It's your life, why would you want to be a passenger? In examining your locus of control, we've been talking about the particular style with which you interpret and respond to the events in your life. I trust that, by this point, you have a clear understanding of which of the three styles best describes your approach to life. Knowledge is power and knowing what your style is will give you a new measure of power in your life. It is a critical first step in addressing your internal factors. Nourishing our happiness is a moment-to-moment pleasure. Decadent self and beauty care that connects and harmonises our minds, bodies and spirits is the ultimate kind of daily care. Rituals that unite and ground us are also essential ingredients for radiant wellbeing, bringing us comfort, inspiration and a sense of belonging. Natural whole foods brimming with life and energy from the earth and eaten with care become fuel for our spirits as much as our physical bodies and minds. Immersing ourselves in nature is deeply therapeutic and healing for us all. Indeed, with our love and attention, any and every day can become a tribute to our luminous, magical spirits. William Blake wrote that what we call the body is a portion of our soul discerned by our five senses - the chief inlets' of our souls in this time and place. <a href='http://www.geocities.jp/basic0908/queen/index31.html'>Indeed,</a> it is through the sensory experiences of touching, hearing, seeing, smelling and tasting that we truly live; that we sense the life of our spirits, engaging, delighting in and expanding our sparkles. <a href='http://www.geocities.jp/basic0908/queen/index32.html'>Rumi</a> wrote that there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground, and a thousand ways to go home again. <a href='http://www.geocities.jp/basic0908/queen/index33.html'>When</a> he writes ofhome', in my eyes Rumi means back to our true selves, our innermost essence: our spirit. Indeed, there are so many ways to return to this place. Let us begin with the delight of eating, as this is something to which each one of us can relate. Internal motivation summarizes the drive needed to succeed in life, whether in personal, professional, or academic settings. Recall our recent example, in which you are striving for a promotion at work. Simply wanting something like a promotion isn't enough.

You have to summon your passion, as well as your intellectual and emotional resources. Internal motivation speaks to your unique, personal emotions and drives. For instance, your internal motivations regarding a promotion may be concerned with additional income to support your family, the personal pride you take in a job well done, or professional prestige. No matter what you want and why you want it, your internal motivation is yours and yours alone. When individuals lose sight of their internal motivations, it is easy to let goals and expectations fall by the wayside. The only useful purpose I can think of for looking back is to learn. You can draw many lessons from looking at your past. That's why I like to journal. I regularly go back to my journal entries to understand my thought process at the time. Especially when something doesn't work out the way I want, I go back and try to understand why. So yes, look back, but don't stare for too long. Life happens now. Time is limited. Sooner or later we all figure that out. And once we do, we start being more conscious of the way we spend our time. Thinking is a double-edged sword. It can help you. But it can also destroy you. The outcome depends on how you use your thoughts. Your mind is an instrument--nothing more, nothing less.

In this book, I shared how I've learned to use my brain more effectively. Sometimes you have to think differently, and there are times you must stop thinking altogether. It's up to you to decide when you should deploy which method. But no matter what you do, don't spend too much time in thought because that's a waste of life. At the end of the day, thinking by itself is useless without action. But like we talked about earlier, action follows thought. Discovering unconscious triggers is a continuation of that work. So how do you know you're being unconsciously triggered? Typically, you're either overreacting or underreacting to something. Your reaction doesn't objectively "fit" the situation. That's when you can perceive the kernel (either positive or painful) of an earlier experience. It's your reaction that's the clue. Perhaps you were emotionally abused as a child, so you don't see your girlfriend's manipulation as manipulation: you underreact. Or maybe you were raged at as a child, so when your best friend reveals he's angry with you, you jump to the conclusion that he's ending the friendship: you overreact. I hope you've seen, too, that arrogance and victimhood are twin impostors that dwell within your fictional self and can jerk you around at every turn. Mistakenly internalizing causes means that you'll be arrogantly claiming ownership of everything that happens in your life, good or bad, without regard to the facts. Quit doing that. You cannot change the fact that your parent died, your spouse left you, or that a hurricane is happening in Florida. If you insist otherwise, you'll be rebuilding your fictional self. Once again, you'll be drifting away from your authentic self.

Distinguish the things you can control from those you can't. As for those things you can control--which is most of them--you are starting to see that you can no longer play the victim. It's like that old saying, God don't drive no parked cars. You cannot continue to sit in the parking lot. Your authentic self is summoning you and it's time to get moving. Let's continue to work through whatever may be keeping you from doing so. Imagine eating a ripe, juicy peach with your full appreciation and attention. This luxury begins with noticing the divine colours on the skin of the peach, feeling its velvety skin and plumpness in your hands, tracing its curved edges with your fingers. It follows to taking the first bite into the peach with your teeth, tasting a sublime burst of sweetness, and the feeling of juice dripping down your chin and fingers. It involves the tiny seed from which the peach tree grew; the earth, fire, wind, water, sun and moon that created the earthly conditions in which the peach tree came to be and flourished; and the hands that picked the peach from its branch. The gift of edible nourishment from nature is profound and immense. The hurried ways in which we eat, shop and live now thieve such an important piece of our joy. The joy of living. We too often eat mindlessly, sometimes even on the go. We can begrudgingly prepare meals, feeling strained and time-poor, use poor-quality ingredients and have no sense of connection to the earth, the farmer who cultivated the produce, or even the produce itself. Caring for our sparkles with edible nourishment involves not only choosing deeply nutritious, natural foods that heal and fortify us at a cellular level, it involves the acts of touching, choosing, preparing, serving and savouring food at the spiritual level. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that gluttony is never possible when we eat mindfully, but inevitable when we eat without care. Empathy is crucial to working with other people. Put simply, empathy is the ability to put yourself in other people's shoes so that you better understand their situations, emotions, and struggles. In our imaginative example, most of your negative emotions were likely directed toward your boss.

In order to understand why he or she didn't promote you, understanding your manager's feelings and motivations is crucially important. For example, maybe your boss was stressed out and has since had reservations about his decision. Perhaps the employee who was promoted over you had seniority, and your supervisor was backed into a corner. Or possibly he saw a problem in your performance that you had not noticed. Whatever the motivation of the manager, being able to empathize with the people around you will help you clarify your situation, manage your expectations, and better regulate your emotions. Empathy is important on an overarching scale, going far beyond problem solving. Understanding how to be empathetic is a valuable skill that can help you in many walks of life, from getting a better deal from a salesperson to making a good impression on an interview. When you understand how to perceive and interpret the emotions of others, you put yourself in a strong position to respond constructively. It's really not that complicated. However, sticking with this way of thinking is very hard and takes work. Don't expect to become a practical thinker after reading this book only once. Like any skill, better thinking requires daily practice. I do that by looking at everything that happens in my life as an exercise for thinking better. Because if I don't, I start wasting my time on useless things like complaining, feeling sorry for myself, and not enjoying my life. We're collectively thinking so much we're missing out on life. And it has nothing to do with fancy things other people do. We all know that the beauty of life lies in the small things. Did you notice the sunshine this morning when you woke up? Or the raindrops? Did you notice the smell of your coffee?