“It is an act or instance of removing or surpassing an obstruction or restriction…. A significant or sudden advance, development, achievement or increase that removes a barrier to progress”
My journey into the world of possibility, transformation and human development started with having breakthroughs at a young age. Always being someone who was fascinated in what “made us tick” (even as a child), it was no accident that I participated in what was called the Forum (now called the Landmark Forum) at 18 years old. In that body of powerful work, I got to see that we, as human beings, have some essential qualities that “live us” rather than we choosing them. A clear example of this for me was thinking that I was the voice inside my head (I don’t mean multiple personality disorder voices) who was very busy letting me know that “I just wasn’t’ good enough”. I got to see that as human beings, we ALL have an inner voice that can communicate to us in a way that can empower us and often does not!
That insight and others knocked the “specialness” of what I thought was my sometimes private or painful and sometimes ecstatic and fabulous journey right out of me. I got to see the profound similarities within all of us at an age when you think life is just happening to you (your own private rainstorm as they say in the Forum). This was both an awesome yet somewhat painful discovery. For the most part, I think we ALL love to feel special and unique in our private rainstorms, and that we want to feel that way is not that special or unique either!
I got to see that I could be the source of my life, the cause from which my life showed up in, and that I had something clearly to do with how my life was going. I discovered that complaining was a form of not taking responsibility, that gossip was just an easy way out of not authentically communicating to the people I cared about or had issues with and that most importantly creating a life committed to something bigger than just “yourself” created a life worth living. Literally it felt like the Universe had opened up in ways I could not have imagined.
This time in my life was clearly my version of a spiritual satori (satori- a Japanese Buddhist term for awakening, “comprehension; understanding”) and many seekers have had their own versions in workshops, on mountaintops, with powerful teachers and/or through recovery from addictions etc.
The cool thing about Breakthroughs is once you have them they are with you forever. Just like finally learning how to ride a bike, once you get balance you don’t forget it. You may be wobbly if you haven’t practiced in a while but you can pretty quickly “get back on the bike” when you want to. Over the last few years, I was forced in a way to remember some of what impacted me greatly during my early years of discovery. I had forgotten a few fundamental things about the massive insights I had back then about my life being committed to something bigger than myself and subsequently had “hit a wall” around my own growth and fulfillment.
Specifically, there was a period in my late 20’s and 30’s that I was VERY self-involved and used all of the spiritual and transformational insights to create a great life with lots of great “things” in it but in my 40’s I hit somewhat of a spiritual crisis in the journey. I realized that I had forgotten that true fulfillment and joy came from being “all used up” by living dedicated to something bigger than oneself which was the powerful insight and subsequent Breakthrough that I had had at 18.
It’s easy to get lost on the path of living and “getting stuff” especially in cultural memes like we have developed in countries like the United States where getting more, bigger and better is the name of the game. There is nothing wrong with that cultural meme except when you really ask yourself if you are fulfilled and full of joy, or ask yourself “what is my life being used up by?” It was that authentic facing of my life and whether I was contributing on a greater level that I had to authentically answer – “NO”. I had and have all a girl could want except I was not contributing to the world from the highest level of my heart and soul or listening to what my true essence had to say about life and living. Through that breakthrough, I realised that contributing to the work of transformation was and is my highest purpose (something I saw at 18 and FORGOT along the way getting trapped in the cultural patterns of attaining bigger, better and more!).
What is most important is that all of the awareness or insights I had, and still have, can be breakthroughs that shift how the world shows up for me. Breakthroughs have transformed me and continue to transform me. In other words, my personal growth & development started with significant breakthroughs and has continued with creating the opportunities to have them!
To clearly define breakthroughs, again I would say that they are causation of “a quantum shift from your current paradigm (thoughts, feelings, how the world shows up for us) to another.” This is somewhat my definition that I have put together after participating in several transformational methodologies that all define breakthroughs in different ways for the purposes of their work.
I use all of the different definitions in my work with people and add to them by saying a breakthrough causes a shift in your energetic state, transforming your experience of what you are dealing with and feelings associated with what you are dealing with based on an insight that has touched you, moved you, inspired you, lifted your awareness in such a way that everything transforms in your life.
It is important to understand that having or creating Breakthroughs is not tied to one spiritual or transformational discipline either as they can happen in any structure or opportunity for insight you create for yourself (including a long walk in nature). The point is to create the opportunity to have them.
I say that creating a BREAKTHROUGH means you have solved a very big problem AND they do not happen from having insights alone. Taking action by following conscious and intentional choices and creating specific pattern of behaviors are the proof of powerful breakthroughs. Physical manifestations of breakthroughs arise in our language whether it be written or spoken. An example of this is simply sharing an insight you have had with someone you love who then reminds you of it when you forget. Making plans, journaling, creating systems via to do lists, making promises to yourself and others and keeping them are all examples of how the physical manifestation of a breakthrough arises in language. Most importantly, accountability metrics (such as inspired action lists that get transferred to our calendar with dates for completion) all serve to ensure our breakthroughs turn into RESULTS.
In my work with people and aggregating ALL the different disciplines I have participated in over the years, I have discovered and refined 5 critical elements and steps to creating & activating, maintaining and sustaining, and then turning Breakthroughs into inspired action that lead to inspired results.
For me, my life opened up on entirely new levels because of having breakthroughs at an early age and now I am passionate about sharing how you can create the kind that can transform your life forever.
Breakthrough and anything is possible!