The Seven Stages to Mastery
By Dr. Theresa Bullard
Every year, as one year ends and the next begins, we often take time to reflect on what we experienced, how we did, what we learned, and then set goals for the next twelve months.
In all of this reflection, making of resolutions, and setting of goals, we are likely to identify a few key things we want to do better at, clean up, or shift.
We also identify the things we most desire to experience or accomplish as our ideal for the year to come. In alchemy, we could call these things our “lead” and our “gold”; the “lead” being what we want to clean up or eliminate, and the “gold” being what we want to achieve.
If your resolution is to loose weight, then the “lead” would be the excess weight and whatever contributes to it, while the “gold” would be the ideal body weight and health you most desire for yourself. If your goal is to make more money, then the “lead” would be anything in your mind or current life choices that limit your abundance or put you in a state of experiencing lack, while the “gold” would be your ideal bank balance at the end of each month, plus how you make that money in such a way as to enjoy the journey and feel good about how you earned the money.
Alchemy gives us the pattern for successfully and masterfully accomplishing both.
What alchemists really meant by the symbolic phrase of “turning lead into gold,” was to become a master at the art of manifestation and transformation.
Just like people today, the alchemists sought to transform their physical world and themselves into more whole and beautiful expressions of their innate potential. They had an ideal vision of themselves and how they wanted to experience life, and they devoted themselves to attaining that vision and making it a reality.
The concept of lead in Alchemy relates to anything of a dense, polluted, imbalanced or imperfect state. This could be anything from our thoughts, our physical health, to an organization, or society, or even the world at large. On the other hand, gold was seen as a state of refined perfection, wholeness, and the ideal state.
Ultimately, the true goal of alchemy has always been the purification of one’s own being in order to come to a state of wholeness and achieving of one’s full potential: psychologically, physically, and spiritually.
In our last blog, we discussed alchemy as it relates to accessing breakthrough creativity. This week we begin to explore the Alchemical Formula for Transformation. Through observing Nature, as well as their own transformational journeys and cycles, alchemists throughout time came to realize that there are seven stages to the process of complete transformation.
Since alchemy is about improving one’s nature and actualizing one’s potential, it involves a very specific and intentional process of going through these seven stages.
Anytime we want to make a change, achieve a new goal, eliminate a bad habit, or develop a new skill or gift, we must go through these same seven stages to get to a place of mastery in that new area. Often people don’t realize there are seven stages to mastery, and so they tend to fall short of truly mastering and fully integrating a new change.
When unaware of the full transformational process, people will tend to get stuck at the half-way point or even earlier, and instead repeat earlier stages over and over, without really progressing.
By understanding what all seven stages are, how to identify where we are at in the journey, and what is needed to progress from one stage to the next, we can more powerfully accelerate our progress to mastery in any area of life.
In brief, the seven stages of the transformational journey involve:
Breaking down and breaking through the old, imperfect forms that limit us, while releasing the creative energy trapped within;
Separating out the various essential components that were released;
Purifying the parts or separated essences to eliminate any impurities;
Recombining the various aspects into a more harmonious and balanced whole;
Raising the energetic vibration of this purified substance;
Continuing to refine and purify the substance through more cycles of separation and recombination until it is matured and brought into a state of stability and integration;
Ultimately crystallizing the transformed essence into its full potential as a thing of beauty, integrity, and wholeness.
The practical applications for our own alchemical journey start with being able to identify each of these stages as it relates to our personal and professional lives. From there we can begin to understand how to skillfully move through each stage. In doing so, we ultimately learn to harness our creativity, focus the mind, revitalize our energy, apply our will, and so on.
Alchemy thus becomes a powerful method for unlocking our potential.
Stay tuned! Over the next several months, we will explore each of the 7 Stages of the Alchemical Process of Transformation. We will look at ways to identify each stage, how they relate to our life, how to skillfully move through each stage, and finally how to apply these principles to our roles as leaders.