Life often places obstacles in our way, but through the ideas and guidance offered by author, Janette Holland, in A Journey of Transformation, you can learn not only to survive but thrive.
Throughout this journey of transformation, you will be inspired step by step to move into a life of peace and fulfillment. You will learn how to:
• Monitor your thoughts and discard the beliefs and habits that no longer serve you;
• Take action to bring into reality what you envisage and how to sustain that action;
• Implement strategies to go within and to connect with your intuition and the voice of your higher self.
A positive and uplifting guidebook about personal development, A Journey of Transformation offers practical advice and a set of exercises at the end of each chapter. Some use cognitive thinking and others connect you with your subconscious mind and inner wisdom, to guide you on the transformative journey to a life based on who you really are.
|Publisher:||Balboa Press Australia|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.16(d)|
Read an Excerpt
A Journey of Transformation
Expand Your Awareness, Create a New Vision
By Janette Holland
Balboa PressCopyright © 2015 Janette Maree Holland
All rights reserved.
Who Am I?
Meditation: If you wish, put on music that will take you to a peaceful place. Take a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and then inhale and exhale slowly. This topic is "Who Am I?"
As you breathe, consciously allow all your roles to drop away. The role you have as a family member, the role you may have in your employment, your social roles — let them all drop away. Feel the freedom of just being, of living unhampered by the roles you play. Just enjoy that state of pure being, without others' and your own expectations. Imagine soaring to the skies without any limitations and exhilarate in pure possibility. Relish the freedom. Float gently back to earth, and when you are ready, open your eyes and come back to the present time. Then begin the exercise.
Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living". He said this at his trial for heresy, where he was on trial for encouraging his students to challenge the accepted beliefs of the time and to think for themselves. No one's life is free from heartache and challenges. But those who spend time to explore who they are, and to understand what drives them to think and behave the way they do, are on the way to living an inspired life and fulfilling their dreams. When you set aside time to examine your life, you become more aware and you begin to make choices that are congruent with who you are.
Most of the time, we are not aware of what drives us and how our thoughts and actions are impacting others and indeed ourselves. In his book Awareness, Anthony de Mello says, "There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them."
Dr Joe Dispenza and other scientists claim we have about sixty thousand thoughts a day. Even more startling is that ninety five percent of them are the same as yesterday and the day before and the day before that. The next statistic is that for the average person, eighty percent of those habitual thoughts are negative. Dr Daniel Amen, an award-winning physician and psychiatrist, calls them automatic negative thoughts (ANTs). Each day, most people have forty five thousand negative thoughts!
In Marci Shimoff 's book Happy for No Reason, she shares the story of a Cherokee elder who is telling his grandson about the battle that goes on inside of people.
"My son, the battle is between the two 'wolves' that live inside us all. One is Unhappiness. It is fear, anger, jealousy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment, and inferiority. The other is Happiness. It is joy, love, hope, serenity, kindness, generosity, truth, and compassion." The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
Muscle testing is an effective way to demonstrate how pleasant thoughts keep our bodies strong and how unpleasant thoughts weaken our bodies.
Stand facing a person. Ask that person to raise an arm straight out, to the side at shoulder height. Don't use arms/shoulders that have been injured in any way.
Ask the person to think of people or events that are joyful memories. While they are thinking those thoughts, place a hand or two fingers above the wrist and ask the person to resist your downward pressure. You need to give them time to tighten their arm to resist before you push down. Apply downward pressure on their wrist. Usually, when the person is thinking pleasant thoughts, they resist your downward pressure.
Then ask the same person to think of a person or event that they regard as unpleasant. Ask the person to resist, and apply downward pressure on their wrist. Usually, while thinking unpleasant thoughts, the person's arm will not resist your downward pressure.
This muscle test is easy to do and a good visual demonstration of the immediate impact our thoughts have on our bodies.
Write down at least four ways you would describe yourself
Write down at least ten influences in your life that you believe have shaped your identity
From the previous exercise, you will have discovered that there are many forces shaping your beliefs and values. Those beliefs and values contribute to the concept of who you think you are.
We have been influenced by our families, the neighbourhoods in which we grew up, our education, the religious instruction we received, our peers, and the culture in our workplaces. The list goes on.
Most of the time, we are not aware that the essence of who we are, is shrouded by other people's expectations and beliefs. We are all unique, with our own thoughts, feelings, beliefs, desires, likes, and dislikes. Too often, at an early age, we were not encouraged to make decisions for ourselves and were steered into lives not of our choosing. In our awakening, we reclaim ourselves. We begin to witness our thoughts and behaviour, and we begin to understand who we truly are. We discard those parts of ourselves that we know are false.
