Almost two years ago, I got a new tattoo. One of the images on the tattoo was a Peacock. I’ve always liked peacocks but when I got the tattoo, I didn’t have any particular reason for incorporating a peacock into it. About a week later, I met up with a friend and when she saw my new tattoo she immediately noticed the peacock image. She then shared with me a piece of information about peacocks I had never heard before. I learned at that moment that Peacocks have the incredible ability to ingest poison from plants and snakes that make the colors of their feathers all the more vibrant and beautiful.

I thought that was so cool. Ingesting poison only to transmute it into vibrant beauty. That is the work of a true alchemist; turning lead into gold. If a peacock can do this, I wondered, what about us humans?

All of us experience states of mind that can feel toxic or poisonous; anxiety, depression, fear, confusion, insecurity, jealousy, anger, frustration, sadness or despair. These feelings can seem so powerful at times that we try to eradicate them as quickly as possible. What do we do? We repress them, drink them away, eat them away, shop them away, fuck them away, blame them away, etc. Whatever it is we do when we experience sensations that aren’t pleasing to us. We have been conditioned to avoid pain at all cost.

What if we changed our approach to these poisonous states of mind and met them with the same courage and curiosity as a peacock? Instead of running away from every mind state and emotion that feels threatening, we could just observe the thoughts and sensations attached to these states of mind without getting caught up in the story. Fixating on our stories only serves to inflame the poisonous feelings. Eventually we have to take responsibility for our state of mind and realize that external events should not be able to dictate when we feel well and when we do not. We must not be our mind’s passive slave.

We liberate ourselves by resting our minds on the challenging feelings we experience without the usual overlay of our thoughts about how right or wrong it feels, why we feel this way, or who is to blame for how we feel. We can drop the storyline, drop the constant inner commentary, drop the ideas and concepts about what we are experiencing and instead directly experience the reality of our life as it is at any given moment. We don’t have to obsess over negative emotions or judge ourselves for feeling them, and we don’t have to chase them away either- we can just notice them. Then we have this incredible power, just like the peacock, to switch our state of mind from a lower vibration to a higher state, which aligns us with the universe. It’s always your choice.

When we do this we can further cultivate qualities of Love and compassion that we can apply towards ourselves and other people. We can make use of our painful mind states and transform them into something that opens our hearts and allows us to be of more service to others. By immersing ourselves in the reality of our moment-to-moment experience we can make friends with impermanence and ride its wave rather than have it crash over us and cause us to drown.

We need to train our mind, this means we must become mentally strong, gain self-confidence, love and appreciate ourselves and KNOW with every fiber of our being how powerful and amazing we are! This all takes practice, but with time, your mind will become your best friend. You will start turning negativity into fuel that empowers you and transforms negative experiences into blessings. You will begin mastering the process of self-alchemy, turning lead into gold within yourself. You will become a super- hero that no one and No-thing can take down!

The key is to practice, practice, practice. Put the practice into play and start playing. Create your magic power toolbox and use these tools often. Have fun with it! Become your own most loyal and loving cheerleader. Compliment yourself and congratulate yourself even in the most insignificant moments, to the point you laugh about it. By doing that, we train our minds to be less judgmental and more loving. We learn how to embrace everything that arises and most importantly, how to embrace and Love ourselves no matter what. That by itself raises our vibration, which shields us from lower vibrational states and energies.

One powerful practice you can start with (and yes, it will feel very weird and somewhat uncomfortable in the beginning,) is self-eye gazing. Connect deeply with yourself and pour as much Love and appreciation onto yourself. You can start by doing this for only a couple of minutes, or even a few seconds if it feels uncomfortable. Look in the mirror, gaze into your eyes and say: “I Love you so much, thank you, you are so amazing”. “You are beautiful and divine. I Love you, always have and always will”. Find your own words of appreciation and shower yourself in LOVE. We create default responses by repeating the same thought patterns and behavior patterns. The good news is that we can rewire this network. Renewing our minds is all about creating new, healthy nets that fire together so they can wire together in a way that serves us and empowers us. It’s up to us to choose. Choose to cultivate your inner, masterful alchemist and watch the world transforms before your eyes.