How I Got Here: 10 Steps to Inner Peace

Everyone wants to receive compliments, right?

Not me.  There was a time when I didn’t want the added attention and I certainly didn’t seek it. The more I remained under the radar, the better.  After all, that was a time when most comments leaned toward:

“I can tell you’re tired because your scars are showing.”
“You remind me of a caged animal.”

Not exactly confidence-boosting, right? It’s no wonder I became really good at rolling my eyes on the inside. I mean, why say anything at all if you can’t say something nice?

That was then. This is NOW.  And the huge shift that occurred in me that shook me from the days of feeling stuck and, I admit, caged in are ancient history. NOW I receive true compliments – and I welcome them – along the lines of:

“You look fantastic!”

And… “You seem so happy, you’re glowing!”

Those who knew me from before ask how I got from there to here.  They wonder what I do to feel this great.  So, I’m going to let you in on a few little secrets.  The road can be frustrating, filled with tears and obstacles that make you want to turn around and quit at times, but the end result is absolutely worth the journey. Put simply:

If the button you’re pushing isn’t working, try a different button.

Looking back, I recognized specific steps along my path and began to share my story with others who found themselves struggling with that same feeling of suffocating in a room full of air, like we’d forgotten how to breathe. I broke it down to ten small steps, some so easy it was hard to argue against them.

So here are my Top 10 steps for turning your life around from a place of feeling stuck with no energy and no growth, to having the most fantastic things happen to you all while feeling amazing.

Girls watching happy shows

Step 1:  Watch only comedies.  No violence or sadness allowed.  No exceptions until you are thoroughly and truly beyond the effects of watching any other genre, like horror or action films, and can emotionally distance yourself from those lower emotions.

Step 2:  Listen only to “happy” music. Everything is energy, including the songs we sing. When lyrics only speak off how depressed someone is after their lyin’, cheatin’ ex stole their heart, or of some gangsta that got shot, how is that serving you? Misery loves company. Soon you’ll be as miserable as the man in the video. Make like Pharrell Williams and Get Happy!

young man sitting meditating in comfy chair on white

Step 3:   Meditate.  Meditate. Meditate.  A regular meditation practice brings precious moments of quiet time to reflect upon stale habits and envision an abundant future. You may wish to enlist the help of a gentle guided meditation, go deeper with binaural beats, or simply sit in peace as you find the right style for you.  It can be for ten minutes or two hours.  Trust and listen to your intuition for insight.  Om.

fruit-vegetables color wheel

Step 4:  Boost your diet to include more fresh fruits and vegetables.  Eat a rainbow of colors and consume as many of these living, healing foods as you can. I call myself the Lean, Clean, Green Machine. Not only will your heart, arteries, and digestive system thank you, but you’ll watch your moods improve, too.

no sugar

Step 5:  Cut back on consumption of sugar, caffeine and alcohol.  Most of us know sugar is bad for us, but did you know it could be the real culprit behind vicious mood swings?  If you follow Step 4, your need for stimulants and relaxants will naturally decrease as you begin to take energy from whole, living foods. One rule of thumb: IF YOU’RE CRAVING SUGAR, YOU’RE NOT EATING ENOUGH FRUIT. Try it for at least five days and check in with yourself. Once your system achieves a stable balance without all the highs and lows of sugar and caffeine, you’ll sleep better. I don’t know about you, but when I get a good night’s rest, I’m golden!

people rebounding

Step 6: Move. Your. Body. Find an activity or exercise you like to do; one that makes the time go by faster. Better yet, dance to the song in Step 2. You’ll boost your endorphins – the “happy” hormone – and get in shape, too. I invested in a rebounder mini trampoline, because I’m not always motivated to get outside in extreme weather, I currently don’t belong to an athletic club, and it fits in my apartment. Just 10-20 mins a day provides good exercise and stimulates the lymphatic system, which benefits the circulatory and immune systems. When you’re healthy, fit, and smiling, you can’t help but feel more self-confident. Self-confidence leads to contentment. Contentment leads to peace.

