Is it your time for your transformation?
I spent a lot of time trying to change things, people and circumstances in my outer world in hopes that I would find happiness. It seemed to me that if things were different in my life all my problems would be solved. “Why don’t you try doing this,” I would say to my spouse; and “Maybe you can treat me better,” I implied to my boss; and “If only my parents were different,” I thought to myself. After much disappointment (really, years of it) due to this outward looking effort at change, I came to understand that it was my own projection – a clouded perspective of my life, who I am and who I believed everyone else to be – that was obscuring the truth about why I wasn’t getting what I wanted. In essence, I was out of alignment with my deeper inner self and blaming everyone else for it. Until I recognized that I could be the one to support myself, love myself, listen to my needs and respond authentically to move through my challenges it was difficult to affect any positive experiences of change. I kept ending up back at the same place where my dominant view of the world was through fear, pain, rage and blame.
Full disclosure: I have been a student of spiritual transformation and metaphysical alchemy since I was a teenager. I am truly grateful for the strong foundation of knowledge and experience it had given me because I am not sure I would have survived where my predilection for outer solutions took me. Not too long ago after a sudden loss I entered a dark night of soul where there was truly nowhere to go but up. In despair, pain and grief I was hanging on by a thread. My one intention, the one that guided me as I looked into the abyss was to find a way to feel better. In my professional training, I had learned enough positive and transpersonal psychology to understand the journey of healing is not always clear but it begins with a clear desire to feel better. That set the stage for me to enter the inner realms and the first expression of love and forgiveness to be experienced toward myself.
As I worked through stages of healing – acceptance, surrender to a higher power, letting go of fear, sorrow, grief and anger – there began to emerge an inner sense of compassion, forgiveness and self-love. At first, the sense of understanding and appreciation for myself was faint, but as I embraced where I was rather than resisting it I gained more insight about to make the emotional, mental and spiritual shifts that would lift me out of the darkness. I committed to doing the best I could and that was enough. I also added in a regular meditation practice to support stress relief.
Since gaining a deeper understanding of myself and coming through the dark night of the soul it was my deep desire to experience authentic expansiveness of life. I wanted to live the life I’ve always dreamed of. That led me to reassess what I have to authentically offer as a human being and how I might be of service to the world. I have learned many healing and transformative practices from amazing teachers, cultural traditions and spiritual guides in my life. I have a deep passion for supporting and uplifting others on their own personal journeys of transformation. I finally realized that the journey I had taken through inner transformation had prepared me to embrace the outer transformation that would help me live my potential and lead to self-fulfillment. On my ultimate adventure of self-discovery I gathered (easy) applicable tools, teachings and practices to develop my highest and best self.
Here are three tools that successfully supported me with shifting from inner to outer transformation:
- Practice: Mindful breathing
- This is an effective tool for dealing with anxiety, stress and negative emotions.
- Focusing attention on your breathing improves concentration and keeps you calm, especially when tempers flare.
- Time: 5 minutes a day
- Regular meditation is key to effective results.
- You can do this while standing, but ideally do it while sitting or lying down in a comfortable position. If you wish, you can set a timer for 5 minutes.
- Close your eyes.
- Allow your body to relax any areas of tension or tightness.
- Tune into your breath. As you start to become aware of the in-breath, gently allow it to expand into your abdomen slowly to the count of 5. Slowly release the breath to the count of 5. Begin again with the next breath. After several breaths to the slow count of 5, allow your breath to follow a natural in and out cycle, gently noticing your breath in silence.
- From time to time if you get lost in thought simply return your attention to your breath, letting thoughts go.
- After 5 minutes, gently notice your body, feeling relaxed, appreciating the moment of being in tune with your breath and body. Open your eyes.
- Practice: Gratitude journaling every morning.
- Journaling is an effective and simple way to focus on the positive in your life.
- Intentional focus on the good, brings more happiness and boosts your mental health.
- Time: 5 minutes
- You can do this in bed before you get up in the morning. Just keep a journal and pen on the nightstand, ready to write.
- Start with a simple prompt: “I am thankful for…” and answer this question every day for a week. Notice how many things you are grateful for in your life!
- Try a “More/Less” Intentions journal exercise.
- Divide the journal page into two columns.
- On one side write “More” and on the other side “Less”
- Under “More” jot down those things that you are grateful for that you would like to have more of in your life.
- Under “Less” list those things you are ready to surrender.
- Practice: Emotional Nourishment
- It’s valuable to identify and then engage in activities that you do well to nurture your emotional self-esteem.
- Time: 15 minutes
- First, identify what you are good at doing or being, that you enjoy and something that others might appreciate. For example, you are a great cook, you love baking and friends ask you for your recipes. Or, you’re a great planner and you enjoy organizing outings with your family.
- Now set a time/date to engage in the activity you’ve identified that you do well. Invite others to join you if it fits with your activity. (If you’re a writer and plan to post a blog or write an article for others to enjoy, then invite them to read it!)
- Allow yourself to receive compliments for what you’ve created! Open up to the appreciation that the universe has for you, through the smiles, gratitude and love from others.
- Consciously affirm your self-worth by acknowledging your true strengths. You are unique and no one else creates as you do. You deserve to nourish yourself, and accept the emotionally nourishing acknowledgement from others.
It has been my experience that the only person we can truly change is ourselves, and only when you begin to connect within do you truly have the ability to open up your heart and connect with others authentically. When we live from our inner truth we drop false expectations and surrender in freedom to experiencing life in the outer world in new ways.
Welcoming Change Guided Meditation is now available.