5 practices that have transformed my life

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5 practices that have transformed my life

If I am living bravely, my entire life will become a million deaths and rebirths. My goal is not to remain the same but to live in such a way that each day, year, moment, relationship, conversation and crisis is the material I use to become a truer more beautiful version of myself. The goal is to surrender constantly who I just was, in order to become who this next moment calls me to be.

Glennon Doyle in Untamed

Read that again.

I love how Glennon describes her process of transformation with these words. How divine would we be if we could keep becoming a better version of ourselves, right? I know it’s easier said than done but it most definitely can be done. It is a choice we must make. 

Believe me.

I know.

From experience.

I am still a divine work in progress but transformation has been a recurring theme in my life for the last few years. It is an unhurried alchemical process taking me from one state of being to another, from one mindset to another, from one perspective to many others and forever helping me to emerge in a new way. 

It is not an easy endeavour, this business of transformation I tell you. But it isn’t impossible either. It takes practice, discipline, support of loved ones and high doses of self-love.

So let’s dig into the practices that have helped me or rather, are helping me and can help you as well in the very personal process of evolution.

Meditation, Journaling and Gratitude are my go-to rituals for just about everything. I wrote about them in my last journal entry here. They compliment every domain of my life and have been supporting me through hell and beyond. But in addition to these, the following 5 practices are what I want to share with you today. Adopt what resonates and adapt however needed!

1. Reading and Listening

I love stories. I love reading and listening to people’s life stories, the stories of their personal evolution, their stories of crisis and change. And books have always been that bridge for me to the storyland. Books for me are multi-layered, invigorating and inspiring stories of women and men setting examples of courage, valor, adventure and resilience. They open up new worlds and newer perspectives for me. Some of them help me relate to myself even more and others teach me of emotions, feelings and perspectives totally unknown. Books and literature have been defining and shaping my life for decades now and I hope the sculpting continues forever. 

Thanks to technology and some brilliant minds, today in addition to physical books we have audiobooks, podcasts, blogs and video books as well. So I have started ‘listening’ to a lot of people online. And not just learning, this practice of listening is helping me enhance my attention and auditory ability too. I recently started listening to audiobooks on Audible, podcasts on Spotify and I love reading blogs by various authors.

Here are some of my recommendations from different genres. These are just a few that have changed my life in different ways. You might like one or all of them and you can always search the internet for more.

  • Books : 
    • A Thousand Seeds of Joy by Ananda Karunesh
    • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
    • Untamed by Glennon Doyle
    • Sundaram Speaks by Hitesh Vashishth
    • You can heal your life by Louise Hay
    • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

2. Therapy

Therapy is what came to my rescue and has been the single most important turning point of my life. I am not the same person I was 2 years ago. It was September 2018 and I was in Bangalore. Externally things were good, internally it was all a mess. It was what experts call an ‘existential crisis’. I was unsure of everything in my personal and professional life. I had no clue where I was heading or why and this desperate unknowingness is what led me to therapy. 

There are many kinds of therapy but when I first spoke to my therapist, I told her I needed Past Life Regression(PLR) sessions. Not that I knew what PLR was or how it worked or how it would help me, I just felt I needed it. She listened to me, sent me a case history form to fill up and then we set up our first meeting. Life has not been the same since. 

Through PLR I understood and released the baggage I was carrying in terms of emotions, belief systems and mindsets, which were never mine in the first place. As I saw my past, I understood the root cause of some of my present life decisions and behaviour patterns and I came to understand my life purpose. I healed on many levels. 

In all honesty, it took little over a year for most of it to be integrated within me. By the end of 2019, I knew with much more clarity how PLR had affected me. It had radically changed my life, internally as well as externally. Now, I see myself and others in a different light. There is less judgement and more compassion and empathy. The connections I form with myself and with other people are now deeper and more meaningful. My fears have reduced, I have learnt to set and respect personal boundaries, my faith has increased multifold and I am damn effing sure of my life purpose.

The process of healing is a long journey. Right now I do not have enough experience to say if it ever ends, if we ever get healed completely(I feel we do) but I sure as hell hope to atleast get to the far end of this journey in this lifetime.

3. Self-Love

Self-love is a perpetual process of knowing, understanding and unconditionally accepting ourselves as we are. It is a conscious choice that we all must make to empower our own selves. It is a beautiful journey towards our higher, most authentic selves.

For me, it has been a long journey to reach the stage of self-love and I have constantly been learning something new about myself.

