Excerpt from The Toltec Way
Transformation is the second of the Toltec Masteries, and it corresponds to the stage of development referred to in the Toltec tradition as being a hunter. A hunter learns the habits and routines of his prey in order to successfully capture it. In your tracking exercises, your personal history will serve as your prey. You will be seeking the events, the assumptions and the beliefs that you’ve developed over your life. When you capture them, you can evaluate how they have affected you and how you can choose to transform them. You can then release them.
In a way, the Masteries of Awareness and Transformation are quite similar. In the former, you learn that your emotions and your actions are “automatic” responses to the beliefs that you’ve created through your filter system. You learn that your filter system prevents you from seeing reality and that it acts as your “interpreter” of what is external to you. Finally, you learn that what is external, what is “out there,” cannot be changed. What can be changed is your perception of it and your response to it.
In the process of Transformation, you will use the tools of recapitulation, tracking, and writing your Book of Freedom to assist you in seeing your past in a new light. Through tracking, you develop an awareness of what triggers your behaviors. As you explore the triggers you begin to realize what you have to gain, and what you have to lose by changing the behavior. Once you thoroughly understand the reasons for your old choices you can begin to make new ones.
We all have histories. When we meet someone, we have a story that we tell called “our life.” Our story is full of facts, events, emotions, and happenings. It is a myth. This myth is based on our beliefs, agreements, and assumptions; since it is a creation of our filter system, it is highly distorted. By clearing out our filter system, we become able to transform our childhood, as I have done.
When my first book Dance of Power was released, my father asked me how I could tell all those lies about our family. I hadn’t cleared out portions of my filters yet and I shared stories about my childhood as I remembered them. When I asked my dad about his recollection of those stories, his versions were entirely different. He, too, remembered them through his filter system as well. Neither of us was accurate. Now I recall those events very differently. I know that my filters still color them; but the filters are a bit clearer and more loving.
We take our stories so seriously. We often defend our right to be miserable by refusing to change the story. For years my favorite role was playing the victim. I was very skilled at the role and could turn even the most good-natured person into a victimizer. Until I was willing to let go of that story line I made very little progress in my emotional healing or spiritual explorations. I had a hard time letting it go because the person I victimized the most was myself.
I felt comfortable in the role of victim; I did “poor me” so well. It was familiar, safe, and comfortable. At first, I had no idea how it would feel or how I would act if I stepped into my personal power and let go of my personal importance. I terrorized myself and made the process so much harder than it had to be. Once I accepted that I was comfortable with it and that playing that role had served me, I could start to change.
There are still times in my life when I can feel that old role welling up inside of me just wanting to come out. I can still do a pretty good whine–but I don’t take it very seriously for very long. And, if I feel a need to play “victim” for a while that’s fine, because I can change how I feel anytime I choose. In fact, as soon as I stopped judging myself, I could engage my sense of humor. I could lovingly laugh at myself and move on. I find it far easier to change when I’m amused by my behavior than when I’m judging it.
Our beliefs, the roles we play, and our filter system are all just part of a story we remember to tell ourselves every morning and all day long. Your life is based on your mythology. If you’re willing to change your mythology your life will change drastically. Change is only as difficult as the strength of our emotional attachment is to our story.
You already know what your personal myth is, and you can rewrite it from scratch. What would you like it to be instead?