Nine Steps

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Step 1: Awaken the Spirit that resides within you.

We consist of much more than just our daily thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and feelings. This Spirit within us can be touched through silence, meditation and other transcendent activities like communing with nature and prayer. During these moments of silent transcendence it would be wise to notice one’s deeper aspirations which can eventually manifest in our lives in the form of meaningful non-coincidences.

Step 2: An essential life lesson to learn is to offer our attention freely.

We would benefit if we started thinking that wherever we go in life we need to bring our personal presence (i.e. care, concern, mindful attention, appreciation, compassion), leaving those we meet in a better place than when I first met them.

Step 3: True and lasting happiness comes through experiences of fulfillment.

We search all of our lives for happiness, living the delusion that it will appear during moments of personal wealth, pleasurable experiences or when our soul mate finally appears. The truth is that lasting happiness is a direct result of one’s contributions, spiritual insights, and expansion of our personal and collective consciousness.

Step 4: Accept the present moment.

Many of us live in bondage to time; fearful of the past, anxious over tomorrow and never in the present moment. Allowing for this present moment in time is always the preferred place to be, especially since it’s the only real place one can exist in. This “presence”, coupled with learning to value: response-ability, awareness of our own feelings, and remembering that no one can really harm us emotionally unless we permit them (mentally) to do so. Your life can be determined for you or by you.

Step 5: Notice yourself.

Observe your thoughts and behaviors. Try to avoid getting too attached to your life roles (father, wife, and son) or personal goals; the people, places and things of your life ! Practice shifting your attention towards the Spirit within through self observation (also called “getting out of your own way.”)

Step 6: Uncover your life’s purpose.

We are happiest in life when we have come to realize how best to use our life. The words of Howard Thurman reflect this truth best: “There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all your life spend your days on the end of strings that someone else pulls

Step 7: Be passionate about self-discovery.

“Finding Waldo” is the analogy used which stresses mindfulness and being observant of one’s thoughts and behaviors. Are you curious about Waldo? (That’s you!) Do you know that our thoughts are based on our personal belief system and that this stream of consciousness will dictate who we will become? Are you aware that the results of your actions, whether positive or negative, are all realizations granting you valuable feedback?

Step 8: Learn to communicate effectively while positively influencing others.

Observations of professionals across different professions have made it clear that great communicators have one thing in common: they all successfully influence in specific ways. Before we can ever effectively influence others we must become students of effective interpersonal communication. Remember, the meaning of our communication can always be measured by the response it elicits in another, regardless of our initial intent.

Step 9: Manage your life energy by practicing Life-Balance.

Energy in the human system is multidimensional. A dynamic relationship exists between physical, emotional, mental, interpersonal and spiritual energies. Changes in any one dimension of energy affect all remaining dimensions.

More about nine steps

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Energy in the human system is multidimensional. A dynamic relationship exists between physical, emotional, mental, interpersonal and spiritual energies. Changes in any one dimension of energy affect all remaining dimensions.

Ask yourself “how do I manage my physical energy?”

  • Do I participate in regular aerobic exercise, valuing the positive fatigue and personal success that results from the mind, body and spirit surpassing old physical limitations?
  • Do I refrain from the unhealthy use of nicotine, drugs or alcohol?
  • Do I follow a balanced, healthy diet by consuming many small, low-calorie, highly nutritious meals daily to ensure a steady intake of glucose and essential nutrients?
  • Do I consistently close my mind’s concerns away each evening, getting six to eight hours of sleep and awakening re-energized and looking forward to the day’s events?

Ask yourself “how do I manage my emotional energy?”

  • Do I notice when my negative emotions are costing me energy, courageously expressing different emotions (both positive and negative) while viewing constructive feedback as an opportunity to maximize my growth and development?
  • Do I proactively confront my fears, doubts and self-imposed limitations which hold me back from realizing success and happiness?
  • Do I assume responsibility for my actions and their consequences without becoming dependent on the approval and acceptance of others?
  • Do I learn from my past experiences and gain confidence from my achievements while living in this “present moment” and treating each moment as purposeful and serendipitous?

Ask yourself “how do I manage my mental energy?”

  • Do I regularly practice stress management and mental relaxation techniques including meditation, guided imagery and positive visualization?
  • Do I accept circumstances beyond my control?
  • Do I tackle my work or school demands by using mental energy to engage life while remaining realistically optimistic as I work towards a positive solution?
  • Do I support myself by practicing positive self-talk and effective time management?

Ask yourself “how do I manage my relational energy?”

  • Do I maintain a balance between my work or school time and my time with friends and family?
  • Do I listen to others, actively participating in building healthy relationships while maintaining lasting communication through phone calls, emails, greeting cards, visits, etc.?
  • Do I maintain clear boundaries with loved ones and avoid communicating on behalf of relatives or friends who find it difficult to talk for themselves?
  • Do I recognize my personal needs and desires and am I capable of sustaining intimacy, both physical and emotional?

Ask yourself “how do I manage my spiritual energy?”

  • Do I realize that my spiritual energy is derived from a connection to deeply held values and living life with a focus beyond my own self-interest?
  • Do I consistently live in the here and now: the present moment?
  • Do I have unexpected flashes of insight and moments of bliss in which I have a clear, deep feeling of oneness with all that exists?
  • Do I realize that I am more than just my internal thoughts or physical being?

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