6 Meditations for Personal Transformation
By Dr. Millie Lytle ND, MPH, CNS
Human beings crave comfort. What I’ve noticed during my 14+ years of practice is that comfort is an end-point for many people. “I want to be comfortable”, is what we say. We link comfort with happiness. ‘Fat and happy’ is how couples are described when they pair-bond and gain weight from snacking while cuddling on the couch, then only going out for a drive to the ice cream shop night after night. Comfort may be the ultimate goal for an individual because they struggled when they were younger and want to take care of others how their parents did, or could not provide for them. Comfort connotes having a full time job, owning a home, a nice car, cushy apartment, having the freedom to purchase what you choose, and being a member of the shrinking middle-class. Comfort could be having more or less than that as well. There is some personal choice as to what’s comfortable. Who would argue that comfort doesn't feel great? The problem with comfort is that it precludes self-growth. Striving for comfort is a subpar goal when it is your free will to strive towards your life purpose. Why watch movies about men and women who have reached for the golden ring from the comfort of your couch, when you could be the hero on your own mission? Thinking about comfort as a cop-out to striving for life’s purpose means that you will never experience personal transformation as so long as you are stuck on the limited goal of comfort. While personal transformation may not be the goal for everyone, I can’t help but think so many people limit themselves. There are consequences to limiting oneself. As a population, we suffer malaise, anxiety and depression from not being true to ourselves. Personal transformation takes courage. It takes knowing what it is you desire. If you are an individual who is sick and tired of comfort, or the malaise that comes along with life being too mundane, boring or unfulfilling, you may want to adjust your goals upward, come to the edge of life and take a leap of faith. Here are 6 mantras for personal transformation so you become a person the comfortable would watch on the big screen.
- I Feel my Discomfort and Recognize its Purpose. We’re trained to be satisfied with comfort, but often it’s not enough. Humans have great capacity for achievement with personal and humanitarian action. In order to understand your own desires, so that you can then understand what it is you want from life, you need to get used to discomfort. In my experience, people don’t make changes unless they must. Some of us have a different ‘rock bottom’ we must hit before we take thorough action. While discontent can keep people swimming in circles, or seeking escape routes with prescriptions, drug and alcohol use, drama or conflict in relationships and friendships, it is an essential step to recognizing what you want from life. Rather than running from the pain, meditate on it. A psychologist friend of mine used to say, “sit in your puddle as long as you want and when you’re ready, get up”. I always thought that was a brilliant statement as it allows an individual to adjust to the pain, to enjoy it, but not to run from it using a negative coping mechanism. Meditate on this: “I feel my discomfort and recognize its purpose.”
- I See Myself Repeating Patterns and Identify Behaviors that Keep Me Stuck. In order to achieve personal transformation, you must observe how you are perpetuating your own suffering. You need to see how you obstruct your own progress in order to achieve your goals. Maybe you stay in a dead-end job, or a bad relationship or are addicted to vices. Perhaps you have boundary issues and allow others to bring you down to their level of drama, remain subservient, fail to set good priorities in the day-to-day rather than setting time for your own plans and accomplishments. When you’re stuck, it’s because you are choosing to stay on the same level. When you do the same behaviors, you’ll get the same results. In order to get different results, you need to change something. Stop allowing others to treat you badly: stand up for yourself, detoxify and cleanse your body, allow yourself to receive, give more often, express love and gratitude, eat a healthy breakfast or go to bed before midnight. Only by stepping back from yourself, observing yourself objectively, can you see yourself as a hamster on a wheel. Meditate on this: “I see myself repeating patterns and identify behaviors that keep me stuck”.
- I am Responsible for Solving My Own Problems. Ultimately, you are responsible for the choices you make and the goals you set. All action has a reaction. You are responsible for both your action and your reaction. This does not mean that all outcomes and influencers are within your control. In order to transform yourself, it’s time to stop blaming others by holding them accountable for your lack of success. People blame their spouse, their family, their parents, their spouse’s parents, their childhood, their children, God and the system. In fact, blaming is not the same as taking responsibility. You may find it easier to blame yourself, which provides you a motive to give up when you do not succeed. We continue to live in a time with bias, prejudice and persecution; and so in order to accomplish our goals,)we must do so within a very unfair, even unjust, system. This is still not reason to blame your lack of change on others. If you are dedicated to your own mission, the only way to accomplish it is take responsibility for what’s not working now. In order to solve your problems, you must be very creative. Meditate on this: “I am responsible for solving my own problems as this responsibility facilitates my growth.”
- I Release People Who No Longer Serve Me. Along the path towards personal transformation, relationships will change. You will become more independent, attached to your own goals, and take responsibility for your choices. These changes will confront any persons in your life who rely on you for co-dependence. If you are used to giving or taking energy from others (or them you), when you change this scenario, the people who are not growing along with you will either contest or fall away. Some people will be supportive of you. They will be happy that you are making big changes, even in spite of the discomfort they may feel for you having changed your course. New people who are also ascending to a higher game will enter your life. You will notice these people because you will feel connected with them and safe around them. You will also find yourself with the courage to let other lesser relationships or dynamics fall away. This does not mean you need to abandon people who have been in your life a long time. It means that you need to request they be supportive of you while you make changes that are positive for your soul’s intentions. If they are not supportive, then they will drain your energy, and try to keep you in a lower state. When you object or refuse, they will fall away. Meditate on this: “I release people and dynamics that no longer serve my higher intentions”.
- I Jump at Ideas that Excite Me. The journey to personal transformation is not primarily about the changes you make on a daily basis: letting friends go, getting clean or owning up for your part in the mess. Those changes are essentials for the journey to commence. Ultimately, the journey of personal transformation is about being in a position with yourself and your higher power to act on inspiration. When you were stuck in the comfort paradigm, you may have also been stuck in fear to change, and accepted a lesser life because of the risk it took to transform yourself. Somewhere along the line, you may have grown accustomed to denying yourself the opportunity to act on your inspirations. When an exciting thought pops into your mind, you can either seize the opportunity to create paths towards this goal, or shake your head and tell yourself to stop dreaming. Allowing your imagination to soar is not an invitation to be rash, impulsive or foolish, but rather to discover a childlike heart with big dreams. At this point you have the maturity to take on the challenge, no matter how long it takes. Meditate on this: “I jump at ideas that excite me and allow my imagination to soar."
- I Devote Myself to Positive Goals. Personal transformation is not a straight line, nor is it a process with a finish line. Many people get frustrated or depressed about the lack of instant success and give up. A study in the Journal of Social Forces shows that only 6% of us achieve our childhood dreams. We are accustomed to instant gratification. The media portrays success like a fairy-tale, rather than an ongoing process. We think we have to outcompete others in order to accomplish our goals. You could say these are negative distractors to personal transformation rather than principles to rely upon. Personal transformation independent from the goals of others is the achievement of the individual at the highest and most personal level as a result of free will and self-mastery. In order to achieve self-mastery one needs to devote part of their day every day to committing their thoughts and behaviors to positive goals, big or small. Positive goals can be a new job, opening a business, landmarks of success, financial prosperity; or the development of personal qualities such as valor, virtue, kindness, influence, love, family, freedom, community, celebrity or any other powerful personal achievement. Each individual can have personal transformation without having to outcompete any adversary because personal transformation is more about steady positive internal efforts that represent an ongoing devotion to your mission in life. Meditate on this: “I consistently devote myself to positive goals in my thoughts and behaviors.”