Sunday 25 January 2015

Personal Relationships - Transformation Game

I've saved the 2 tools I use in a personal setting until last - yesterday I shared more about using collage cards. Today I'd like to share with you more about the Transformation Game - a fantastic tool for personal and spiritual growth which can be played solo or with up to four people (with a facilitator or on your own if you buy the game (available from Amazon)).

As the theme this week has been about improving business relationships I thought I'd continue the theme into a Transformation Game and just see what happens. 

In order to get more from reading this blog you might want to think about a relationship you'd like more insight on?  What benefits would you obtain if the relationship was to improve? Would it be useful if you were able to understand what actions to take to release the current phase of the relationship? 

There's more here on how a Transformation game works so I won't bore you with the details and will simple jump straight in. (Although a cuppa might help as you reflect on my notes from the game that when facilitated can take up to 2.5hrs per person playing.)

Suffice to say the Transformation Game is a board game, has a number of squares on each person's 'life' path, playing pieces and a die and to finish you have to work your way up through 4 levels (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) and have no pain.

Along the way your experience of landing on the squares provides insight to the problem being explored (or should that be - your unconscious helps you see the patterns in common between the game and the situation). 
There is much more to a game than words here can ever hope to convey so for ease of understanding I won't share much of the means of moving up levels just the insights and challenges from the different squares.

And yes it can go deep - which is why it's used in a personal not business setting. The more accessible process for business is Frameworks for Change Coaching process the Transformation Game's cousin.

Intention: I intend to improve my relationships with others in a business context. 

Guardian angel (well I did say it was a personal development tool :-) and if you're uncomfortable with the word angel just consider them more as a mentor or role model of the behaviour written on the card ) - Inspiration 
Our relationship with others can get very stale and full of difficulty if we're not very happy. This card reminds me to do the things that inspire me - whether that's walking in nature, singing at the top of my voice to my 'happy' playlist or, as someone reminded me this week, making collage cards.

When we're full of inspiration our ability to be with and relate to others improves considerably. So too our ability to see alternate ways of relating to others. 
What inspires you the most and when did you last do it? 

Physical level
Blessing square: share awareness with others
I love this square - always a great reminder to be of service to others freely and unconditionally - just by sharing our awareness. How often in business do we hold back because we don't think it's our job, or they didn't ask or think we can only give if we get something back in return etc.

A reminder for us to freely share our thoughts and insights with others.

Insight square: there is no power in all of creation greater than love.
It's so easy at work to leave everything that makes us human and uniquely us at the door. To put on the stereotype of being in business (or for me the alpha buyer stereotype working in procurement) and feel that the softer values and behaviours are not appropriate. 
Yes we have to make hard decisions at work but that doesn't mean we can't appreciate and show kindness and yes even love (compassion is perhaps a better word in a work context?) to others. After all we're all human beings with the same basic needs - why exclude them from our relationships at work.

NB: As your read this summary of the game please note if any of the words resonate for you and more importantly identify what action you may wish to take as a result. After all nothing will change in a relationship unless you're prepared to make changes.

Emotional level
Depression square - I am setback by failure - I get 4 pains that will slow me down until they've been cleared using 'appropriate' awareness tokens.

Depression is a very restricting place to be - no energy, nor access to insights nor ability to make the right decisions. It can be very debilitating and will certainly negatively impact our relationships at work. 

The setback asks us to consider that the source of the depression is failure - actual perceived failure, or perhaps fear of failure, or even others attitudes to the decisions we've made.

(In a game we'd spend some time understanding more about how we relate to this pattern of failure and how it sets us back. So if this is resonating do spend a little more time exploring this before reading further).
Let's see what squares we land on next that will provide awarenesses to enable us to release this depression and the pain arising from the 'failure'.

Appreciation square
I am invited to appreciate another person and then myself. How easy to forget to do either.

When did you last appreciate another and what about taking time to appreciate yourself? 
A great reminder that appreciation and gratitude are great means of shifting our mood, and in this instance releasing our depression. Dr David Hamilton has written much about the links between appreciation and wellbeing. 

The awareness cards that I pull as a result of landing on this square are Forgiveness and Absurdity. I wonder who needs to be forgiven in relation to the failure - me, the other person?  And how does absurdity relate? Would others see the 'failure' as such, or am I just being absurd and overly critical and letting my inner critical voice depress my energy? 
Other awarenesses of laughter and authenticity are then also used to clear the pain. Certainly these are all words that remind me to just be me - if the other person doesn't like that then that's ok but it's no use being carnelian like to appease their preferences.

Intuition square - I intuit to take an angel - responsibility 
I could go a few ways with this card. 

It could be about taking responsibility for improving the relationship rather than just expecting the other person to. 
Although I do also wonder if it might be about taking responsibility for our feelings and not blaming the other person. They are simply being true to themselves. Therefore staying around and just getting frustrated and continually being surprised by their behaviour isn't helpful. 
(Obviously its easier to explore how this card might relate with a real rather than hypothetical situation. After all in a real situation we have our unconscious or inner wisdom helping us find our own meaning as we traverse our route through the game.) 
What would a role model of responsibility you know do in this situation? 

