The Call to Transform


In 2006 I set off with my then husband and our two children, one 3 years old, the other a 6 month-old baby, to travel around the world for a year. “Madness” is how I am sure most people referred to this plan of ours, but my name for our decision was “The Journey of Awakening”.

In intuitively naming it this, I wasn’t sure what I was seeking to awaken to, I just knew the London life we were living was not what I wanted. I felt a restlessness within me, a need for something more; and I instinctively felt that this call to adventure would serve and transform us all.

The call to transform often begins like this – with sensations of discomfort, dissatisfaction, disillusionment that may be difficult to clearly articulate. The shoes that once fitted so well may start to feel tight. The life we crafted, or the career we created, the relationship we once craved, the location and home we chose, may no longer feel so good.

For a while it may seem easier, or preferable, to ignore those questions nagging in our mind or the longings stirring in our heart.

Our status quo brings with it a level of comfort that will inevitably feel hard to turn one’s back on. The comfort of what we know is never easy to let go off.

And yet what is transformation if it does not include letting go of what we know, believe and live?

Ahead of our travels, I had no real idea of what the awakening would entail. And, had I known, I am quite sure I would never have signed up for the program!

Instead I harboured fantasies that I would come back from this journey with an embodied zen-like calm. I imagined myself returning to London, enviably lithe, healthy and serene. I pictured myself having transformed into the kind of woman who blends green breakfast smoothies for the whole family, does daily yoga on her deck and who can simultaneously educate her toddler, whilst beatifically breast feeding her baby.

But wherever we go, there we are; and I am humoured to report that I failed that year to go to one yoga class, or to make one green smoothie and I have yet to master any kind of beatific smile whilst multi-tasking in the manner that parenting young children requires.

Instead an awakening of something far deeper; and a transformation far more demanding, precious and lengthy, occurred and persists.

When we say yes to the call to transform, we rarely have much idea what we are evoking in that commitment.

Transformation requires a surrender of self and a trusting of life that is not easy to truly embrace.

But ignoring the calls to our transformation come at a deep human cost – and not just individually. If we fail to respond for too long we start to whither up inside. Our living and relating becomes flat-line and toneless. Leave it longer still and we are likely to get a loud knock from the Universe, perhaps in the form of a divorce, a redundancy, an illness, that will throw us into the very chaos we so long sought to avoid. Ignore it at this point and we risk stagnating and, when the time comes, dying with the regret of a life unlived, a self un-met.


There is no doubt that transformation demands of us.

transform-memeBy its very nature transformation throws us into the darkest corners of our selves, the places we most seek to avoid.

But the process of transformation is also what brings us our aliveness, our purpose and our joy. It is what deepens our connection to self, life and others. It is what empowers us and enlivens us.

We are living beings and human systems that are designed to evolve and grow. And, Individually, systemically, politically, socially, there is a huge price to not.

Cultivating an ability to listen to our longings, to hear the call to transform is then a wisdom well cultivated and a skill we all need to learn.

For most of us the world is an extraordinarily noisy place, where attention has become a currency. The first step to an awakened life is to notice who and what has got your attention when. Have you fallen asleep amongst the noise? Do you even have the space within yourself to hear your call to transform?

There’s a special listening required to heed this kind of call, the kind of deep listening that needs to take place outside of the busy noise and distraction of our regular lives. Heeding the whispers of the soul, is a foundational skill. Listening to the longings and desires stirring in our heart – without judgement or censorship – a necessary beginning.

So, this week, I invite you to give yourself some space to really hear your longings. When you listen deeply, what do you know you really long for? What is truly calling your attention at this time? What is whispering in your ear, or knocking at your door, that you persist in ignoring?


Many of us never dare explore those places.

We have learnt to shut down our desires and longings. We may feel scared that the pursuit of our longings may hurt those around us, or are inappropriate or even dangerous. We may feel we don’t deserve to get what we long for; or it may seem too vulnerable to even feel our desires. We may feel hopeless about how to bring our longings into real life and so avoid and deny them.

But denying our longings does not mean they go away.

So, give yourself this gift and let yourself explore the answers. Dare to listen deeply, knowing that in doing so you are paying attention to the essence of who you are and the kind of life you really long for.

My own Journey of Awakening sent me off into over ten years (and still counting) of transformation. Easy it has rarely been; and downright challenging and impossible it has often felt. But it is in those years since 2006 that I have also experienced the most joy, love, delight, connection and meaning of my life. And it is the return to that which keeps me committed to my path.


For the sake of what, will you choose to transform?

As always, I’d love to hear your comments and reflections. And, if you liked this blog post, and would like to read others, please sign up to my email list, where you will receive my weekly blog posts, transformative tools and exercises, and information on future workshops that I will be hosting CLICK HERE.

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  1. Daniel Netherby says:

    A timely conversation. I’m half way through “The Power of Purpose” by Richard Leider. It has always been very difficult for me to plot a course correction and there are always “reasons” for me to stay the current, simpler, less demanding and less scary trajectory.
    These days, however, it is evident to me that I’m paying a very high price to maintain my inertia.

    • So poignantly put, Daniel, – your high price for inertia. May you find what you need to answer the call. Knowing how deep your heart is, I imagine many delights lie on the pathway beckoning you forward.

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