Have you ever considered that your past, no matter how difficult, may actually be the platform to your exciting future? I thought I had a fairy tale life, and then suddenly, I didn’t.

The loss of my child, and subsequently the loss of my marriage and my husband, changed every chapter of my book of life. I was forced to create a whole new way of existence and was faced with creating a whole new life at the age of 50.

During that transition, I longed for guidance with practical steps and tools that could help me survive. Over the course of my own heartbreaking and ultimately victorious story, I discovered the secrets and developed practical tools and life patterns to faster healing.

I am happy to share 5 meaningful steps of my journey with you in hopes that you will find them transitional for your life, your journey.

It’s irresistible, isn’t it? To think that you’re just 5 steps away from designing your life, your way!

Tool Number 1: Morning Flashcards

Yes! Your mind is a computer. I was shown this right after my son died. My mind began a series of flashbacks, playing over and over in my brain for months. I saw and recalled incidents that were long forgotten, until I didn’t need to hold the memories in the forefront any longer. Now they are tucked away inside a folder on my brain’s hard drive.

What I learned from this is how to program my mind.
You can do anything for one minute, can’t you? Meditation is a time to be still. It’s like prayer without words. Everyone struggles with meditation. It seems boring and impossible. Here’s the truth: Expect nothing from meditation, and consistent use will give you everything.

Try to think only of breathing. Every time a thought goes in, breathe it away. Thoughts will flow in and out, in and out. Just keep redirecting your thoughts to breathing. Start with 1 minute, and go up to 5 if you like. Then take a deep cleansing breath to signify the end of meditation

Keeping your eyes closed after meditation, follow with Morning Flashcards for your brain. Since your brain is clear and relaxed from meditation, it’s ready to be programmed with good and productive thoughts.

Your brain can be programmed. So… write these words down on individual cards, then look at the word and think of something that represents each word.
Picture yourself:
• Happy
• Fit & healthy
• Successful
• In love
• Giving love
• Peaceful heart

Tool Number 2: Template for Each Day

Every day include:
• meditation/prayer/brain flashcards
exercise
• mindful and enjoyable eating, meaning…choose foods that are good for you and make you happy.
• Friends and Family
• Read at least 15 minutes per day, no matter what. Especially in the areas of mind, body, spirit, your business, or your personal interests. Don’t waste time reading the entire newspaper, it will only depress you. If you must, look for the inspired stories and information pertaining to your life.
• If it’s a workday, make it count. Find the parts of your work that make it meaningful. Is it contact with people? Using your creative spirit to write ad copy? Designing a new program?
• Down time means relaxing your brain. A lot of people use television to do this, but this is actually stimulating. Try something that doesn’t take too much thinking. When my son died, I did gardening or painting. It was soothing and brought peace to my thoughts
• Before Bed, have gratitude for the day and ask for peaceful, restorative sleep.
Ghandi said “We must BE the change we want to see in the world.”
Being consistent with this template will change you and change those around you.

Tool Number 3: Create the Soundtracks of Your Life

I think just about everyone has a smart phone, an iPod, MP3, iPad, or at least access to iTunes on their computer. Music is a gift of life. From the beginning of time we, as people have been singing, humming, chanting, whistling, playing instruments, or playing music.

There’s a reason. It balances the soul. Rhythm is in your being. Just listen to your heart, or your breathing, or watch how you blink. It’s involuntary, but it’s there and it has a rhythm of it’s own.

Mary Carden, a teacher of the Carden method puts everything to music for children to learn. Even numbers have a rhythm.

For this reason, give yourself the gift of creating your soundtracks. iTunes makes it so easy. There are other programs out there too. I have my morning soundtrack that gets me pumped up for the day. ! It begins with Black Eyed Peas singing “I Got A Feeling.”

Sales experts will tell you to play a song before you make the “big pitch.” It get’s you energized! Excited! Feeling powerful! You’re in rhythm and that makes you attract people to your rhythm!

When I’m frustrated, my soundtrack begins with “Let it Be.”
When I’m feeling romantic, my soundtrack begins with Peter Gabriel singing “The Book of Love.”

When I’m writing, my guilty pleasure is opera. Because it’s in Italian, the words don’t distract me, but the music is inspiring!

Tool Number 4: Defining Moments

What personal life experiences have defined who you are?

Write down moments that were positive and moments that were negative.
Positive experiences might be going to college, starting a new career, meeting a significant person in your life. Negatives might be loss of a job, a divorce, or illness.

Now go back and list one or two words to assign the lesson learned to the defining moment. Here’s a hint for finding the lesson. Say to yourself, “If I knew then, what I know now…” For instance, my daughter being born with a facial birth defect taught me the “Beauty of Imperfection.”

Tool Number 5: Your Table of Contents

Author, William Bridges, of The Way of Transition suggests creating the Table of Contents of your life. I know what mine are…do you?

List chapters from your past and your future. Some of my past chapters that were my defining moments:

• Awakening to the Beauty of Imperfection (this one is about my daughter’s birth)
• The Journey of Loss, working through the 5 stages of grief and finding the gift of empowerment.
• Re-Inventing Life after 50 (the loss of my husband and having to create a new career to support my children)
Some of my future chapters:
• Awakening Resilience teaching others to strategize their own resilient lives
• My “Estate” of Being (how I gathered together my career and my investments to create a balanced and peaceful future)
• Finding Blissville (You’ll have to read it to find out!)

I have good news for you. This is just the beginning of an amazing new life!

Author's Bio: 

Once upon a time Sandy Peckinpah had a fairy tale life...and then it wasn't. She was tempered by fire and it forced her to be resilient. Her blog, www.BreakthroughToHappy.com looks at challenges like grief, love, job loss, relationships, and even disillusionment with life. Tragic challenges in life does not mean you walk that path forever. For more information and tools for transitioning your life into one where all things are possible, visit her website SandyPeckinpah.com.