You may recall me sharing about my theme word for last year of transformation. Looking back at the beginning of 2016 to now, I honestly can’t say I see much evidence of change. I didn’t accomplish many of the goals I set out for and I haven’t even changed much in my habits. From an outside view my life looks pretty similar to what it did a year ago. Instead, the process of transformation has been taking place on the inside—in my thoughts and perspectives. I am starting to see things in a new light, considering new ideas, and realizing that my old ways may not be best. And isn’t that where change needs to start—in our hearts and minds? In this world of instant gratification that we live in, we forget that real change takes time.
I feel like last year served more as a preparation for what is to come. It makes me think of the story of a seed. So much of the work, at least at the beginning, is completely hidden. You can’t see anything—the ground looks exactly as it did before you planted the seed. It may even appear a little worse—worn down by the rain and wind, maybe cracked a little from the heat of the sun. But even though you can’t see it, that seed is sprouting. It is transforming into something brand new, something completely different. Maybe there’s a similar process going on in me now that started last year. Maybe I’m changing into something brand new on the inside even though I can’t yet see any noticeable changes on the outside.
And as a new year begins again, I wonder if any of you are embarking on a journey of transformation, in one area of your life or another. So I wanted to take a moment and share some of the resources I found helpful as I worked through my own process of transformation. Maybe one of these will be helpful for you too.
This Transformation Guide was created by life coach and founder of Earth Body spa, Denmo Ibrahim. It is free to download from their website and is a great guide to walk you through some self-discovery and goal setting. It contains questions that prompt you to look back at the previous year and identify what is truly important to you. You’ll have to change the dates (I think she created it back in 2013), but the guided questions are incredibly helpful to identify what is most important to you personally and what areas you may want to focus on in the new year.
Present Over Perfect is a book written by Shauna Niequist. As the subtitle describes, this book gives an account of the author’s journey to “Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living.” This is not a ‘ten steps to a simpler way of living’ kind of book. Its chapters don’t follow an organized or methodical approach, but instead read more like a collection of letters that build upon each other to show you a different way of life. And for my Type A, to-do list, jump-from-one-priority-task-to-another type of life, this book was a breath of fresh air. I am already starting to re-read it in 2017.
Here is a list of other books I read and found helpful during the year:
- Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy
- Wild and Free: A Hope-Filled Anthem for the Woman Who Feels She is Both Too Much and Never Enough
- Unashamed: Drop the Baggage, Pick up Your Freedom, Fulfill Your Destiny
- (Un)Qualified: How God Uses Broken People to Do Big Things
No matter where you are in your own process of transformation—your own journey to healing—always remember that when sex hurts there is hope!
*Photo of seed was taken from http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/how-do-seeds-sprout.