I’m going to share an ancient secret with you. This secret, while ancient, is very practical for life today.
About 3,800 years ago, Abraham received his message from God to wake up. He was told something very specific – “Get out of town – Lekh lecha – Leave your place of birth, and go to the place I will lead you.”
Abraham crossed the Euphrates. This river he had to cross was a river of consciousness. He had to cross that river of consciousness that kept him bound into a way of life that was suppressing his spiritual growth. First, he had to leave his home, by crossing the Euphrates, and then he had to cross another river, probably the Jordan, to enter the Promised Land. Hundreds of years later, when his descendants left Egypt, they had to cross the Sea of Reeds. They had to cross another river, the Jordan, to enter the Promised Land.
All transformation occurs through these two steps – an exit and an entrance. If you want to change your life, you have to do the same thing. You have to leave your old habits, leave your old ways and stuck places, shift your consciousness, and move into a new paradigm. Leaving and entering – sometimes this is a literal change of location, but, more often than not, this is a change in lifestyle and our relationship with the living planet. This could mean moving away from a meat-centered diet into a plant-source diet. These are real changes, and they are rivers of consciousness to cross. It’s a real challenge.
It’s important to have empathy for ourselves as we move into a new way of being. Transformation is a big deal, and we need to honor the fact that it’s a big deal. It takes will and intention. We have to carefully examine what we’re going to let go of to get to where we’re going. There’s a departure from the old and an entrance into the new. Both parts are necessary to make the full and healthy transition. One cannot embrace a life of plant-source diet and meditation and continue to live in the old context. This won’t allow for the full transformation. When we talk about changing our life, we have to look at exit plans. What must we leave behind in order to make a full transition.
We also have to consider what we are entering into, but most of the time we don’t know exactly where we’re going. However, we do know that we’re changing some key component in our lives, and we have to know ourselves well enough to know that we are shifting our consciousness. This requires that we create the right space to move into our success. Transformation requires thoughtfulness. We must understand our strengths and our weaknesses.
I generally teach that when we’re making lifestyle changes, it’s important to make changes progressively at a manageable pace. For example, when giving up meat, first give up fish, then chicken, and then red meat. You can give it all up at once, but a sequential and steady transition is often sustainable. Having done this, you can then let go of eggs and dairy. Plan your transition so that it meets who you are. This is a way to ensure success.
The rate of transition is also something to consider. Don’t take on too much. Fast change can be traumatic. It’s better to change slowly, one step at a time, moving in the intended direction. It’s hard to change if you’re holding on to the past. That’s why the exit river is important. If you can place yourself in the space for change to occur, it’s easier to transform. Have a good exit plan and a good entry plan.