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Authentic Transformation: Are You Willing To Be Toast?

“Authentic transformation is… not a matter of translating the world but of transforming the world; not a matter of finding solace but of finding infinity on the other side of death. The self is not made content; the self is made toast.”
- Ken Wilber

There have been a few ideas that rocked my world. Krishnamurit’s opinion of discipline (it’ll only stifle your true nature), the possibility that Jim Morrison might still be alive (I believe, I believe!) and Ken Wilber’s description of authentic transformation.

For much of our lives, we naturally dabble in and actively pursue change. Notions of ego-transcendence. Becoming a better person. Finding new language to communicate the same things we’ve been saying all along. Change dabbling is genuinely progressive. It feeds the spring of our creativity. It keeps us fresh. In this context, “change’ is an evolution of self-hood.

But what Ken baby is talking about is a REVOLUTION of self. And that’s mighty appealing in terms of knowing your white hot truth. Just the mere willingness to be ‘toast’, to be shattered, will expand you to new proportions.

So then the question is, are you willing to transform? … to give it up; to be the fool, to re-write your story, to not recognize yourself; to believe differently; to be something, someone, you have not yet known? Sounds miraculous.

It’s scary. And exciting. Miracles are like that. Authentic transformation doesn’t necessarily depend on a nirvana experience or a nervous breakdown — though, hitting rock bottom can be incredibly efficient. It can happen over time with new questions and courageous decisions.

You can start a revolution with a lightning-bolt, or by burning one limiting belief at a time. Are you willing to walk through the fire?


Danielle LaPorte is the outspoken creator of The Desire Map, author of The Fire Starter Sessions (Random House/Crown), co-creator of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan and soon-to-be publisher of DANIELLE Magazine, launching this September. An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she writes weekly at, where over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice — a site that’s been deemed “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality”, and was named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes.

You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter @daniellelaporte.

  • Sarah Noel

    Great words of wisdom, as usual, Danielle. Thanks!! :)
    I love that quote about discipline only stifling our inner nature. You’ve blogged about that before, and I’m grateful for the reminder today. I had forgotten. I love that! With so many people touting the benefits of scheduling and discipline, it’s refreshing to hear an alternative voice. One that, at least to me, feels more organic and true. More heart-centered. More “in Love.” I might just have to blog about it myself… it’s gotten me so jazzed up! ;)

    I also love what you said today, the rest of it, about being willing to “give it up,” “rewrite your story,” and do things drastically different. It’s the whole “Let go of the life you’ve planned so as to have the life that’s waiting for you” concept. Too often I think we humans get in our own ways with our thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and disciplines. Just relax, let go, and BE. “Follow the energy” as Wayne Dyer says.

    I’ve had to learn again and again to drop the image of myself that I thought I was or that I tried to create. We all have ideas of who we are, or who we should be, or who we’d like to be. And it’s easy to try to BE one of those people. But we’re not “easy.” We change. We grow. Our interests and passions shift. And it’s ok to shift with them. So what if we THOUGHT we wanted to do one thing, only to discover years later that we don’t, in fact, like it after all. Do something different! With all the job and career changes I’ve made in my life, and relationships that didn’t work out, I’ve learned to not worry (too much) about what anyone else will think about me or my choices. I’ve learned to let myself turn to “toast” and emerge someone new. That’s what it’s all about. Constant re-defining. Or not defining at all. Just being. Just Love-ing. Listen to the Love. And follow the Love. And learn to put everything else out of your head.

    In peace and Love,

    • tam

      LOVE this Sarah. SO good. Thanks for this. Much needed. ;)

  • Journey on Kurt

    Wow!! Just what I needed to read this morning…………. Been struggling with my transformation and limiting beliefs. I had a revelation yesterday and just before reading this I had another…….

  • Angela Tomato

    I love this! “Are you willing to transform?” Right on the money, thank you, Danielle!! I began reading your book last week and have felt so inspired. much love!

  • Marina

    “…hitting rock bottom can be incredibly efficient.” I 100% agree, from personal experience.

  • Buffy

    Ah, I just want to be bread but the universe keeps firing up and making me toast! :(

  • L.D.

