Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Step 7: Maintain Physical Well-Being

This is the easiest way to feel good. Exercise and you are pretty well guaranteed to feel better after. Exercise and eat well consistently and there you have it- a consistent means of feeling good. Make it a habit to eat well most of the time and engage in some form of physical activity on a regular basis. These two powerful tools are clear- you have the formula, you know the steps- all you need to do is take action and small steps so that eating well and exercising simply become a learned part of your lifestyle. There are many, many resources out there prescribing diets and certain workout regiments. But at the end of the day, what is important? The only thing that is important is that you feel good. It doesn't have to be as complicated as some make it out to be.

With regards to exercise, it's all about finding the form of physical exertion that works for you. As long as it makes you sweat then you're good to go! What is more important than the specific activity you do is how often you do it. Make a goal to commit to your physical activity on a consistent basis. The goal does not have to be massive, it just has to be doable. I, for example, commit to running at least 3 miles every other day. This is my base and totally doable. I usually end up running more and doing other things apart from my run, but the run is what happens no matter what.

These are the reasons why I believe that exercise is important:
  • To feel energized
  • To gain strength
  • To challenge yourself physically and mentally
  • To feel good
So if you are running, swimming, biking, doing yoga or lifting weights, do it regularly. Stick to a realistic goal as a base of certainty and be open to explore different ways of being active as well! I love being active in nature because it is a win-win. I benefit from the endorphins of physical exercise and the beauty of nature.

Now with regards to food, the first thing to keep in mind is that it is not necessary to be perfect in order to be healthy. Making healthy choices %80 of the time is great. I believe that diets don't work because they cause one to crave the foods that are being restricted. And what happens when you are not allowed to have something that you want? (especially when you see it but can't have it) You want it more! Dieting results in binge eating and often fails to support habits that last for life.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:
  • Food is a powerful tool for optimal wellness
  • Maintaining a balanced diet with nutrient-rich foods is the key
  •  Eat regular meals and snacks when you are hungry to recharge the body and mind
  • Consume lots of fruits and veggies
  • It's OK to have chocolate sometimes!
  • Eat unrefined and whole foods from each food group
  • Aim to include protein with every meal




 Step 6: Take Action!

Taking action is the most important step to achieving your dreams and manifesting your passions. Ideas are great, but action is better. Don't wait for the perfect opportunity, perfect set of resources or perfect motivation to take action. You can start now and you can start small. DO something each day that aligns with the creation of the life you want. Of course, knowing what you like and want to pursue makes it easier to take action because you have more clarity and are therefore more focused. But very often, we need to take action first and simply put ourselves out there in what we believe we are interested in because it is through experience that we discover what it is we truly desire. So as you face fear and decide that you are going to live a life of adventure, beauty, freedom and happiness, take action. You won't know if something works or if you like it until you actually do it. And I say immerse yourself fully in the experience. Be open to learn and grow. Often we think we know what the result of taking a certain action is- we predict an outcome or set an expectation. But really, nobody knows what you will learn or gain from doing something until you do it. So take action and use your inner guide to help you make decisions that align with your beliefs and you will find much more than you ever expected. Make it a habit to consistently take action. And after each action you take, ask yourself three questions:

#1: How did doing this make me feel?
#2: What did I learn?
#3: If this made me feel good, what else can I do to re-create this experience or one that is similar?

As you ask yourself these questions and become aware of how your experiences are affecting you, you will becoming more in tune with yourself and gain clarity of the kind of life you truly want to live. Another very important thing to keep in mind is the unimportance of perfection. Being a perfect human being is not a prerequisite for success and certainly not important to be happy. Aim to be focused, productive, and determined instead and banish any perfection ideals that you may have- perfection does not matter. What really matters is that you are dedicated to gaining perspective and knowledge so that you can understand yourself and your own needs. What really matters is that you are open to fully experience life and follow your heart. What really matters is that you believe in yourself and maintain a positive outlook and non-judgmental approach. What really matters is your drive in taking consistent action to follow your dreams so that you can inspire others. 

Here are a few points to summarize this article:
  • Ideas are great, but action is better
  • Don't wait for the perfect circumstances to take action
  • Start small and start now!
  • It is through experience that we discover what we truly want
  • Be open to learn and grow

Monday, 27 August 2012


Step 5: Face Fear


One thing that I have realized along my own journey is that I would not have come so far if I hadn't faced my fears. Facing fear may seem overwhelming and confusing for a while but in the long-term it is worth it. When I decided to change my life two years ago, I experienced incredible fear. I was leaving behind a "picture perfect" life that looked great on the outside- private school, family vacations, wealthy friends, material possessions- for a life that I wasn't even sure existed. I was leaving behind all the beliefs I had about what life should be like to pursue something more. I thought I was going crazy but I continued to follow my gut- that was all I had then. I had to make choices and changes, feeling very lonely at first because I was venturing into unknown territory, a life that seemed very blurry and distant. 

