By Myra Lewin
Why do you seek transformation?
What does transformation mean, really? Transformation implies deep change. Real change. Change that feels true and lasting. Transformation is about letting go of what you don’t need and creating space for the new. It’s about redefinition, renewal and regeneration. Transformation is inherent in the process of creation and destruction, and that’s why we’re here in this life - to continually open ourselves up to new experiences that we can enjoy and grow from.
When you think about it, you are already perpetually transforming - always creating and destroying. You transform your energy as each day, minute and thought passes. Even if you regularly find yourself in similar situations - you have a daily routine - waking up, making breakfast, heading to work, and so on - each moment is actually fresh. When you look closely you’ll find there are always unique elements and varying combinations of ingredients. The weather changes, your desires change, your interactions with others will feel different day to day. And from this point of view you can appreciate that there is always new opportunity.
So what we are really talking about then, is conscious transformation. On purpose. With purpose.
Committing to transforming yourself in a beneficial way, then, is about finding a place of consciousness from which to transform. Then you can really wake up to this process, to get involved in the movement of energy with your eyes wide open.
Conscious transformation begins with tuning in. Going inside. Finding resonance with your higher Self - that eternal, unchanging part of you that really sees the big picture. The part of you that understands what you want, where you’re going and the best way to get there.
And so I’d like to offer you a simple 10 minute daily practice to assist you in this process of tuning in.
1. Sit, comfortably
Now, when you think of sitting to meditate you might imagine a sublime yogi sitting with an arrow-straight back in lotus pose. Sure, meditation can look like that, eventually. But it certainly doesn’t have to in the beginning, and what it looks like on the outside really doesn't matter anyway.
When I started to meditate I was so stiff and tight that it was torturous to sit on the floor. My first attempt at meditation was in a group setting and I forced myself to sit on a zafu pillow. I could barely walk afterwards! The next time I moved to a chair in the back of the room, which helped a lot and when I would practice meditating at home I would sit in a big chair with pillows all around supporting me to be upright. My legs didnʻt cross all the way but it was a start. And as I kept going - not allowing myself to cause physical pain (although there was a lot of discomfort)- my seated posture gradually changed. Now I prefer to sit on the floor than in a chair.
So if you find sitting to be challenging - use props! Cushions, a chair or a meditation bench can support your hips and your knees so that you can sit in comfort for longer.
The key to a sustainable practice is to find a position that works for you - a seat of comfort where you can connect to the earth and sit as tall as possible with the crown of your head reaching up to the cosmos.
Here are some examples of ways to sit:
2. Breathe: 5 minutes
Breathe slowly and deeply into the tailbone for 5 breaths;
Then breathe slowly and deeply into the low belly and sacrum, feeling it expand with the inhale and release completely with the exhale for 5 breaths;
Now move your breath and attention to the naval and diaphragm area. With the inhalation expand the ribcage as much as possible while remaining comfortable, and gently release with the exhale;
When you are complete with the conscious breathing exercise you can sit quietly with your attention right in the center of your head and just observe the breath. Or if you prefer, continue to go through the exercise for a full 5 minutes in order to keep the mind focused so that your body can receive the nourishing flow of prana.
3. Receive: 5 minutes
By sitting still and connecting to your breath you are bringing your attention and therefore your energy into the here and now. You’re opening up to the God of your heart. When you’re in line with this higher part of your Self, you are living the present moment from a place of awareness. And this is the place from which to receive inspiration and initiate conscious transformation - the kind of change that you are really looking for. Don’t try to make anything happen. It’s all happening anyway. Trust that you will receive what you need.
As you bring this simple 10 minute practice into your life each day, you will invite a feeling of peace that will become a greater part of your conscious experience - a feeling that you can return to regularly throughout the day as you make your decisions and interact with people in your life.
Let this practice serve as your foundation and open up to the conscious transformation that you seek.