The 5 Steps to Living a Wholehearted Life (Updated)

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Five Steps to Living a Wholehearted LIfe: by Paul Stiles Randak

Here is an slightly revised version of the 5 Steps to Living a Wholehearted Life. I am releasing an updated version of the book next week. Also included in this post is a “How To” journaling assignment to explore how your life can create change by implementing these steps into you life. Enjoy!

  1. Okay, it time to admit it: I am just another Bozo on the bus. Wake up and stop thinking your so special, entitled, and different. Leave the righteousness and arrogance at the door (and by the door I mean everywhere you go). Start being humble so that the people who have put up with your bullshit can see it wasn’t all a big waste of time (And yes, that was their choice to do so). Open up your patience and tolerance, slow your criticism and judgment of others. Accept and Connect! For Goodness Sake, Keep it Simple, do your best not to over analyze your place amongst the rocks, plants, and animals. Accept and Connect!
  2. How the hell did I get so disconnected in the first place? How have my bias, prejudice, and victim stance caused me so much fear and pain? Find a person or people that you can be honest and vulnerable with. This person should be willing to give honest objective feedback, NOT kiss your ass, not enable your Victim Stance, and NOT sign off on your bullshit! Take the time to honestly explore your beliefs, bias, and victim stance. Walk, roll or run into nature for at least 30 minutes every day, even if that means talking with a tree planted between the sidewalk and the street. Trust me, there is a good chance they have seen more shit go down than you and they’re not still standing there complaining about it.
  3. Stop talking. Stop assuming. Start listening (and breathing). Shut the hell up for a minute already! Now this may sound harsh, and I not just talking about how you talk to others, but HOW you to talk to YOURSELF! Listen to others, reflect back upon what you heard to make sure you understood what the hell the other person is saying. Stop thinking you have all of the answers, you don’t, and guess what, nobody else does either! The truth is you have a shit load of blind spots. If you want to discover your blind spots, you had better stop the tunnel vision with your own bullshit and start listening to the feedback from the universe. When you need to, advocate for yourself, be assertive, share what you are feeling. Remember, feelings are very difficult to argue with, as they are simply feelings. There are NO wrong feelings. And please breath deeply, allow the air in and out, allow for the nature expansion and contraction of your being.
  4. I am the author of my personal story, my narrative. Be Accountable! Good news, you wrote it, now you can rewrite it. Compose a narrative which embraces a wholehearted life. Describe what your life will look like when you are living an open, honest, vulnerable, tolerant, compassionate, accountable, and empathic life. Also, be a competent and adaptable editor that is able revise your narrative as needed. This is a life process, it doesn’t end until it’s over. And, hopefully you have some profound story about what that looks like, and hopefully you are also willing to be wrong about your story when it serves you do so. After all, it’s only a story… Even if it’s your story. If this confuses you go back to step one.
  5. Show up, Show up, Show up. Create connection, take risks, be vulnerable, look for commonality, and embrace diversity. Hey, let’s grab coffee sometime! Learn the language of love, compassion, and acceptance. Nothing will change as long as you keep doing the same thing over and over again. The whole thing about 90% of life is showing up — well that’s true. So, get over yourself and show up. And while you’re there, or here, listen to others. Really! Stop trying to figure out what you want to say while others are talking. Because when you stop thinking and planning, you can actually start listening. Listening is truly an ART. The inability to listen is how we got in this mess in the first place. Happiness and contentment come from showing up and being a good listener. And, being a good listener is being able to know the difference between reality and someone else’s bullshit. Of course, this also means that you are willing to show up and be honest about your own bullshit too! Showing up is about Being Present and Being Mindful.

When I show up, I have opportunities before me that did not exist when I choose not to show up. It is really as simple as it sounds. I sometimes struggle with believing in the simplicity of life. I think there must be something more to it, right? I accept that I make mistakes everyday, and do my best to learn from those mistakes. I do my best to not over analyze life and keep it simple. If the goal is to live a wholehearted life, than learning to see people with your whole heart is important. When I see someone with my whole heart; my bias, prejudice, and discriminatory lens seem to peeled away. I become a more compassionate, inclusive and accepting human being, capable of finding connection and belonging with others. I have found there is an art to listening and discerning. And in some moments I am better at that than others. This fluid evolution is normal and part of the journey, allowing for a natural expansion and contraction, and a life that breathes deeply.

To apply these 5 steps to your life, take a 10-20 minutes with each step, journaling your thoughts and feelings. Contemplate how each one applies to your life. Follow the suggestions below:

Speak in “I” statements
Keep it simple
Do you best not to over analyze
Be honest
Be humble
Be present
Be willing to smile or even laugh at yourself
Breath Deeply as needed…. 🙂

Suggested length is 1-2 pages for each step.