Assimilation and Embodiment The Last Stage of Transformation
March 31, 2018
There are many stages to our personal development. Change work doesn’t just happen in phases, it’s also multilayered; it can be occurring at different speeds in different areas of you life.
The change cycle cycle is all around us, and symbolically we can understand this in the metaphor of the butterfly who turned from a caterpillar. Yet as humans, although innately the same, we can get stuck and out of sync with the many changes which could be afforded us.
What happens in the cycle?
First a person who once was not in any need for change, and who was happy in their position, perhaps has learned a bit more, craves a better experience, feels stifled or begins to notice that they are suffering on some level.
At this point there is an opening, for things to shift, awareness can grow, and they begin to feel slightly different. This process of growth continues until they feel out of kilter with their world, and perhaps also at odds with what once was known and familiar. Equally the awareness grows, even if undesirable on some level, unless it continues to be pushed out of reach, in an act to deny.
Building awareness stage; the individual meets a necessary chapter of building tools for what’s to come...
All of a sudden the outgrown state becomes unbearable and a catalyst in one, or many forms through encounters and situations, ignites the change in them. This change is being given an opportunity to be felt, rather than contextualized. Sometimes at this point a bardo, or limbo stage can occur, when a person has one foot in the old way, and one in the new, or is transitioning.
Loss or Dark Night
There is generally always a sense of loss, after the admission that things are not as fine as our mind suggests. Here we step into full recognition of feeling. This may apply to fully feeling a past hurt, experiences of grief about an unrealised dream, lack on some level, or something that is still unmet inside the individual. The shadow integration is sometimes seen as further undesirable material, yet it forms the backbone of the fuel for change.
Power toward Action or Acceptence
It's from this place that the power to transform arrives. Only when we have suffered, be it small, or big, do we know that change is necessary. Living in denial will not open the door to the shift you want on an unconcious level.
The change in the outer world isn't quite as important as we imagine it is, it's in fact the playground for the inner changes. In other words, it's the qualities that you will create, or grow within you that are the most transforming, these qualities must arrive when you make a decision to create outer change or to accept things, by entering a whole new perception of what you though you knew as truth.
Integration, Assimilation and Embodiment
After the entry into metamorphosis, and depending on how well the process has been accepted, the last stage begins...
This is, a very crucial step, as here, the individual is not so much being carried through, like in the recognition / awareness building stage, but is asked to come back into co-creation. This cooperation of keeping up the work and the changed state, when back in the world again is paramount in solidifying, and maintaining the transformation.
If for example, you once felt unloved, and truly believed that you were unloved, and you found you had been unloving toward yourself. You had found the key to the love for yourself, whilst on a journey which was about you, how will you maintain that loving state when in a new dynamic, for example a new relationship, or being a new parent?
It will be important for you to honor this shift, by many continual rituals of self love in the way you speak to yourself and take care of your daily needs.
However, if we don't recognise that the ultimate gift is the inner movement toward love, then we may fail to create the lasting transformation. For example, we may feel we now deserve more love, and we end a toxic, or unloving relationship. We are right in understanding we deserve more for ourselves and it proves we are on the road toward this shift. However if the focus is external, and dependent on outside stimuli, we may end up in another relationship in a position of seeking. We may find that the love there is better, yet we may be heading for another pitfall when the reliance on this external source also falls short.
Maybe your inner change was about relationship with your body. Perhaps you experienced burn out from being unrealistic in your demands of yourself, or being a helper type. When you have been forced to change, you may have felt the beauty of this adaption in your life. But how will you maintain your connection with body?
How will you remember to stay in touch with your nurture and listen to your own needs?
Maybe you lost a great deal of weight, which finally made you feel powerful and beautiful. You proved you can make a change that makes you happy. However what happens if an event makes your weight go up again? Will that feeling of transformation you thought you had achieved leave you? Maybe it will, if you based your changed state purely on the external appearance you had created or if you had not fully understood the core insights around your weight gain.
Aiming for the deepest level of change is where you will find lasting peace and wholeness. It can't leave you once found...
Assimilation is the act of getting to a deep enough understanding of something that it remains with us, even when we are placed back in the same situation which was an original trigger, or faced with the same circumstance which hooks us into a behaviour or state that we felt we had left behind.
In essence I believe that transformation does occur, and can be cemented, however because the mind knows no different, it will follow the same old grooves.
It is the work on the deep feelings that will make the changes stick. Equally it’s the progression of emotional development which also solidifies change.
The Embodied State
When the patterns return, as they always do, you will have the connection to your "Bodymind" and your core of body presence, which will assist you with returning.
The integration stage can last a long time, and can challenge us because it remains until we learn to live permanently from our changed place.
You will pivot from maintaining your transformation, to slipping into old ways, to half and half, and so on. In the end, you will reside longer and longer in your new space.
If you know what this stage is all about, you are ahead of the game, and you can prepare yourself ahead of time, for the situations and triggers that you know will seek to drag you back to an old response, or an unhelpful pattern or defence. Moreover, you will be mindful of these strong mental pulls which generally destabilise or detach you from your body!
You will also always have a deeply filled well, with many reserves, to assist you when your mind gets shallow, and knocks you off your stable platform.