Angel square - surrender and freedom

What a pair to add to the angel I already have. What would a mentor for each do in the situation?

So easy to see surrender as negative rather than positive which is why it's easier to think of someone who has positively demonstrated this behaviour. 

I love the pictures on the cards - a reminder perhaps of choosing which battles to stick around for. That is knowing when staying around to fight is a good idea or, when it's negatively impacting your health, realising that surrendering to what is and just walking away is a better idea.

Mental Level
Free will square - I decide to take a pain free setback - of procrastination

Pain free setbacks are more about releasing any lingering attachment we have to this setback. I can certainly relate to that - having procrastinated on a number of actions in late 2014, and having found a new lease of energy as we start 2015. 

Perhaps also a reminder that timing is everything and procrastination can be useful for a while as we prepare the right environment for our action (a bit like waiting to sow seeds till the spring.)

Have you or are you able to release procrastination's hold?

As a result of correctly using my free will I take an angel - education 

Personally a reminder that I thoroughly enjoyed the three weeks intensive training we delivered prior to Christmas. I was fortunate enough to deliver training on my two loves - procurement and soft skills. Certainly a time when my relationships with others were at their height as I was inspired by the work I was doing, and in turn that percolated out into all areas of my life.

What is this card bringing to mind for you? How is education part of the solution to the current situation? 

Blessing square - as above sharing awareness with others, and it was certainly something I did a lot before Christmas. The line "I wrote a blog about that" being a common quote on the training having written a lot on influencing and trust in October.

Intuition square - move to an angel square - compassion & transformation

Wow compassion and transformation feels like a very powerful energy. Can't help but feel these bring together much of the learning thus far - being me, relaxation and letting the heart into what I do - even at work. 

(Remember you may want to consider mentors who are particularly good at compassion and transformation and think about what they would do in the current situation.)

Spiritual level
Blessing square - yes another blessing square and a common pattern of mine - a continued reminder to share insights and awareness with others. 

Although having landed on a blessing square on the physical, mental and spiritual levels perhaps a reminder not to pull back from sharing spiritual awareness, as well as the more mental insights I often write about. 

What about you - do you pull back from sharing yourself in certain areas of your life? 

This pattern in the game might be inviting us to open up more in our relationships (after all if it wasn't a pattern that resonated I wouldn't notice it :-) - that's why our unconscious is so useful when playing a game - it's not the words themselves that are the key but our interpretation of them in relation to the intention).

Transformation square - because I land on this square (the only one of this type on my life path), and I'm on the spiritual level, my game is complete.

There's a lovely meditation that accompanies landing on the transformation square which talks of walking through a doorway which reminds me of the doorway described in the DVD and book choicepoint. When I last landed on this square the image I had during the mediation was of me walking through the doorway onto a cliff edge, stepping off and flying - much like this collage card I made to represent it!

Because the transformation square completed by game I can now remove the final cards out of my personal unconscious envelope. These cards are:
Insight: tough assignments are only given to the best students 


Pain free setback: you are set back by your laziness 

Because of how we've pulled this card I think it's more like a pat on the back for releasing the energy of laziness, or a reminder to release any lingering laziness that's slowing life down.

Pain free setback: looking for the worst in people? Expecting the worst situations? No wonder you live in a hostile and painful world. 

Over the years this card has come up a lot for me. I'm glad it's now appeared pain free as a sign, I hope, that I've learnt of the benefits of replacing pessimism with optimism. 
Is this a pattern you run and if so what would your relationships be like if you were able to move beyond it - to no longer be set back by its power. Reread the card again if you doubt it's negative impact.
Insight: you balance former feelings of inadequacy by loving your own uniqueness

Isn't that what the rest of the game seems to have been about - loving our own uniqueness and taking that into all relationships in our lives.  

Would love to know if you've had any ah-ha's as you've read these notes which has really just been my interpretation of them.

I hope you've got a sense of how powerful the Transformation Game can be.

I also hope you've realised that if it was to be applied to a real life situation it would allow your unconscious to prompt you about what needed realsing, and the truths to be remembered.

Not for the feint hearted but it never fails to amaze for those prepared for the discomfort as it takes you on a journey - one that has the potential for transformation if you're willing to jump off that cliff :-). 

I also hope as the series of blogs has continued this week you've obtained insight into what you might want to stop, start or continue doing in order to improve the business and personal relationships in your life. Would love to hear your thoughts - either in comments below or directly at or even call me +44 (0)7770 538159.

Alison Smith
Inspiring change inside and out - when what you're doing isn't working 

The process, the insight, setback and angel cards used here are from the Transformation Game ©Innerlinks - ANGEL ® CARDS (a registered trademark of InnerLinks, Asheville NC, USA) © 1981 Drake and Tyler; produced by Narada Media, 4650 N. Port Washington Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53212 USA. Use by permission.


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