In the wine country, transformation is commonplace during harvest season. Grapes turn to wine with the helping hands of gentle winemakers and their crew. Humans are much like those robust clusters of juicy fruit hanging on the vine, waiting to be turned into the Nectar of the Gods, i.e. something better, if we just watch, listen and learn.
Many have written on the subject of transformation. Forbes Magazine wrote an article on five easy steps to change your life based on the teachings of Robert Betz, author and life coach. They are: 1. Take Responsibility. 2. Say “Yes” To Everything That Is. 3. Stop judging yourself and others and forgive! 4. Feel your emotions. 5. Make a new decision.
Oprah Winfrey has said, “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.”
No doubt these are great words of wisdom from well-informed experts. As a small town vintner in Sonoma, I too hold a unique perspective on matters of change. Alchemy, by definition, is a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination. Here’s my take on the five ways to transform your life from within, using the wine making process as metaphor:
- Change Comes from Within: Like a grape, everything you need to live is inside you. Stop looking outside yourself for change and happiness. You are enough.
- Weed out the Dead Weight: Grape clusters need sun and space to grow, and cannot thrive if there is too much crowding or overshadowing them. Remove the things in your life that set you back, clutter your mind, or distract you from your priorities.
- Ferment Patience: You can’t rush alchemy. The sugar levels in the grapes cannot rise on demand nor be picked before they are ready. Take the time you need to reflect, feel, heal, imagine, dream, allowing life to unfold.
- Taste until Perfected: There are no short cuts in life. Mastery is key. If you truly want to change your life, you must make it a habit, not a goal. Practice, practice, practice daily until it becomes as natural to you as breathing.
- Expand your Palette: This falls into, “make a new decision and stick to it.” If we don’t try new things as simple as sampling on a new bottle of wine, how will we broaden our experience? How will we see with a new set of eyes? You will never see different results, if you don’t think and act anew. Only the same ones over and over again.
Of course, there is much more to contemplate and do when it comes to long-lasting change. I think it’s important to also accept who and where you are in your life. Acceptance is critical if we are to move in the direction of our dreams. And don’t dare go it alone—grapes turn to wine with a web of support, sharing in one singular goal: The makings of a fine wine. Gather people around in your life who you trust will support and assist you fully in your transformation.
There is a lot to learn about the manifestation of our human dreams from the life cycle of a vineyard. As the old wine country saying goes, “Wine makes everyone hopeful.”