Steps In The Right Direction
Tools For Balance

The drive to improve oneself and one's life is never ending. Therefore, it can be helpful to have useful tools for general, everyday improvements in life. Whatever your need for change and whenever it arises, open your toolbox and integrate one or more of these tools into your life.

Each day, ask the universe how you may be of service.

Because all people are intimately connected with the universe at large, we both work for it and benefit from it. When you give to the universe with positive intentions, you naturally reap abundance. Instead of waiting for opportunities to be of service to present themselves, ask what service you may provide. Ask each morning upon waking or meditating. Be assured the universe will ask nothing more of you than that which you are equipped to give.

Cook with intention and bless all you consume.

The life force and that which nourishes the spirit is closely intertwined with what take into our bodies. A Zen tale tells us to see the pot as our head and the water as our blood. The art of cooking involves preparing foods mindfully and projecting positive energy into what we eat. And part of bringing out the life force is showing loving respect for the labor involved in the cultivation and preparation of food. Speak a simple blessing over your food before every meal to reinforce your connection with the circle of life.

Do unto others.

Promoting unselfish love in your life involves expressing spontaneous and unprovoked kindness toward all people. Pleasant and gracious behaviors feed the soul of the giver and the recipient, who will often respond with similar kindnesses. Treat others how you wish to be treated with simple gestures like a smile, an offer of assistance, a please or thank you, or gift. Taking the time to be kind will make your life and the lives of others more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Take time to center yourself daily.

Both in times of strife and in times of calm, remember to direct your focus inward for a few moments each day. Pay attention to your body, determine where you are retaining tension, and let it go. Breathe deeply, close your eyes, and slip into a brief period of meditation. Allow yourself to be stabilized and strengthened by the earth's energy. When you have found a calm place, open your eyes and offer gratitude before continuing your day.

Take time to enjoy the community of others.

Fellowship is a joyful part of being alive, though easy to neglect is this busy world. Make time to spend with close friends or people who share your interests. Talking to a special friend can be therapeutic while gathering in a group can be a potent stress reliever. Remember, shared joys are increased while shared pain is lessened.

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