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One day, there you were! All of the choosing was done for you. Even as you grew up, you probably didn't have any idea that life offered anything other than what you were living. You simply became part of a long chain, its links consisting of your parents, your grandparents, and your siblings. All you had, all you knew, all you had available to you was what your parents, siblings, extended family, and life station offered up to you. Consider the momentum that this chain created; the messages and expectations that passed from one link to the next, through the generations. That chain sealed much of the fate that was to be yours. For example, if you grew up with a mother and father who believed that they, and therefore you and the rest of your family, were all second-class citizens who should keep their heads down, their mouths shut, and by all means not make waves, you probably learned to just be glad that you were permitted to even be in this world. Bottom line: You may well have initially adopted a self-concept that was largely determined by the "blind luck of the draw"! Do you truly take advantage of every second of every day? Time with family, children, working on your dreams, looking after your body and spirit. The bank account is your own responsibility as to how you spend it. "I don't have the time" is a common excuse. Then who has your time? Bruce Lee famously said, "To spend time is to pass it in a specified manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly or carelessly. We all have time to either spend or waste and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever." He also said that to spend it is to be with yourself, friends or family, doing what you want to do, and to waste time is everything else. Bruce made the utmost of the short time he was with us on this planet. The impact is still his legacy now.

How are you spending your account? As far as action goes, let's get physical! Moving our bodies helps to clear and refresh our minds, energise and strengthen us physically and mentally, and recharge our spirits. Sometimes feeling lacklustre is a call to move our bodies. Movement creates fresh energy, allowing our vibrance to return to us. A brisk walk or a quick swim, a set of stretches or breaking into spontaneous dance can very simply and swiftly reinstate our sparkle. When our bodies are stagnant, our minds and spirits can follow. Sometimes we just need to get moving physically in order to get upwardly mobile on every level. While it's easy to forget, the food we eat becomes us: our organs, bones and blood. Our physical bodies renew themselves completely many times over the course of our lifetimes, and to sparkle in mind, body and spirit we are wise to build ourselves on high-vibrational fresh and whole foods. Natural approaches to body care also nurture our sparkle - what we put onto our skin is absorbed into our bloodstreams and is worthy of our thoughtful care. Nurturing our inner sparkle is a pleasure and, with our commitment, becomes a lifestyle we want to pursue. When we consciously follow and nurture our sparkle, we naturally feel more relaxed, buoyant and energised. Feeling lighter and more joyous, it follows that we experience the freedom and vitality for which we inherently yearn. When we ignite and nourish our spirits our happiness, self-worth and resilience blossom. We feel compelled to make positive and supportive decisions for ourselves, and allow ourselves to enjoy our lives to the fullest, at last. People tend to underreport their intake by about 30 percent. In order to get the most accurate reading, write down what you eat immediately after eating. The longer you wait, the more distorted your memory. Carry blank logs with you, or write down the headings in this log on a small notebook that you carry around or even on your smartphone.

Remember to record every morsel and every sip --it all counts. Also useful: snapping before and after photos of your meal, snack, or treat. Sometimes it's not easy to determine if your desire to eat is driven by true physical hunger, emotions, or the brain wiring described in chapter 3. But learning to eat only when you're actually hungry is key to avoiding overeating and to control your weight. The Hunger Scale will help you do just that. Here's how it works: Before you start eating a meal or snack, rate your hunger level. Ideally, you should eat when you're at a level 3 or 4. Try not to let yourself get to a 1 or 2; at these levels, you're more likely to overdo it. After a meal, jot down your hunger level again; you should aim to stop eating when you reach 5 (the level recommended for weight loss). Later, after you've hit your goal weight, you can stop eating at 6 (the level recommended for maintenance). As you may recall, one of the ten characteristics of perfectly hidden depression is the potential for accompanying mental disorders. Eating disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and addictions can all have within them a component of control, fear of losing control, or the need to escape anxiety. And they could be affecting your intention to heal. Therefore, they definitely need to be addressed. If you've not sought treatment for a recognized mental disorder, or it's very active at the moment, then consider attending to that before you get more heavily into this work. You'll have to be very honest with yourself and determine if you're putting the cart before the horse in focusing on perfectly hidden depression. It's not that perfectionism can't be destructive and dangerous in and of itself. We've recognized that. But it's far better to begin therapeutic work, especially self-guided therapeutic work, when you're as emotionally and mentally stable as possible. Notice the fear or the anxiety and try to refrain from fueling it with emotion.

