As with so many things in my life, the idea for the Five Step SHIFT began with a dream...

It is moments before my wedding and I am not yet dressed. I am rummaging through my closet for a certain garment to wear underneath the wedding gown. I am sure I have what I need, and yet I can't seem to find it. The things in the closet are old clothes, from childhood, nothing suitable there. Friends and family bring me several selections of things to wear under my gown, but none of them are suitable either. I can picture exactly what I need and it's just a simple shift.

As I woke from this dream, the phrase "simple shift" kept ringing through my head. The wedding, to me, represents stepping into a new life, a new way of being, a wholeness. It is a journey of transformation, of becoming "wed" to all that I love and creating a life of fulfillment and authenticity. The wedding gown itself - the outer garment, the facade - is not important. The preparation for transformation must come from a deeper place, underneath the facade, underneath outer appearances. What is needed is a simple shift at the inner level. The shift is not in the closet of childhood - in past beliefs, traumas or dramas. All that "clothing" from youth, the belief systems inherited from parents, teachers, era of birth and experiences of youth, no longer fit. Nor does the "clothing" offered by friends and family - the outmoded ideas in the collective conscious, the borrowed opinions, beliefs and prejudices of others. The shift I need is in my own mind - I can picture it. If I can picture it, I can create it...and so can you!

In pondering what that shift might be, all the practices I've learned over the years began to sort themselves out under the letters in the word "SHIFT." Here are the steps to the Five Step SHIFT - a powerful process through which you can transform your life!

S - Change your STORY
H - Get out of your head and into your HEART
I - Be in INTEGRITY with your authentic self
F - MOve through fear with FAITH

Here's a quick overview of each of these steps.


If you want to change your life, change your story!

Your life stands upon your story - so it's no surprise that "S" is the first letter in the Five Step SHIFT. The story comes first and your life is shaped around it. As it says in the gospel of John, "In the beginning was the Word..." Words carry energy, they are creative.

You create your life through what you say about yourself. Do you want to experience abundance? Talk about abundance, not lack. Do you want to improve your relationships? Talk about what's good in your relationships, not what's bugging you. Do you want to feel joyful and fulfilled? Stop talking about all the things that make you unhappy. Getting the picture? Great! Now, start using your words to paint the picture you want to see in your life. It takes conscious attention to catch what you are saying and conscious intention to change it. The effort will be worth it - I guarantee your life will change if you practice changing your story!


The head is where you analyze, rationalize, plan and attempt to control outcomes. The heart is where you tune into the voice of the authentic self, intuition, emotion, compassion and letting go. The head is words, the heart is feelings. The head is logic and limits, the heart is infinite possibility. In the chakra system, the seven energy centers aligned along your spinal column, the heart chakra is at the center where your connection to the earth and your connection to the spiritual realm come together. Your heart holds the key to the alchemy of transformation. In the heart a leaden, stuck, stagnant life can be transformed into a golden state of being. If you want to live an authentic and fulfilled life, tune into the voice of your heart.


Living in integrity with your authentic self is the central requirement for a joy filled life. It's no wonder the letter "I" is at the center of the Five Step SHIFT! Your authentic self knows what will make you happy, knows what you came here to do, knows how to keep you healthy, and carries your creative spark.

Shakespeare had it right when he wrote, "To thine own self be true and it must follow,as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." Being true to yourself is not being selfish! Your best contributions to the world will come from being in integrity with your authentic self.

You measure the fuel efficiency of a vehicle in miles per gallon - MPG. You can measure your life's authenticity by how in tune you are with your VPGs -- Values, Passions and Gifts. VPGs create high octane Personal Power fuel! Know what you value (what's important to you), what your passions are (what inspires you), and what your gifts are (what flows easily through you) and let the synergy of those things fuel your life. This will bring you personal fulfillment AND raise the quality of life for those around you and for the world!


Who could you be if you weren't afraid? That's a very good question to ponder. Where is fear holding you back from your full potential? You will never be completely without fear - fear is a part of life and does have a purpose. It's a very good thing you're afraid of stepping in front of a moving car or stepping off of a cliff! The problem is that the fear response has a way of spreading way beyond those situations in which you face real danger. Fear can grow into the great paralyzer, keeping you from being all that you can be.

With fear, as with all things, you do have a choice. You can choose to let fear keep you from growing or you can choose to use the energy of fear to propel you into action. The question is not how to eliminate fear, but how to keep it out of the driver's seat. True bravery is only possible in the face of fear. The challenge is to learn to move into and through whatever fear is limiting you. The more often you do this, the easier it gets.

When your focus is on fear, you draw into your life more of what you fear. Remember the "S" part of the Five Step SHIFT? If you are focused on fear, that becomes your story. Shift your focus to the outcome of breaking through that fear. Go back to the "Who could you be" question at the beginning of this section. Give it some serious thought. Focus on the answer to that question. Hold that answer in your mind and have faith that you CAN be that person.

When I talk about faith, I don't necessarily mean religious or spiritual faith, although that is one powerful form of faith. But if you are not religious, don't freak out. You can still have faith - faith in a positive future and infinite possibility! Faith is simply optimism and belief in a positive outcome. Albert Einstein once said, "The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe." Believing in a friendly universe is a form of faith, and it's a choice that you can make. Step into and through your limiting fear with faith in a friendly universe. As soon as you take that step in faith, you'll be amazed at the assistance the universe will provide to help you with the transition!


Thankfulness is the final step of the Five Step SHIFT. As the saying goes, it is last but certainly not least. And it's both last and first, because the Five Step SHIFT is a spiralling cycle. Thankfulness spirals you back to the beginning, becoming the basis for your next new story. Develop a habit of noticing what's great about your life and then really feeling the feeling of being thankful for all those things. The feeling of thankfulness is rocket fuel for manifestation. When you spend time and energy in the feeling of thankfulness, you will draw into your life more and more to be thankful for.

EVERYONE can be thankful! Did the sun rise this morning? Wow, that's fantastic! Is gravity holding your feet to the ground so that you don't float off into the vaccum of space? Terrific! Hey, you have access to a computer so that you can be reading this article! How cool is that? Even if you don't find this particular article to your liking, look at all the information at your fingertips on the World Wide Web! I'm sure there are many, many more things to be thankful for in your life -- a roof over your head, food on your plate, people who love you, the beauty of nature... Make your own list!

Start a gratitude journal and jot down 5 things each day that you are truly, deeply grateful for. Let the feeling of thankfulness well up in you and bubble over. Thankfulness is a magnet for more and more to be thankful for. Acknowledge when things are going the way you want them to go, center in the feeling of it, then ask the universe for more experiences like those, for more and more to be thankful for!

Author's Bio: 

Claire M. Perkins is the founder of Intuitive Journey, a personal evolution coach and author of The Deep Water Leaf Society. Claire offers coaching services that help her clients to live more fully and authentically. Her coaching techniques include the use of expressive arts, journaling, and dreamwork.

Claire can be reached by emailing For more information, please visit