How often throughout our lives have we felt that we were in situations where we were compromising the persons we were? The uneasiness we felt in our bodies was indicating that. Fear of losing our jobs, losing a relationship, losing a friendship, or being the odd one out prevented us from speaking our truth and from behaving in a way that was congruent with who we were. The good news is that we can change ourselves and our lives with one thought.
But strange that
I was not told That
the brain can hold
In a tiny ivory cell
God's heaven or
— Oscar Wilde
In Evolve Your Brain, Joe Dispenza, D.C., informs us of the changes in our bodies created by thought. Our pancreas and adrenal glands secrete hormones. Our brains release neurochemicals. Our spleens and thymus glands send out messages to our immune systems to make modifications. Gastric juices start flowing, and our liver produces enzymes that were not there before. Our heart rates fluctuate. Our lungs alter their stroke volumes, and the blood flow to the capillaries in our hands and feet change. Our thoughts are that powerful.
We become what we think about. Another amazing concept is that the subconscious cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined. In other words, the brain does not know the difference between what it is thinking internally and what it is experiencing in its external environment. The same set of nerve cells are fired in the same part of the brain whether you perform an action physically or whether you imagine doing it. A neuroscientist, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, conducted an experiment at Harvard Medical School. He asked two groups of volunteers, who were non-pianists, to learn and practise a five finger piano exercise. Every day for five days, the volunteers practised for two hours. One group physically practised their exercises, while the other group mentally rehearsed the exercises without using their fingers. At the end of five days the transcranial-magnetic-stimulation test revealed that the region of motor cortex that controls the piano-playing fingers also expanded in the brains of volunteers who imagined playing the music - just as it had in those who actually played it. The non-playing volunteers were activating their brains in the same way as if they were actually playing the piano. Their brain circuits strengthened and developed in the same area of the brain as the group that physically practised.
There is a wonderful story about Michael Phelps winning his fourth gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in the two-hundred-metre butterfly. Water got in his goggles and he had to swim blind for the final stretch. At the end of the race, when a reporter asked him what it felt like to swim blind, he answered that it was just as he had imagined it!
What Do You Imagine for Yourself ?
Who Are You?
If you would like to find out your character strengths, log in to www.authentichappiness.com and do the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. This website has many valuable resources based on the research of Positive Psychology.
Do this exercise in silence so that you are totally involved in your own process.
1. THE MASK: The face you present to the world and the face you hide.
The following is an art exercise to link you to your subconscious mind and to throw light on hidden aspects of yourself.
Take a piece of paper. A4 or A3 is good, or any paper you may have.
Fold in the two outside edges to meet the centre of the page.
Crease the outside edges.
On the flaps that are facing you, draw the face that the world sees, either realistically or in symbolic form. Take at least fifteen minutes.
After you have finished, open the flaps, and on the exposed blank page, draw the face that you do not show the world.
Then sit quietly and contemplate what you have drawn. You might like to journal any thoughts or feelings that arise. If you are in a group situation, you might like to share your thoughts and feelings with another member.CHAPTER 2
Where Am I?
Meditation: If you wish, put on music that will take you to a peaceful place. Take a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and then inhale and exhale slowly. This topic is "Where Am I?"
As you breathe, imagine entering a garden where the plants are flourishing. Consider what gives them so much vitality. Imagine yourself as a thriving plant. Imagine the warmth of the sunlight, savouring the moisture from the rain and your roots firmly planted in the ground as you take in all the nutrients that are available to you. Feel at one with the life force of nature. When you are ready, open your eyes and come back to the present time. Then begin the exercise.
What determines your place in the world? Your thoughts and your inner talk determine the nature of the place you find yourself in. Do you wake up each morning in a state of gratitude and peace or in a state of confusion and restlessness? As you have learned, your thoughts directly impact the reactions in your body. For that reason alone, being more mindful in each moment of the day directly affects the state of your health.
To live consciously is to live in the present moment.
The first point of reference is the breath. Our breath is our life force. Our first breath is our first moment of existence in this life, and our last breath is the end of our existence in this life. Taking a breath is literally life-giving. By focusing on the breath, we are resting in all that is. Conscious breathing calms our minds and bodies.
A beautiful meditation that you can do at any time of the day, just imagining it, comes from Thich Nhat Hanh: "Breathing in, I calm myself; breathing out, I smile." In addition to the benefits of breathing, smiling is a natural drug. Smiling lowers your blood pressure. It releases endorphins, natural pain killers and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good.
Throughout the day we will experience many different feelings. We often judge our feelings as good or bad. Feelings are the body's signals that convey to us what may be happening at a conscious or unconscious level. By continually practising being in the present moment we are able to come to a point where we start observing our feelings, rather than being our feelings. This is very freeing because we then consciously respond to events rather than unconsciously react to them. We are in control, rather than outside influences being in control of us.
A simple and rewarding exercise to do each day, when you first awake, is to think of the things you are grateful for. Repeat the exercise when you go to bed at night. Think of the things during your day that you are grateful for . If you are not grateful for what you have already, why would the Universe give you more? Being in a state of gratitude brings joy into your world.
