Meditation & Transformation
Deeper transformation and connecting with your subconscious thoughts via meditation. By Jessica Klasnick
The power of our own thoughts is almost incalculable. All day, every day, we have thousands of them. Some of them conscious, some of them rooted in the subconscious. In fact, most of the decisions we make on a daily basis are affected by our subconscious thinking. Translation? Our lives are often being run by thoughts we don’t even know we’re having. Some of these thoughts have been repeated in our minds for so long we don’t even recognise them as a thought. We think of it as fact. It's just ‘the way we are’ or ‘how it is’.
So when we’re looking to bring a new level of awareness to our lives — more intention, more connection with ourselves and those around us — examining our thoughts is essential. We need to shine a light in those shadowy corners of our mind and see what’s hiding! But it’s not as scary as it seems — promise! Especially when you can get curious about finding out who you are.
One of the best techniques for creating that awareness is meditation. Many of us hear ‘meditation’ and think it can’t work for us. We think we’ll need hours and hours of uninterrupted silence, lit candles, closed-eyed bliss in a dark room. And meditation can look like that sometimes. But meditation is also five minutes at your desk, in your car, or behind a closed door at home with your kids down the hall. It’s breath and focus. It’s noticing the thoughts that arise without letting them carry you off.
Meditation is such a powerful tool because we aren’t just meditating to relax or calm our mind. There are specific meditations designed to clear the subconscious patterning in the brain. This makes change easier, allows for new patterns, and helps us stop old habits more easily. Why is this important? Because of the journey our thoughts take when they’re first created as a thought.
With every blink of an eye, you download a thousand thoughts into your mind. But your ever-efficient brain chooses its favourite thoughts over and over (hello, habits!) and leaves the rest. So, what happens to the remaining thoughts? They get pushed into the subconscious where they get buried and wreak havoc without us even knowing.
More than anything, we just want to be more of ourselves. But the negative thought patterns about who we are, what we can accomplish in our lives, and what we’re capable of can get in the way.
Using meditation in our wellbeing practice helps us change this. We can clear out all the stuck or forgotten thoughts through breathwork and the occasional mantra. You can even think of it like good hygiene or a health practice (just like brushing your teeth, or taking out the garbage) but for your brain. Contrary to popular notions of meditation (for example, spending hours in silence), you can do truly significant work in just a few minutes a day.
At its core, meditation is about bringing your power back to yourself. When we put our power outside ourselves (food, drugs, streaming the news), we cause ourselves unnecessary pain and suffering. We create the experience of our lives based on what we choose to focus on. Meditation lets us change that focus. We start to ask ourselves what would make our mind a good place to be, and our body a good place to live in. We learn to choose the thoughts and actions that give us the most energy. We start to work with our nervous system and subconscious to clear out old, unhelpful patterns and create new patterns with intention. It won’t be long before your brain and body will thank you.
RIGHT NOSTRIL BREATHING
Take this simple meditation as an example. In just three minutes, this process revitalises the body by giving you physical energy, boosting the nervous system, and powering up your digestion.
To give it a try:
- Rest your right hand on your knee with the pointer finger touching the thumb.
- Hold your left thumb to press your left nostril closed, fingers pointed up, and take slow, even breaths through your right nostril.
That's it. Feel the benefits in your body and know that it's working for your subconscious mind, too.
Sometimes it can be good to get a little support along the way. When you’re ready to start your own regular meditation practice, a coach who specialises in meditation can offer you the most impact. Working together one-on-one using a highly personalised format inside a safe, supportive container, you’ll see change come about much more effectively. Find someone who can incorporate prescriptive meditations with you, meaning they’ll recommend specific meditations to address the concerns or struggles you’re having at that moment.
Jessica Klasnick is a certified life coach with The Life Coach School and a graduate of RaMa Institute for Applied Yogic Science and Technology. Find out more at: jessicaklasnick.com
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.