Free Hugs

Step 7:   It’s an old platitude worth repeating. Be the change you wish to see in the world.  If you think the world has gotten to be a crusty place with no beauty or love in the world, do some guerrilla gardening or make a sign and give out Free Hugs. You’ll be surprised how quickly little acts of kindness can make someone’s day…. And smile more! Sure, you may be mistaken occasionally for a complete freak, smiling randomly at strangers, but I guarantee you’ll get strangers to smile back more often than not. Think of it this way: No one wants to be that first couple out on the dance floor, yet it never fails that once two daring souls start to boogie, others scramble to join in. Be that first dancer and get your groove on!

when you become grateful...Step 8:  Be grateful.  Let go and trust that everything happens for a reason. Everything you’ve gone through has gotten you to where you are today, so take a look at those relationships you thought were so terrible. Were they really so awful or did they force you to realize what it is you truly do want for yourself? When something didn’t go as you planned or hoped, did it allow for an even better, different solution than you’d imagined? If there’s a lesson in every situation we encounter, an attitude of gratitude creates opportunity. Breathe and be thankful.

follow your dreams

Step 9: Trust your intuition and follow your heart.  Life is what you make of it, I say. I’d rather make crazy decisions and fall flat on my face than live life so cautiously it passes me by. Don’t be the “woulda, shoulda, coulda” person. However large or small, be the person that follows her dreams. You’ll take peace and comfort in knowing you tried. While you’re at it, be happy for others who’ve done well with their lives. Their journey is not your journey, so don’t let envy of someone else’s success get in the way of your bliss. Keep the peace and watch life flow.

surround yourself with positive people

Step 10: As I wrote in ‘The Power to Manifest a Delicious Destiny‘, surround yourself with positive people… the kind of people who motivate you to become to type of person you wish to be. As you incorporate the nine steps above to increase your own inner peace, you may find that those individuals with whom you once had a close personal relationship no longer resonate with you.  Don’t worry. Those who insist upon remaining negative will gradually fall out of your life. One day, they’ll just be gone and you’ll realize you didn’t have to do a thing. Don’t be sad! Embrace the idea that the Universe is cleaning house for you, conspiring to bring others into your world that help you along your path.

If you follow these 10 steps, I guarantee that over time the small adjustments you make NOW will add up to big changes in your future.  How much you want to change is up to you, but I trust if you’ve read this far, you’re ready to try pushing a different button to create a more vibrant life and achieve that inner peace you deserve.  Many blessings for your journey.

In gratitude…



Letting Go to Grab that Prize

Hi there!  What’s new and good?

It’s been a while, I know.  But between buckling down to study for an online course I’m taking with IIN – the Institute for Integrative Nutrition – helping my mom out after a surgery, getting away for my fabulous, long-awaited for vacation, and traveling for work in between… Whew!  It’s been a hectic eight weeks.

Some days flowed effortlessly.  Others started out the worst days EVER (First World problems).  Yet, every time I thought I saw a negative, I held fast to my old belief that “everything happens for a reason.”  I simply had to find out that reason and look for the signs to turn in a better direction, and invite that redirect to occur.  Fast.

I went from being on the verge of failure for non-participation to taking a proactive stance in my career future and being told I’m a natural at coaching others toward good health and wellness.  When I sort of declared my unrequited love for someone and had it go unreturned, I didn’t look at it as rejection.  I saw it as the impetus I needed to get my head out of the fantastical clouds and realize my true worth that someone, someday will truly appreciate, while allowing myself the freedom to finally invoke that perfect partner to come into my life and (re)connect with my heart.  And then, as I was denied board on a flight through fatigue and neglect, blaming myself for missing a special opportunity to hear a treasured music play… one for which I’d pre-paid… the artist wrote to suggest I attend a personal sound healing with him, instead; an experience I’d wished for but previously thought impossible.  Moments later, like fairy dust sprinkled on a dream, an appointment was scheduled at the magical hour of 2:22 pm, and I walked on air.

If there’s a moral to the story, it’s that we cannot always control what happens in our lives, but we have absolute control over how we react to those circumstances.  What seems like the worst thing in the world one moment can free you up to receive the most amazing gift in the next.  Just let go.  Let go and acknowledge that there is a divine plan, and there are plans within plans of which we have no idea, but be open to the truth that Spirit/God/Allah/Yahweh/Source only wants you to be happy.  Let go and create a space for that happy-ness to squeeze its way inside and light up your whole world.  And since Light is Information, you will receive that inner message, that wonderful opportunity, or that amazing prize you truly deserve.

When it rains, look for rainbows.  When it's dark, look for stars.
When it rains, look for rainbows. When it’s dark, look for stars.

Peace and Love.

À tout à l’heure…