means changing the form or the underlying structure of something. The shift to an insightful understanding of innate think- ing is a genuine transformation, changing the underlying structure of how a person relates to and experiences life. From this position, new solutions, goals and directions appear that were invisible from within the “augmentation” mindset.
Next week, we’re going to be exploring the first of the 3 transformations you have to go through to become a professional transformational coach: Your personal transformation.
Wishing you increasing clarity in all things!
PS. Regarding that special project I mentioned… I’m looking for a small group of very specific people for a new pilot programme I’m putting together for the new year. Here’s what I’m looking for:
– You are a coach, therapist or change-worker (Eg. Sports coach, psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, business coach, bodyworker etc)
– You have at least one year’s experience of working with clients (either paid, pro-bono or both)
– You probably charge by the hour, but want use a “coaching package” model to increase your income & make it more consistent
– You have space in your practice to work with at least one longer term contract client, starting in February
– You’re an enthusiastic, friendly people-person
– You have a coachable spirit, and are willing to step out of your comfort zone if necessary, and
– You can keep a secret
If that’s you, then send an email to email@example.com, and let me know where you’re located and a little about yourself (if you don’t know what to tell me about, look at the list above for inspiration). Make the subject line “Project Glasswing”. I’ll be choosing people in the next couple of weeks. Talk to you soon! J