The First Few Steps
by Kelli Hackett
Date Published: October 27, 2016
In her debut non-fiction title, Kelli Hackett delivers a simple, no-nonsense guide to nourishing the soul. The First Few Steps: A Beginner’s Guide to Practical Soul Care describes the action steps she took in her own life to revive a spirit illness she didn’t even know she had… until it became too painful to ignore.
This guide aggregates several major recovery tools and principles into a quick, easy-to-read, how-to manual in healing the spirit. Offering a fresh perspective on how to prevent death of the spirit, this book includes techniques in NLP and meditation, borrows from 12-step recovery principles, incorporates the work of leading healers, and draws from the author’s personal experience.
After practicing each Action Step, you will know how to:
* Put yourself and your health first
* Keep moving forward, no matter what
* Remove negativity from your life
* Find a mentor
* Enjoy the present moment
* Discover the lesson in everything
* Start healing your inner child
* Depend on your inner spiritual strength
* Begin a meditation practice
* Live and let live
Using the tools laid out neatly in this guide, you can tap into an internal source of power that will enliven your spirit and give you a life of wisdom, purpose, and peace.
Distance Yourself from Negativity
“You are an average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
Think about this for a moment. If you are watching the news every morning and every night before bed, you are book ending your day with negativity. The news is designed to instill fear in its audience. The media hooks us in and creates a desire in us to watch more. Social media is not much better. We constantly sit at our computers or on our phones and get caught up. We look at a few articles or catch up with an old friend, and suddenly we have fallen down a two-hour long rabbit hole of the political and social ranting of “friends”. Even the office isn’t safe. We go to the break room to get a coffee, and the next thing you know we are engaged in water cooler gossip about the receptionist’s bad haircut or the boss who’s cheating on his wife. Even our private social lives can be a hotbed for negativity. Our best friends tell us how terrible their marriages are, and we quickly find ourselves comparing stories about whose spouse is the most awful.
If we surround ourselves with negativity, it seems to seep into our spirits by osmosis. Soon, we let the uncontrollable events on the morning news run our emotions for the entire day. We feel we have to out- do our friends’ negativity with the negativity of our own. We get sucked into gossip and social media,and let other people’s problems affect our personal peace.
I remember watching a news story several years ago about the Chinese stock markets falling. The newscaster was in a panic, and so were the people he was interviewing. They were predicting major international fallout from this one-day drop. I took that panic with me to work that day. I was anxious, irritable, and short-tempered. Finally, a co-worker asked me what was wrong. I answered that the Chinese stocks had crashed, and our economy was going to take a punch for it. He laughed. It pissed me off, actually. I asked how he could be laughing when the economy was going to shit.
He asked, “Kelli, do you own Chinese stock?” I said I didn’t. He asked me, “Is this going to affect you directly?” After thinking about it, I said it probably would not. Then he smiled and asked, “Can you control any of this?” He was right. I laughed, then, too. I realized in that moment how worked up I had gotten over a fear-induced news story. None of it mattered. In the bigger picture of life, family, love, and all things important to me, the Chinese stocks falling for one day didn’t matter one bit. After taking back control over my own thoughts, my day turned out to be much better.
We can’t let people steal our happiness. People in this case include the media, our friends, coworkers, neighbors, social media, family, etc. Joy is a precious thing, and if you find yours being threatened by certain people or things, take a good look at where it is coming from and make the necessary adjustments. Decrease the time you spend with negative friends, cut back or eliminate the news you ingest, leave the room when the conversation turns to gossip, limit social media, and unsubscribe from negative news feeds. In general, eliminate the things that produce fear, judgment, or insecurity in you.
- Try something different. Eliminate or severely limit your intake of negative people, news, social media, and gossip for the next several days, and see how you feel. I stopped watching the news completely in early 2015, and I have not regretted that decision. If you can’t stay away, deactivate your social media accounts for a while.
Replace the negative with positive. Hang around more positive people over the next few days. Read only positive news stories. Read inspirational quotes and books. Print out spiritual passages or write out uplifting quotes (Pinterest is a great source for inspiration), and put them on your walls, desk, or your screensaver.
- Surround yourself with positive people, places, and things.
- Determine if the event that has you concerned is something you can control. If the situation is something you can control, then take the small steps necessary to make the change. If it’s something you can influence, talk to the right people or do what you can to influence the situation. Take the first step, and do something. If you decide it is something you can’t control, do your best to acknowledge your lack of control over the situation, accept the situation as it is in this moment, and let go of the worry around it.
- Over the next few days, listen to the words you speak and the stories you tell. Are they mostly negative? Mostly positive? Become aware of which group you fall into. Are you the negative person in the group or on social media? Are you the one bringing negativity into the office? If so, realize this and make adjustments to stop spreading negative energy.
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