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Ten Commandments of Fulfilled Living

You're on your way to a great state of mind!

Sometimes it's hard to do the best for yourself. Afterall, we're all composed of not just body and mind, but spirit as well. Stress can get us down and leave us feeling scattered. But if you find that you seem disconnected and aren't getting the most out of your day to day, you're not alone. For most people, finding lasting fulfillment is a life-long battle. These ten tips can help you be beat the outside elements and live a happier, more centered life!

1. Listen to your body
There's no "perfect" picture of health. Everyone is different. Get to know your body and treat it so that it runs optimally. For instance, if you're craving broccoli, eat it - you might need the iron. Likewise, if you're craving chocolate - have a little. Dark chocolate in particular has actual health benefits when consumed in moderation. Whatever it is you desire, recognize when your craving isn't physical, but rather mental in nature. And if you feel off, go to the doctor. Our bodies manifest our states of mind and emotions, so listen to them - and get help from a doctor or advisor depending on what they're saying. You'll find you're better off for it.

2. Get into a sleep and fitness routine
Getting up and going to bed at the same time has proven benefits for your body. So does exercise. One popular study revealed that it takes three weeks to build a habit (but only two weeks to break one). Make a sleep and exercise routine plan for yourself and commit to sticking to it for a month. After that, you may find that your new activities have become habit and you don't need to force it. This doesn't mean you have to hit the gym or approach anyone else's idea of physical fitness, just get moving - walk, run, bike, yoga or pilates your way to increased stamina and flowing endorphins... Your method is up to you. Whatever you choose, you'll feel fitter and better rested, guaranteed.

3. Learn to relax your mind, body and spirit
Meditation means different things to different people. So whether you proceed with a mantra (like in Transcendental Meditation) or try a guided relaxation CD, just carve out a little time for yourself to truly relax and be one with your surroundings. Mornings may be easiest - you may want to consider taking ten minutes first thing when you calculate your wake up time. But any time will do. Just be sure to spend it with you. Avoid the computer, the TV, the phone, the kids or whatever else may distract you. This needs to be your time to clear your mind. Your day will be brighter and you'll find yourself feeling more centered when stress levels increase.

4. Eat organic - or at least eat right
This doesn't mean you have to go on a diet and eliminate the things you love - remember all things are good in moderation. Simply make an effort to buy foods that don't contain pesticides. Look for farm raised, untreated meat if you eat it. Include fruits and veggies in your diet and go easy on the sugar. Choose whole grains instead of white flour. You don't have to get expensive about it either. These days most grocery stores have affordable organic and/or healthy options. All of these are simple ways to treat your body like the temple that it is - and increase your energy!

5. Approach challenges as opportunities for growth
When something gets harder - at home, in the office, in a relationship - we have the tendency to see the glass as half empty. But a simple shift in perspective can do wonders for your state of mind. The next time you encounter an obstacle, pause, take a breath and consider what you stand to gain by overcoming it. Once you've done it once or twice, the challenges will seem less stressful and you'll find that you feel increasingly capable of handling anything that comes your way!

6. Get organized
It's easy to let mess pile up. Whether it's paperwork, the kid's toys, or your dirty clothes, most of us have fallen victim to disorganization at some point or another. And occasionally, things are bound to fall by the wayside. Does this mean you have to be immaculately neat all the time? No. But everyone stands to benefit from creating a method of organization. Do it one room at a time, making places for the things you need and discarding the things you don't (be brutal) and you'll find that when mess does pile up, it's a lot easier to clean up. When everything has it's place, it's a lot harder to misplace things - including your calm and your sanity!

7. Make time for friends
While it can be tough to find time in the day/week/month/year to do everything we want to do, social networks are an important part of feeling fulfilled. Think about it: part of the reason for pre-school is to get kids used to socializing - it's considered an important developmental skill. None of that changes as we grow older. Friends are important and offer a different kind of interaction than family members or even people you're dating. Make it a point to have a friend date at least once a month, do rotating houses or go out. You'll walk away feeling needed and grateful for the people you've chosen to have in your life.

8. See the love around you
Love is an energy as much as it is an emotion. So when you're looking to "see" the love around you, it doesn't mean seeing couples. In fact, it doesn't need to be related to romance at all. If you become love, in the sense that your intentions are pure and you operate by doing what's good for your highest good (not necessarily having your way) and you're kind to others/appreciative of the fact that we all have strengths and weaknesses, you'll begin to feel what it is to experience love - by giving it, you will receive it from the world in which you live.

9. Commune with nature
Sounds a little frou-frou? It's not. Have you ever wondered why when you go to the beach/forest/river/insert your favorite natural environment here, you're overcome by a sense of peace and belonging? It's because you do belong. Osho (and a host of other spiritual writers, advisors and philosophers) say that if you get out into nature and feel yourself as a part of it, you'll experience benefits in your relationships with others as well as the one you have with yourself. Understand that you are a part of the universal energy and allow yourself to experience it. The ways in which you'll be enriched are countless.

10. Get objective advice when you need it
Sometimes it's hard to see our own patterns. People go years and years making the same mistakes and encountering the same situations over and over again without stopping to think "maybe it's me." The universe presents you with the same lessons until you learn them. But if you're having trouble, it may be that you need someone else to help you see what you could be missing… and how you can change it. Remember, whether you know it now or not, we all create our own realities...

This list is a chance to start creating the one you want!

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