Dr. Northrup’s Tips for Transforming Your Life

6 Tips for Transforming Your Life With Lessons from the Lotus Flower

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Ageless Goddesses Emotional Well-being Mood Issues & Stress Self-healing Self-love Wisdom

The lotus flower represents rebirth, renewal, and spiritual awakening. But, the beautiful flower that you see floating effortlessly on top of the water had to work really hard to blossom. Lotus flowers actually grow out of the mud at the bottom of a river or pond and have to break through the mud before they surface on top of the water. 

 

Breaking through the mud in our own lives helps us to blossom as well—it’s like a breaking though to our true selves. But in order to blossom, we have to look inward and bring our attention toward removing whatever blocks are holding us back. Maybe it’s feelings of shame, or an illness, or a relationship.

And there can be a lot of things hiding in our mud puddles. We don’t have to uncover everything at once. Healing takes place layer by layer, like peeling an onion. But, it’s impossible to manifest anything new or good in our lives if we’re not willing to stir up our personal mud somewhat.

Here are some ways you can start to break through your own mud, and truly transform your life:

Tip 1: Be Honest with Yourself

Truth is the pillar of spiritual awakening. We cannot grow without it. Whenever we explain away our behaviors, or sugarcoat the truth, we pay the consequences, usually in the form of illness or drama. For example, for many years, I simply went along with what my family—and later my husband—wanted to do, such as hiking, sports, or skiing, even though I have always preferred dancing, watching movies, and reading.

I believed that if I didn’t participate in what they wanted to do, no one would want to be with me. Though this belief was largely unconscious for most of my life, I have now sifted through this mud long enough so that the belief and the behavior it birthed has gone—from both my life and my body. While the truth may hurt; it will set you free. 

Tip 2: Stop Resisting Change

In my last blog I wrote about overcoming your fear of change. Many of us panic when faced with change and we “grab the bull by the horns” in order to control and fix things. But often that control just serves to reinforce our deep-rooted problems. At a certain point, we must surrender to what is and just stop trying to control every outcome. Otherwise our bodies, our fascia, and our nervous systems all get “stuck” in rigid patterns that invite disease and disability. 

Tip 3: Come Clean

This is a loaded phrase. But, coming clean simply means stop hiding behind your “stuff.” Your “stuff” may be food, alcohol, drama, or any other addiction. Or, it could simply be coming clean emotionally with someone in your life in order to develop a more meaningful relationship. This isn’t easy. In fact, “coming clean” is about the hardest thing ever.

Relationship expert Alison Armstrong, author of The Queen’s Code has a phrase for this: “Cough it up, blow it up, clean it up.

When you come clean and tell the truth, you can be sure that it will blow up an old pattern in your life. And it might even end a relationship. But living a lie is far worse over time. Sometimes coming clean requires seeking support. During your clean up phase you will feel a sudden release of toxicity in your body and with that, the freedom to flourish.

Tip 4: Forgive and Let Go

Mario Martinez, PsyD, author of The MindBody Code: How To Change the Beliefs That Limit Your Health, Longevity and Success, says, “Forgiveness is freeing ourselves from self-entrapment.”

How often do you put judgments on yourself or someone else? Do you say things like, “I have never been good at managing my money; I let my partner do that for me?” Then, when you try to make an investment, you have already set yourself up for failure. When we try to move forward without letting go, the past has a way of sneaking back into our lives. But, when we forgive and let go, we give ourselves the opportunity to breakthrough.

Very often the person you most need to forgive is yourself. To forgive yourself for whatever judgments you hold, simply say these words: “I forgive myself for judging myself for (fill in the blank)…” You can say these words silently or better yet, out loud in front of the mirror.

Tip 5: Address Your Guilt and Shame

Guilt happens when what we think we should do or be is in direct opposition to what we really want or are. And it usually comes from some warped societal demand or family pressure. Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead, advises, “Guilt says ‘I made a mistake.’ Shame says, ‘I AM a mistake.'”

