transformation listens for what life itself wants

“Julie Daydreaming” by Berthe Morisot

Self-improvement is rigid and perfectionistic, driven by beliefs, expectations and old answers, while genuine transformation is flexible, open to new discoveries and rooted in not-knowing. Genuine transformation listens for what life itself wants, while self-improvement imagines that “I” know how everything “should” be. Self-improvement is judgmental, self-righteous and narrow-minded, while happiness and real change are the release of all that.
~ Joan Tollifson
(Death: The End of Self-Improvement)

It was probably inevitable, but we have just learned we now have a positive COVID-19 case in our condo complex. The news sent a chill down my spine. No doubt Dr. Fauci is right, we best prepare to hunker down for the fall and winter.

26 thoughts on “transformation listens for what life itself wants”

  1. Barbara, in Norway very recently a ,medical professor wrote ” Even for very dangerous virus/bacteria are there NO DIRECT CONNECTION ( my versals) between proven infection matter and illness. Therefore, there are individual and personal circumstances that decide if a infection matter will lead to sickness.
    He further points out that counting infected persons make people ANXIOUS. We should count the percent of dead people instead. He shows that THAT number is less than 1%. So when we have news like you did – trust your immunesystem, talk to it, thank it šŸ™‚ – and just follow common caution – but drop the automatic fear.

    The doc told us how many people who HAS the virus – and never knew it, because their immunesystem is strong.

    One way of helping ourself feel more grounded is procedures like tapping. I have a video with tapping for anxiety re Corona that i find most helpful – you can go to You Tube and search for EFT to boost your immunesystem – EFT to Boost Your Immune System for the Coronavirus Covid-19. I find it helpful, as it connects our emotions and thoughts with our bodies and help bring it into balance.

    1. Thank you for your suggestions, Leelah. Believe me, I am counting the number of deaths, and here in the US the death rate is 5%. The death rate in my local county is 6.6%. Paying attention to the numbers actually makes me less anxious because where my imagination takes me is so much worse than the reality of the actual numbers.

      So, we are staying in our bubble! My husband and I are both in high-risk groups, so this makes the most sense for us. Sadly, too many Americans are ignoring and flouting common sense by not wearing masks and not social distancing and continuing to gather in large groups. This is putting the rest of us in more danger than necessary. The case in our neighborhood sent their children out to play without masks. Who knows how many they may have infected?

      I do practice yoga, meditation and deep breathing. Walking when the weather permits. I drink plenty of water and am taking bioflavanoids for the radiation damage to my gut. I eat as healthy as my gut can tolerate. And, as the daughter of a research virologist, I have a healthy respect for the way viruses are transmitted!

  2. I think Leelah has given you good advice. If we listen to all the scare-mongering, we would go crazy! The media always sensationalise stories to boost ratings. Having said that, however, we must ALL take responsibility for ourselves, which is what it sounds like you are doing. So while the fatalities of Covid are relatively low percentage-wise, we must remain vigilant to stay healthy. Take great care of you and Tim. xx

    1. Definitely good advice! I don’t listen to the news all day, just for an hour in the evening to stay informed. I listen to music (WMVY radio) all day which also is good for anxiety. But I do check the statistics at the Johns Hopkins University website ( once a week or so, to get the facts without the sensationalism. And our local health district website. The way I look at it, our chances of getting killed in a car accident are very low, too, yet we put on our seatbelts. Here’s to all of us staying vigilant and healthy! ā™”

      1. Absolutely, we should always take precautions and should never act carelessly. We are finding that when an announcement is made regarding Covid we are best either going to an official website for the latest statistics, or listening to the speech given by the politician who has made the announcement. Our news reporters are so biased in their opinions, yet they are only supposed to be reporting the factual news. They don’t. We hear a lot of conflicting stories regarding the upcoming US elections too. Australia and the US are such close allies that the outcome of the election is sure to have a ripple effect on us too, so we try to keep informed on world news as well. Actually, it would be wonderful not to listen to the news! During times like this though, we have to keep ourselves informed. <3

        1. Staying informed is terribly important right now. More than ever the world is an interconnected web, and what happens anywhere affects everyone.

