How to Create Positive Change In Your Life
Practice causing positive change
Sanskrit scholar Nicholai Bachman teaches, “We can deliberately act in a way that causes positive change in ourselves,” which is a description of the third practice for loving yourself called “tapas”. “Tapas” translates to “practice causing deliberate change.” Creating discipline heats mental, physical, and emotional impurities that keep us feeling stuck energetically. Just like how fire (with effort) can transform steel into a sharp sword, the heat we create transforms us into a higher self.
When we consciously change a habit that holds us back, discomfort arises and creates heat in the body. We learn to be comfortable with discomfort through daily mindfulness practice and then choose the action we intuitively know is healthful for us. As Deborah Adele writes in The Yamas & Niyamas, “The day-to-day choice to burn non-supportive habits of the body and mind, choosing to forsake momentary pleasures for future rewards.”
We initiate practice causing deliberate change by dedicating ourselves to a daily yoga practice in which we determine what’s safe for us and what we can explore further. We ask these questions:
· What is the best amount of effort we can put into our practice?
· Where do we need to back off and include more restorative poses?
· How can we be more disciplined with nutrition and eat mostly foods that nourish the body?
Remember to be kind to yourself and discover the balance between discipline and deprivation. If you get true joy from the muffins the local coffee shop sells, could you abstain for six days of the week and enjoy half a muffin on the seventh day? You could save the other half in your freezer and enjoy it the following week.
Whenever you crave something you know isn’t whole and completely nourishing for your body, dive deep into that sensation. What grips you? Breathe into it. When you create a discipline that fosters a pure self, your higher self awaits on the other side.
Your practice causing deliberate change comes with much discomfort because it’s hard to break debilitating habits and adopt healthful habits. You might get an immediate rush when you start a new practice and see results after a week—perhaps a boost in energy or loss of a pound or two. But what happens in Week Four of a sixteen-week wellness regimen when you reach a plateau or things get tough and you desperately want to return to your old ways? This is when the heat turns up. You find your focus, feel your breath, and stay the course.
A transformation from practice causing deliberate change occurs when you consciously practice day after day. Every time you step onto your mat (or into your kitchen if your goal is more healthful eating), you come into your practice. You resolve to put forth your best effort of what’s available for you that day. Simply do your best with what you have and sit with any discomfort as it arises. Deborah Adele writes in The Yamas & Niyamas, “[Practice causing deliberate change] is growing our ability to stay in the unknown and the unpleasantness, rather than run in fear.” In doing so, you gain so much and shed what doesn’t serve you.
What habits do you have that hold you back or prevent you from being well?
Whether you feel constrained by poor nutrition, a lack of movement that results in stagnation of energy, or any other lack of energy that disconnects you from your spiritual life, begin your practice with courage. Then you can stand in the fire of the discipline and work toward the transformation of your physical, mental, and spiritual self.
Comment below how you create change in your daily life. What is your discipline that brings you to a higher self? You can opt-in for my email list here to receive your Get Clear + Feel Dynamic toolkit for practices that set you up for practices that invest in your wellness as you better manage your energy.