And you know what my fear was? As I abandoned the environments I had known for so long, I was scared that I would lose everything I had. I had given up everything for a life that I had no explanation for. I just knew that there must be something better out there. 

And at first the fear paralyzed me. I stopped going to school for almost three months and lived in darkness and isolation. I'm not sure if I would even describe it as living. I felt like my life was crumbling in front of my eyes. But you know what? If I hadn't stopped to look at things for the way they were and realized how unhappy I was, I would have never discovered a life worth living. 

Now it is not necessary to face fear in the way I did to discover light. I am just giving you example to show you that even in the time when we think it is all over, it may be just the beginning. You don't have to give up everything to discover beauty, happiness and passion. But I do believe that facing fear in pursuit of our destiny is worth it. If you want something you go get it, even if the only thing guiding you is your intuition. I can assure you that if you take action based on intuition, you will find people who share your vision. I can tell you this because it happened to me- as I continued to follow my heart, incredible people came into my life and I discovered resources and environments that reshaped my perspective.

What do you really want? I say to follow your heart, even if it scares you at first. Make the choice that feels right, even if its not what everyone else is doing. Because by facing fear, we learn and grow. We discover new things and gain perspective. We learn about ourselves and our true needs and passions. We appreciate our individualism.

And really, when we face fear, we become fearless. Because at the other side of fear is power beyond measure.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Step 4: BELIEVE 

As you continue to find the things that make you feel good and realize how important it is to feel good, you will realize your own inner power. As you choose to surround yourself with positive and loving people who share your vision, you will realize that there are others who choose to live a life of purpose. As you aim to do things you are passionate about, things that bring enjoyment, you will begin to believe that you can create exactly the life that you want for yourself. Now I mentioned that Step #4 is to believe: take note of your achievements, realize that you are on a path to fulfillment and happiness and continue to do what you feel is right no matter what others do or say. BELIEVE in yourself and your goals. Develop resilience so that no matter what, your focus stays strong and you continue to BELIEVE in yourself. 

Here are some tips to strengthen and maintain belief:

#1: Speak to Yourself with Positive Affirmations
  • "I am doing what feels good and right today- this is the most important thing"
  • "The choices that I make today are for my happiness"
  • "I am focused on achieving my goals and there are always people who can support me in that"
  • "I have the power to create the life of my dreams"

#2: When you Feel Good, Inspired and Strong:
  • Write about how good you feel and what has caused it
  • Reward yourself for your accomplishments
  • Take your inspiration and use it to inspire others to follow their dreams

By making a conscious effort to expand upon the positive experiences in your life by documenting them, you build confidence in yourself and this helps you to consistently BELIEVE that you can create an extraordinary life. 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


Step 3: Find and commit to what feels good


This is an important step in creating a life of meaning and fulfillment.  The kind of life you have is formed by the things you are doing. It only makes sense that if you are doing things that you don't enjoy, the kind of life you will be leading would be an unsatisfactory one. Make a firm commitment to make choices that contribute to your well-being. Yes, we all have things that we "must" do, but there is a lot of choice. We choose the kind of friends we spend time with, we choose our jobs, and everything else about how we live from what we put into our bodies to the way we move and speak. This step is about finding your passions in life- what gets you excited? As we experience things, it is important to use awareness to see if we are enjoying what we are experiencing. If the experience is not enjoyable, it is best to not do it again. If it brings excitement and passion, do it again. Simple as that. Just like a formula in math helps one achieve a certain result, we must find the formula of what gives us the result of a happy life.

It is like going to a restaurant and ordering from a menu. Not knowing the menu could result in ordering something that doesn't satisfy the taste buds, but that is part of the process. We don't always know what we like or what works right away. But with an openness to possibility and the willingness to experience, we find the formula that rings true. Fortunately the contrast of realizing what we don't like actually helps us solidify what we do like and enjoy. Now, coming back to the idea of a menu- the more we discover what brings us happiness and joy, we simply build upon our own menu or formula. Knowing what makes us feel good cultivates motivation. You'd rather be motivated to do something that brings joy right? So nurture your passions and be open to experience what life has to offer. If something doesn't taste good, take it off your menu and find something that does feel good. If the people around you are negative and critical, find people who are positive. Everything is out there, we just have to be willing to do some searching. So search on and make your own menu!