    Great read. I do believe it and have had past life experiences through shamanic drumming meditations.

  • Uniqueness

    Lisa I have died many times & I’m not even half way through my so called years. In fact I should be a cat as I have two life’s left yet to go:) No one is crazy, some souls see more than others in life in every aspect as we are all unique & have different strengths & weakness, & I believe you completely as I too can relate. I could tell you some stories that amazed even me. A smiling TDL reader with a delightful 2007 Shiraz in hand.

  • Sarah Noel

    Wow, Lissa, what a powerful experience!!! I DO believe in past lives, b/c I think too many people have experienced it to NOT believe it. Though I have not personally had any experiences. I would love to! The only time I’ve tried hypnosis is in group settings — like where the speaker on the stage calls a group of people up to hypnotize them (I did that…was actually picked from the audience…and it didn’t work for me, I was NOT hypnotized AT ALL), and where hypnotists do little hypnosis “tricks” to the entire audience. Again, this didn’t really work for me. So I’m inclined to believe I’d be in the half who it doesn’t work for. But I’d still LOVE to try it privately, one-on-one, with a hypnotist who knows what he/she is doing.


  • Sharonlynn

    Sylvia Browne regressed me many years ago and I came up with three memories. She was playing the sound of a fetal heartbeat and I got very agitated. My Mom was a 19 year old girl in the 40′s who found herself pregnant and unmarried. My Dad was overseas and I got to feel the anxiety she was living with wondering if he would marry her after all. Next my Dad was coming home again and tossed me in the air. Scared me like crazy. I had been living with my Mom and Grandmother in this quiet cocoon of love and acceptance. I then saw myself standing in the living room at 18 months old, my Mom and Dad went into the bedroom, where my 4 month old sister was, and shut the door. My thoughts were “there’s no one to take care of me, guess I will have to take care of myself”. This mindset caused me no end to trouble in my life. After many years of a spiritual and emotional recovery I have been able to hold that memory in a different way. I have had to learn to be vulnerable and to allow others to help me. There have been so many things I have absolutely known to be universal truth that are not of this life’s experience. I believe and am open to finding out about the influences these past lives have had and are having. It makes perfect sense to me and as a result I am a quasi Buddhist, mainly due to their perspective on the life continuum.

  • Kathleen Chelquist

    Your post caught my eye and for the FIRST time…I read your blog before Mastin’s. Dabbling in the “woo woo” has been something I was willing to do after “letting go” of my fears. I have experienced MANY mind-blowing mysteries, and although I am still letting go of my addiction to understand everything, I have enough information to make sense of my crazy life. So, which one will I tell you about…hmmm…I know… Shaman Jon Rasmussen (I believe you may know him).

    I went to see Jon at Post Ranch Inn in BIg Sur,CA. for my 40th Birthday. I was willing to go where I NEVER thought I would. I was willing to have a “SOUL RETRIEVAL.” Where he went back to my ancestry and got rid of my “WARRIOR” Viking heritage that DID NOT SERVE ME (My father was born in Dublin, Ireland). After we were done, I asked him: “So, is my life really going to change?” And he said, “You have no idea.”

    In the following week, he directed me to create an alter of my ancestry in my home and feed them offerings (To honor them and say…I no longer need you.) In that very week our dog started to act VERY strange. She would wake up in the middle of the night, looking up into the air, and jumped into our bathtub and then scratching at the house to get out of it. My skeptical husband looked at me and half laughingly said while I was sleeping, “You brought these spirits in the house, now you can take care of the dog.” After calling JON..this is indeed what was going on and he helped us to calm our dog.

    Just 9 months later, I met the queen of mentor, CInnamon Lofton (Talk about the opposite of a VIKING). She is a diamond in the most unlikely small place of Arroyo Grande,Ca. She is the closest thing to ALL the great spiritual MASTERS, and I dare to say it is TRUE. And you can watch her on my blog every Sunday and see for yourself. Or even better yet, call her for her council. I know that your life, Lissa, will NEVER be the same, if you do.

    One year ago, I received a “Destiny Retrival” from Jon…and well…just follow me, and you will see….

