By Siri Kirin Kaur aka Kathe Forrest
An idea for a book came to me during a meditation in December of 2011. I was in the middle of a 40-day yogic practice when I thought it would be great to have a place to record my work (feelings, thoughts, details of meditations, etc) instead of writing in my day-to-day journal.
It would be easy to find what I had done if I could go to a book that documented only my contemplative work, rather than having to dig through an all-encompassing journal searching for the relevant parts. I thought to myself, “If this would be helpful and practical for me, it might also be useful for yogis or yoga students or anyone engaged in some type of spiritual practice on a daily basis.” Keep the Change, Simple Practices for Lasting Transformation is a yogic tool and helps you “keep up.”
Discipline and organization are key to accomplishing anything. As Yogi Bhajan states, “Doing anything for 40 days or longer provides you the experience of discipline and teaches you that you can go through obstacles in life and create the change you desire.” As I delved into this “writing” journey, discipline is what I truly encountered. It was a give and take between the negative mind of coming up against blocks vs. the many affirmative solutions or positive connections I made.
In yogic numerology, my soul number is a 10, which means “All or Nothing.” While writing the book, I meditated and developed the attitude of, “I’m going for it 100 percent!” The entire time I kept up with my sadhana. The way through every block, hindrance, or impediment was with a prosperity meditation, the Grace of God meditation, Sat Kriya and eight other 40 or 90-day meditations.
I found that this ability to stay with my sadhana allowed my neutral mind to be more present in the work and in my life. I had to make very important decisions such as the name, the cover, the weight of the paper (who was to know that was important?), the number of copies to print, how much to sell the book for and other such matters that arise when you are self-publishing. I kept saying to myself that patience pays, and it did—through friends, co-workers, family and the gifts of strangers.
There were many positive occurrences. I was searching the internet one day and found a wonderful “40 Ways to do 40-day” list written by Mehtab from Yoga, Yoga in Austin, Texas, who generously allowed me to reprint it in this book.
My editor, Susie H., was invaluable and was always able to be there for me. Siri Neel Kaur at KRI became a good friend and is one of the most patient people on the planet, as her job consists of gently editing and suggesting changes regarding the writing.
These balanced the blips.
The work itself was done in a year and a half with limited Internet service, which meant many trips to the library where I reserved a private room for 2 hours at a time. I also worked 30 hours per week, taught yoga classes and kept moving forward. I let the hand of Goddess work for me.
I concentrated and consolidated. I knew I was in the flow of finishing and presenting at Summer Solstice this year when I was able to raise some money through a site called “Go Get Funding” to print 100 copies and also was given a plane ticket to New Mexico through my daughter’s mileage points. I applied and received a service scholarship and then had to find someone to watch my animals and live in my space while I was gone 11 days. “Yikes!” screamed the negative mind. Then along came the positive—“Hakuna matata means no worries—it’s a problem-free philosophy!”
Perhaps by now the quote that I read everyday was sinking in: “Perceive, then conceive, then deliver, then nurse, and then experience. This is the concept of prayer.” –Yogi Bhajan
Sure enough, everything fell into place and my prayers were answered.
A friend who I worked with had a brother moving to Eugene and he needed a place to stay—that clicked. Amazing!! Also, the last bit of getting a ride fell into place a week before I left. I drove to Portland, stayed at a fellow teacher’s home and we flew out together the next day. His friend accepted another passenger and up the mountain we drove.
It was meant to be! I shared a table with Gurunam and spoke to many people about the book due greatly, I feel, to the combination of our magnetic fields.
It was a Guru-send.
Kathe Forrest/Siri Kirin began studying Hatha yoga and meditation in her mid-twenties and became certified in Hatha yoga after a 10-year intensive study. She has been certified as a Kundalini teacher since 2007 and acknowledges that for her this one takes the cake. Her teaching and understanding of yoga, meditation and pranayama is influenced by the philosophy of many yogis and teachers including: Kahil Gibran, Sivananda and Yogi Bhajan. Studies in nutrition and alternative therapies have contributed to her scope of understanding the mind-body connection. Kathe can be reached through email and her website to provide classes and workshops on the 40 day practice. Her new book, Keep the Change, Simple Practices for Lasting Transformation is available through www.spiritvoyage.com