You can get rid of guilt simply by acknowledging that your higher self wanted you to experience whatever you feel guilty about. In other words, your higher self wanted you to enjoy that ice cream cone, or an afternoon away from your children. Once you acknowledge your higher self, you can just BE yourself.

Shame, the most painful of human emotions, can’t live in an atmosphere of humor and light. Shame is lifted when you have the courage to talk about whatever you feel ashamed about, and then are willing to receive support.

Tip 6: Celebrate Your Blossoming 

Acknowledge yourself for having the courage to face your own personal mud. Celebrating yourself ends the cycle of shame and pain. Your beauty, strength and transformation shine through when you do the dirty work so to speak. Then you get to reap the benefits and wisdom from your journey. Be sure to share only with those who are truly capable of celebrating with you. Those who don’t want to get their hands in the mud simply won’t know how to support you.

How have you pushed through the mud in your life? Please leave a comment and share your advice with others.

 

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Last Updated: June 2, 2015

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.

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  1. Janet
    3 years ago

    I went through a program with Landmark Education that made a huge difference in my life. What I said I wanted out of the work I was doing in the course, was to have peace and love in my home. I also created the possibility of partnership with my husband. After uncovering the realization that I was the cause of the lack of peace, I was able to see how I could create peace. With my husband, I was being a victim, when I gave up being a victim in our relationship, we literally became partners in life and our spiritual journey. Totally transformed our relationship and our family.
    Thank you Christine for all you have contributed to myself and the world.

  2. Debby Bringenberg
    3 years ago

    Thank you for your videos, your books, your wisdom; and thank you for sharing your truth with all of us! I have recently gone through the eye of the needle, so to speak, through forgiveness, & this has empowered me in ways I never dreamed possible. My “mud” was trapped in judgment that proved to be an illusion, as most judgment is. What I thought to be a reality that was literally destroying me, turned out to be a misperception of the truth. Realizing this, going through the eye of the needle, enabled me to finally see the Truth, and yes; that Truth set me free! This is, I believe, what you speak of when you say what we think creates or destroys our health, wellbeing, and happiness. You & others, who share your philosophy (Dr. Chopra, for example), have planted seeds within me for so many years, but it was only through this act of true forgiveness that those seeds were able to sprout. Thank you, Dr. Northrup & keep on with your amazingly powerful work. We all need to hear -truly hear- what you are saying!

  3. Erica
    3 years ago

    Like many others, a rough divorce with a young daughter involved, left me feeling suffocated in mud. It took a couple years for me to understand why it all happened the way it did but I now see it was the path to discovering who I really am. I still have so much to learn but I am open and ready. I am pleased and warmed to find such genuine advice and support in your work Dr. Northrop! With an 8 year old daughter by my side, I hope to empower her to always rise through the mud of life and bloom like the beautiful lotus. I wholeheartedly believe in every word of this inspirational message.
    With Gratitude…

  4. Jacqueline
    3 years ago

    I have had so much change in my life and more than ever in the past 3 years, I don’t think I’m afraid of change. I’m not afraid of anything anymore. Having beat cancer (when I was 26) and breast cancer (55 years old) (2 years cancer free!) has me thinking that I can overcome anything. Being a wife (now divorced) a mother (kids are on their own) has left me with me. Now I have the time to become, to BE and make a difference. I’ve started with my own family. My daughter and my son. I am teaching them and giving them the tools to be what they want to be and make a difference in their lives and their worlds. Thank you Dr. Northrup for being strong and giving us the will and the tools to prosper in so many ways!!

  5. Karen
    3 years ago

    I have pushed they the mud of many hurtful issues in my life and am blossoming into my own. I am Free!!! Free to really be! I love it

  6. Jo
    3 years ago

    Caught snippets of your program while putting the kiddo to bed. Wow! Just wow!

