Joy Drake didn’t choose to create the Transformation Game, but it wouldn’t let her go! Here’s the story of the birth of the Game – now part of the fabric of the Findhorn Community – and how its co-founder, Kathy Tyler, also came to be involved.
I have always had doubts about my capabilities. I feel I am simply an ordinary person with no special talents. So when fragments of Divine inspiration began percolating into my consciousness, I couldn’t believe it. I had many, many conversations with God, basically saying, ‘You’ve made a mistake, I’m not the one, you’ve chosen the wrong person. If you want someone who knows about sacred geometry and has deep spiritual understandings, why don’t you pick someone smart and sensitive who understands such things? That person can simply tune in, receive information from you, then follow through. Won’t that be much quicker and easier?’
Poems of exquisite beauty came through. They washed over me and I let myself be rinsed in the Grace.
However after two years, when no such person appeared, and the muses were still knocking insistently on my door, I said ‘Yes’ and gave my creativity free rein – and out of the box it dashed! I experienced a deluge of ideas. Raw ingredients and designs danced into my awareness and began sprouting. It was exciting, uplifting, wild and exhilarating. It totally captivated my attention.
Poems of exquisite beauty came through. They washed over me and I let myself be rinsed in the Grace. I didn’t know what I was pioneering. I simply thought this was a fun hobby and the norm for everyone at Findhorn. I ate, slept and dreamed about it. My soul flowered. It also catalysed my personal change process and I tumbled, stumbled and fumbled forward in an ever-changing landscape and began to share my vision. Little did I know that the amazing gift of the Game would be my passion and my life’s work. I simply stopped arguing.
I had first come to Findhorn in 1971 for a short holiday with my boyfriend. I don’t know if it was the Findhorn Angel, God or my Soul that pulled us here, but we came directly to Findhorn. I knew within days I had found my spiritual home, and I don’t think I have ever left.
The first time I consciously came into contact with spirituality was in the 1960s. I was intrigued by the phrase, ‘Soul-Infused Personality’ that appeared in a series of works by Alice Bailey. This statement touched me. I was eager to know what a soul-filled personality looked like.
How do we know whether our personality is soul-infused? On reflection I realise that these musings were the starting point of my journey of transformation. They were a silent prayer to which my inner being responded by saying, ‘Okay, I will teach you, so you can help other people to learn this as well’. This question, what is soul infusion, along with my desire to be of service, turned out to be the prayer thread that has run through my life.
There were many influences in creating the Game but looking back I realise that the guidance-poetry I received in the Sanctuaries, (at the Park and Cluny), were primary and everything evolved from there.
We test-played the emerging game at evening classes on my bedroom floor, playing on a greaseproof paper board with icons I pencilled in, (or erased), as we went along! Making the parts for the first prototype took 18 months.
The first ‘public’ version of the game, the Planetary Game, was played in the Cluny Hill ballroom of the Findhorn Foundation in June 1978, as part of the Art of Synthesis workshop with 20 Players and four Guides, including Mary Inglis, who is now a key partner in InnerLinks, the company formed around the Game. We made very rudimentary equipment: paper squares, costumes from sheets and so on. It was incredibly powerful, accurate and transformative.
A turning point in the evolution of the Game was when I met Kathy Tyler at Findhorn in October 1978 and we established a highly creative partnership. (Our personalities were so different that our collaboration could not be other than dynamically soul-infused!) Kathy’s expertise as a meditation teacher plus her extensive inner plane knowledge, helped to refine the rough game energy field. Kathy brought clarity and deep intuitive understanding to the inner workings of the process. Together we reassessed and upgraded all aspects of the game equipment and the workshop structures and we started to train others to work with their higher intelligence and the Game Deva to guide workshops.
After a few years of running Game of Transformation workshops, I often noticed when tidying up that a couple of cards from the Angel deck might be missing. I later discovered that guests would take them home as souvenirs! The market was requesting them! (I still count the number of cards in my Angel deck after a Game to make sure none of them has slipped out.)
So the Angel Cards were launched in 1981. They were first printed and hand-collated in the community and have since been translated into six languages. They rapidly became a regular feature of the Findhorn Foundation Experience Week. Over 1.5 million have been sold to date. Each of these tiny, simple cards carries the spiritual energy of the original Game. The cards insightfully complement educational group processes and personal healing and are useful ‘alone’ to focus, clarify, illuminate, replenish, recognise, remind and renew in many settings: living rooms, schools, businesses, hospitals, airports, waiting rooms and other sacred temples of learning.
By popular request the Blessings were first printed at Findhorn in 1982. They were hand-collated, 210 individual blessings in each box, by volunteer guests and members and sold locally. The labels were never completed before we sold out! Refinement and expansions of the Game continued through the 1980s with tours to Europe and the US. In 1990 the Blessing Cards were redesigned, reprinted, and repackaged.
In December 1985 Kathy and I relocated to Seattle, USA and started from scratch to re-birth the game in a play-it-yourself simpler, shorter format. Each stage in the development of the Game required a deeper commitment, financial investment and major personal transformations from us. As a fundraising initiative we began taking pre-orders and inviting people to become Honorary Angels and cheerleaders for the newly emerging version. Another exhilarating fun labour! The Transformation Game in a Box was launched the following year (1987) after many months of extensive test playing, development, and several deep, philosophical super-fun chats with our primary advisor David Spangler, formerly of the Findhorn Foundation and founder of the Lorians. As the Game moved onto the world market, we wondered how the public would respond. Well, 5 000 Games sold in the first year!
In November 1987 the entire Community including Eileen Caddy, one of the founders, played the Planetary Game in the Universal Hall. It was a significant turning point for the Foundation.
Since then we have trained Game facilitators around the world, and there are now over 1 500 facilitators in 50 countries. The box Game has been translated into nine languages. Kathy and I have now moved back to The Park at Findhorn, where it all began, and are running Games with a core team of guides including Mary Inglis, Judy McAllister and Yasko Takahashi.
My life now feels like I’m playing an ongoing Game of Transformation every day, gently and purposefully facilitated by the Divine. As I allow the river of Love and Grace to carry me forward, I see clearly that there are always two doorways, two choices, in front of me. One door maintains my same-old self, and the other doorway opens to my whole-new self where there are untapped wisdom resources on standby, ready assist me as I allow myself to be woven into a new expression of wholeness. I widen my perceptions, and remarkably every day, every Game is as surprising and fresh for me as the first.
What gifts await us when we simply stop arguing and say Yes to Life!
• Join the five-day Global Transformation Game Online: Grounding the Pulse of Sustainable Change from 28 June to 2 July. For those new to the Game, this programme includes an optional introduction to how to play. Click here for more information or to book.
• Get guidance and stay up to date with workshops and more on offer from the Findhorn Foundation by joining our mailing lists.https://www.findhorn.org/join-our-mailing-lists/