H.B.M., part 8: Transformation is a process, rarely an event

Before delivering crucial material about mastering our hot buttons, I’d like to recap the critical steps we covered together so far (you can skip this part and go directly to paragraph III, but I warn you that you will miss some witty new insights):

I- Self-awareness

In part 1, I described how hot buttons are like mine fields, except that mine fields are useless whereas hot buttons can serve a vital purpose. I didn’t hesitate to disclose my long laundry list of neurotic thoughts under three separate categories: 1- hot buttons about intrinsic worth, 2- hot buttons about competency, 3- hot buttons about how others treat us.

In part 2, I spoke about the “vehicles” that convey our hot buttons as in- a nasty look from my daughterand made the point that when we are triggered, it becomes highly personal – all about US! So it is senseless to tell somebody who is triggered: “Don’t take it personally”!

In part 3, I presented two big categories of reactive types: the over-reactor/boiled-milk type (like me) and the under-reactor/curdle-milk-type (like my husband, but at the time, I didn’t say it was him).

In part 4, I highlighted the importance of recognizing the negative consequences of our unproductive reactions that I illustrated with three unforgivable metaphors. Do you remember what they were? I don’t.

In part 5, I concluded my section on Self-Awareness with a quiz to assess if your time management system supports your self-awareness. I admitted later that it is more comfortable for me to contemplate self-awareness endlessly then to move toward transformation. However, I finally forced myself to move on to step II: Choosing.

II- Choosing!

In part 6, I presented the simple yet challenging second step toward mastering our hot buttons: choosing the tunnel with or without cheese, exemplifying the fact that we, human beings, tend to be less smart than rats, repeatedly choosing the tunnel without cheese. Rats quickly learn to go for the cheese!

In part 7, I elaborated on the notion of choosing the right path, and posted a scary cartoon of me wallowing in guilt (instead of choosing the tunnel with cheese). I gave you three tips and one caveat. I wished you a good summer and left you with five homework assignments. Did you do them? Probably not. Neither did I, since I was on vacation.

But now we have the opportunity to engage in the most important step of this series:

III- Transformation!

Just in case you didn’t get it, let me recap my summary, in other words, summarize my recap:

Step I: You learned to identify when you’re triggered.

Step II: You learned to recognize that being triggered is not what you want.

Step III: You will learn to leverage your trigger points, seeing them as an opportunity to learn about yourself and others, be more connected, and heal old wounds. You will learn to turn dirt into gold! That’s transformation. That’s what I’m talking about!

However, the leap between part II and part III is GIGANTIC. A lot of us don’t make it across and get stuck in part II, never fully actualizing transformation. And the reason is that we forget something essential: Transformation is a process and rarely an event! By its very nature, a process requires time, patience, discipline and practice. And for us – western people from the XXI century who seek instant results with no pain and no failure, being in a learning process is excruciating.

Next time we will talk about what neuroscience has to tell us about transforming hot buttons. Stay tuned and hopeful! And patient!


H.B.M., part 8: Transformation is a process, rarely an event

7 Responses

  1. Insightful!

    Philip D. September 16, 2015 at 2:41 am #
  2. I love it!

    Nathalie September 16, 2015 at 7:31 am #
  3. See the documentary “Cowspiracy”! Our 18 year old made the whole film watch because she is worried about the future for herself and her potential children.
    Turns out the impact of our use of fossil fuels for transportation and water for our lawns and showers is a fraction of what the consumption of meat costs the environment in resources. If we could give up meat,, the planet could heal in decades. Other sacrifices we make to conserve will take centuries to have an effect on the planet….Our family is going vegan and keeping our hot showers! Thanks for bringing the issue up.

    Kim September 16, 2015 at 2:55 pm #
    • I’m seriously considering going into vegan too! Thanks for your comment, Kim. However it seems to be a comment designated to my previous blog. Right? But the point is valid!

      Carole Lévy September 17, 2015 at 9:54 am #
  4. I needed a reminder that transformation is a process…Your blog came just at the right time. Thanks!

    Filaree Radich September 16, 2015 at 7:48 pm #
  1. H.B.M., part 11: Five ways to think differently about our heavy thoughts and feelings | Carole Lévy - January 3, 2016

    […] In part 8, I promised that we would learn to turn dirt into gold thanks to studying our hot buttons. Since then, without a doubt, we’ve been able to get closer to who we really are. We identified the formative stories that shaped our personality, and excavated the common denominator to ALL the problems in the world – the inseparable companion to our personality – the ego. And yes, in my world, this is gold. […]

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