As we've just seen, insight into what we tell ourselves can be therapeutic. But the return to authenticity requires more than that. This is the stage when you equip yourself with some clear-cut criteria for authenticity, the standard by which you can test your internal responses. Well, what you're going to do now is learn the four criteria for an authentic self-appraisal. You will then evaluate each one of your internal responses--beliefs, dialogues, labels, and so on--against these criteria. These authentic criteria will help you determine whether your responses and reactions contribute to your authentic self or pull you instead toward the fictional end of the self-concept continuum. These four rules give you the yardstick you'll use to evaluate each attribution, label, internal conversation, tape, and fixed belief. And all of those responses either pass or fail. When they fail, you'll know you need to open your mind to new options. In other words, I am now ready to teach you how to test everything you are saying to yourself so you can sort out what's fictional and what's authentic. I want to get you to the point that trying to slip a lie past you will be like trying to smuggle sunrise past a rooster! Think of the four test criteria as questions or challenges. When you use these questions to evaluate your every thought and perception, you will see clearly how authentic or fictional your internal thoughts are. Is what you are thinking, feeling, perceiving, or assigning something that is objectively, verifiably true? If your internal dialogue, for example, was reviewed by independent observers, if people with absolutely no dog in the fight listened in, would they agree with you or not? Is this just something that you believe now, because it is something you believed then? Much of the time, we act on beliefs that are totally wrong and we have never even evaluated them. It may be that you are holding on to beliefs that were true when you were three years old, or seven, or maybe they were never true. Maybe you really do not know. If you don't, don't act on something that you simply, perhaps mindlessly, accept as true, with no consideration for testing it.

At times, you may hold beliefs because you're afraid to let them go, yet holding on to them causes you pain and suffering, frustration and loss. This criteria is simple: If what you're thinking, feeling, or doing is not working for you, if it is not helping you be and do what you authentically want, then it fails this test criteria. Does it make you happy, calm, peaceful, and fulfilled? This is a huge deal. Apply this standard and your life quality will change, and I mean right now. In applying this standard, be very unyielding. Don't listen to your own justifications for why you are tolerating thoughts and beliefs, actions and inactions that are not working for you. If it's not working, STOP DOING IT! Do your thoughts about yourself push you into situations that put you at risk? For example, does your false pride about driving a car when you are not safe cause you to come closer to injury? Does your insistence on being right put you in harm's way? Does the pain and stress of how you think, feel, and believe about yourself take a physical toll that you can ill afford? We have selfish beliefs that make us defend ourselves when we don't have to. Are the thoughts that you cling to generating a physical harmony within your body? Or are you constantly aroused and agitated, wearing down your body and subjecting you to disease? It may be that now is the time to understand that holding such beliefs is not helping you; that in fact, it's hurting you. I know it is complicated and intricate thinking, but I believe that there is a scientific basis for the view that your expectations create impulses that ripple outward into the universe. With the help of some pretty smart folks, I think it can be proven. Physics is evolving at a rapid pace, and for the first time, there are some theoretical physicists that are starting to change their beliefs about the existence of God. How awesome would it be to have that question answered once and for all?

Purging my unused apps was easy because saying goodbye to apps I never used didn't evoke an emotional response. However, the next step involved removing apps I loved. The problem was, I often found myself checking YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter on my phone when I'd planned to spend time with my daughter. When I'd feel a tinge of boredom, I'd watch a short video or give a social network a quick pull-to-refresh. Unfortunately, this also pulled me out of the moment with my daughter. But abandoning these services entirely wasn't an option for me; I still wanted to use them to keep in touch with friends and watch interesting videos. I found my solution by replacing when and where I used the problematic services. Since I'd set aside time for social media in my timeboxed schedule, there was no longer any need to have them on my phone. After a few minutes of hesitation, removing them from my phone felt like a breath of fresh air. I could breathe easy knowing I could still access these services on my computer and at a time I set aside, not whenever the app maker decided to ping me. Perhaps the most surprisingly beneficial mobile-phone adjustment was changing the way I checked the time. As someone who hates being late, I used to glance at my phone throughout the day, which far too often caused me to get sucked into a notification on my phone's lock screen. When I started wearing a watch again, I noticed that I checked my phone far less frequently. A quick glance at my wrist told me what I needed to know and no more.3 The idea here is to find the best time and place to do the things you want to do. Just because your phone can seemingly do everything doesn't mean it should. ndfulness is a way of living your life by focusing on the present moment. It is a way of "being" in the world, adopted from Eastern meditation practices. The skills learned in Mindfulness practice have been found helpful in managing mood disorders. Being in the present moment means that instead of being preoccupied with the past or future, you are focused on and attentive to the present. This is not easy to do.

It is common for the mind to wander, particularly to thoughts of past events or future worries. The key is to notice when your thoughts drift and then bring your mind back to the present. Becoming so deeply involved in doing something that you lose track of time is an example of being in the present moment. Mindfulness requires that you pay attention to what is going on around you. It means that you live with awareness instead of going through life on autopilot. Paying attention also involves observing your own thoughts and feelings, your body's response to emotion (such as rapid heart rate, sweating, etc.), your urges, and your behavior just as they are. Being nonjudgmental means that you avoid making any judgment about your thoughts, actions, or experiences and let each moment be as it is. Allow yourself to think or feel what you are feeling, without putting labels or judgment on it. This is also not easy to do. Part of your mind is constantly evaluating your experiences, comparing them to past experiences or expectations you may have. Instead, work on developing a neutral attitude toward what comes into your mind without judging it. Acknowledge your thoughts as thoughts and then let them go. For each experience, emotion, or thought you have, try to feel it without reacting to it. Living mindfully allows you to engage in what you are doing. Emotions will interfere less often. This will improve the quality of your life. Mindfulness helps you to live in the present moment instead of experiencing the painful emotions related to the past or future. Dwelling on past experiences or future worries tends to trigger painful emotions. This happens often in depression. Mindfulness practice helps you to decrease these ruminations and the emotions and distress they produce.

Mindfulness practice can help you manage your mood disorder. When you have an increased awareness of the present moment, you are able to notice when symptoms of your mood disorder arise. Recognizing your depression or bipolar symptoms enables you to respond effectively with your Relapse Prevention plan. Mindfulness can improve your ability to tolerate and respond to painful events. When you are overwhelmed by emotions, your mind clutters up quickly. So you have to focus first on the thought or moment and try to clear your mind, to calm it down. To do this you must step back, observe your own thought, and try to get a handle on it. Mindfulness practice can help you do this. When you are focused on and attentive to the present moment, without attaching judgment or value to it, you can make the best use of your thoughts, take action, and work on your problem. Many people find that Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for depression. Therapeutic touch rests on the idea that we have an energy field emanating from our body and that we can cure disease by detecting and manipulating this energy. A practitioner of therapeutic touch moves her hands a couple of inches above a patient's body to detect and push away any negative energy causing illness. Therapeutic touch is thought by many to be a valid and accepted medical practice. As previously mentioned, it's used in at least eighty hospitals in the United States, and is taught in more than one hundred colleges and universities worldwide. Over forty thousand healthcare professionals have been trained in the technique and about half actively use it. In addition, our government has spent thousands to investigate the usefulness of the technique.18 So, does it make sense to believe in therapeutic touch? Let's begin by stating a specific, testable hypothesis. The next step is to examine the evidence for our hypothesis. Practitioners of therapeutic touch point to thousands of individuals who got better after undergoing their treatment. What could be more compelling evidence?