To me, self-love is :

  • being aware of our inner critic and learning when to listen and when not to listen to her
  • forgiving ourselves
  • asking for help
  • knowing when to say ‘No’ and learning how to say ‘hell, yes’
  • being ok with not showing up sometimes
  • taking a break in the middle of a working day without killing ourselves for doing so
  • sleeping an hour extra without guilt
  • accepting the greying hair and the wrinkly skin 
  • buying flowers for ourselves
  • patting our back even for the smallest achievement
  • accepting the changes in our beliefs and perceptions over time
  • accepting our changing perception of ourselves and others without judgement
  • being vulnerable
  • acknowledging the hurt, shame, guilt, embarrassment that we carry
  • apologising to ourselves
  • and more…

Once we start walking on the path of self-love, we realize the inner beauty inherent in each and every one of us. Self-love is also a journey of healing which opens our heart to beautiful experiences and to our own true selves.

4. Setting Boundaries

It has taken me many years to understand this concept of boundaries in personal as well as professional life. From overextending myself and not speaking up for myself to saying ‘No’, asking for what I deserve and honestly speaking about how I feel in a given situation has been a long journey of many important lessons.

Do you struggle with saying ‘No’? 

Do you overextend yourself to multi-task even if it feels humanly impossible?

Do you end up promising(to yourself or others) more than you can deliver?

Do you stop yourself from speaking up against what you feel is unjust?

If you answered yes to any of the above then it’s time to set some healthy boundaries and make them known. Setting boundaries is a natural consequence of the act of self-love. The more we love ourselves and the more compassionate we are with ourselves, the more we understand, set and respect our boundaries and others’ boundaries as well.  

Setting healthy boundaries is the act of understanding and accepting our own limits. 

It is a commitment to honor our most authentic selves. 

It is a reality check of our belief system. 

By setting healthy boundaries, we don’t do things just to please others or to escape a situation. We stand by our true selves, our choices and our decisions in life. We learn when to let go and when to hold on. We are not afraid of turning down an opportunity instead we learn how to prioritize our life. We stop being a victim and become capable of speaking up and talking about our hurts, our needs and our desires. Boundaries help us to regularly check up on our beliefs and refine them as well as our experience of the world.

5. Investing in myself 

Over the last 6 years, I have invested a lot of time, effort and money in myself. I have attended many workshops and courses to enhance my knowledge of various topics, made many friends from different spheres of life, received two university degrees, learnt a new language, pursued the path of self-love, meditated a lot with different people in different parts of India, learnt to live a more authentic life, learnt to accept my changing perception of myself and the world, read a lot of books, understood and transformed some of my limiting beliefs, learnt to speak up and set boundaries, learnt to be less judgemental, learnt to let go of unhealthy relationships, learnt to forgive, learnt a lot from failing spectacularly, started therapy to heal myself deeply, trained to be a therapist and by the end of last year started my own organisation(which you know as The Sacred Circle).

All of this is a result of consciously choosing my personal evolution and transformation above everything else. At every point in my life in the last 6 years, I could have made other, better or worse choices but the desire to continuously be a better version of myself pushed me to invest heavily in myself. Today, with all humility, I claim to be a better person than I was a few years ago or rather just a year ago. It has taken a lot of time, patience, people, life lessons and money to be at this new level. It has not been an easy journey but it definitely has made a HUGE difference in my life.

Coming back to what Glennon says in her book, 

“If I am living bravely, my entire life will become a million deaths and rebirths. My goal is not to remain the same but to live in such a way that each day, year, moment, relationship, conversation and crisis is the material I use to become a truer more beautiful version of myself. The goal is to surrender constantly who I just was, in order to become who this next moment calls me to be.”

For me, to live bravely is to choose consciously and to invest heavily in myself.

What are you investing in yourself? How are you becoming a better version of yourself?

I leave you with this TED talk by Ruth Chang, professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford. In this session, she talks about easy choices and hard choices. She differentiates between people who are able to make a hard choice from those she calls as drifters. The point that Prof. Chang is making explicitly is what I have written about in this journal entry, implicitly – the power of choice and our reasons behind making a choice. Have a listen!


I would love to know about your favourite books, podcasts, blogs and your go-to practices for self-transformation. Please share with me in the comments.

Stay safe, stay inwards, wash your hands and send love to one & all.


Photo Credit – @raybilcliff

Comments (2)

  1. Hey, really lovely post.
    Thank you for sharing good ideas.
    My favourite talk is by Simon Sinek – Start with Why?

    1. Avatar photo
      Sakshi Kalra

      Hey Umang,

      Thank you for your response. I am glad the post resonated with you.
      I will check out this talk by Simon. Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


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