In less than two weeks I'll be in Toronto for the Baptiste Foundations in Action weekend yoga immersion. Yoga is about so much more than the physical practice. In preparation, I decided to read through a couple of Baron's books to refresh and energize me. I'm currently reading "40 Days to Personal Revolution". I'm hoping someday our studio offers this program to go through as a group, or perhaps I'll consider doing the digital version in the future (one of my teachers is currently doing this so I look forward to hearing what she thought when it's done). One of the key teachings in this book is the Laws of Transformation. These can guide us in growth to living a truthful and healthy life. Here's my notes on the laws:
#1 Seek the Truth - have the courage to face the pure truth of ourselves so we can move on and grow in more honest and authentic ways. You must accept yourself as you are, then you can change - self-acceptance.
#2 Be Willing to Come Apart - we need to get to the point where we are finally willing to give up control so that we can experience the healing we need. When we control the things we are not meant to control, we are interfering with our natural success and potential. The way of the universe is for all things to move in the direction of healing, that is, wholeness. The body wants to heal itself, our emotional body is seeking balance, our spirit wants redemption; however, we need to get ourselves out of the way in order for our natural health to shine through. When we surrender, we receive. It is only when we re willing to give up the fragile hold we have on our illusions and come apart that we can begin to see the truth, surrender, and begin anew.
#3 Step out of Your Comfort Zone - Life is never static - we are either awakening and growing or numbing out and spiraling downward. Stepping out of our comfort zone means dropping the patterns and stories of the past. If we don't step out of the known - the comfort zone - we bring yesterday's limited thinking into the present, dooming the present to be just like the past. When you keep repeating the same things, you get the same results. Many of us would rather cling to the familiar than risk the unknown. Face fears head on to dissolve their hold over us. Let the past die. We are afraid to let go, to face the groundlessness and uncertainty. Take the journey inward - the way out is in. Once we've gone inward we can step out beyond our comfort zone and find the courage to flow from our hearts. You must face your fears, abide in unconditional openness and cut through your tendencies to hold on. Let go of everything and hold onto nothing so that virtue can shine through.
#4 Commit to Growth - Either commit to a change of heart and mind and live it out, or you are just playing around. Growth requires a singleness of mind - a total commitment to the path of growth - no wavering, no detours, absolute commitment to staying present, unconditional commitment to discovering and living by the truth within. We are the only ones who know and hear our internal dialogues, and we are the only ones who can make the choice to stay and unfold. Call your conflicts and troubles lessons and remember that every experience developes some latent force within you - you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may be.
#5 Shift Your Vision - the third eye is the source of our spiritual vision. If we have had an opening and cleansing of the heart, the right energy can be released and spark life in this spiritual eye. If we pay attention to living according to our higher mind and our morals, it is said that this eye comes to life, we begin to see ourselves and the world through new eyes. Whatever spiritual or physical tranformation process we are going through, we are seeking to undo and unlearn a thought system that has blinded our true vision. To shift our vision means looking at the usual things with fresh eyes. As we start to spiritually awaken, our new vision allows us to see that most of our obstacles are created within our own hearts. A vision shift calls for attention, intention and faith. Whatever you give your positive or negative attention to, you will energize. Whatever you focus on, you fortify. Intention - when you hold an awareness of what you need to do in the back of your mind, you direct your energy (and the universe) in that direction. Right intent from your pure heart. There is a certain leap of faith we need to take. The real phenomenon is in our concsciousness, in the power of what's possible.
#6 Drop What You Know - just be the change. More education is not always the solution. What is needed is a special kind of awakening that brings you to understand things for yourself. Dropping your brain means to rediscover, trust, and grow from this blessed state - which the ancient ones called living by faith. At a certain point we all need to make the shift from living from our head into trusting what's in our heart. We need to become intuitve beings. Oversensitivity to other people's words has an insidious way of eroding our faith in our own perceptions. Find out what the inner teacher has to say. Cast out our self-doubt. When we really let go, suddenly we open up and there is space for new energy and insight. There is such wisdom and healing power in not knowing. We don't change by thinking, we change by being and doing with a pure intent. Be fully present and open.
#7 Relax with What Is - When we relax in the face of stress, a power greater than ourselves can act through us. Put our thoughts, our effort, our resistance, ur reaction aside and trust in an intelligence that is smarter than we are. The moment you stop forcing a result, you develop a mental and muscular poise under pressure.
#8 Remove the Rocks - Unlearn pride, anger, fear, conditioning, resistance and come back to our natural way of being. Transformation comes not by adding things on but by removing what didn't belong in the first place. There is something perfect already within us. We think that we have struggles and problems in life, but the only problem we have is a disconnection from our center. When we come back to self, all the other things begin to take care of themselves, and our lives begin to flow. The greatest power we have over ourselves is our ability to change our minds about ourselves.There is tremendous power in just knowing what is going on within us, not so that we can work on our stuff but so that we can begin to release it. We become very adept at knowing all about our problems, but the key is not to stop there, it is to see beyond pathology into an enlightened vision. If we can soften our heart, give up some of our old ways of being, and reconnect to the truth, our problems will give us up.
#9 Don't Rush the Process - Real growth doesn't come from pushing through or breaking out of anything. It comes from a gentle melting in. through the practice of patience we increase the gap between stimulus and response. We learn to be okay with our restlessness and our sense of guilt about not doing enough, and then we can hopefully begin to let these things go.If we are so wound up in getting somewhere, we don't realize that every step of the way we missed where we were. The very struggle of the process is what makes you sharp and gives you valuable experience and maturity. The greatest benefits come from the small shifts that move us into new directions. Our greatest source of wisdom is what is happening to us right now, where we are. Commitment to patience.
#10 Be True to Yourself - Look within to discover what you know in your heart to be right and then act on it. Live by our conscience, our own intuitive light. Have to be willing to go against the status quo, whether others approve or not. When you say or do something that is completely true to you, you access your gretest power and move closer to authentic whole-life health. You need to constantly be on the alert to keep things clean. In this way of being, you are being true to yourself, and to others.
#11 Be Still and Know - meditation brings you into the present moment=perfect teacher. You will be less reactive and more calm in challenging moments. You will be more anchored to your conscience which allows you to make good decisions with less confusion. The truth will follow us and poke at us until we acknowledge it. We have become masters at drowning out that truth, that small quiet voice within.This inner knowing whispers the way to live our brightest light if we would only stop and stay still enough to listen, and then humble ourselves enough to follow. Eventually our aim is to have our inner stillness reflect outward into all the comings and goings of our lives.
#12 Understand That the Whole Is the Goal - We don't transform in parts. Every aspect of ourselves and our lives is interconnected with every other one. Health is wholeness. The goal is to make peace with all the tendrils and conflicts of your life, both inside and out, weaving the strands together into your own spiritual coat of many colors. In the end, if you dedicate your energies to detaching from struggle, giving up fear, taking right action, practicing true patience within yourelf, you will find that all the pieces of your life begin to radiate with the luminosity of whole and true health.