Friday, February 8, 2008

Transformation

This morning I visited the river for the first time in weeks. Since I have begun teaching classes and doing a private lesson three mornings a week - my morning routine has evolved a little differently.

The river was calm and beautiful - the air was crisp - and I sensed new beginnings - the seeds of spring gestating within my heart and soul - and noticeable even in the tree limbs around the banks of the river...

We have been in silent waiting...But today - everything looked and felt different...

Last night before I did my midnight meditation, I curled up with the new issue of Yoga Journal - March 2008. Every month I look forward to reading Sally Kempton's "Wisdom" column, and this month was no exception. I have found her insights to be the very ones I have needed for several months...

This month Sally Kempton spoke of how transformation in our lives can be a radical process and experience and she offers wonderful suggestions for navigating the shift gracefully.

I will share some of her insights:

Transformation [is] a process in which you literally allow yourself to be softened, opened, even broken apart, in order to expand your sense of who you are...

You don't know exactly who you are. Yet that uncertainty - the feeling that you're in between an old self and an unknown new one - is a sign that you're in a transformative process.

Transformation is a dance between Being and Becoming...

Being is the changeless source of all that is...

Becoming is the part of you that grows, changes, shifts. It is the realm where inspiration becomes actualized in the world. Being is your still center, your Source; Becoming is your personality, your body, and your interactions with the world...

Kempton says that the path of radical transformation is characterized by these stages:

Wake - Up Call
Something needs to change

Holding Uncertainty
You live with insecurity and identity shifting

Asking for Help
You approach the appropriate people for help and appeal to the power of grace

Grace, Insight, and Awakening
Grace opens a situation and creates a breakthrough or inner shift

Honeymoon
You enjoy the new situation which may feel like being in love

Fall from Grace
You lose touch with your new gifts and experience dryness or loss of contact with your Source

Integration
You apply insights from having lost your connection to grace and experience the ripening of your breatkthroughs over time

Most of us go through several cycles of transformation in our lives. I realized as I reflected on my own life - I have gone through several in the last couple of decades - and some significant ones - 15 years ago - and then 10, 6, and 3 years ago, and a major one during the last 8 to 12 months...

The article explains all of these stages in detail - and it should really be read in its entirety.

Finally, Kempton writes this:

When we enter the gates of the transformative process - and yoga is, in its essence, a vortex for transformation - we can never predict how the journey will go.

What we can say is that it will involve a dance between insight and application,
between practice and grace,
between Being and Becoming...

For past articles by Sally Kempton, go to:

www.yogajournal.com

and:

www.SallyKempton.com

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