One of my favourite mentors, Ram Dass, who resides on Maui, a beautiful Hawaiian island, asked me to repeat to myself, "I am Loving Awareness." I used capitals, because for me those words remind me that I am a part of the Oneness of the Divine. While saying those words I feel that I am erasing the accumulated data in my mind and freeing myself to be open to infinite possibilities. When we release our emotions and concentrate on our breath, our mind and body become calm. In that calm place our intuition speaks to us and we are able to access our deeper selves. In other words, we access our subconscious mind, which is our link to the Divine. We are open to inspiration.
In practical terms, where you are now depends on where you are placing your attention. You place your attention on what you value most. Your brain's reticular activating system (RAS) is the tool that lets into your awareness those things that are congruent with what you value most and filters out what is extraneous. According to some of the latest research, scientists have demonstrated that the brain processes about four billion of bits of information every second. Usually we are conscious of only about two thousand bits of data. The RAS deletes large amounts of information to avoid sensory overload.
An example of deletion is when we may not recognise someone when they are in a setting different from where we usually meet them. We may have been served by the same person in a shop for years and when we meet them in a social context we may not at first recognise them. Even though our eyes see them, the information about them does not become conscious.
As with deletion, another important function of the human nervous system is to distort. Although several people may witness the same event, they will distort or interpret it differently. Each person will have a separate Internal Representation of that event in the form of pictures, sounds and/or feelings. For example, eyewitnesses at a traffic accident may notice different things and experience different feelings related to the same event. One eyewitness may be passionate about cars and remember in vivid detail what the car looked like. What may be more vivid in someone else's mind is that they saw small children on the back seat.
Another way that we filter information is by generalization. Generalizations enable us to categorize and to remember what we have learned. However, like other filtering processes, they can benefit us or impede us, because they make up our belief systems. Generalizations can be based on our individual experiences and also on the data we have received from the major influences on our lives. We often make generalizations on issues relating to gender, age, ethnicity, religion and occupation.
What do you value and where are you placing your attention?
The Demartini Value Determination Process is one of the best processes I know to determine your values. To receive a complimentary download in PDF format, go to https://drdemartini.com/download value determination
In the Value Determination Process you are asked to answer a series of questions, such as how do you fill your space, how do you spend your time, what do you most think about? In the way you answer these questions you are able to ascertain what really inspires you and where your true interests lay.
If the life you are living at the present time is not the life you envisage for yourself, sometimes you need to change the hierarchy of your values. For example, if up until now your highest value was the family, but your finances are in disarray, you might discover that you have always placed a low value on building wealth. You were probably very happy to spend any money you had on family items and experiences. However, over time your situations change. Family dynamics change. Your children grow up and leave home, you may experience the loss of a partner and suddenly you might find yourself in a very different financial scenario. In that case, you place more value on your finances by seeking out information and learning to manage them better. In other words, you can decide what is important to you and what you focus on at any given time.
The better you are at paying attention to your internal mental imagery, the more you can rewire your brain and the easier it is to control other circuits that process familiar sensory stimulation. As you are aware, your subconscious mind does not make a distinction between what is real and what is imagined. When you visualize you are reprogramming your subconscious mind. Your reticular activating system (RAS) will begin to notice things that were always there but were previously unnoticed. The RAS is a powerful tool, but it operates on what you give it. All you have to do is close your eyes and see the image of what you want for yourself. Then feel the feelings of that image being a reality.
Our experience tells us what researchers have found out: when accompanied by intense emotions, an image or a scene stays locked in our memory forever. These intense emotions stimulate the growth of additional spiny protuberances on the dendrites of brain neurons and this in turn creates more neural connections, thus locking in the memory much more solidly. When you visualize, imagine that what you want already exists and in addition bring as much emotion as possible to your image. Feel what you would feel when you have attained your goal, see what you would see, hear what you would hear. In other words, visualizing with feeling will bring about a more powerful result.
Excerpted from A Journey of Transformation by Janette Holland. Copyright © 2015 Janette Maree Holland. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Who Am I?, 1,
Chapter 2 Where Am I?, 10,
Chapter 3 Where Am I Going?, 19,
Chapter 4 Transitions, 27,
Chapter 5 Creating My Future, 36,
Chapter 6 Honouring Myself, 42,
Notes For A Journey Of Transformation, 51,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A fantastic book that helped me reconnect to my true self and discover what I truly want from my life and in my life. This book has practical activities that helped me to firstly identify then focus on the aspects in my life that are most significant to me. I feel like I have a clearer idea of who I am, what makes me unique and what I want to gain from life. I would recommend this book to anyone who is seeking more from life, whether that be in a spiritual sense, general happiness or just work-life balance.