    The Daily Commenter,

  • Nina

    Wow! That is incredibly fascinating and powerful, Lissa. I don’t think you’re crazy! I actually stand where you stand on it – “Who knows?”.

    That makes you wonder if our “purpose” in [this] life might be BECAUSE of things we did in a past life. That actually makes me tear up a little. Taken literally, that would mean I feel a need to help people feel loved and understood and help them become the best they can be and love themselves because maybe I did the opposite in a former life. I can’t even imagine that!

    Even if we don’t end up believing in it, it still creates a sense of urgency to follow our dreams and our purpose.

    What a fascinating read. I love it! Thank you for sharing! Let us know if you have more to add on this topic!

    Much love,

  • Susan

    I absolutely believe that we live many lives. How they explain people relationships and events in this current life are too compelling. And besides what a waste to experience a whole life of lessons and then poof! It’s done. Doesn’t make sense to me. I’m a practicle Virgo, many lives makes more sense than just one.

  • Ma Nithya Sarvasmarana

    Hi Lissa!

    I just adore you and thank you for writing this and taking the chance on trying something different outside of your medical scope. I bought your book for my mom and she just loved it as she is suffering from health problems. I was so glad when I found it to know that finally another medical doctor is exploring this. Our minds are so powerful it has the potential to do anything. We are the microism or the macroism.

    Anyhow, I could say a lot on that subject but won’t because I wanted to comment on this particular article.

    YES, I most definitely believe in past lives. I too was brought up a Catholic and reincarnation was a taboo and did not exist. Well, from a young age I have always been a spiritual seeker because I always knew there was more to this life and our existence. So I tried many, many different things from exploring all sorts of religions, years of psychotherapy, self help, healers, shamans, New Age stuff and they all helped however only for a short of amount of time. So I kept seeking until I came across my guru (and I know that freaks people out but I don’t’ care, it worked for me and is) and started studying the Vedic tradition which has been around for tens of thousands of years old and beyond. It is a science and yogi’s, mystics and sages have been using it for thousands of years and are still successful in liberating the masses from their sufferings.

    I have experienced many past lives through intense death process’s with my guru in the ashram and have received tremendous healing and freedom from so many sufferings on all levels. We are all conscious beings here to obtain something greater than we can perceive.

    Just wanted to quickly mention in addition to what you have discovered there are three types of karma that we come into the world with to work out. So as you said, yes, these are the lesson our soul needs to evolve to the next, and next levels of higher states of consciousness.

    It truly is amazing and so many beings can be healed from all their past traumas when they are open to new ways of looking at things. It has worked for me and I only hope that our Western science does take notice and get on board to what these yogi’s have been doing for ages.

    Thanks again! Keep up the great work!

  • Ea Dige

    Thank You for sharing this experience Danielle.
    Another amazing source on the Topic are the books written by Robert Schwartz; Your Soul’s gift is one to read to get more in depth understanding why this may another Truth and part of the Uni-verse.

    A blessed Sunday to all

  • Becks

    I definately believe in reincarnation. There is so much information out there as well, Dr Ian Stevenson has written on so many cases, I think it’s in the thousands from memory, of well documented and unbiased scientific cases. I find it fascinating, and it just blows my mind that with so many recorded cases there are still so many people who refuse to even consider it’s a possibility.

  • Guest

    I have read several of Dr. Weiss’ books and I am convinced that we have many lives. I saw Dr. Weiss on Super Soul Sunday on OWN and he struck me as being very credible. I would love to go to one of his workshops! Right now I am reading a book about the benefits of past-life regression therapy that is titled, “The Laughing Cherub’s Guide to Past-Life Regression: A Handbook for Real People,” authored by Mary Elizabeth Raines which I also like very much.

  • Gina

    Thank you for sharing… Lissa… This is an amazing and thought provoking read to say the least… I am open to such beliefs … why not…? I have not had a past life regression personally, but find, like you I would be game… and hey, if it can help resolve in-bedded issues that have caused negative experiences in life… all the more to try, contemplate and at least have an interest :)

  • LV

    I think you are so brave for telling your past life story. I always fear doing a regression because if I did hurt someone in a past life in scared to see that. Same goes for it I was seriously hurt. You bring open and honest makes me feel more brave to try it one day. Thank you