5 time tested things we need to unlock rapid transformation

At Hestia, our mission is to support the rapid transformation that the world urgently needs:

In the past, people only undertook the process of transformation when personal tragedy struck (e.g., illness, death of a loved one, job loss) or at the reckoning of mid-life (when we realize that our time left to achieve our truest dreams is quickly vanishing).

In these circumstances the pain of the status quo gets to be so great that we have no option but to make change.  

But now that we face societal challenges of climate change, the rapid breakdown of our political institutions, and the instability of our economic systems, we’ve all got no choice but to change rapidly in the coming years to adapt to the onslaught of curveballs that life is throwing at us collectively and individually.  

When faced with the change that exceeds our ability to fathom what’s being asked of us, there are three ways we can respond:

  • RETREAT: Yearn for a time in the past when things were simpler and less demanding. It’s a form of sticking our head in the sand.  And we’re seeing this play out politically in the form of nationalism.  It’s an understandable reaction to a pace of change that’s overwhelming; but it’s fundamentally ignoring what’s actually happening.

    In my own journey, there were times where I resisted how much I felt I was being asked to change by my journey.  It felt unfair. I felt like I was being asked to give up things that I had never signed up to give up. I had worked hard to build an outwardly successful career.  And my journey was asking me to take a direction that had no clear outward forms of success. I missed the prestige and social acceptance that my old goals used to bring me at cocktail parties.  But as my spiritual teacher said to me once, “It’s fundamentally arrogant to believe that I could go back to the person I used to be after all the changes I’d made and what my Soul was asking of me.”

  • REACT: Make dramatic changes without doing the hard work of changing our underlying beliefs, patterns or ways of being.  In the case of the mid-life crisis, this shows up in the form of buying a Porsche or re-marrying quickly without taking the time to do the inner work to understand our underlying dissatisfaction.  In the political realm, this is what commonly happens in revolutions that promise a better future without a society ready to accept the changes needed to deliver on those promises. This too is an understandable reaction, but it’s also fundamentally escapist.  

    For me personally, it was tempting to do this many times in my journey because it felt like making change would be equivalent to making progress.   But I didn’t do it because I had trusted guides along the journey who helped to keep me honest about the deeper changes that were needed to get to where I ultimately wanted to go.  

  • CHOOSE TO MAKE IT A CRUCIBLE: The hardest, but necessary process is to look at things as they are, and let the challenge be a crucible for us to do the inner work that’ll transform us.  

    There were times in my journey that it felt excruciating to sit in the crucible.  There were times where I felt I couldn’t bear to keep going deeper because it would open up metaphorical boxes in the basement that I didn’t want to look at.  But the more that I mustered up the courage, the more it built my capacity for the next arduous steps in the journey.

Taking this last route is often unpleasant, but is made significantly easier and is facilitated by 5 time tested conditions:

  1. Spaciousness.  To change, we often need to break the momentum of whatever patterns that led us to the crisis point in the first place.  And often that means getting space from the old, time to digest our past choices, and quiet to start to tune into and honor what our Soul wants for us.  When we have a bit of distance, our nervous system can start to slow down and come back into its natural rhythm. And when we’re more in our natural flow, we can begin to hear our true inner voice.  At Hestia, this is a core design principle in all of the experiences we craft. It’s why one of the most common things we hear at Hestia is “I didn’t know what spaciousness meant until I came to Hestia.  Now I can make different choices.”

  2. Sacred Land.  Nature is a great healer.  The longer we spend in nature, the more we intuitively slow down to match nature’s rhythms.  And because nature never judges us, we feel at ease enough to be more fully ourselves.

    When we spend time on Sacred Land, these dynamics are amplified and deepened.  Just as cities have their own personalities that bring out traits in its residents, the same is true with land.  Some land is by nature more supportive of our personal development.

    From the beginning of time, people have intuitively sensed the sacredness of specific places, and created temples to mark where they felt more connected.  Those temples were created so that they could find their way back to that feeling, and so that others could have the same guidepost too. We go to these sacred places because we have a chance to reconnect to the essence of our deepest, unconditioned Selves.  

    Hestia is one of these places.  It has the unique benefits of Mount Shasta’s grounding qualities, and the clarity of the creek fed by glacial melt.

  3. Community.  It can be terrifying to make changes on our own, and do so without models of others who have successfully done so.  At Hestia, community is central to everything we do. Community helps us stay committed to the journey when it gets rocky, and lightens our load.  We’ve very intentionally built a community over the last few years of fundamentally kind and supportive community members who are good at helping to bring out the best in each other.  Plus, as we become more emboldened in our Soul’s desires and start making changes to reflect those wishes, we become a catalyst for others’ transformation.

  4. Trusted Guides.  While it’s entirely possible to navigate the journey of transformation on our own, it’s much easier and efficient to do so with a trusted guide alongside us.  We’re generally only able to go as far as we know. But with the support of someone who has gone through the crucible, our horizons expand. We can access new areas of the terrain that we may not have known existed, have greater conviction about the direction we’re heading, avoid pitfalls that we can’t yet see, and go deeper into the wilds than we may be comfortable with (e.g., listening to our inner voice, feeling emotions we may not be comfortable with).   

  5. Embodied Practice.  To support new ways of being, it requires embodied repetition.  Akin to building new muscles at the gym, new ways of being require new ways of moving through the world.  

    Often we notice that when going through a crucible, people tend to use their best trained part -- their mind -- to try to power their way through it.  But to support new ways of being, it requires embodied repetition. Akin to building new muscles at the gym, new ways of being require new ways of embodying the change we seek.  With embodiment, we drop into a place of deeper awareness where we can listen to our Soul -- our unique desires, callings and gifts. And with embodied practice, we genuinely open the door to transforming how we move through the world.  

I don’t know of any other organization that pulls together all 5 of these conditions as intentionally as Hestia.  These elements are core design principles for every experience we curate. And if these 5 pillars call to you at the level of Soul, we’d love for you to join us at an upcoming event.  

Melissa Lau