5 Steps to a More Perfect Life

5 Steps to a More Perfect Life
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What would your perfect life look like? It would probably include the passion and stamina to do the work you’ve chosen, a healthy body in which to do that work, someone to love who loves you, and the financial stability to be able to pay your bills and have enough left over for fun. Does that sound like an impossible dream? What would you have to do to make that dream come true?

After decades of being a spiritual teacher and having worked with thousands of people, I know what works to turn lives in a better direction. So here are my five steps to a more perfect life . . .

1. Recognize your limiting beliefs and ditch them. Every time you look in the mirror and sigh, “I’ll never be able to lose that weight,” you are reinforcing the belief in your lack of ability to change. Instead, you could look in the mirror, see the need to lose weight (both for your health and for your self-esteem), and say with determination, “Today I’m going to track my food and go for a walk.” Any time you hear yourself say something negative about yourself—“I’ll never . . . I can’t . . . I shouldn’t“— turn that limiting belief into a positive, affirmative statement, and believe it.

2. Take responsibility for your life. Maybe you think everything that’s wrong with your life is the fault of someone else. You had the worst parents. Your teachers ignored the bullying. You are not the boss’s favorite. You have the sister-in-law from hell. It’s all their fault. You feel validated in your role as a victim. What good does that do? You get plenty of attention by complaining but it doesn’t change a thing. It’s time to accept that no matter how badly you were parented, no matter how bullied you were in school, no matter how impossible your boss or family members are, the bottom line is that you are responsible for your own life. Stop complaining and do something about it.

3. Never give up. The biggest mistake I see people make is giving up after the first few failures. It takes way more persistence than that to succeed. Truly, it’s not how many times you fall down, but how often you pick yourself up off the floor. I lost my shirt in the last real estate meltdown but learned a lot and managed to recover in just a few years. Over a dozen publishers turned down the first Harry Potter book; 38 publishers turned down Gone With The Wind; and it took Agatha Christie five years of continual rejection before landing a publishing deal (now, only William Shakespeare has sold more books). See your personal failures as steps on the road to success, especially when it comes to finances.

4. Make time for yourself. Are you the caretaker of the universe? Between your aging parents and the needs of your partner, your job, and your kids, where are you? Are you committed to too many projects in your home, office, or online? Hello, are you there? You need to make time for you. Find a way to get outside and take a walk. Turn off your phone and slip into a hot bath with mineral salts and drops of lavender oil. Spend twenty minutes a day meditating, dropping deep into your own being. As the saying going, you have to fill your own well to have something to give others.

5. Find a mentor. Is there someone you truly admire who is living life the way you would like to? Did they overcome an addiction, an abusive relationship, a wound to body or psyche? How did they do it? Is there something you really want to learn—a particular business, an art, a craft? Find someone who is doing what you want to do and learn how they did it; chances are, once they figured it out, they started teaching, like I have. In spiritual circles you hear: when the student is ready, the teacher appears. And it’s true. When I was crying out to the universe for ways to heal the cancer I had in my mid-twenties, I “stumbled across” the meditation teachers and energy healers who guided me into sending the cancer into remission. And that led to an entirely new career path for me.

Everyone has trials and tribulations in life. How you react to those challenges determines how “perfect” you think your life is. There are those living with chronic health issues who are at peace and happy with who they are despite their physical limitations. I had a bad fall and spent more than half of the past year in a hospital bed but my happiness level remained the same. There are those in prisons, refugee camps, or homeless who able to keep their hearts open and not hate the people or circumstances that put them there. There are those who would never be considered a perfect “10” who feel good about themselves; their happiness is far more appealing to others than their perfect hair or body or clothes. Your life may not look perfect from the outside, but you can be the highest version of yourself inside. And that, in the end, is a perfect life.

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