“Transformers, more than meets the eye.”
My brother loved watching The Transformers Saturday mornings in the 1980s. In an alternate universe, these “robots in disguise” fought epic battles with Optimus Prime as the leader representing Progress and Megatron representing Destruction.
Today, we live in Megatron’s universe. Destruction and its attendant, decline, appear everywhere. High-level proofs include the rise of authoritarianism, the devastation of our environment, and a dysfunctional society obsessed with image.
It doesn’t need to be this way.
Cycle of Life
Birth, growth, maturity, decline, death. Nature follows the cycle of life. For new life to blossom in the spring, nature accepts the dormancy of winter.
Humans live this grand “Cycle” too along with smaller “cycles” throughout our lives. We experience periods of dormancy and germination before fruition and harvest.
Often, growth happens as we exit one stage and enter another. Growth also happens through the inevitable hardships of life, the big and small traumas, as well as its joys, like babies and friendships.
Sometimes we resist these cycles. We cling to the current state – even if it no longer serves us – not realizing we’ve grabbed the downcurve not the upcurve. We maintain the false hope that if we close our eyes and cross our fingers, we’ll stay safe. Bored, maybe, but safe.
That’s a fallacy.
Safety can lead to stagnation. Resistance to the progression of life stops us from growing. In truth, we are always changing. Without that acknowledgement, we only get more of the same. Following the natural order requires expansion. “We must expand in order that we not contract.”1
Sameness becomes contraction over time because of the refusal to expand ourselves – to change. In our Megatron universe, that’s what’s happening: we’re contracting. Contracting doesn’t work. Things start to die anyway, despite our best efforts at “sameness.” The high-level proofs discussed above show the effects of contracting on a macro scale.
All is not lost, however. Hope lives in the cycles of life. So does Optimus Prime.
The question is, “What’s next?” At this inflection point of humanity, we have a choice in how we respond.
Humanity has proven its ability to innovate, to change, to grow repeatedly. We will evolve once more.
It starts at the personal level. I must look within, identify who I am and who I want to be.
I want to be a change agent, an uplifter, for myself, my family, my friends, my clients, and the larger world around me. When I think of the entire world, though, I feel overwhelmed. So I start where I can, with myself. Look within then without.
In coaching, we call this process which visually looks like an upside-down parabola. We descend into the parabola, we release stuck energy, and then we invariably climb up the other side. Metaphorical death and rebirth.
Transformation requires cycling through all the stages of life, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We get stuck when we don’t allow the natural progression from one stage to another. Something must “die” in order to experience “rebirth.” Without this process, transformation remains limited in scope.
1 Julia Cameron, Faith and Will
Butterfly Photo by Krzysztof Niewolny on Unsplash, Ripples Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash, Turning Point Photo by Roger Bradshaw on Unsplash, Crater Photo by Natanael Vieira on Unsplash, Chrysalis Photo by Nazrin Babashova on Unsplash