Check in with your fears and write down a reasonable, rational response, such as, "Yes, it's hard. And I've done hard things before." Or, "It's likely to disrupt my life for a while, but I'm miserable the way I'm living now." You might want to recite your mantra again as you move ahead. Let's talk about the difference between beliefs and rules. Rules govern conduct. Beliefs are something you accept as true. The two are interactive. Beliefs may define the rules you follow. Yet the rules you follow may limit or expand your beliefs. For example, you might have the rule "I always put a smile on my face, no matter what." It's connected with the belief that "People won't like me if I don't smile." Enough about the "victim" side of the story. It is also extremely important that you understand that you have very likely become an actual participant in this "life chain lockdown." You are an active player (contaminator) in this drama because, like all people, you internalize your experiences. You internalize information, data, and experience in such a way that your concept of self is either confirmed or altered. At first, the forces are impacting you only from the outside, but almost instantaneously you begin to think about and interpret what is happening out there. Once you assign it a meaning, once you integrate it into your thinking, you make its impact all the more powerful. Your "perceptual navigation system," with its guiding compass and screening radar, starts to steer you exclusively in the direction that is consistent with what you already think. Obviously, your existing life chain is a huge programmer of what your radar will pick up. You scan information consistent with what your life chain has taught you about you and your possibilities, or the lack thereof. For example, if you get fired and interpret that as a personal failure, you will now internalize that perception and be more inclined to pick up other failure-type messages; you'll be less inclined to pick up success-type messages. Your radar goes into "confirm only" mode as it scans the landscape of your life, looking for information that will make you "right," even if it makes you unhappy. The limiting effect of what you are willing to reach for is a tragic outcome, and one that is highly resistant to change. Start today by appreciating what you have been given.

Use your time wisely - this includes resting. Learn to say no a little more often to the things you do not wish to do. It keeps you in credit for the things you do want to do. When do I do the things I want to do? If you have the time, resources, and finance if it needs it - NOW! Cardio helps extend that time you have available. It slows your heart down, lowers your blood pressure and increases your body's fitness and could only cost you four minutes per day! Better than that you will feel really good about yourself and the world in the natural euphoria of endorphins. Caring for our spirits is an essential part of cultivating radiant wellbeing in daily life. While we hear a great deal about various diets and exercise regimes as ways to achieve the sparkling wellness we seek, we are also being invited to shift our thoughts, actions and language around wellbeing now. We are being called to partake in higher conversations around kindness and gratitude, joy and inspiration, stillness and grace: spiritual arts that elevate and fortify us from the inside out. While we might do all we can to design lives in support of our health and happiness - very important things such as eating well, exercising, keeping our homes neat and clean, cultivating good manners, and the list goes on - when we forget to connect with and care for our spirits we will always sense that something very important is missing in our lives. We will feel a niggling imbalance or incompleteness in all our moments and days. In the stressful rhythms and pressing circumstances in which so many of us now live, it is no wonder that our inner sparkle can feel a little lacklustre. We often race from one activity to another, eat foods that are disconnected from nature, and perform kinds of exercise that can stress our bodies rather than fortify and nourish them. Constant stress in daily life deeply affects not only our sense of inner peace and balance, it also affects all the cells, organs and workings of our bodies, making it difficult to sparkle. It compromises the energy within us, and shapes the energy we emanate. The pandemic of ill health we are experiencing now has devastatingly direct links back to chronic stress. Another thing you should think about is how your weight is affecting your health. You may feel fine and even get a good report from the doctor each time you undergo a checkup.