The Challenge of Being a Catalyst
Are you a catalyst for change? If so, you probably don’t just integrate fresh ideas into your work.
When introduced to a novel way of approaching transformative personal growth,
you spark a fire that creates a whole new pattern that you and others may find challenging.


Living in a state of flux

Being a catalyst probably also means that you are more or less continuously in a state of flux. Personally, I am fascinated by change and it seems equally attracted to me. Can you relate?

Years ago, I realized that life frequently sent me into companies or departments that were either deep into change or just about to go through some major transitions. Sometimes things changed because my passion for order meant breaking up outmoded or ineffective ways of working. And often my presence in an office revealed irregularities that resulted in dramatic process and personnel changes.

It was not always a comfortable position in which I found myself. In fact, I got a bit superstitious about supervisors creating business cards for me. That was almost a sure sign that major disruptions were just over the horizon—either in the company as a whole or my position in particular.

Embracing the alchemy of change means being a Life Transitions Leader

It can also mean being a companion, guide, and supporter of others going through life’s often-dramatic transitions. To help them view as normal the symptoms of change that feel most abnormal. And to encourage them to keep moving through the Unknown.

The following poem is for all of you catalyzers and Life Transitions Leaders out there. You are the courageous ones who lead others in, through, and out of that unavoidable “middle of nowhere” place. Where things get dark and messy. Where the magic of transformation takes place. And where you find the deepest meaning in your own life.

The Catalyst

She was a born change-maker.

Though she meant no harm,
situations and people made major shifts
when she came on the scene;
and by the time she had moved on,
no circumstance remained untouched,
not even the condition
of her own heart.

For life sent her into strange events
that puzzled her for many years,
until she came to see the pattern
of enthusiastic beginnings,
her being filled with pluck and hope
for what could be accomplished,
only to be met with anger,
stone walls, and rejection
from those she’d come to help.

In early days an innocence
had encouraged her to sally forth;
but now when a deeper nature beckoned
that she should seize a perilous cup,
her mind recalled in vivid scenes
the enigma of her lonely path,
in reluctant recollection
of the burden she would bear.

For even though she welcomed change
as life’s essential principle,
most folks did not—and blamed her
for the consequence of their own deeds
that her presence
had simply brought to light.

She felt self-doubt impeding her path,
and so questioned her ancient mentors.

But these masterful ones,
from their wiser view,
had never found her behavior strange;
they cherished her disruptions.

And counted as grace her propensity
to ignite the fresh enlivening flame
that rouses those who nap so deep
they do not care to dream.

For wise ones know from ages past
that till sleepers finally reconnect
with their own great master plan,
there can be no magic in their days
nor lasting sparkle in their nights.

Someone must summon the winds of change
to rearrange complacency
and turn inertia to soulful action
filled with conscious longing.

And the sages always meant, of course,
for that someone to be her.

So now, when Fortune calls her name,
the Catalyst may sigh aloud
in profoundest human reluctance;
but she, nevertheless, accepts the task
to wrestle with the enmity
of those who in their secret hearts
yearn to shake off
the hypnotic trance
imposed on them
by a drowsy world
that fears the soul
on fire for life.

She lives to learn and love and teach,
to see the once-dull animate,
to feel the sudden surge of the few
who catch the wave
of her inspiration.

And then she knows her passion’s reward,
as they claim the birthright that is theirs,
turn back to bid her a grateful farewell,
and disappear—bright-eyed for good
over the horizon of their destiny.

Listen to Cheryl read "The Catalyst" (from Poetics of Soul & Fire. Flying Crane Press, 2015)

Learn More...

Loving Your Way Through Loss
Let Wise Grief Call You to "Let Go & Let God"
A Miracle in Kildare
Rising from the Ashes of Endings
Engaging Life's Transitions
Riding the Waves of Life's Big Shifts
The Water and the Flame
The Challenge of Being a Catalyst
What It Means to be a Life Transitions Leader

A Beautiful Grief: Reflections on Letting Go - The Book
Cheryl Eckl reads the opening chapter: "The Music of What's Happening"
Behind the Books: Cheryl tells the story of A Beautiful Grief & A Beautiful Death

Copyright © 2017 Cheryl Eckl and All rights reserved.

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