          Last night I was surprised to learn that some of the smoke from the California fires is now in the atmosphere 15,000 feet (4,572 meters) above us, turning the sun a funny color, which reminded me of your pictures of the sun during the fires in Australia. California is about 3,000 miles (4,828 km) away from us!

          I’m just biding my time, holding my breath, to see how the election turns out. Will I be living in a democracy or in a dictatorship when the final count is tallied? The suspense is killing me…

          1. Wow, that smoke has traveled a long way!
            Unfortunately, here in Australia we are currently living in a dictatorship. Our Prime Minister is extremely realistic and leading Australia well, just as our NSW premier is. We have several states surrounding us though in which the premiers are making irrational decisions. I could write a book explaining what is going on here, but I’m not that interested in politics really. šŸ˜‰ Our main concern, which is affecting our freedom to move around, is the Queensland premier who has closed the border, which is about ten minutes drive from us. She is an absolute tyrant! But she has an election coming up in late October and is using Covid as her main campaign strategy, which is adversely affecting peoples’ lives. I hope she’s voted out!

          2. I hope so too, Joanne. And I celebrate that in this NOW, she IS already replaced with someone who has a larger view at the world.
            I want to say what a joy it is to visit Barbara’s blog, and all the lovely readers and friends she has. Good morning from Norway, everyone

          3. Joanne, I’ve tried to keep my blog apolitical since the beginning but lately my distress over the mess our current president/dictator-want-to-be is making internationally and domestically and the blood he has on his hands, it just keeps seeping out. I hope your election turns out the way you’re hoping it does. Do you vote by mail? Any special arrangements because of the pandemic? Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

          4. Good morning from Connecticut, Leelah. I’m so happy to have you here among my friends! ā¤ļø

    1. I’m glad you like the quote and painting, Melissa. I find Joan Tollifson’s approach to nonduality very calming. For me, it reduces stress to ackowledge it is there, feel it and then let it move on. I’ve been reading some about tapping since Leelah mentioned it. Have you done it or had it done to you? I think for me, yoga, meditation, deep breathing and a little reiki have the same benefits. šŸ™‚ We’re lucky to have so many effective ways to stay healthy.

        1. We all respond so differently to different things — it’s good we have so many helpful therapies to choose from. I might try tapping one of these days, to see what it’s like. šŸ™‚

  3. Hello dear Barbara,

    The start of the school year WAS bound to cause an uptick in virus cases. I will be interested to follow (not too closely) how various school systems handle the outbreaks although at least children will be able to stay at home with their families. Some of the stories from college students who were quarantined on campus were horrifying.

    I appreciated the quote that you included from Joan Tollifson; losing judgement sounds like wise, and positive advice. Easier to say, than do. Practice, Practice.

    1. Oh my yes, Janet, I’ve been wondering about the harshness of having to quarantine on campus, although I can also see the wisdom of not sending positive students home to infect their parents and families. Connecticut College had 3 positive cases as of Thursday. I’m glad my sister is conducting all her geology labs outside and half her students are remote. It’s all very concerning. And I’m glad Katherine is starting first grade remotely. She’s in a “pod” with three other first-graders and they hired a tutor who is also in the bubble. What strange times we find ourselves in… Knowing how hard it is to make these decisions makes it easier sometimes not to judge how others are handling the perceived dangers. Sometimes there is no good choice. But as you say, easier said than done. Stay safe, my friend. We will walk together again some day! ā™”

  4. The worry and fear of COVID permeates our very being these days. It is all over the news every time you turn it on. It sounds like you have stayed in a bubble as to the public (except for straying out to try to get a flu shot) so hopefully you both are fine. I heard Dr. Fauci say today that even if a vaccine is available in the early part of 2021, don’t expect 2021 to be back to normal, in fact, we may be in this new normal until the tail end of 2021 and maybe into 2022. Very disheartening news. Take care Barbara.

