Transformation is about making changes, sometimes dramatic changes. When we are looking at an individual human being, change occurs in only two ways, very slowly or through a traumatic incident.

We have two aspects to our selves—the personality and the essence, or higher self. The personality is also known as the defensive structure that seemingly protects us from experiencing pain and suffering in our lives. Other names for the personality are ego, lesser self, false self and persona. This system is originally set up in each individual by about the age of seven years. It is formed by interacting with the world, parents, siblings, systems and others that are significant in our lives. The personality initially helps to protect us and guide us as we interact with others. However, eventually that same protective mechanism becomes an ingrained habit that serves only to separate us from truly connecting with our self, others and even with God.

Personality has us interacting with ourselves, others and God, habitually in thought, behavior and feelings, like we are on automatic pilot.  This automatic thinking, feeling and behaving keeps us from truly having choice in our lives and it keeps us locked into “no change”. So transforming our self is virtually impossible. Don’t you often wonder why you keep getting into the same situations, relationships, and difficulties over and over again? This is personality not transforming itself. We stay stuck and unable to move because we are in a protective, defensive stance that serves only to keep us unconscious and unhealthy.

So what helps us to transform? The best answer to that question is essence. Our essence or higher self is always present to us; it is just blocked by the personality. Once we are able to relax our personality then we have access to the higher side of our self. This essence aspect of a human being is not on automatic. Essence is able to view the world from a complete 360 degree view, not just through the single distorted lens of the personality. Our essence is totally in line with the universal consciousness that we call God. Universal wisdom is always present to us via our intuition, our inner knowing and our non-habitual thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

We can be truly present to ourselves, to all other people in the world, and, of course, to the greater awareness that we call God. Essence is that aspect of the human being that knows the correct course for one’s life, that knows how to really connect with all others, that can access God’s wisdom to help us on our journey.

So, instead of waiting for a trauma to come along and really transform your life, make a commitment to yourself to begin an awareness practice that will transform you.  Begin by paying attention to the habits of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are present in your life. Do you notice that you think the same thought themes, the same feeling themes, the same behavioral themes? If the answer is yes, you are like the rest of us, locked into habitually existing, instead of truly living. The time to transform or wake up is now. Pay attention to the present moment and be fully present to your habits. Also, you can begin to notice how you respond to yourself, others and to the wisdom of the universe. Are you compassionate, loving and kind? If not, why not? If the answer is yes, keep it up!

Transforming our self can be difficult, so remember to be present in every moment to what is important to you, to the ones you love and to the relationship that you have with that divine aspect of yourself. Don’t wait for something traumatic to change your life. Begin to live fully in the present moment and be present to all that the universe has to offer in each and every moment.