    I had an emotionally abusive mother who grew into a bitter rather unpleasant senior citizen.
    I’m so afraid I’ll end up like her. If I worry about it, I’ll become it?!
    If I do too much about it, then I’m “letting her win”?!

    I have to forgive her for not being the mother I needed and myself for not being the daughter she wanted.

  7. Mary Caparro
    4 years ago

    Dr. Northrup, I’ve been a fan of yours for years. I’ve read your books and watched your PBS lectures and various other TV appearances and cannot thank you enough for sharing your wisdom with the world. You are helping women everywhere finally realize that it is okay to concentrate on themselves and their own well-being and happiness. I personally have benefitted by slowing becoming the woman that I want to be. I am still a work in progress and I know that the best is yet to come.

  8. Renee
    4 years ago

    The mud has served me very well in my life! Especially over the past 11 years, beginning with my divorce in ’04 to being fired from a job for no good reason in Nov of ’14. I honor my 25 year career in the non profit world of assisting people with various disabilities live and work in the community, but am very, very grateful to have been plucked from the rat race by the universe. Within minutes of being fired I knew for sure that I would never work for someone else again. I would only work for the person who appreciated me and my work ethic the most…me! This was the first time I even considered self employment. On my one hour ride home the message in my head was freedom, loud and clear. Within three days of being fired I knew I would be getting certified in EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and would be creating a business around that. Over the past six months I have been learning so much and having the time of my life creating this business. “Goddesses Never Age” was one of the many books I consumed and loved! Thank you! I’m weeks away from launching my awesome Life Coaching business featuring EFT. EFT is a wonderful tool for clearing old programming that keeps us repeating old patterns that no longer serve us well. This Gemini lotus flower is in love with life and excited and grateful beyond words for the opportunity to co-create this business that will provide me with great wealth and enhance my already wonderful life. Life is so good and gets better each day. This is fun!

  9. Linda Johnston
    4 years ago

    I’ve been so depressed lately..feeling no worth, old, stuck, afraid of my future and beating myself up.for being afraid to.make any changes.. I started seeing a psychiatrist for help..but think.maybe I should see someone to motivate me to make some changes…and viola’ I caught the tail end of the .PBS show..scowered the internet for books, radio shows, blogs and am refreshed, motivated. And see possibilities awaiting me and my somber lookout on aging..
    Can’t wait to read & learn about aging
    Thank you!!!

    .

  10. Jacquelyn
    4 years ago

    Thank you for this. I have been suffering from fibroids for the past year and a half, trying to work through all my stuffed emotions and listen to what my body is trying to tell me. I know it has to do with my relationship with myself and in turn the man in my life, and the creative desires I’ve repressed for so long. Thank you for the wisdom you share!

  11. Christiane
    4 years ago

    Thank you everyone for these uplifting and thought-provoking comments. I loved reading them!!

  12. Ellen
    4 years ago

    Have you ever heard of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo? Or sgi-usa? The Sgi has been teaching about these idea for many years!!!
    So happy to find this coming from you!!

  13. Sandi Sadovnick
    4 years ago

    Love your books and your marvelous insight to what seems so obvious. I like your direct approach to everything.
    Thank you Christiane.

    1. Christiane
      4 years ago

      Thank you so much!!!

  14. Shirley
    4 years ago

    Thank you for all you contribute. I enjoy your book Godesses never age!
    I find there is always a blessing in every experience I trust my divine healer within always. God everywhere present.

  15. Kathy
    4 years ago

    At the age of 56, I picked up my life and moved across the country to pursue an amazing career opportunity never looking back. I’ve always wanted to live out west and finally realized I was the only person holding me back. Thanks to Dr. Northrup I had the courage and self-confidence to start living MY life, the life I’ve always wanted to live. There are no words to express my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Northrup. I adore her.
    Sincerely,
    Kathy

    1. Christiane
      4 years ago

      heartwarming!! And big huge KUDOS to you!! Change takes ENORMOUS courage!!!