    1. Oh my goodness, talk about stress! What a nightmare it was getting that flu shot! Yes, I had heard Dr. Fauci say that a couple of weeks ago, too, and I felt relieved because I trust him. Having a general idea that this will be our life well into 2021 feels much better than having no idea at all how long this will last. I do miss my kids and grandkids, though. But I am grateful that Tim & I have each other and we’re making the best of it, catching up on projects around the house, cooking and cleaning together and taking more walks together. Hang in there and stay safe, Linda! ā™”

      1. I believe it – I am trying to hold off until the first of October for my shot. I get allergy shots once a month and they haven’t even gotten their flu shots in yet (surprised me). That was stressful with you – I try to get out as few times as possible in public too, but yes, walks are the highlight of the day for sure.
        I trust Dr. Fauci – when he gets the vaccine I will get the vaccine. He has had years in this infectious disease field. You hang in there too and stay safe Barbara.

        1. The nurse who gave me my flu shot said that they are expecting shortages of the flu vaccine this fall, so I’m glad we went in sooner than our usual trip in mid-October. Sometimes I think the walks are the most important of all my stress reducers and healthy habits. I really noticed a difference when I couldn’t go out due to the humidity so many days this summer. I like your idea of waiting until Dr. Fauci gets the vaccine – good plan!

          1. This morning I heard that some Kroger stores were giving the vaccine from the car – just roll down your car window and present your arm. That works now as it’s easy to be in short sleeves, or even slip your coat down off your shoulders. I wouldn’t mind that as I’m not looking forward to going to CVS – hotbed of germs, especially at the prescription area. It is not available at all Krogers – just ones that are far away from me and I am on Obamacare and the preferred pharmacy is CVS as to the flu shot.

            The best thing I did was start walking – it is a stress reliever and great exercise with no side effects like running would cause – no jarring of your bones on the concrete. I do think that’s the best idea of when to take the COVID shot. I am sure that the day Dr. Fauci goes for his COVID shot, there will be much media attention given to it. I like him – he is no nonsense and tells it like it is.

          2. The senior center here has a drive-through clinic for the flu vaccine planned for September 28. I like that idea best but my husband didn’t want to wait that long. As it was, even though it seemed like the doctor’s office was taking great care to be safe, I had a panic attack feeling trapped inside there while waiting for all the paperwork to be done. It’s the only time I’ve been inside anywhere since March!

            Dr. Fauci is a big fan of walking, too. He walks 3.5 miles a day. We’re in good company. šŸ™‚

  5. Good morning, dear Barbara. Thinking of you with love this morning. Love that Joan Tollifson quote and the picture. Pondering that the “answer” to this covid challenge perhaps lies within what she said. Genuine transformation listens to what life itself wants… Perhaps health and healing are intertwined in that deep listening (that is different for every person). Self-improvement and judgmentalism around the covid issue is beside the point. It’s the continual listening (for both the messages of caution and fear, for allowing and going out) that holds the ever-changing answer. I think we can trust those inner messages from life while simultaneously being aware of where our nervous systems are shutting down in fear. I know you are a deep and loving listener. xoxo

    1. Awww, Kathy, it is so sweet of you to say so. I turn to Joan’s books and her Facebook posts so often for centering. (I also enjoy listening to Philip Carr-Gomm’s weekly “Tea with a Druid”) Yes, there is so much we don’t know about COVID-19 it would be foolhardy to make definitive judgments about anyone’s choices. As you say, our answers and coping strategies are ever-changing. My husband sterilizes and/or quarantines everything coming into the house, which I think might be excessive. But he wants to eat outdoors at a restaurant which I am too terrified to do, worried someone without a mask might pass by too close to our table. So we respect each other’s wishes. Who’s to know? One person’s guess is as good as another’s. But as Joan often points out, thoughts and feelings are like the weather, they come and go. ā¤ļø

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