Sunday, April 18, 2010


Transformation can happen in an instant or gradually over time. It can be something we create or something that happens to us without our control. It can be subtle or dramatic,

When Mount St Helens erupted, the landscape was dramatically transformed in an instant. The forces of nature had been invisibly at work before the eruption but the actual physical change happened without warning and the landscape was changed permanently. Powerful acts of nature like earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis and hurricanes can cause this instant transformation.

People can be transformed instantly in an accident becoming paralyzed, losing a limb, losing their sight or losing part of their memory from a stroke. These transformations are beyond our control. Afterwards we have a choice with how we deal with the changes but life gives us unexpected challenges.

Over time as we age, transformation happens gradually. No one can stop the aging process but we can control how dramatically it happens by our lifestyle. People who stay active with their body and mind typically age more gracefully than someone who is inactive and doesn't challenge themselves physically and mentally. Habits like smoking and excessive drinking can negatively impact how we age.

People can transform their physical appearance through diet and exercise. When someone loses 20 - 150 lbs the transformation can be very dramatic. This transformation takes place gradually over time with our concentrated efforts. When our bodies undergo a change like this it often changes our mind and attitude about ourselves because we feel better.

A chance encounter can be transformational in gradual subtle ways. We could meet someone who we end up marrying or starting a business with. A person might introduce us to a sport or art process that becomes our passion in life and transforms how we identify ourselves.

Yoga brings about a gradual transformation in our bodies and how we view life. The practice of being gentle with ourselves combined with discipline and concentrated awareness on the mat can help us to be more forgiving with ourselves and others off the mat. Yoga invites to explore parts of our body that are forgotten and in that process we can open up both physically and emotionally. We play a part in that transformation but other aspects of our transformation may occur as a side benefit to our efforts.

Real transformation requires a significant energy exchange. It happens when a huge amount of energy changes something quickly like a volcano erupting or when consistent energy over time creates a substantial lasting change like changing your eating habits for optimal health. Something quick and easy like cutting your hair to change your looks would not be a transformation. Energy transformation is happening all the time within us and around us. Instead of letting life overwhelm us with unwanted transformations, we can mindfully focus our energy to create the positive transformations that bring joy and contentment.

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