There is a possibility of experiencing magic in all aspects of your life, including your romantic relationships, those with family and friends, or simply your relationship with yourself. It is our hypothesis that when the Principles of Instantaneous Transformation are applied to a relationship, the result will be partnership, self-expression, and self-fulfillment. Again, we suggest that you hold in abeyance the tendency to agree
or disagree with these principles and merely hold them as a possibility through which you can examine the complexities of relationship.

Following are the Three Principles of Instantaneous Transformation:

1. Anything you resist persists and grows stronger. Have you noticed that if there is something about your partner you don’t like or have tried to change, the more you have worked to change him or her, the more he or she has persisted in staying the same? Eventually, your disagreements with your partner dominate your life and your relationship until they are your only focus. You no longer see the good points, those things that
attracted you to your partner in the first place. You see only faults—or what you consider to be his or her faults. So again the First Principle is that anything you resist will persist, it will continue, and it will, in fact, dominate your relationship.

2. No two things can occupy the same space at the same time. In any given instant, you can only be the way you are. The idea that if you were different, your life could be different is a useless concept. If you tell the truth about what you see, you will discover that you can only be the way that you are in this moment.

Here is an example: If we were to take a camera and photograph you, when the shutter opens, you are captured exactly as you are in that instant of time. In that moment, you could not have been any different than you were when your image was captured, and nothing can be done to change it. Therefore, it could have happened only the way it did and you could have been only the way you were. In your fantasies, you can construct lots of alternative possibilities, but when that camera’s shutter opened and closed, you could have only been the way you were. Most of us do not realize that our lives are made up of a series of moments that could not have played out any differently than they did.

What we are suggesting is that you cannot be different than you are in any given moment, and everything that has ever happened in your life could have happened only that way because it did. This principle, if truly seen, will release you from a lifetime of regret and guilt.

3. Anything you allow to be exactly as it is without trying to change or fix it will complete itself. This means that the mere seeing of an unwanted behavior is enough to facilitate resolution. This principle may be a little more difficult to grasp than the other two. The idea of merely seeing something rather than doing something about what you see seems wrong or incomplete, as if it won’t accomplish anything.

Let’s go back to the conference hall analogy for a moment. Again, let’s suppose you want to cross a room
filled with tables and chairs. If it is dark, you will surely bump into the obstacles. With light, you can cross the room in a natural manner.

As you walk through the living room of your home each day, you don’t have to remind yourself not to stumble over the couch. It is something that is included in your awareness, and your actions take into account that this piece of furniture occupies space. You don’t work on effectively crossing the room to avoid colliding with it. It is naturally and immediately integrated into your way of being. The couch becomes the background rather than the focus of your attention. So it is with your mechanical behaviors. If you notice you have them
without resisting what you see, they lose their power over your life.

Here is a practical example that demonstrates all Three Principles of Instantaneous Transformation: We once went to a Mexican restaurant in New York’s Greenwich Village. It was an intimate little place near a local hospital. After we were seated and had ordered, we noticed that two tables over, a group of young doctors were having a meal. From the gist of their conversation, we discovered that they were all fairly new
residents. One fellow was particularly loud. He talked about where he went to school and about the senior resident, Dr. Cho. As he went along, he became increasingly animated as he related stories about a woman with ulcers and a man with kidney stones whom he had seen on that morning’s rotation. The more the two of us tried to distance ourselves from his annoying monologue, the louder and more intrusive it became.
Soon our worldview shrank to being dominated by our resistance to the conversation going on at this nearby table. Eventually, our orders came, and we began to eat and chat about our plans for the day. Just as we were finishing the last of our meal, we realized that not only had the fellow stopped talking, but,
unbeknownst to us, he and his colleagues had paid their check and left the restaurant.

Let’s look at this anecdote through the Principles of Instantaneous Transformation. When we first got to the restaurant, expecting to have a quiet lunch, we resisted the fellow who was not only talking to the other doctors at his table but also loud enough to be disturbing to other patrons. We resisted not only the volume but also the content of what he had to say. By disagreeing with the fact that he was a part of our lunch,
behaving as he was, his presence dominated our experience of the moment. This was the First Principle: What you resist persists and grows stronger—or in this case, talks louder. It also involved the Second Principle: No two things can occupy the same space at the same time. When we had our attention fi xed
on him, he consumed our thoughts.

At some point during our meal, the Third Principle came into play. We didn’t decide to ignore the loud fellow and concentrate on topics of our choosing. We weren’t trying to avoid thoughts of ulcers and kidney stones. This would have been a form of resisting the moment that would have had us back where we started. We just put our attention on each other and our meal. In other words, we didn’t try to change or fi x the
situation or our irritation. We allowed the situation and our response to be exactly the way they were, without judging him or ourselves. We also didn’t act out or express our irritation. And the situation resolved itself. When we took our attention away from our complaints, the doctors paid their bill and left the restaurant unnoticed. When you allow something to be exactly the way it is, it allows you to be.


Most people focus on their partner as the source of their dissatisfaction and disharmony. In a Transformational approach, it is always your responsibility for how your relationship is going.
Our way of looking at it is to bring awareness to yourself and what you are doing or not doing that is straining or stressing the relationship. Please note that responsibility is not the same as saying problems are your “fault.” Responsibility is being willing to acknowledge that what happens in your relationship happens around you and that there is a way you are being or operating that is producing what you say you don’t like.
When we work with couples, we treat their relationship as though it is not a fi fty-fi fty deal. When we’re speaking to one partner, we speak to that person as if the dynamic is 100 percent his or her responsibility. When we switch focus to the second person, we speak to that partner as if the responsibility for the dynamic is 100 percent his or hers. We have found this an empowering way to look at how people relate, because even if you were to have a different partner, your mechanical way of relating would very likely trigger the same type of scenario and “problems” that you have created in your current or past relationships.
There is no “good” person and “bad” person in your relationship. The dynamics are generated between both of you. We often think of it like Velcro. Velcro is made of two sides, hooks and fluff. You need both in order to have something join. If you don’t have fluff, then the hooks won’t stick. And if you don’t have hooks, then the fluff has nothing to snag. Your Relationship with Yourself Determines Your Relationship with Your Partner If you want to have your relationship grow and be nurturing after love’s fi rst blush, it is important to fi rst take a look at your relationship with yourself. In our most private thoughts, the majority of us are very hard on ourselves. We are our own harshest critics, fi nding fault with ourselves and thinking we
should do our lives differently or better.

Here is how thinking negatively about yourself directly impacts your relationship. Let’s say when you are being self critical and judgmental, you think of yourself as less, wrong, stupid, inept, unsophisticated, fat, too old, unattractive, etc. Then if someone fi nds you attractive, this person has a major strike against him or her simply by the act of being attracted to you with all of your “faults.” It stands to reason that if you don’t like yourself, then, from this same logic system, the person who fi nds you attractive must be defi cient somehow or, at the very least, have bad taste and judgment.

When you are hard on yourself, you are hard on any person related to you. If you demean yourself in your thoughts, you will, by association, transfer that way of relating to your partner and relationship. If you are out to fix your shortcomings, that new person in your life is destined to become your next fixer-upper project sooner or later. You will begin to try to get him or her to behave the right way, molding your partner into your ideal person in much the same way you try to mold yourself.

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