Photo by Artem Bali
J.R.R. Tolkien famously wrote that not all who wander are lost. But sometimes—just sometimes—you are. You steer away from your path, or worse, find yourself back on the path you moved away from. You don’t know what to do to get back on track. You feel drained and confused. You’re not sure what went wrong. Overwhelm creeps in. After some time a voice inside whispers, “Enough.” It feels like a slap in the face, yet you are grateful to be woken up to the fact that you’re stuck and it’s time to do something about it. It’s time to rewire your internal compass in order to get back on the path towards your true north. Towards building the life that is aligned with your highest self. To get unstuck and build this extraordinary life, you’ll need to reset your foundation. I have a simple, yet powerful, seven-step process to get you back on the path you want to wander along in no time.
Slow DownFirst, slow down. Right now. We’re going to breathe together. Inhale for 1, 2, 3, 4. Exhale for 4, 3, 2, 1. Repeat for three more breathes. I’m not kidding. Chances are you already feel more relaxed. Better yet, a cheeky smile has magically appeared on your face. And smiling is the equivalent of turning the nob on a dimmer to maximum. In other words, slowing down and taking a breather (literally) is the simplest way to turn on your light.
Nothing's "Wrong"Be gentle with yourself. There’s nothing “wrong” with being lost or backtracking. We are all living this life for the first time. Learning how to drive our dreams forward. Besides, the longer you make yourself wrong about being off track, the longer you’ll stay there. Value your time and let that thought go.
Get GroundedIf you’re reading while sitting at your desk, root your feet into the floor as you would on your yoga mat. Adjust your posture such that your spine is long and your shoulders roll back. Still got that cheeky smile? I thought so.
Start Where You AreOur heart is like a GPS. In order to give you directions it must know where you are and where you want to go. Be honest about where you’re starting from and how you are currently feeling—no matter how uncomfortable that may be. Then, ask yourself where you want to be and how that will make you feel. Don’t worry about the nitty gritty details, focus on what you do know. Our goal is to get you back on the road. Your heart will give you further directions once you are.
Reset Your FoundationNow you’re ready to reset your foundation by clarifying your highest values. Our values are like the foundation of a house. Without a solid foundation everything crumbles. If it’s poorly laid out, what you’re building won’t last. YOU are building a life that you love, fully, inside and out. Thus, it is imperative that you choose your highest values with care. Your highest values are your core beliefs. They are your fundamental principles that act like a compass. They help you find your true north—the place where you feel most alive, radiant, and powerful. Take a few minutes to write down all the things that are important in your life. Make a list. Don’t censor yourself. From there, you want to identify your top three to five values that feel most energizing, fill you with joy, and make your heart sing—these are your highest values. If you want more inspiration, ask yourself the following questions:
- Where do I want to spend my time, money, and energy?
- What values do I want to pass down to my children, friends, family, colleagues?
- What breaks my heart or makes me upset?
Refine and DefineOnce you’ve made the tough decisions and selected your highest values, you have to go two steps further than most. If you want your highest values to translate into building this life you dream of, you’ll need to start by defining what each means to you. Not what society says or what your friend from college who is still with her deadbeat boyfriend and working a soul-sucking job says. (Forward this article to her once you’re finished reading!)
You are in charge of your destiny.You are in charge of your destiny and can define what each value means to you in a way that feels more impactful than what Merriam-Webster has to say. You don’t have to write a novel. One sentence summarizing what each value means will do. Progress, not perfection, remember? Love is one of my highest values. My definition includes: doing what I love, doing things with love, practicing self-love, spreading love, believing in divine relationships, and being loving no matter what. I challenge you to read that definition out loud five times without feeling your heart expand. It’s impossible. In moments when I feel that I’ve fallen off my path, I turn towards my highest values and listen to what they have to say. Which brings us to the final, most important step of the process: