I love the idea or process of “alchemy.” The Oxford dictionary defines alchemy “as a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.” So how do we take charge of our own personal alchemy? For me, it’s about the subtle changes and transformations of mind, body and spirit that take place each time we choose wellness. Let’s take a look at three of my favorite ways to approach personal alchemy on the path to wholeness and health.
Step One: Identify A Past Transformation
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when thinking about the process of making a personal overhaul. Therefore, it’s important to break this idea down to its least common denominator. Begin with thinking about a positive transformation you have already made once in your life. It could be as simple as choosing to cook your own meals instead of ordering fast food. In your mind locate and focus on one specific personal transformation.
Next, break down your transformation into its components: mind, body, and spirit. I tend to look at everything in this trifold sense. I believe it is important to see the way a particular event contributes to the growth of each component. Right now, take a moment to observe the ways each of these components have contributed to your transformation:
- Mind: Was your mind committed to making this positive change?
- Body: What daily actions did it take to make this personal transformation effective and permanent?
- Spirit: Was there a spiritual component at hand guiding you toward your positive goal?
Step Two: Begin The Uncovering Process
Now that you’ve identified a previous transformation, the uncovering process is simple. This process asks you to take some time with your journal and uncover a new personal transformation you would like to experience. With pen in hand, take time to make notes to yourself. Start small and ask yourself: What transformations would I like to make this year? It’s okay to dream big!
When you’ve finished, scan your list for one worthwhile goal that is achievable. If you are unable to commit to one on your list, try some of these ideas to complete your uncovering. According to Louise Hay in her book “You Can Heal Your Life” these components will help you live a holistic, healthy life. Perhaps one may inspire you toward a worthwhile goal.
Nurture The Body:
Practice sound nutrition. Aim to make the best choices for your body and choose food and beverages that make you feel well. When appropriate supplement with herbs, vitamins and homeopathy.
- Practice a sustainable exercise program. Find some form of exercise that is appealing to you and is one that you will consistently do. Choose from: aerobic exercise, resistance training, tai chi, yoga or Pilates. When appropriate use body work such as massage or reiki.
Nurture The Mind:
- Add visualization, guided imagery, affirmations, keeping a sketchbook or dream work to your daily practice. Spiritual meditation is also a great way to quiet the mind and allow time to tune in to the divine.
Nurture The Spirit:
- Find time to practice daily gratitude, prayer work, meditation, forgiveness, and unconditional love to remain heart-centered in your decision making.
Step Three: Find Answers In The Silence
We can’t possibly do everything. As someone once told me “you can have it all, just not all at once.” With this in mind, I am brought back to my earliest ideas about personal alchemy. This involves one of the most difficult, yet necessary practices: finding time for silence. Finding time is the challenge I most often face when looking at my own personal growth and aiming to find ways to simplify and speed up the process.
Why does it work? From a physics or scientific standpoint, the electrons within the molecules of the body actually speed up when the body slows down. It seems difficult to understand at first, but the key is its reciprocal process. When the body slows down, the energy surrounding the body and passing through the body speeds up, literally directing the body and instructing it.
Grace, balance and growth are often natural extensions of this process. When you take some time to be still and offer your goal up to the universe, you can then become aware of the divine direction.
How can we practice this?
- Try to first become aware of your surroundings.
- Then aim to find time each day to move toward your worthwhile goal.
- Keep it close to your heart.
- Understand that there are many distractions in life, but if you take time to rest and stop for one moment, it could be the moment you will receive your greatest inspiration.
When in doubt, there’s always help! For a creative boost and further direction in your discovery process, please explore these sources:
The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity By Julia Cameron.
Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential by Caroline Myss.