Tuesday, February 4, 2014

40 Days to Personal Revolution: Laws of Transformation for Weeks 3-4

I am almost through with week 4 and I have to say, things are going pretty well. I'm feeling amazing and absolutely LOVING going to yoga everyday.  Today is the first day of my 3-day fruit cleanse (or "fruit feast") where I cleanse my body by eating only fruit (avocados and tomatoes count!) for three days.  At the end of day one I feel wonderful, so far so good! Today after class I was feeling so good that I spent some time practicing at home afterwards... and snapping some selfies!! haha
Still a work in progress...
So as I've mentioned before, every week of our ~6 week 40 Day Personal Revolution, we focus on 2 of Baron Baptiste's 12 Laws of Transformation (which are all in his book 40 Days to Personal Revolution). Week three focused on Laws 5 and 6:

Law 5: Shift Your Vision:  I love this one because my yoga studio has been encouraging us to #shiftyourperspective in 2014 - because "if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change" and this is exactly what this law is all about. One of the great pieces of wisdom in this law is "In life we run into obstacles that upon first glance look like the fault of others, but a closer examination will often show that the obstacles can be a mirror of our own hidden barriers." Baron challenges us to focus our attention, intention, and faith in positive directions because "whatever you focus on, you fortify." And isn't that the truth!
My first #shiftyourperspective Instragram picture
Law 6: Drop What You Know: This law is essentially instructing us to stop thinking and start being.  "It means noticing your doubts and then letting them go, endlessly releasing the thoughts and internal stories that reinforce your mental status quo." Because, "We don't change by thinking, we change by being and doing with pure intent."  Baron encourages us to stay in the present moment, because "the present moment has the opportunity for a rebirth" - every breath is blessing and new opportunity to start fresh.
At first I thought, this law is especially pertinent for yoga because it is so important to be present on your mat, or you will miss the entire class. But then doesn't that just bring yoga right back to life... because if you are not present in life, you will miss that just as easily.  My yoga teacher told me last week that as we began our class in child's pose and ended in corpse pose, our time on the mat was (and always is) a metaphor for life. How we choose to react to struggle, fatigue, challenge, and even boredom on the mat directly translates to how we react to those things in life.  Our mats are a mirror into ourselves and we can use our time on the mat to practice (and indeed yoga is a practice) how want to live our lives, and it begins with dropping what we know and being fully present in every posture and then in every moment in life... As Baron says in Law 6, " lightening lasts only for a moment and ...we must be fully present and open in order to see what it illuminates."
Week 4 of our 40 Days to Personal Revolution was focused on Restoration, and went along with laws 7 & 8. 
Law 7: Relax With What Is: This law encourages us to "relax in the face of stress." This again is an area that we can REALLY practice on the mat how we want to react to stressful situations in "real life."  It is a constant part of any yoga practice to relax into intense and often times uncomfortable stretches, but we do it because, as Baron says in Law 7, "Good pain... is the threshold to a new body, a new psychology, and a new spirit. As uncomfortable as it is, it usually holds lessons and can give new direction if we stay open and relax with the discomfort just as it is."  In life, there is great value in being a person who can relax in the face of stress - at the office, in the hectic day-to-day, in situations of danger or uncertainty - because that is when you need to be most clear of mind in order to find your way out.
Law 8: Remove the Rocks: "The block of granite which was an obstacle in the path of the weak becomes a stepping stone in the path of the strong," Thomas Carlyle (by way of Baron Baptiste).  This is a beautiful law, and something that I should come back to again and again, because in this law Baron reminds us that, "Transformation comes not by adding things on, but by removing what didn't belong in the first place.... We forget that there is something perfect already within us..."  Here are some more of his words (I especially love the first line!):
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 stuff," but so that we can begin to release it...It is so important for us to get that we don't have to solve any of our problems. 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. - Baron Baptiste, 40 Days to Personal Revolution, Law 8.
So yeah... these are the things that I have been trying to focus on for the last two weeks... some really great stuff, even if you aren't in to yoga (I think!).  I think everyone can benefit from some more mindfulness and presence in life and working through this book, practicing yoga, and meditating every day has definitely brought more mindfulness and presence into my life in the last 4 weeks.

I have to say I didn't really have any expectations when I started this little program, but I am really happy that I did - it has been a great means by which to center myself and focus renewed energy on becoming the best possible version of myself. AND it's an excuse to go to yoga every single day... what more could a girl ask for!? :-)

I am really thankful that this 40 Days is right at the beginning of the year and also at the beginning of a new decade in my life.  First because I am not traveling so much for work right now, so I have the opportunity to really spend the time diving into it all, but second, because I can't think of a better way to start of my 30's! I am excited about the last two weeks and even more excited to take what I've learned in these 40 days with me throughout the year and beyond. 

And now I leave you with a some new videos of some things I've been working on in my yoga practice in the last couple of weeks...

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