  16. R.M.
    4 years ago

    Dr. Northrup you are truly a gift! I am grateful for your insight, wisdom and sharing the thoughts I believed only I had felt and kept so private and within myself. I look forward to reading more of your blogs and continue to grow.

  17. Agota
    4 years ago

    After divorcing from my paranoid first husband, losing my second one in cancer, than bringing up my two sons as a single mother at the age of 59 I am looking for my life partner, my soul mate. I feel alone. I need support. I want it so much! It is my number one priority. How I can achieve it?

    1. Isabelle
      4 years ago

      Don’t want to burst your bubble but you need to make yourself your number one priority… Eat well, enjoy nature and move your body and they will come to you because you will glow and be happy! Otherwise, try internet dating or find a Meet Up group you like.

    2. Christiane
      4 years ago

      You truly have to make YOURSELF your number one priority– in all ways. This is the path that leads to permanent happiness. Whether or NOT you are with someone else. I was BORN to teach this– because the “soul mate” thing has been “up” for me for my entire life!! I finally discovered that the soulmate was ME!!

      1. Dorcas
        3 years ago

        For me, nothing could be further from true happiness and alignment than the old idea that something or someone is going to fill a Universe sized hole with anything other than the Universe (or God, a Higher Power etc.). MY true alignment, balance, happiness and joy comes from being true to myself. This sometimes looks like self centered behavior, and yes, can cause guilt, but I find that the more I practice self care while examining old ideas and my behavior around them, my guilt diminishes substantially. To thine own self be true!
        Thank you Dr. Northrup. I am turning 50 next month, and after uncovering and discovering what it was in ME that lead me to relationships that were not only toxic for me, but that I was a toxic participant, I am ecstatic to be entering this stage of my life with a child’s curiosity, excitement and willingness to fling the doors open and gratefully experience the path intended for me.

  18. marie maniacara
    4 years ago

    You are wonderful……… love you . I just bought three books.

  19. Kathryn
    4 years ago

    Such an important reminder… and it’s never “one and done”. I find that I must cycle through this process repeatedly as I grow, age, learn, succeed and fail in life.

  20. Jean S.
    4 years ago

    I love this! Not easy as Dr. Northrup points out & it takes time. I have found that opening my heart & forgiving has brought the most change in my life. I have been through some very deep hurts & betrayals from family members. I see how it has all played out now. I have learned through these painful experiences, & it has brought me to a much higher level on all parts of my being. Never thought I would be thankful for those hard lessons but I sure am!

    1. Christiane
      4 years ago

      That is SO the truth!! And the hardest thing on Earth to do!!! Nice work!!

      1. Anne
        4 years ago

        Thank you Jean. Your words perfectly describe my own journey. But your way of saying it, and that you took the trouble to say it, helped seal the healing and understanding. I deeply appreciated too, reading Dr Northrup’s comments. Going through it, I never realised how hard it was, even when I knew it was hard. Even though it was hard, I am so glad too.

  21. Yvonne Vankosky
    4 years ago

    I truly believe that things have happened and people have come and gone from my life for a divine reason. God has given me burdens and challenges to help me grow and become the person I was born to be. Sometimes these challenges (experiences and people) have messed up my life and caused turmoil. At the time it has seemed overwhelming, but when the clouds and rain cleared, his divine plan became clear. My life has been wrought with these burdens, from abuse, to addiction, to loosing loved ones. I fought and won. Each time you speak to us, you are giving us gifts. Thank you Dr. Northrup for sharing your God Given gifts. You are changing lives.

  22. Sharon
    4 years ago

    THANK U!…Dr. Northrup

  23. virginia
    4 years ago

    The lotus is not only beautiful but mysterious to me. The “other world” it springs from can be intimidating in its hidden nature. Thank you for the clarity of the steps to take to be clean, and for emphasizing the importance of being clean. I know these steps from experience, but have never stated them so clearly. I think it will help others as well as myself, to refer to this list. It is easy for me to forget the way to get where I am going. Thanks again, beautiful lady.

