Breakdown to Breakthrough ~ Inviting Transformation into 2020 with Alternative Thinking

 “How did you manage to stay here?”
“Have you seen what’s going on outside?”
“You folks are on an island!”
“Woah, those holes are deep!”
“I’ve never noticed you before, how long have you been here?”
“Oooh! I’m so glad you guys are still here!”
“You’re not leaving are you?”
“What are those vibrations? Is this a free chakra alignment?”
“The crystals are falling!”
“The basement is flooded!”
“The sidewalks are closed! On both sides!!!”
“How long will that truck be there?”
“It’s intense out there!”
“How are you surviving here?”

— Alter8 Community Quotes of 2019


Can you relate to those life moments when one exclaims, “we just need to get through this” with belief and trust that there is light at the end of the tunnel, calm after the storm, or certainly that of change with hopes of positivity and growth.
Transformation is rarely easy. We can look to nature for many examples of this. A common symbol of transformation is the majestic butterfly. In a cleaned up version – the caterpillar goes into its cocoon or chrysalis and seemingly when it chooses to do so. With restoration, time and innate wisdom, it breaks free and reenters the world with higher insight, new perspective, greater abilities and is exponentially more evolved.
It sounds awesome and triumphant and simple.
An offering made here is to try on another lens for this moment regarding such transformation.
The caterpillar forms it’s hardened cased cocoon with its own body! It’s literal vessel changes and morphs structurally. It becomes gooey and breaks down, and although I want to shy away from imposing human emotion onto this being’s changing state – one can imagine that this process is at the very least challenging! It’s probably intense, a little gross, and with many different inquiries along the lines of “Wow, what is happening to me? When will this be over? What is going to happen next? Can I survive this?”.

There is beauty in the breakdown, and we know that often we need to breakdown in order to breakthrough. Sometimes when you’re in it however, it can be a little hard to widen that eagle-eyed perspective for the self. How can we be reminded to step out into that observer state and recognize the abundance of the gifts and opportunities in each moment?

Sometimes these moments ask for aid from others and tools from the outside.

A common theme and inquiry that walks into the store sounds something like this:

What can I do to help myself to stand solid amongst situations that may cause me to waver in life?”.

As a beautiful mirror, this is something we’ve been experiencing on a very physical level at Alternative Thinking.

If you haven’t visited us in a while, you may or may not know that as we are the last building standing at the infamous corner on Bathurst and just south of bloor, our landscape and environment continues to transform around us. Quite literally, things have fallen around us. Structures have come down in true destruction in order to make way for something new. In the meantime we have found ourselves in the middle of much drama as perhaps you can imagine. In all transparency, it’s been a bit of a ride here. Even though we get such wonderful feedback from our community - supporting us, cheerleading us through these deconstructing times, there are and have been many days where we have experienced things that were not foreseen and certainly made ripples within us. From floods, closed sidewalks and blocked entryways, struggles to keep beloved products on the shelves, our precious community not knowing if we are even here anymore, and perhaps disappointing our community with inconsistency and change. These circumstances are real and have an impact on all of us. We acknowledge this and we acknowledge you with such gratitude for sticking by us in solidarity and joining us on this roller coaster ride as we transform together anew. 


So in this new arrival of 2020, what can we reflect here? How can we manage to stay grounded, unshakable, pliable yet firm and healthy in our foundation as life gives us these challenges and opportunities?

Well! Firstly, I invite you to take a present breath. Yup, right now. … … …

Breathe in. Breathe out. 

(Continue as many times as you like!)

Next, I’ll invite you here in a way I’d invite you into the shop.

Hello! Welcome! This is a space and a world of many tools. Even if you feel like you may not know in this particular moment what you need... YOU are the expert on YOU. If you have the time, I invite you to walk around the shop (or walk around the world, your current space, the internet, wherever your realm may be in this moment!) pick things up – hold them, connect, read and inform yourself with the offerings and minds of others. Watch, listen, contemplate and feel what resonates with you. Be free and empowered to ask questions – outwardly as well as in. 

How is your foundation feeling? What can you do to feel more sturdy and solid today? 

Drink water? Breathe deeper? Have a tea? Work with a new plant or crystal ally? Eat something nourishing? Try on someone else’s world to gain another perspective - read a book? Interact with loving creatures? Reach out to community? 

We are certainly your ally here.

And this is how we learn to stay rooted within it all - with strength, with solidarity, with will, reverence and inspiration by all of these peculiar beings and spaces around us. 


How are we surviving here? 

How are we managing to stay? 

Well, the answer is you! 

It’s us! 

Our community. 

Our mission and vision to offer these ways, products, tools, and services to our community and our world. 

We love you.

We honour you, and empower you to be who you are. If we can help each other do just that.  Be. Just be. Imagine?! We’d be unstoppable. While continuing to dance and grow and stretch and laugh and be together in this awesome amazing place we call home… wow! 

We are the creators. We are the authors. We are interconnected. 

We are one.

- - Written by Airrow Toner


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