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Motivation Mondays: Transformation

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“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.” Joseph Campbell

Motivation Mondays: Transformation - By promoting cooperation and harmony

Motivation Mondays: Transformation – By promoting cooperation and harmony

If you have the feeling that something is wrong, don’t be afraid to speak up. Fred Korematsu
King’s response to our crisis can be put in one word: revolution. A revolution in our priorities, a reevaluation of our values, a re-invigoration of our public life and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living that promotes a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats to everyday people and ordinary citizens. Cornel West

What does Personal Transformation mean to You? Growing up, I read about many of the great inspirational leaders around the world who brought a transformational leadership perspective to what they did. Like many others, I wondered when we would find the next Martin Luther King, the next Gandhi or the next Nelson Mandela; but inspirational leaders don’t pop out of a flower. They are ordinary folks who take extraordinary steps to set aside selfish personal gain and stand up for the rights of others. What the rest of us tend to  forget is that each of us has the capacity to bring such transformation into our own lives.  As I worked on this post, I was reminded that Friday was  International Holocaust Remembrance Day  and that we inhabit a tumultuous world where many are fearful to speak up or speak out against oppression and suppression of human rights globally.

While all of us might not have the fearlessness to act so bravely as Oskar Schindler and others who interceded to save many lives during that dark period in our global history, we must be vigilant about the dismissal and abuse of human rights. We must remember that we have the capacity to make changes in our own lives that help us align ourselves with our highest good.  We can begin the process by paying attention to those in need in our community and lending a helping hand when we are able.  We can quit our self-absorption and fixation on what benefits only us and reach out to assist others in dire straits.  We can take a moment to hear others point of view without interrupting to get our last word in, and we can empathize by imagining how we would feel if we lived in another person’s shoes.

A Story – An Insolent Wayfarer
In ancient times it was customary for a traveling monk seeking lodging at a Zen monastery to engage in dharma combat with the abbot or head monk. If the wayfarer won the debate, he could stay; if not, he had to seek quarters elsewhere.
Once a master assigned his attendant to engage in such an encounter with a traveling monk, who challenged him to a silent debate. It so happened that this attendant had but one eye. Soon the wayfarer returned to the master, saying, “Your man is too good for me. I must journey on. I held up one finger to symbolize the Buddha. But he held up two fingers for the Buddha and the Dharma. So I held up three fingers for the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. But then he held up a clenched fist to indicate they were all one – so I ran to indicate I am no match for him.”
When the traveler who spoke these words left, the attendant arrived – angry and out of breath. “Where is that rascal?” he demanded. “First, he insulted me by holding up one finger to indicate I had only one eye. Determined to be polite in spite of that, I held up two fingers to indicate that, on the other hand, he was blessed with two eyes. But he just kept rubbing it in, for next he held up three fingers to indicate that all together there were only three eyes among us. So I went to hit him and he ran off! Where is he hiding?” Via Zen Stories
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for December ’16 and January 2017 are:

12/05   –    01 World AIDS day,  02 Intnt’nl Abolition of Slavery Day, o7 Pearl Harbor/Remembrance, 08 Immaculate Conception,
12/12   –    10 Human Rights Day, 12 Green Day,  16 Day of Reconciliation,
12/19   –    18 Intnt’nl Migrants Day, 21 Winter Solstice, 24 Start of Hanukkah,  25  Christmas Day
12/26  –    26 Start of Kwanzaa Day, 31 End of Year!

01/01   –   01 New Year’s Day, Hanukkah ends, 06 Epiphany, 06 Three Kings
01/08   –  08 Golden Globes Award,  11 Human Trafficking Awareness Day, 12 Full Moon
01/16   –  16  Martin Luther King Day, 18 Winnie the Pooh Day, 20 Inauguration Day
01/23 –   27 Commemoration Victims of the Holocaust, 28 Chinese New Year
01/29  –   29 Inspire your heart with art

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2017?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.


— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab


More Below!
“Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.” Marianne Williamson

Motivation Mondays: Transformation - By promoting cooperation and harmony

Motivation Mondays: Transformation – By promoting cooperation and harmony

We need to realize that our path to transformation is through our mistakes. We’re meant to make mistakes, recognize them, and move on to become unlimited. Yehuda Berg
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Research has shown that it takes 31 days of conscious effort to make or break a habit. That means, if one practices something consistently for 31 days, on the 32nd day it does become a habit. Information has been internalized into behavioral change, which is called transformation. Shiv Khera

How can we motivate ourselves to seek transformation in our interactions with others? We live in a world where there is so much misinformation, mistrust, and falsehoods about each other, and the path to peace must begin with our personal effort to be the change we wish for in our communities.  We must make a concerted effort to see people first as flesh and blood. When we ignore the common bonds we share, we, like the insolent wayfarer above and the proud peacock below, see only one side of the conversation, become full of ourselves, and misinterpret the intentions of others.  Today, Google chose to honor the life and works of civil rights activist Fred Korematsu.  Do you know anything about him? If not, educate yourself to learn more about our local, national and global heroes/heroines.

When I read about Fred Korematsu‘s bravery and his stance against the internment of Japanese people during WWII, what struck me was his willingness to put himself in the path of grave danger to speak out about a wrong. Even though he lost his case against internment at the Supreme Court, 40 years later, his conviction for evading internment was overturned. In 1998, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, from  President Bill Clinton. Today, the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education uses its resources to educate students and teachers about the injustices of the war years and to remind us that each of us has a responsibility to sustain our planet through acts of peace and informed activism.

Step Up & Transform Your world: The point of this post then is to remind us all that, in a changing world, we must step up and connect with our compassionate, humane side and work to transform the lives of those around us and beyond. To be motivated and inspired by life is to work in concert with our fellow men and women to keep this beautiful planet intact.  Sadly, there are factions that prefer  chaos over compassion and we must not be deterred by such folks. As inhabitants of planet earth, we are all brothers and sisters, and every time we make an effort to promote cooperation and harmony, or any other aspects of transformational leadership, we give ourselves and others permission to grow and change.

A Story – The Proud Peacock
Once upon a time, a very long time ago, the four-footed animals made the lion their king. There was a gigantic fish that roamed the oceans, and the fish made him their king. The birds were attracted to beauty, so they chose the Golden Swan as their king. King Golden Swan had a beautiful golden daughter. While she was still young, he granted her one wish. She wished that, when she was old enough, she could pick her own husband.
When his daughter was old enough, King Golden Swan called all the birds living in the vast Himalayan Mountains of central Asia to a gathering. The purpose was to find a worthy husband for his golden daughter. Birds came from far away, even from high Tibet. There were geese, swans, eagles, sparrows, humming birds, cuckoos, owls and many other kinds of birds.
The gathering was held on a high rock slab, in the beautiful green land of Nepal. King Golden Swan told his lovely daughter to select whichever husband she wished. She looked over the many birds. Her eye was attracted by a shining emerald-green long-necked peacock, with gorgeous flowing tail feathers. She told her father, “This bird, the peacock, will be my husband.”
Hearing that he was the lucky one, all the other birds crowded around the peacock to congratulate him. They said, “Even among so many beautiful birds, the golden swan princess has chosen you. We congratulate you on your good fortune.” The peacock became so puffed up with pride, that he began to show off his colorful feathers in a fantastic strutting dance. He fanned out his spectacular tail feathers and danced in a circle to show off his beautiful tail. Being so conceited, he pointed his head at the sky and forgot all
modesty, so that he also, showed his most private parts for all to see!
The other birds, especially the young ones, giggled. But King Golden Swan was not amused. He was embarrassed to see his daughter’s choice behave in this way. He thought, “This peacock has no inner shame to give him proper modesty. Nor does he have the outer fear to prevent indecent behavior. So why should my daughter be shamed by such a mindless mate?”
Standing in the midst of the great assembly of birds, the king said, “Sir peacock, your voice is sweet, your feathers are beautiful, your neck shines like an emerald, and your tail is like a splendid fan. But you have danced here like one who has no proper shame or fear. I will not permit my innocent daughter to marry such an ignorant fool!”
Then King Golden Swan married his golden daughter to a royal nephew. The silly strutting peacock flew away, having lost a beautiful wife. The moral is: If you let pride go to your head, you’ll wind up acting like a fool. Source: Buddhist Tales


