April marked the month I finished my Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Level 1, and I swore an oath: “I am not a woman. I am not a man. I am not a person. I am not myself. I am a teacher.” One week of intense training, one week of intense Kundalini Yoga. It was awesome! Listen to this one phrase by our teacher Ardaas Singh that caught my full attention… Pain is the currency of transformation.
Read it again: “Pain is the currency of transformation.” What does this mean to you? If you have ever practiced Kundalini Yoga, you know that there can be a lot of pain involved before you hear the relieving “breathe in deeply”, and you can release the posture (oh yes!).
However, let us talk beyond Kundalini Yoga. Pain is a powerful lever for transformation. Did you know for example that physical pain is a transcription of your state of consciousness? According to author Louise Hay, lower back pain for example, represents financial support, emotional support of family and friends, or even support from God or Great Spirit. She specifically relates lower back pain to fear of money, lack of financial support. Ring any bells?
Pain is the currency of transformation
Under the threshold of pain, or under the threshold of pleasure?
Pain is a big motivator for you to stop doing something immediately. You burn yourself on the hot stove: pain. Your natural reaction is to move your hand off the stove. Pain can be mental or physical. Yet, you can experience a ridiculous amount of emotional pain before you decide to take action. Sometimes, you may just end up emotionally torturing yourself a lifetime.
Have you already settled for a life of emotional turmoil and decided that frankly, changing this state of being sounds like a lot of work?
The subconscious is a very standard drama of a human. The Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan says you release one thousand thoughts per wink of the eye, and many thoughts, desires, emotions and feelings are uncovered. The majority of your problems exist because of that pressure of your subconscious. If the subconscious doesn’t get released, then you get into the unconscious.
Author Louise Hay and scientist Bruce Lipton argue that physical symptoms are tangible evidence of what is going on in your unconscious. Physical pain proves how you are really feeling deep inside. Then your illness becomes an indicator of your emotional state, caused by your thoughts and where you are directing your energies. For example:
- Allergies: Denying your own power.
- Back Issues: Represents the support of life.
- Migraine Headaches: Dislike of being driven. Resisting the flow of life. Sexual fears.
- Muscles: Resistance to new experiences. Muscles represent our ability to move in life.
The experience of pain is a message to your conscious mind. It is the nervous system’s means of communication with you. Transformation requires the recognition and the experience of pain.
The difference between “pain for transformation”, and settling for a lifetime of pain is the new person you become. The pain-price you pay for transformation is temporary, but the effects last beyond the moment.
Life happens outside of your comfort zone. I know that safety is great, and a lot of anxiety stems from leaving our comfort zone for the uncomfortable realm of uncertainty. Uncertainty can make us respond more strongly to negative experiences. I say: Embrace uncertainty and find a space where you feel semi-anxious.
Daniel H. Pink, author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” calls it a place of productive discomfort:
My 5 Tips
1. Pareto’s Law: change 20% of your habits to change 80% of the results. It probably does not take more than 2 habits that you need to change; for example, less social media & more conversation; less time in front of the computer, more time in nature…
2. Educate yourself! Read, read, read, read, oh and did I mention, read? How will you know what sentence could have changed your life if you don’t read?
3. Meditate: clear the subconscious poop, activate your neutral mind. Stop your brain from processing too much information. Slow Down.
4. Mantras: Louise Hay has many positive affirmations that you can tell that person in the mirror. Turn your thoughts around, direct your energy into something positive instead of the negative spiral. See what happens.
5. Get help! Us coaches, we are there to guide you through stormy passages. We can deal with these things together.
Take it from Jim Rohn, successful entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. Whatever happens to you, in your body, in your mind, in your life:
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”
If pain is the currency of transformation, then the price for the investment is a real bargain. As we would say in German “ein Schnäppchen”. The inherent idea of transformation is change, and change is inevitable. Just take a look around you. Don’t ignore the pain you are feeling, don’t hold back: use it as a signal for a new beginning.