  24. Sharon Gavitt
    4 years ago

    After my divorce I became a relationship addict with men. I felt like a scared animal and did not like that feeling. After various counselors I found group therapy for Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) and Co-Dependents Anonymous (CODA), the best fit for me. After three years of mucking through family dysfunction I became released like the Lotus blossom. I have lifetime friends from the group that help keep me on track. Now I need to add petals to the Lotus blossom.

  25. Margaret
    4 years ago

    Hello Dr Northrup
    Thank you for the tips.
    I have been pushing my way through the mud for a few years now
    It feels so amazing to be finally blossoming just like the Lotus flower.
    I was very priviladged to hear you speak at the Denver You Can Do it Conference.
    Your books have been such a great help to me.

    Thank you for all you so ……………..Margaret

    1. Christiane
      4 years ago

      Beautiful!! Thank you!!

  26. Kit
    4 years ago

    That was so beautiful .
    Thank you.

  27. Linda
    4 years ago

    I never knew what was “wrong with me” until I began reading Louise Hay’s books and also your information, Dr. Northrup, on not letting age limit me as to what I do or don’t do. Other people sometimes comment on the clothes I wear even saying things like “those don’t suit you at YOUR AGE” etc. Now I just realize that it is their issues not mine. I have no issue being myself but it seems to make others who aren’t comfortable with themselves uncomfortable for some reason. It’s as if my freedom to wear the clothes I like or do the things I like to do shakes THEIR foundations of what is and isn’t acceptable at a certain AGE. I am comfortable just being me. Louise Hay also talks about loving the self and I realize that is a large part of my “mud” that needs to be cleared away in order for me to truly flourish (that is true for people of any age). I have carried around the notion of “I’m not good enough or I’m not lovable” around for so many years beginning with my parents who were overly critical and judgmental of me. They never taught me to see my beauty. Now I know different! It is a great freedom and happiness that comes with this. I encourage everyone to read her books as well as yours.

    1. Christiane
      4 years ago

      You will love Mario Martinez’s work. And you are correct. Becoming AGELESS in all ways is definitely a THREAT to those who don’t feel good about themselves. Keep on keeping on!!

  28. phoenix
    4 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.

    Today I eventually stood up for myself, breaking free from being a people-pleaser watching mind-eating series during the whole evening. I finally am on top of my priority list and caring for myself.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration. You are a true Goddesses to me. I found an image with a quote going like ‘Older, wiser, sexier’, of course there was a man pictured 🙂

  29. Teri Tidwell
    4 years ago

    Dear Dr. Northrup –

    It’s been many years since I’ve seen you in person and received your newsletter, but I saw you on PBS two nights ago – no accident – it had to be divine timing! I was so happy to see you and I loved your presentation so much that I ordered your whole package and pledged my support to PBS – which I’d been wanting to do. I had bought your bought recently too for me and as a gift to my sister – now I want to give it to all my woman friends (goddesses!)

    I’ve missed you, and I’m so happy to reconnect with you again – you’re better and more beautiful than ever!

    You inspire me to be my true self with inner integrity, and I’m so grateful for you and your work. Our world needs you so much – you are indeed a very bright light!

    Many blessings and love to you,

  30. Arie
    4 years ago

    Hi All,

    I wonder if these tips really work. I suspect one could follow them, work hard, and end exhausted at the same place as before. Sure reading this article gives hope, but is it a false hope?

    I think to make a change for the better one has to make an effort to give, be generous, keep morality. Did I miss these points in this article?

    Especially the first point, about honesty, requires more explanations. The truth is we are the creators of the world we live in, but normally people are not able to be truthful about that without being taught, and so tend to blame others

    May you be happy, peaceful, and live love!

