15 months. That’s how long it’s been since March last year when I began publishing my training journals on this blog. In total, with the addition of the two months prior to the start of the journals (going back to my original goals from January 2000), it’s nearly 1½ years of development work. There are still another 2½ years of entries to be published, but it is worth taking a snapshot now of the latest ones from 11 years ago to see what was happening.
The five most recent journal posts show how, after months of step-by-step work, everything was starting to come together.
- Appraisal: Jonny to Jonathan
- Seeing for Myself: Calmness, Anxiety & Quiet
- Insights Into Food, Family, Doing & Drama
- The Necessity of Surrender
- The Pervasive Nature of Script
There was no major dawning; no great shift in behaviour. I woke up each morning a very similar version of the person I had been the day before. But after months of listening, observing and writing, certain elements of my own life and the lives of those around me were coming into focus. I was seeing more, understanding more. I know now that there was still a way to go, but everything was beginning to make sense. It was as if I had moved onto another plane: the landscape was the same, but the colours were clearer, the terrain more familiar and people’s behaviour (including my own) made more sense. I was beginning to see how it all fits together.
A couple of days ago I received an email from a client with whom I had worked last year. Our collaboration began about 15 months ago and for six months we worked intensively on a particular goal of hers. She wrote this week to inform me that she had recently had further insights into her patterns of behaviour as a result of the work we had done together. She explained that she could now see how the one issue we had tackled last year is merely a symptom of a more fundamental issue. She seemed overjoyed at this insight. And relieved too, because it all makes sense to her and she knows exactly what to do with it. Moreover, she knows that if her progress continues, then her personal development will reach a level she had never thought possible 15 months ago.
It’s as though all the effort is worth it for that revelatory feeling we experience when everything comes together and it all makes sense. It’s a sentiment I understand. I had it so often during my training. The 15 months chronicled so far in this blog are punctuated with smaller breakthroughs. Equally, that 15-month period is part of an even larger cycle. Those periods of clarity spur us on to each subsequent level of development. I began my training wanting to understand why people behave the way they do. By the time I finished, I had learnt more about myself than I ever thought possible; had gained insight into the very nature of what it means to be human; and I had the tools and understanding to effect positive change.
The work we do on ourselves can seem hard at times; and futile too. It sometimes feels like we have such a long way to go; and there are times when we think we have made no progress at all. But as soon as we start, we set in motion a course of events which means we will discover more and more about ourselves. We’ll have successes along the way and, so long as we maintain an interest, we will always progress. Eventually, as our learning begins to take shape, we find ourselves doing things more naturally than we did at first. The new habits we set out to establish at the beginning gradually become effortless. As a result, a whole new level of awareness opens up to us. It takes time, but it’s well worth it. Who knows where you’ll be in 15 months’ time.