The practice we’ll be doing together today is called the transformation technique. For this practice, you’ll be choosing a situation in your life that is either bringing you difficulty or is challenging you in some way. Take a moment to bring this situation to mind.
In this first step, you will be expressing your fears, concerns, or anything that is difficult for you surrounding this situation. With the right arm or hand raised in a light fist, express all of your current concerns, worries, fears, and thoughts or feelings about the issue you’ve chosen. It is best to vocalize these concerns out loud, as research shows that expressing in this way has a calming effect on the brain. If you are unable to share out loud, you can silently share in your own mind. You may also use a journal to write this down if that is more comfortable for you. Allow yourself two to ten minutes to complete this step, depending on the amount of time you have. Feel free to pause this recording and give yourself as much time as you have available to complete this first step. Unpause when you’re ready to move to the next step.
In the second step, you’ll be connecting to your goals, visions, and positive traits related to the situation you have brought to mind. Lower the right arm and relax your hand, and take a few deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Then, raise your left arm or hand, holding it in a gentle fist. Speaking in the present tense, speak out your vision for this situation, speaking in the present tense out loud, silently in your mind, or in writing. This works to train our mind out of its negativity bias and instead shifts the focus to the positive side of our intention or future situation.
Ask yourself these questions to get started: What do you want or desire? How would you like this situation to be? What is your intention? What are the positive qualities and traits you’re now able to access in yourself? As you speak, allow yourself to experience how it feels to achieve your goal or resolve this situation. Feel the excitement, enthusiasm, and sense of joyful fulfillment. Allow yourself two to ten minutes to complete this step, depending on the amount of time you have available. Feel free to pause this recording and give yourself as much time as you’d like. Unpausing when you’re ready to move to the next step.
When you complete this step, lower the left arm and then take a few deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.
In the third step, you will be bridging and integrating compassion into the situation you brought to mind. Take a few slow deep breaths into your heart, the place of acceptance and compassion. Activate the warmth and tenderness that resides there. Gently place your right hand to your heart, representing the concerns, fears, and worries you have about this situation. Allow the heart of compassion to hold all of the worries and fears that the situation evokes. Breathe as you practice surrounding those challenging emotions and thoughts with an attitude of kindness and compassion. Take a deep breath to fully absorb this experience. Now, keeping your right hand on your heart, bring your left hand onto the heart as well. You can place it next to or on top of your right hand. With this gesture, symbolically welcome the other side into your heart—the side focused on your positive traits and visions for yourself. Allow the heart to hold your intentions and visions with kindness as well. Take another deep breath, soaking in this experience, feeling both hands on your heart. See if you can practice recognizing that the heart can hold opposites—the heart can hold both sides of the equation: our fears and worries and our visions and goals. Take one more deep breath to fully immerse yourself in this experience.
Now, on this final step, you will be working through skillful actions and acceptance for this situation. Lower both arms on either side of your body, with palms facing upwards, and take a few deep breaths here. Reflect now from this clearer place—what is the most skillful action you could take to move through this situation or move it forward? This could be an internal action or response to the situation, or it could be an external action or response to the situation. It could also be both. Once you have an action, speak in your own words something like, “Here are my fears and concerns, here is my vision, and here is the most skillful action I can take. The result of all this, I turn over to life itself. I cannot control the outcome.” After sharing this, rest for a few minutes in a posture with your palms up, representing acceptance. You can pause here to give yourself a few minutes to rest.
Take a couple of breaths to complete this process and bring yourself back slowly, opening your eyes, and taking a moment to notice what is present for you from this experience.