05/21/2013 08:07 am ET Updated Jul 21, 2013

Change Your Shoes and Take Control of Your Life!

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Are you on a merry-go-round where you feel the operator has walked away from the controls? The ride started "merrily" enough -- enchanting, whimsical, rhythmic, romantic, beautiful. So how did it turn into a ride that is now moving so quickly that you are holding on for dear life and fear jumping off would only cause more harm than good?

Did you give away the controls of your life?

The good news is that you can take back control, no matter how fast your merry-go-round might be spinning. The better news is that you can start today.

It begins, quite simply, with your choice, and just one small step. "Change your shoes." Step out of the shoes that are keeping you trapped and into the shoes that will set you free. Then, continue as you take one more step each day until you have taken back the control in your life.

When I changed my corporate high heels for hiking boots more than 10 years ago, I was looking to discover "something more." My life was full, but it was full of things that exhausted me. Change was a risk, but so was staying in a life that felt like a constant spin class. If I had never "changed my shoes," and stepped away, I would have missed out on extraordinary adventures that were waiting for me to take that leap. Each day, that leap awaits each of us -- we simply need to choose to take it (even if we start with a small step!).

1. The First Step to Starting Is to Stop!

In order to start taking control of your life, you need to stop. You need to "pause and picture" what you want and don't want in your life. Amidst all of your busyness, stop and give yourself the space to decide which activities and aspects of your life you want to maintain, and which you want to let go.

Steps to Get You Started Today:

  1. Pause and picture all you want in your life: the relationships you want, the financial position you want, the play you want, the work you want, the health you want. Pause and picture each aspect of your life, inspired by what you love. Allow all that you love to guide your images of all that you want in each aspect of your life.
  2. Pause and picture all you no longer want in your life. Which activities and aspects of your life no longer help you grow and move forward? Allow your heart to honestly reveal all of which you need to let go.
  3. Take one activity or aspect that you no longer want in your life and remove it today -- and one thing you want and bring it into your life today. You may need to ask for help. That's okay. Ask. You may simply need to ask yourself for permission to allow yourself to act for you. Ask. Then, allow it. Tomorrow, do it again. Keep going each day until you are left with only what you want and choose to do in your life.

2. See the Angel in Your Marble and Carve Away!

Michelangelo proclaimed, "Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it." We are each the sculptors of the block of our being, and we each hold the tools to carve our most beautiful statue. When we carve our authentic "self," we set our "self" free to soar to our greatest heights. "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free," said Michelangelo.

Steps to Get You Started Today:

  1. Picture the angel within you. Write down your most vivid description of your most authentic, abundant, and beautiful manifestation of your "self." What does that "self" feel? How does that "self" express its being in the world, take care of itself, nurture itself, nurture others? What makes that "self" feel purposeful and passionate? What are the dreams of that "self"?
  2. Choose one piece of that picture and create an action to carve it into your life today. Tomorrow choose another piece, and the next day another. Soon enough, your pieces will form the masterpiece of your being, and the angel within you will fly.
  3. Identify the tools you need to carve your sculpture. Choose just one tool you need in your life to start to carve your sculpture today. Do you need time? Create it today. Do you need support? Ask for it today. Do you need confidence? Tell yourself you can do it today!

3. Stand at the Control Panel of Your Life!

There is no need to allow someone else to stand at the control panel of your life. You, guided by all that you authentically want in your life, and the power of the divinity that is within you, are the one most able person to stand at the control panel of your life. Your higher power, your sentient being, the source of your presence, have given you the mindfulness you need to pause, connect with your passion and purpose, and courageously take control.

E.E. Cummings said, "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." Today, choose and become!

Steps to Get You Started Today:

  1. Identify the people to whom, and the things to which, you have given control in your life. List those people and things in order of the extent to which you allow them to exercise control.
  2. Move them away from your control panel. Place them somewhere else in your life. Take just one person or thing and identify one step you can take today, however small, to eliminate its control. Keep identifying one thing on your list each day and one step each day to remove it, until you have eliminated each one. They can stay in your life, just not in control!
  3. Courageously stand at your control panel and move in the direction of your dreams. Pause and picture yourself confidently standing at the control panel of your life. Feel your higher powers guiding you, feel the rising wings of the angel within you, feel the presence of all you authentically want in your life, and affirm yourself aloud: "I am confidently, trustingly, and joyously standing at the controls of my life. I am all that I choose to be in my life. I choose to be all that I am."

For more by Kathy Andersen, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.