“The practice of yoga is part of a gradual process of deliberate internal and external transformation.” ~ Nicolai Bachman
TAPAS, the third of the niyamas, is considered one of the most powerful concepts in the Yoga Sutras. The word “tapas” comes from the Sanskrit verb “tap” which means “to burn.” The traditional interpretation of tapas is “fiery discipline,” the fiercely focused, constant, intense commitment necessary to burn off anything that keeps us from having union with our body, mind, and spirit. It’s the fire that brings about transformation—the willingness, the cleansing, the discipline. This reminds me of the 3 “C’s” of life: choices, chances, and changes. You must make a CHOICE to take a CHANCE or your life will never CHANGE. Tapas is the practice of putting our plan for change into action. When we allow old habits to fall into the fire of tapas, burning away and out of our lives, we allow new, more positive habits to integrate into our body and mind. As we relax into stillness, we become increasingly aware of our true inner spirit, and this is where transformation begins.
Two questions for you: What negative behavior or habit would you like to burn away? What positive behavior would you like to integrate into the deepest part of your being? Let’s put our plan for change into action! Invite in the new, burn away the old. 🔥 [Ephesians 4 22-24]
A requirement of tapas, our internal fire, is to cut through distractions and bring our full attention to the present moment, where transformation begins.
Presence Practice Inquiry:
What’s happening now?
What do I need right now?
Does this serve my highest good?
Does this choice empower me, make me feel light, strong, courageous,
or does it disempower me? ~ Kate Shipp
The Scattered Pieces Will Come Together by Melody Beattie
“Scattered pieces. Sometimes we look around, and that’s what we see. Scattered pieces of ourselves, our lives, a project, a season of our lives. Where is the connecting thread, we wonder? How can we ever pull this together into something that makes sense, something with purpose, something with meaning? There are pieces to every whole; yet each piece is complete. Don’t worry about how they will come together. Work joyfully on the piece that’s before you, the piece that’s in your life today. There are many pieces of you, many beautiful parts. The universe will help you bring all those parts alive. It will bring mirrors to you, people who will reflect those beautiful pieces back to you. Look in the mirror of your life. What pieces do you see reflected? Know it’s you you’re seeing. Then let that part of you come alive. Pull in the parts of yourself, the many beautiful parts that have come alive. Beckon your warrior, your healer, your playful child. Bring together your professional self, your adult, the passionate part of you, the nurturing part. Let all the parts come together. Don’t send any of them away. You need them all. Each is a beautiful piece of the soul, the life, the person you are. Trust. Trust the process. Joy is yours, available for the asking and the desiring—even in the developmental stages–even before the puzzle has been put together. The scattered pieces of yourself, your project, your life. The connecting thread is love. The picture will be beautiful. Wait and see.” ❤️
“Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters. Awful proceeds from the same root word as awesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation.” ~ Alan Cohen
“Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation.” ~ Ann Voskamp
Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the scriptures, and make them the subject of conversation. While reading the third chapter of Malachi they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” One lady’s opinion was that is was intended to convey the view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject.
She went accordingly and without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her. “But Sir” she said, “do you sit while the work of refining is going on?” “Oh, yes, madam,” replied the silversmith; “I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured.”
The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random, “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
As the lady was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back, and said he had forgotten to mention that the only way he knows when the process of purifying is complete is when he sees his own image reflected in the silver. ~ Author Unknown
Inquiry by Danna Faulds
“Feed the inner fire with breath, with inquiry, and the willingness to see reality. When the flames consume the edges of your life, invite them into the center, the core of your identity, the innermost chamber where your deepest fears reside. Watch the fire rise, sparks flying, flames lighting the open space that remains when all else is burned away.”
May you embrace the refining fire inside of you. 🔥 Make the CHOICE to take a CHANCE, creating positive CHANGE. Put your plan into ACTION!