Have a Happy, Healthy 2017!

Any Zen Antics stories via


Positive Motivation Tip: If each one of us lifted one or more folks up, we would transform so many lives

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
Related Posts


PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos –   via Wikipedia, and/or  Transformation via Pixabay

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet








37 Comments leave one →
  1. MomTraNeur permalink
    01/02/2017 11:35 pm

    I may not be as brave and transformed as those people you have mentioned in your blog post, but I feel that this year, I am coming out of my shell to be a better person. Like what you wrote “We need to realize that our path to transformation is through our mistakes. We’re meant to make mistakes, recognize them, and move on to become unlimited. I made this mistake of trusting a neighbor and now we’re in legal battle. Before, I would just let the situation go, not be stressed and continue living in my “sheltered” life. But because I want to fight for a principle and stop this person from defrauding other individuals in the future, I decided to go ahead and face a legal battle against her. In the process, it is making me mature, it is making me look at the world in a different way and I would like to believe that it is transforming me into a better person too because now, I no longer think about my own self-preservation but I am also now fighting for the rights of others against this person’s abuse of trust and confidence as well.

    • 02/02/2017 6:09 am

      I wish you the best in your legal battle and I pray that some amicable, beneficial resolution will come from it. In the face of fraud and injustice we must work for transformation because the status quo will cost us. I get where you are in this neighbor situation and betrayal. I wish you well. <3

  2. Elizabeth permalink
    02/02/2017 2:50 am

    I needed to read this today. I can see and feel myself going into a solitary negative spiral. I’m needing a serious transformation. Might invest in some reading from the people you’ve mentioned in this post for inspiration.

    • 02/02/2017 6:06 am

      Thank you Elizabeth and I hear you. Reading, exercise and creating some distance from things that disturb my spirit always helps. We don’t need to flame the fire. Be strong. 🙂

  3. Emma White (@TheRealSupermum) permalink
    02/02/2017 5:36 am

    My own transformation came when I finally accepted that I had a mental illness and vowed to fight back and recover and that means having to take a cocktail of drugs each day but they work and they allow me to live a highly functional life

    • 02/02/2017 6:04 am

      I applaud you for taking control of your own transformation and making choices that will help you. In the cacophony of voices on the subject of mental illness, it comes down to this… each person needs specific, professional counsel and care and there is NO one right way or answer. I agree with you.

  4. Beauty that walks permalink
    07/02/2017 9:58 am

    With transformation there comes change and if we don’t accept the changes then we might end up failing. I remember while growing up when I had move from one country to the other I had to accept my newly transform life as how it is and look to push further.

  5. Julie Porter permalink
    07/02/2017 11:22 pm

    I have gone through many transformations in my life, some small and some more important. I hope that I am always transforming and making better choices and becoming a better person. I strive to always become a better version of who I am and try to be the best that I can be.

  6. Donna permalink
    08/02/2017 1:01 am

    Another inspiring post from you! I’m fast becoming a big fan. You really get me thinking and changing. Thx!

  7. Tiffany Yong permalink
    10/02/2017 4:46 am

    Hmm… I couldn’t find much relevance in both your stories, although they were both meaningful. I like the story of Insolent Wayfarer more as they show us how different people interpret the same actions differently


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