The process of transformation is one of expansion and contraction.

Anytime you go through a transformational process, you release some of your armour. Your old strategies, designed to protect you from what you thought was dangerous, are set aside like a lobster moulting their shell because they’re ready to grow beyond their previous shape.

Prior to the process of transformation, you had an energetic shape. That shape was a function of your stories about the world, your beliefs about yourself and other people, all of the actions you took as a result of those stories and beliefs, and the way the world responded to you from those actions.

The shape you held before your transformation altered the world around you. If you bring the energy of “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” to the world, sooner or later, people are going to stop offering you free lunches. You inadvertently prove the validity of your belief, and the world responds accordingly, which then reinforces your belief. (Which then affects your actions, which further alters the world around you, and so on…)

Like a river rushing through a valley, the valley shapes the river’s path, and the river’s path shapes the valley.

So, when you go off and experience a transformational event, returning to the world can be challenging. You now have a new energetic shape, and yet the world you left retains the shape you previously created in partnership with it.

The shape of the new energy you are bringing to the world comes into conflict and clashes with the world you created prior to leaving, and inevitably, it nudges you back towards your old shape.

This isn’t bad — it’s the nature of transformation, and an essential part of it. We cannot have expansion without contraction.

However, when we are confronted by this experience, we often think it means something is wrong. We must be doing things the wrong way. All of that promise and possibility we glimpsed must have been an illusion. It wasn’t real — just temporary.

When that resignation sets in, it gives more power to shape of the world we left, and we tend to fall back into our old patterns faster.

The benefit of plant medicine and sacred ceremony is that it provides very fast access to a change in our own energetic shape. People sometimes describe Ayahuasca like ten years of therapy in a night — the transformation happens __fast__.

And while that’s true, it also means that there’s been absolutely zero time for the world around you to adapt to that shift. People come back from sitting in ceremony, believing that the internal shift is so powerful nothing is going to change it, but that’s dismissive of their own power to have created and crafted a world that met them exactly as they were. (And it also dismisses your power to transform the world around you from the new shape you hold.)

Each of us is a powerful creator, and the world we create is a reflection of our current energetic shape. Transformation shifts your energetic shape, but it takes time, grace, and support to maintain that new shape while the world meets and rearranges itself around you.

Transformational coaching and leadership affect their transformation on a longer scale than plant medicine. Sometimes that can mean it’s harder to notice the internal shift. Like witnessing the growth of a regular plant, rather than a magic beanstalk, the contrast is more subtle, and thus, harder to see. But this also means that you are shifting the shape of the world around you more gradually, in partnership as you take on your own transformation.

Neither coaching nor plant medicine is better than the other. They’re two different modalities that provide access to the same underlying gift: transformation, and moving our life further into harmony with Spirit.

The heart of transformation lies not only in the work you do to create a shift, but also in the support, patience, grace, vulnerability and love you bring to yourself, and the rest of the world, as you rearrange to create harmony with your new shape.