I've had more coaching clients opt for the, not for the feint hearted, 3 hour Transformation Game so far in 2021 than I have for the last five years!
So here's an archive post from 2009!
If you're familiar with the game and would just like insight from a game about work life balance then go to the intention section.
If you're not familiar with the game reading the introduction may help set the scene. If any words such as 'angel' do not resonate then simply replace the word with something that aligns with your beliefs. For example, in its business cousin the Frameworks for Change Coaching Process there are mentors not angels.
The Transformation Game is a tool that provides a playful way of understanding and gracefully transforming the way you play your life. It was developed in the 70's by Kathy Tyler and Joy Drake and today is available worldwide to play on your own or as a facilitated game.
In their own words:
"Through playing the Transformation game you can become more aware of both your personal strengths and of the limitations you place on yourself. It is a powerful interactive tool, offering a stimulating, supportive and informative group setting in which openness, cooperation and sharing are encouraged. It mirrors your life with accuracy, offering clear feedback and precise insights."
The challenge of even writing this article was reflected back to me after I’d just facilitated a Transformation game. The two players had both had very profound experiences. They’d released a lot from the past that was holding them back and had a new found enthusiasm for, and clearer direction regarding, what they needed to do to achieve their playing focuses. One player turned to me and said
“How can anything you say about the game convey the reality?”
I knew what she meant. After particularly insightful games it’s difficult not to sound evangelical about the game and the impact it can have on people’s lives.
I realised that if a potential player wasn’t able to have an experience of the game, however, the next best thing was a vicarious experience.
I wondered how effective reading about highlights from someone else’s game might be? If you’re reading this then you’re about to find out. It was written in 2009 but as the intention is applicable to many people I continue to share it here.
A few words of caution: do remember the insights are mine during a solo game and can therefore only act as an illustration for anyone else reading this. It will certainly give you examples of the types of experience that can take place whilst playing. Additionally, normal games of more than one player have an extra dimension as players interact with, are impacted upon and are served by other players.
The game is played with an intention, or goal, in mind. It’s this intention that the experience of playing will provide insight on.
The playing focus I choose to have for the game is ‘I intend to have work life balance’.
Like a lot of people I never seem to have enough time and energy to do everything.
I feel like I’m a hamster in its wheel. In fact I have two wheels, one wheel for work and one for the rest of my life.
Just writing that down seems to shift something. It now feels more important to say ‘I intend to have life balance’ rather than isolate work from the rest of my life as something separate.
At least if I only have one wheel which might be a great place to start!
Process & Guardian angel
I roll the die to determine how many angels, insights and setbacks (more of these later) go into my personal unconscious envelope as potential experience.
Then I roll the die and I am born onto the physical level.
Being born means I get to connect with my guardian angel, an angel chosen from my unconscious envelope.
It’s the angel of LOVE.
As I connect with the angel (or if you prefer energy or more logically just to the word) of love I certainly feel less stressed and busy. It’s as if the fear that drives the continual doing is diminished.
For the next couple of hours I will roll the die and land on many squares which can include:
My game will be complete when I have:
19 rolls of the die later my game is complete. The insights and learning have evolved with the game and the following six moves/squares have been particularly insightful:
Insight - ‘There is no force in the whole of creation greater than the healing power of love - gain 6 awareness tokens’.
This card is certainly a reminder for me that I don’t often remember to allow love into my life.
In fact instead I allow fear in and this fuels the constant doing.
If I allow the healing power of love into my body I feel very grounded and warm and my thoughts slow down.
What’s all the rush for anyway?
Yet it now feels so much more possible and bigger, more real, than I imagined too.
I have a choice to take a card from my unconscious envelope.
One other option is to ‘do nothing’ and I use my free will to do just that.
Using free will involves getting Universal Feedback on the use of my free will and the card reads ‘You move forward aligned with your higher purpose take 3 awareness tokens.’
That’s interesting because in order to get balance in my life I’ve always felt I needed to sort everything out first which results in even more doing.
Perhaps doing nothing first is the answer?
