Doing, behaving, thinking or feeling in a way that is not serving you or others. As I already stated, in ancient and recent esoteric schools a method was employed that was more brutal than the method I will offer you here. To train the brain and take control, pain was utilised to force a change. I take a moment to close my eyes and relax now. I inhale deeply, pause for a moment at the very top of my breath, then exhale fully out, soothing my whole body. Breathing deeply in and out again, I visualise letting go of any loose thoughts, hurries or worries. I let them fall away. This is my moment to quieten my mind, right now. I have nothing more, nothing less to do. I imagine a little sparkle at my heart's centre. Like the first star to appear at dusk, this little sparkle twinkles gently but surely within my heart. With each breath in and out, I visualise this twinkling star growing a little brighter, and a little brighter again. Breathing in and out, breath by breath, filling my heart with sparkling light. Is a lot of your energy focused on anger and resentment about things that happened in the past? Are you unhappy most of the time because your bitterness and hostility take up too much space in your psyche? Do these negative feelings interfere with your ability to enjoy your current blessings? Do you at times overeat to numb these feelings? The simple fact is that life isn't fair. Every one of us must deal with life's trials and tribulations, even if you feel that you've been unfairly victimized, mistreated, abused, or neglected by others in the past. Your husband may have had an affair, your father may have been an alcoholic, you may have lost your mother at an early age, or a friend may have betrayed your trust--any number of things can hurt or damage you.

You can let yourself get stuck in those feelings by overeating or drinking too much, by sitting in front of the TV for hours at a time, or by acting out in a number of other ways. But refusing to address or resolve the source of pain, to expel the ache, and to allow for needed healing only deepens those negative emotions. Dan Siegel, in his book Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence, discusses what changes occur when what he terms "kind intention" is your focus. "Intention primes the mind for maliciousness or for kindness, and shapes the inner life of our body and the inter life of our relationships... How intention glows determines where attention goes, neural firing flows, and neural and interpersonal connection grow" (2018, 96-97). We don't want to delve too deeply into the neurobiology or the philosophy of all this. I, for one, might get lost. However, it's interesting to think about how you've responded to past commitments. What did your journaling help you see? Did a commitment morph into an inflexible duty? Did you quit (or hide) because you weren't perfect? Duty isn't bad in and of itself, don't get me wrong. Commitment is solidly based on what you value. And values define us as either similar to or different from others. Yet since perfectionism is such an ingrained trait in you, you need to consider not only what you want to change in yourself but also how you want to change it. And that's done with kindness. Unfortunately, life is not a success-only journey, and sometimes these unwanted results can shake our faith and make us doubt who we really are, or even why we are. In your own life, events may have slowly accumulated toward an unnoticed erosion of confidence and identity; by contrast, maybe your negative consequences struck like lightning. It may be that years of self-doubt have brought you to a crisis of self, a painful compromise of dreams and vision. On the other hand, maybe for you it's less defined.

Perhaps there's just a quiet awareness that you can and want to do more, that you want to add to a life that in many respects is working well. Maybe a part of you says, Everything is just fine, while another part, subtly but insistently, asks, Fine, yes--but compared to what? Either way, whether the need is dramatic or subtle, to settle for anything less than a full and passionate life is to give in to the distortions of life. It is to deny your authentic self. Again, let me emphasize: No matter how much you doubt it, your authentic self is there. Life may blur the vision; events may accumulate and bury everything that defines you; but it's there. And whether or not you accept it yet, I hope you at least understand my earlier statement that you are an active contributor to the self-concept that you are now living. Certainly, as we have just discussed, there have been defining events in your life. Those external factors explain a great deal about who you are. But just as importantly, if not more so, you have reacted to and interpreted those experiences. You have responded with a variety of internal factors that you must now be willing to put under a microscope. You are beginning a journey of paying attention more to how you think. Let me be clear that what are often termed negative emotions have a purpose. They are not really negative in my opinion. They are a feedback. You would be better served to recognise them and let them pass quickly than to dwell on them or get into combat by trying to force them away. If your hand touches a hot object, the emotion and pain you would feel is a good thing, would you not agree? Of course. If only you worked on your Whealth' intentions (a word I have created), rather than just your health! <a href=''>A</a> plan to get you fit for life. <br /><br /><a href=''>A</a> plan to take you to great heights. <a href=''>You</a> have learned to accept that you should exercise your body in movement and your mind in meditation. <a href=''>Integral</a> parts of yourWhealth' could include meditation, spiritual thought, prayer, or just time in nature to appreciate its beauty. There are many forms. One will suit you. You may have to experiment with a few before you find the one for you. A word of warning though: try sticking to a few. There is nothing to gain in attempting to dip in and out of multitudes of techniques. Sticking to a small number of techniques for now will strengthen your resolve to change, to continue in the direction of your new intentions, to `Whealth'. Create a new reality. Nurturing our spirits is often the missing piece in our collective quest for happiness, fulfilment and radiant health. Our world desperately needs our love, and we are called to be at the helm of positive transformation by cultivating kindness, compassion, courage and creativity within ourselves. We are capable of so much more than we know. Thinking and seeing magically is possible for each and every one of us, opening up a whole new world of possibilities and expanding our awareness of the tremendous energy within and around us. Explore your own healing powers, see happiness as a virtue, choose in favour of your bliss, and settle into a deep, purposeful and fulfilling sense of belonging in this life. If you have let yourself get hung up on a past hurt, ask yourself: Is it painful to be stuck in this way? Is your overeating and unhappiness a result of an unresolved emotional wound? Are you perpetuating the damage by self-inflicted maltreatment? And this is crucial: At the end of the day, who is hurting? Most likely, you are, not the person who mistreated you.

To be truly happy, you're going to have to work to get past the hurt, bitterness, and hostility. Allow yourself to be free of the past and enjoy the present. Forgiving and letting go benefits you at least as much as--and typically more than--everyone else. Learning to appreciate yourself and others is a key to a happier life. You can enjoy a heightened sense of well-being by noticing and being thankful for the blessings of everyday life--both big, such as the health of your children or the beauty of nature, and small, like the wagging tail of your beloved pet. You develop an attitude of gratitude when you stay focused on the good things that can easily be forgotten in the business of day-to-day living. You remember to acknowledge what you have instead of what you don't. You realize that most of the positive things in your life are the ones that are consistent, such as a healthy family and friends, while the negatives usually come and go. Spending my professional career helping individuals overcome eating disorders has taught me many important lessons, and one that has always stuck with me is that you don't have to live a lifestyle based on deprivation to be healthy. People are inherently sensory, pleasure-seeking beings who need a certain amount of satisfaction in their lives to survive. (We discussed this in detail earlier in the book.) From infancy, we love the taste of sweet and dislike the taste of bitter. When pleasure sources are lacking, eating high-calorie, tasty foods can become a person's alternative means of enjoyment, but that can lead to obvious problems. What's the major concern here? It's quitting if you falter--if you make a mistake or forget or simply lose your resolve for a bit--because then you're besieged with shame. It's inevitable that you're going to fall back into perfectionistic behavior. You're going to struggle to express your feelings sometimes, much less be mindful of them. I've listened to many people who identify with perfectly hidden depression say, "I hate that it's taking me so long to get this. We've been working on this for weeks." It will take time and patience--lots of patience--and kindness toward yourself. Remember, this isn't something else you have to do perfectly. Because you're a perfectionist, you might have the urge to start with the most challenging goal you can think of.