Welcome to Day 1 of TheElements of Transformation!
If you want to feel better than you do, you need to become more aware of things you may not have previously paid attention to so you can make different choices and create new habits. This doesn’t have to be a struggle! When your warmthis engaged, even cold, heavy things can be met with softness and ease. Your warm, awake, attentive inner presence lightens and lifts whatever you are experiencing and makes it possible for you to show up and make better-feeling choices.
Now, let's play with the warming power of fire! 1. How would you gauge the temperature of your private inner world? Toasty warm and kind, icy cold and cruel, or somewhere in the middle? Are you generally for or against yourself? Can you notice and acknowledge what's true without making it wrong?
When you make things wrong, you freeze them in place. When you notice without judging, you've already chosen a warmer response. Now things can begin to thaw and move.
Kindling greater warmth is the cornerstone of a life that is happier, more courageous and free. It starts as a choice but can quickly take on a life of its own and become a life-changing habit.
2. Placing a hand on your heart during a challenging moment generates actual warmth and communicates "I'm not alone."
A hand on the heart helps you move from your head into your body - from an interpretation of an experience into the experience itself. It's always an invitation to bewith whatever you're experiencing, and to be there for yourself while you are.
Being with an experience is completely different from judging it. Judging keeps things hard and stuck; being with softens and allowsthings to move and flow - as they're meant to.
The simple but powerful practice of placing a hand on your heart helps cultivate an inner warmth that can sustain and support you, no matter what. As your inner world warms and softens, things can flow more easily. A life that flows feels better.
3. What is one thing you judge, criticize or make wrong in yourself?Think about it for a moment and feel how solid and real and true it seems when experienced through the lens of mind. Notice if your mind is already filling your inner space with stories and evidence confirming and proving your guilt, shame or unworthiness.
Now place a hand on your heart. Feel the warmth of your hand and the rise and fall of your chest under it. Close your eyes for two or three breaths and get curious: "What do I feel under my hand?" There's no right or wrong answer; it's about youtuning into your own experience right now.
Notice how things slow down when awareness moves from your head into the direct experience of your body. Slowing things down gives you time to respond to an experience more thoughtfully, rather than reacting impulsively.
As your hand brings outer warmth and presence to your heart, what happens inside? Is there more warmth and presence there?
Hand on heart, warmth engaged, how does that "one thing" feel now? When you bring more heart-centered presence, even challenging things can be met with greater ease and allowing.
4. Behold yourself: Stand in front of a mirror, place a hand on your heart, soften your gaze and take yourself in, with warm, kind eyes. If you catch yourself judging, feelthe hand on your heart. Don't judge yourself for judging! Instead, honor yourself for showing up.
How can you become safe enough for yourself so you can come out of hiding and let yourself be seen?
Repeat this daily. It's a powerful practice.
5. Share your warmth with someone else today: Who do you know who needs a kind word, an “I recognize and see you and love you as you are” gift? How do you feel after you share?
Sharing reminds you how much you have to share.
6. Engaging a small inner smile warms, calms, and instantly uplifts and shifts your focus in a better-feeling direction. Close your eyes, form the slightest smile on your lips, and notice how you feel!
Try this: Start with a hand on your heart, add one inner smile and a sprinkle of gratitude. Pour into a receptive body and bake for as long as it takes to feel better.
To make sure you never run out of gratitude: Practice remembering and making lists of things you've accomplished, or that are going well now, or that you're grateful for. Do this on a regular basis so you can snack on these positive tidbits whenever you're trapped in a spiral of wrongness. It's important to rehearse right-making stories when you're feeling good so you can easily reach for them when needed, especially if the habit of wrong-making is strong in you. Make sure your inner cupboards are filled with healthy snacks!
10. Listen: I'm including a few songs for each of the elements as we move along. It was fun to put together these lists but keep in mind that pairing music is not an exact science! Take what feels good and leave the rest!