Top subscribe filter_none issues my account search apps login google-plus facebook instagram twitter pinterest youtube lock

You Are the Alchemist

alchemy lab

When we think about the specifics of what we would like to manifest in our lives, our visions should feel absolutely yummy: I mean an “ooh-that-feels-so-wonderful” kind of feeling. Each idea we project for our future—the perfect mate, the ideal scenario at work, perfect health and wellness—should excite us from our toes to our noses and beyond. Our visions should make us come alive. Those who “sort of” want happiness only “sort of” get it.

Yet this wonderful feeling we get from imagining our vision sets up contrast too, a realization of that which we don’t have. This disparity can make us uncomfortable but can—no, must—be used as the perfect, rich soil that will allow our seeds of desire to germinate.

I say soil because these contrasting emotions are often dirty, earthy, and messy. Like the resilient and exquisite lotus that has its roots reaching down deep into the muck, it does so to receive nutrients from deep within murky mess. Fish poop: Yuck.

Herein lies one of the great mysteries of transformation. Alchemy is an ancient mystical process that is said to transform base metals into gold. It is also defined as “a process by which paradoxical results are achieved or incompatible elements combined with no obvious rational explanation.”

In the case of the lotus, a mystical alchemy turns fish poop and sunlight into flowers. In our own lives, we are the alchemists who paradoxically turn suffering and awareness into joy.

I have often thought to myself that it is the fear of this alchemical process that binds us. We are afraid to actually feel the murk. We are afraid to admit that the depth of our power is often fueled by the discomfort of accepting our painful current reality. We are either in denial of our current reality—the un-awakened mind—or simply too afraid to admit how far we feel from our dreams.

But if we desire to manifest the good stuff, then we must take a crucial step and accept our present reality, feel where it is that we are bound or stuck. We must allow ourselves to process the discomfort of the now wherein we recognize the lack of what it is we desire: the lack of love, health, or of a creative dream coming true. This is the proverbial “ugh” moment. Oh, lord, clutch the pearls!

But then, if we are willing, this discomfort creates a sort of fire, an energy that begins to transform us. The visions and drive of some will perish in this fire. Others will use this “fire in the belly” for great accomplishment. The same sun that hardens clay also softens wax; it is our choice how we will use this power.

You are your own best alchemist. Allow yourself to feel the contrast between what you have and what you desire. Let the creative fires build, breath by breath. Use the transformative power of this fire energy to help you manifest the life of your deepest desires.

As the poet Rumi said: “give up by now if you don’t realize that your living is firewood.”

Will Donnelly

Will Donnelly is a nationally recognized, certified yoga teacher and writer, and is the author of “Practical Yoga’s Wisdom for Everyday People: Essays & Inspiration for Life" (2017), a compilation of his most popular online essays now available at Will has been a pioneer in the field of yoga, developing Practical Yoga, and co-creating a yoga–reality series for fitTV (Discovery Communications, 2004). As a writer and teacher, Will encourages all students to trust their impulses and find their true voice. Will currently lives in Hawaii, where he leads weekly yoga and writing classes at Kalani retreat center. He also leads several popular Practical Yoga adventure and healing retreats throughout the year. Information on retreats, his book, DVDs and other inspiration to be found at

GET A COPY of Will's New Book, now at 
Practical Yoga's Wisdom for Everyday People: Essays & Inspiration for Life 
JOIN ME for one of my popular Healing Retreats! At Kalani on Big Island of Hawai'i!: 
Holiday Yoga Retreat (7th Year!) December 21 - 27, 2017

This entry is tagged with:
TransformationPersonal GrowthLife Changes

Enlightening, Empowering, Innovative, Inspiring… Don’t Miss a Word!

Become a subscriber, or find us at your local bookstore, newsstand, or grocer.

Find us on instagram @SpiritHealthMag

Instagram @SpiritHealthMag

© 2021 Spirituality & Health

2021 Spirituality & Health (en-US) MEDIA, LLC