Perhaps not doing anything until the panic and fear have subsided and allowing balance to come in first would be better.
I breathe deeply and I am now feeling even more grounded.
Setback - ‘You are set back by your envy on your present level – take 2 pains’.
The pain will set me back and slow me down on my next move unless I have, and use, awareness tokens to clear them.
Can I remember a time when I envied another?
Yes! Last Sunday.
I went to pick up a friend to go to yoga. When I arrived I noticed there was a lot of eye contact and physical touching between my friend and her husband. The tenderness the husband felt for the wife was there physically and energetically in the room with us. He also asked her what he needed to do whilst she was away to ensure all the jobs were done so they could spend some time together that afternoon.
I wanted what they had. I envied my friend for having what I wanted.
As I reexperience that happening I realise that it’s at that moment I disengage from my dream. I let go of my dream to have a relationship. I start to believe that: a wonderful loving and tender relationship is for others not me; if I’m not already in a loving relationship then I’m never going to be; why bother even thinking I will be.
Envy gives my doubts and negative beliefs free reign. I can feel the immobility creeping through my body like a deep fog slowly wiping the colour from my dream.
Having felt the pain and understood in what way it is setting me back I can now consider releasing the pain. Remembering I was only asked to think of one example for envy and it's likely this is a pattern for other things I don't currently have but want in my life.
On the next move I release my pain by using awareness tokens I have and identifying the steps I will take to release this pattern from my life which include:
Angel – BIRTH and EXPECTANCY.
Crikey they go well together.
I know there are changes (birth) ahead.
Without expectancy it feels just like hard work and a long way in the future. The energy coming with the angel of expectancy brings excitement and anticipation with it.
The two angels together allow in a lighter and more positive energy. An energy of possibility, productivity and relaxation. Allowing the energy of these two angels in releases the doubt and negativity.
Landing on a miracle allows me to take a pain free setback ‘“but who gave you the right to decide? No one is going to tell me what to do”’.
As it’s pain free then I realise it’s exactly the sentiment I should be using.
When I’m balanced I understand my own needs and am sensitive to them and can make the right decisions for me. If I allow others to push me into doing something, especially when out of balance, that isn’t always going to be the right thing for me.
Continuing to allow the ripple effect of the miracle to move into the game I am also allowed to move to another square and I choose to move to a service square.
I serve myself and choose to take an insight ‘Forgiveness dissolves pain. Allow forgiveness to clear ALL players’ pain in the game now – gain 4 awareness tokens’
I feel I am being given permission to let go of the guilt from the past when I’ve not met my high expectations of myself.
For much of the game I was of service either by landing on the service or blessing square and also from one of the insight cards.
As a result I now realise that life is not a series of component parts. That is there really is no demarcation between aspects of my life. Work, money, relationship, development, friendships all merge into one life and its mine.
So as long as I serve and come from love balance is assured.
So where does that leave me?
More relaxed and just looking at the hamster wheel and deciding it’s time to stop it spinning. This will allow me to continue to release the fear and allow love to be the basis for all my actions when being of service to others.
I must also remember that doing nothing is an action and is sometimes the right thing to do until I know what’s right for me.
Having read this very brief summary the only question I have for you now is “now you’ve seen the insights the game can provide when are going to invest the time to play a game for yourself?”
Do get in touch if you'd like to find out more about a 3 hour solo Transformation Game or a full day's game with up to 3 (4 at a push) friends. These can be done virtually although when we can do them face to face that will be fabulous. At an investment of £297 + VAT per person they're certainly worth considering.
You can also buy your own game and play it with friends - available from Amazon and other online retailers.
Update: I've someone who has signed up for a game Q4 of 2021 who would love to play with others rather than have a solo game. Do please let me know if you'd like to join them firstname.lastname@example.org +44(0)7770 538159.
I also offer team and individual sessions using the business cousin of the transformation game - The Frameworks for Change Coaching Process.
The process, the insight, setback and angel cards used here are from the Transformation Game © Innerlinks - www.innerlinks.com. 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.