From the moment I had an awareness of life, its beauty and impermanence, I wanted to make my life matter. I spent countless hours at seminars, retreats, in stillness and meditating. I scoured books, videos, podcasts of spiritual teachings, to learn how to cultivate practices that would enable me to live with more intention. After years of research, prayers and seeking, I felt myself passing through a spiritual portal, through which I cannot return. I awakened, and with that awakening came a different way of feeling and thinking about life, along with a realization that I live in this body, but am of spiritual form. I began implementing changes that would further my spiritual evolution; and found that devoting my focus to a few simple, yet practical beliefs and practices gave me powerful results.

1. Know that energy is everything. Before we were born, we were infinite energy. This means we are more than our physical limits, and that our experiences are based on how we harness and employ that energy. Our emotions are a frequency, and the level at which we vibrate attracts more of the same. Focus on feeling good, staying in love, gratitude, acceptance and flow, and every cell in your body will respond to bring you more of what you desire.

2. Make a decision. Decide what you want your life to look like and then and “be” that. Make a decision about how you want to feel, how you will spend your time, who you spend it with and design your life. Make it up! I decided years ago, that at the end of my life, I would have no regrets. That one decision has changed my life radically because it required me to be braver, take an honest look at myself, and do better if I wanted life to be better. It also required me to be aware of my words and actions, and to take responsibility for how they impacted me and those around me.

3. Live your life as a church. As a child, I spent a lot of time in church. I was in awe of my the older parishioners, singing about their faith and a life of Godly living. Yet, I’d see these same people out of church, doing the opposite of what they’d committed to in church. At an early age that I made a commitment to do my best to live my life as a church – and endeavor to intentionally practice everyday, what I promised God I would on Sunday. Worship, communing and service is not confined to a building, but our entire life. More important than memorizing readings and lessons of virtue was living them.

4. Be your own freaking evangelist. Don’t put a spiritual leader or guru on a pedestal. They are not perfect and neither are you, and that’s okay. Spiritual evolution and leadership isn’t based on being perfect, but by perfecting your unique self. You don’t have to be on a pulpit, a stage, spend hours in meditation or chant mantras all day. You don’t have to speak reverently or always be zen. You can be a warrior, a badass or have the mouth of a sailor. Just be you – be your own type of evangelist. Speak your truth, preach your gospel in your own words. Inspire others by the way you live.

5. Be intentional with your words. Words create reality. What we say and the words we use can change the way we feel, think and act. According to Psychology Today, “any form of negative rumination…will stimulate the release of destructive neuro-chemicals.” Conversely, “positive words and thoughts propel the motivational centers of the brain into action and they help us build resilience when we are faced with life’s problems.” Every word you say creates something – for you and others, so be careful how you use them.

6. Master your mind. Your mind is a muscle, so flex it, and master how you think. Don’t get carried away by all the life debris that comes your way. Letting your mind run untrained leads to outside influences determining, and ultimately running your life. Train yourself to be aware of your thoughts. Notice them and when you find them going in a direction that does not serve your life’s vision, shift them to where you want them to be, and eradicate thoughts that don’t elevate.

7. Be open to messages from God and angels. They come in ways you least expect. God talks to us through sunlight, a butterfly on a leaf, a child smiling in a passing car, or through a stranger you meet on an airplane. I was recently traveling for work, and sat next to a lady on a plane. She was a stranger when we boarded, but I realized she was a messenger by the time we landed. I talked to her about my work, faith and my journey of spiritual enlightenment. Then, my new friend shared that her name was Jyoti, which in Hindi, means “light”. One of her children was named Khushee, which meant “happiness” and the other was named Devansh, which means, “part of God”. Our meeting was not an accident. She was a messenger from God, letting me know that I was where I was supposed to be.

8. Live in joyful, thankful expectation. One of my favorite books is Wayne Dyer’s “You’ll See It When You Believe It”. The premise is that you manifest what you believe. What this means for me is that I must always focus on joy and live in expectation, believing in the wonderful things that are coming my way!