"Here's the thing, Lindsey, you don't need this hip-dippy feelings stuff. What you need to transform your life is [________________]:
a better body
a bigger house
a better relationship
This track used to play endlessly like a bad b-side through my head. Too bad it doesn't work this way. Too bad, transformation is not something you can hustle.
Me: "Hey looka here, Transformation. [Lindsey shuffles over to Transformation and looks shiftily from side to side. After a long pause she reaches into the inside pocket of her long trench coat and pulls out a crumpled bag] Yeah, looka here, Transformation. How much transformation can I buy in exchange for this [She points to the bag and then quickly conceals it in her pocket]
Me: "Don't be coy with me, Transformation! [She appears frazzled and helpless] "You know what I got to sell. Thirty years of my life - doing all the things I'm supposed to do, no listening to my inner guide, no putting myself or my needs first, not breaking from the status quo -. It's all there!
Transformation: "I think you've got the wrong person..."
One of the main things that gets in the way of transformation is the story we tell ourselves about how or when transformation will take place. We, myself included, have bought into the idea that transformation will come when we look a certain way, have a certain job, achieve a certain thing. When in fact, it is exactly this image-obsessed mentality that gets in our way in the first place.
If we want to truly transform our lives - find peace, belonging, connection, thrive - then we must first admit all the ways we have been hustling ourselves and the Universe into believing that transformation comes from the outside in.
For example, for the greater part of my life I hustled for belonging and connection by achieving. As long as I was achieving then I would be worthy. If I was worthy, then I would get everything worthy people deserve. Of course, the other side of this belief being that 'unworthy' people do not deserve belonging and connection, and that 'unworthy' people get exactly what they deserve.
I bet you can guess how this worked out....
Here are a few other ways that people hustle for transformation. Do any of these sound like you?
1) Adhering rigidly to what is right or good, avoiding what is wrong or bad.
2) Helping, denying own desires
4) Being unique or different
5) Seeking expert knowledge
6) Being loyal, staying safe
7) Staying light and fun, avoiding drama
8) Protecting, avoiding vulnerability
9) Avoiding conflict, acting as a mediator.
Once I realized that I was using my resume as a barometer for how much belonging and connection I was worthy of, I realized I had a choice. I could either continue to hustle for belonging and connection, and in turn try to avoid all the looming feelings of unworthiness, or do the real, dark, dirty work of transformation.
[Hint: I chose the latter]
So what does the real, dark, dirty work of transformation entail?!?!?!
Lindsey's Simple Guide To The Enneagram
(A practical guide to getting out of boxes cont'd)
Introduction to Type 3: The Achiever
Early on in life the Little Achiever learned that it was not okay to have their own feelings and identity. This in turn developed into a fear of being worthless, or without inherent value.
"If I am not allowed to have my own feelings and pursue my own identity, then I must be worthless."
And so the Little Achiever took on the idea that to enhance their sense of value they needed to not just achieve, they needed to succeed.
If you are an Achiever, or know an Achiever, you may notice that their attention goes to completing tasks, output, work, image. Ask an Achiever who they are and they will tell you what they do. (If Western society was an Enneagram Type it would be type 3, The Achiever.)
An Achiever's desire to achieve can deteriorate into a desire to succeed. Whatever it takes to get across the line - cutting corners, ignoring health and family, even lying - can all be justified if they help achieve the desired outcome.
The wake up call for the Little Achiever is recognizing how feelings of worthlessness are tied to their ability to achieve, do, excel.
"If I cannot contribute, then I'd rather be dead."
So how does this get in the way of Transformation?
1) I find it hard to be present. I can always find something else to do, but never fully enjoy what is.
2) I find it hard to slow down and enjoy life. I start to get antsy when on holiday or with my family.
3) There are lots of things I want to try or experience but they might get in the way of work or other important commitments.
4) I come home exhausted and burnt out. On the weekend I just want to stay in bed and eat junk food.
5) I'm so tired of keeping up appearances. I'm afraid no one will accept me for who I am, especially if I show any weakness.
6) I'm always trying to figure out what people want from me, I can easily adapt myself to be what others need or want.
7) I get upset when people slow me down, or get in my way.
8) People tell me I can appear detached. Emotions get in the way of getting stuff done.
9) It doesn't matter how I feel, as long as I maintain my image of success and perfection.
It can be challenging to stay on the path toward transformation if you are lying to yourself, but first you have to accept just how much energy you waste on keeping up this appearance of success and perfection.
It must be exhausting.
Dear One, you are loved for yourself. Your true self is acceptable, worthy and worthwhile. You are precious to me.
You are worthy, Dear One.
You are valuable, Dear One.
You are worthy.
You are valuable.
Stop asking me to love you for what you do. Stop lying to me and to yourself. You want to be loved for who you are! But how can I do that if you do not take the time to figure out who and what that is????
Who are you? What do you want? What are your greatest hopes and desires? I give you permission to explore these and to express them, and then write about it and tell me here, firstname.lastname@example.org
Next week, Type 4: The Romantic
Lindsey T. H. Jackson
Lindsey T H Jackson is a Life Coach, Spiritual Guide, and Storyteller. Contact her at www.lindseythjackson.com for inspiration, list of services and bookings.