  31. Migdalia
    4 years ago

    I got pregnant at 44 years old for the first time and I was surprised. I needed to change many things and beliefs in my life; for example things about my age. At that time I was thinking how I was going to cope with menopause and then BOOM I got pregnant; I was’nt thinking about pregnancy because I thought I was a little old to have a high possibility to get pregnant. I was careful but not too careful. Now you and of course my baby confirmed that my thoughts about aging were a little off! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. By the way, my baby boy is one year and seven months old and is a healthy handsome boy.

    1. Christiane
      4 years ago

      Having baby when you did will prime you for being biologically younger than your peers from now on. CAuse you will be co-authoring reality with younger people all the time. Really FUN!!! Of course you don’t have to have a baby at age 44 to do this. But it certainly changes everything , eh?

  32. Ali Davies
    4 years ago

    I love that lotus flower analogy. A great reminder that creating change that lasts comes with many different stages – some good, some bad, some ugly! But we need to be willing it embrace them all to create the transformation we want to make happen.

    1. Linda
      4 years ago

      Very well said!

  33. Diana Davis
    4 years ago

    I love your lotus coming through the mud. It is true that life situation can be muddy. When you are feeling stuck and you don’t know how to break out, this is the time to stop working yourself up in a dither. Just take a time out. Lay down, close your eyes, meditate cool, calm breezes blowing over you. Just release and let go. Breath deeply. Sit up. Now your thoughts should be calmer. Now you should have clear thought and answers that you need.

    1. Gemma Beecroft
      4 years ago

      I love the story of the beautiful lotus flower. I feel the flower is grateful for all the mud as it is the mud that has resulted in its ultimate beauty. I am so grateful for every learning curve in my life so far and for Dr Christiane Northrup’s book, Goddesses Never Age here on my coffee table. It’s so inspiring and hard to put down. Thank you with all my heart

  34. Julie
    4 years ago

    I saw Dr Northrup on PBS. I started reading her books and I am renewed physically and spiritually. I just turned 60 and much of what she says, I have always felt in my being. Seeing it in print made me feel empowered to be who I want to be and look forward to what is to come. I really do feel reborn and renewed. Thank you

  35. Marilyn Steinbach
    4 years ago

    The lotus flower you talk about hit
    a nerve and made me realize the work I need to do and want to do. Many thanks, Dr. Northrup. You are an inspiration to me.

  36. Glory
    4 years ago

    Thank you for this article. I had and amazing weekend @ the Wild Women Symposium and visited some past issues. Felt truly healed after dealing with some mud. The cool part was that when I first arrived everyone had a Goddess card in their goody bag. I received the Lilith Goddess and she is all about the Lotus flower and mud! Thank you for the confirmation!

  37. Kelly Clark
    4 years ago

    I just lost my husband — a month ago — after taking care of him through a difficult illness. I have been finding Dr. Northrup’s emails in my box since about that time. They are quite helpful to me. I am coming up out of the mud, like the lotus flower. I just hope I can bloom from the mud I’ve been through.

    Thanks for your work!

    Kelly

    1. glenda
      4 years ago

      Kelly Clark,
      I lost my husband after a year of cancer and I was devastated. I didn’t know who I was without him. We had been married many years and we had no children. With probably another thirty years ahead of me, I had to figure out who I was without him. It was hard but after six years, I have found I can do things I had never done before. I found a strength that surprised others. You will, too. Take stock of what you really love to do and what you never want to do again. I made lists of what I enjoyed, what I wanted for myself, and how I could help others in a way that helped me as well. The first few years are so hard and my heart goes out to you, but believe in yourself and know that you can accomplish goals you never thought you could. Enlist the help of those who believe in you and care about you. They love you and want you to be happy. Good luck.

    2. Christiane
      4 years ago

      I am so sorry for your loss. Be very very gentle and kind to yourself. Grief is like birth– you have to just BE WITH IT til it works itself out.

  38. Suzanne Douglas
    4 years ago

    Last night, truly by accident, I saw a PBS lecture by Dr. Northrup. I believe I was meant to see this and address some issues in my own life.

    I cannot thank you enough for confirming many of the feelings I was experiencing.

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