Introduction To The Transformational Life

Welcome to The Transformational Life. First, a bit of background: I have a BA in Psychology, an MA in Counseling and a PhD in Public Administration (combined with Political Science). I’ve spent most of my life studying human behavior and psychology both on the microcosm and the macrocosm (from individual psychology to the behavior of large groups and nations). I’ve also studied religion and spirituality in various traditions. In addition I’ve done a fair amount of reading in the ‘syncretic tradition’ – looking at the ways that science, spirituality, religion and humanity intersect.

The focal point of this column will be about how to live in a way that creates transformation in the world. At times I may digress into discussions of related topics – philosophical, scientific, spiritual, ethical, psychological, or social.  I hope it will be interesting and useful. I speak and write about what I live – so while this may at times sound conceptual, it is also very personal.

What does it mean to live transformationally? At its heart, this idea is related to one of the greatest gifts that we as humans possess: The ability to perceive and envision greatness in others and in the world as a whole. In essence, living transformationally means being able to hold a vision of the people around us and the world we are in and live out of that vision. Doing so – and doing so effectively – enables that vision of greatness to emerge in others and in the world as a whole. As more and more of us live this way, the world becomes transformed – both because of who we are and because of the effects that we produce all around us.

Living transformationally may sound lofty, but it is practically expressed in small (sometimes tiny) actions that ripple outwards. It is also not hard.  In fact, when practiced gracefully, it is actually quite easy.  Nonetheless, it is a way of living that transforms us as well. Once someone makes the decision to live as a ‘Transformation Agent’, his or her life is forever changed. It is not quite a burden – but rather a tremendous and continuous responsibility for those who undertake it. It is not just a way of living; it is a way of seeing (and acting on what one sees) – and once one’s eyes are opened to seeing the world in this way, they cannot easily go back to being closed.

Over the next weeks and months, I’ll be spelling out in detail what it means to become a ‘Transformation Agent’ – someone who consciously chooses to live the Transformational Life.  Some who read this may find it completely familiar – may even question the need to articulate such basic concepts. Others may find something here that is useful or new – at least in this articulation. I hope at least for some, that is the case.

I’m happy to have this forum to share thoughts and ideas with the JDate® community. If you have feedback on a column, please feel free to share it (my email is listed below). In addition, if you have a question – spiritual, philosophical or personal – that is inspired by the column, please send it in. This column is meant to be a dialogue, not a monologue.

Next week: The Limitations of Happiness

Miriam E. Mendelson, PhD, is the Director of the Center for Transformative Development, Counseling, Consulting and Mediation and is available for speaking engagements and business and private consultation. Click here for a complete list of all Miriam Mendelson’s articles. Column feedback and questions are welcome:
  1. hello from your enlightened reader.i am now in your fan club in good such,i am entitled to pick your brain to the bone!question:is this transformation agent a paradigm? or is it my own subjective reality?i recovered from alcoholism 2 years ago.i am in the recovery community.i believe i have been practicing this for awhile now.i have never been so happy.i love therapy,group therapy and the serendipity that happens in groups!i want to help others. your convert,Rob

  2. Dear Rob,

    Thank you for your comment. And for your kind words. As for the question – a paradigm can be personal/subjective or it can be universal. Living transformationally is a paradigm that begins with a personal commitment and (through a process of aggregation) becomes increasingly more universal as more people take it upon themselves to live that way. Best of luck to you in your personal/spiritual journey.

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