We Reap What We Sow: The Spiritual Journey of Transformation Magazine

By Natalie Amsden

The story of Transformation Magazine is one of collective creation. Long before this magazine hit the stands in the Suncoast region of Florida or was available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple’s electronic newsstands, individuals seeking connection and spiritual growth were calling forth a tool for collective transformation. You see, when enough people share an intention, Forces are summoned to manifest the request. Now, imagine this desire reaching like a beam of light out into the world, calling forth its fulfillment. Imagine a willing individual with the desire to express creativity sitting quietly atop a mountaintop on an island in the Caribbean, hearing the call yet knowing not what one was being called for.

I had been on a spiritual quest of sorts for a couple months, or, well, a year really. I was on a sabbatical, taking time away to clear my mind and reconnect with nature and my higher self. I was coming out of a year-long self rediscovery process after going through the mother of all transformations, in which I turned my life on its head, eliminating everything that was no longer serving me, which was literally everything. (This is a whole other story for another day…)

I felt called to return to Florida (thanks to the beckoning light of souls in search of transformation) and so I did, with no job, no plans, and an open mind and heart.

A Seed Was Planted
I was unsure what I was being called to do, but I knew it was NOT working for someone else. I turned down gainful employment and committed to living in authenticity. I was studying to become a Laughter Yoga instructor, and while at a class the owner of the center casually mentioned,

“Wouldn’t it be great if there were a magazine that united the spiritual community throughout the Suncoast region of Florida?”

I thought it was a great idea but left without another thought about it. Yet, a seed had been planted.

A Seed Grows in Fertile Ground
Shortly after returning to Florida I was renewed, refreshed, and on purpose—ripe for transformation. Within days of the idea of a magazine seeding in my mind I felt like I had been spiritually hijacked and I knew that I had been called to fulfill the community’s desire! Six weeks later I had a printed magazine distributed throughout the region.

When you answer the call of a higher purpose, and at the same time are free of resistance and attachments, it is miraculous what can be co-created in a short period of time. I did not create Transformation Magazine, I was simply the conduit through which this tool for personal and collective transformation was born.

In the 3 and one-half years since Transformation Magazine was started, it has quadrupled its distribution, and today, Transformation is also read by thousands of readers around the world through a Digital Edition.

Through all of the growth and change, I have continued to follow the guidance I receive to meet the greater needs of my community. This magazine began as a spiritual journey, and it will forever be one. However, no matter how Divinely inspired or perfectly aligned one feels when following Higher guidance, spiritual journeys challenge us.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

One of the greatest lessons I have learned about the path of spiritual living is that all anyone can do is take a step down the path from where they currently are.

This moment, this situation—this is the perfect place and time. Only when one embraces this NOW can the Call be heard and followed in the right direction. And so, in this moment I find myself at a precipice of change, once again. Energies have shifted; needs have changed. I can still hear the community’s call, loud and clear, for more inspiration, more connection, more opportunity for growth. Yet, I have been hearing another call, one that creates an inner conflict along my own spiritual journey.

I hear the calls of the Earth, and she weeps for her trees.

I am well aware that all contrasting experiences are the foundation of great expansion, and expand I must. In order to live in alignment with my Higher Self and higher purpose I must embrace the next phase of my, and Transformation Magazine’s, spiritual evolution.

In the past three years I have been approached by interested investors four times regarding franchising the print edition. Each time I felt a heavy, firm rejection of the notion of franchising, and so in each case I kindly declined the offer. While on one hand I would be providing a resource for new markets of seekers, on the other hand I would be continuing to contribute to our environmental problems.

I Speak for the Trees
I have always felt uncomfortable about the impact that printing a magazine has on the planet, from cutting down trees to the poisonous chemicals released from its ink. I’ve always used a recycled paper and I’ve looked into soy-based inks, but there has never been a practical solution.

Several months ago I came across an article that talked about how the paper industry in the United States is now cutting the slow-growth Taiga Forest in Canada. It hit me hard. Then I came across another article that talked about Tigers being decimated in Indonesia due to the printing industry. I won’t get into the details—you can do your own research about how our daily lives affect the planet and what we can each, individually, do about it.

I felt trapped. I continued to feel inspired and committed to provide this resource for the community, yet these issues tugged on my heartstrings. I recycle, I try to avoid plastic bottles, I am mindful which companies I choose to spend my money with, knowing my dollars are my votes.

I vote in support of those who support of those businesses who provide valuable services to the community while minimizing their impact on the environment.

I felt conflicted to be supporting and promoting “green” products and services while creating one that wasn’t. Sometimes life is ironic, but there is always a way to create a win-win outcome.

We Reap What We Sow
It was while crying after watching The Lorax for the third time that I finally decided that what felt right—what I knew at my core was the next step to take down my spiritual quest through Transformation Magazine—was to do both. I would keep the print magazine AND take a stand for the trees!

And so, I created an online version of the local, print magazine. eTransformationGuide.com was born. By transitioning a portion of the print magazine into a digital format, Transformation will continue to be distributed in Florida’s Suncoast, but we’ll be cutting our use of precious trees in half!

Thank you for reading Transformation Magazine’s digital edition (which is Lorax approved). Share it with your friends, spread the light, and do your part to live in alignment with whatever calls you along your spiritual path.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”
—Dr. Suess

Natalie Amsden, Publisher of Transformation Magazine, has worked with thousands of people seeking to live a life of purpose and genuine relationship with their true selves, others, and their world. She is the former Director of a counseling center for teenagers and their parents. She is also a public speaker and leads workshops and retreats on Practical Spirituality, Finding Joy, Discovering Your Purpose, and Enlightened Relationships. www.transformationservices.org

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