What Are Your 5 Points?

Create Your Blueprint for Life

By Jennie Hastings
[Savvy Self-Care]

Self-care is a lifelong journey that entails many things. As healing practitioners, we need to consider self-care on every level: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Because we are massage therapists and bodyworkers, we have deeply considered physical health in our education and practice, so I tend to pursue nonphysical forms of self-care in this column. I feel like it is the place where we can all use the most help.
I recently attended a presentation given by Gopi Kallayil, who is the chief evangelist, brand marketing at Google, a yoga teacher, and author of The Internet to the Inner-Net (Hay House, 2015). During his lecture, he said, “The most important technology is within us—our brain, body, and consciousness.” The foundation of his message was about how, at a crossroads in his life, he created a set of five personal guidelines, or five points, that he now uses to keep himself on track.
Kallayil’s five points are: focus on the essential, do one thing at a time, practice one minute of mindfulness every day, make appointments for mindfulness in your calendar and make them nonnegotiable, and friend yourself. Kallayil is a busy Google executive, and you can see how he created his strategies to fit his own life.
Kallayil got the idea of creating five points from his yoga teacher, Swami Vishnudevananda, who was a major contributor in introducing yoga to the West. Swami Vishnu had five points himself. They were: proper breathing, proper diet, proper exercise, proper relaxation, and positive thinking and meditation. For Swami Vishnu, taking care of these five things was the way to live life. Knowing their five points helped both Kallayil and Swami Vishnu create the lives they envisioned.
So, let’s take their lead and create our own list of five points.

Find Your Points
In the last issue, I wrote about letting go (May/June, page 28). It is an intangible self-care practice and difficult to teach, and yet letting go is very important to us in life. We need to let go of things that are not serving us so we can continue to grow. I believe the easiest way to let go is to reach for the positive. Trying to let go of something without going toward something else can feel like falling into a void. But if we reach for what we want, what we do not want falls away of its own accord. This is where the five points come in.
The five points should be the short list of what we focus on in our lives. The first question to ask yourself is, “How do I want to feel in my life?” You will come up with words that describe states of feeling, like abundant, clear, connected, inspired, loved, mindful, secure, successful, etc. Once you know the top three feelings you want to experience, ask yourself, “Which positive actions have I taken in the past that produce these feelings in me?” For each of your top three feelings, list all the positive actions you have taken in the past that have produced these feelings. I encourage you to do this practice over the course of a few days and not just in one sitting.
Once you have compiled the list of positive actions, it is time to narrow it down to five points. You will have to follow your intuition and use some creativity. Make sure your five points really feel true to you and are worded in a way that is concise and easy to remember.
Once you have them, put your five points in a place where you will see them often, perhaps near your computer in the office or on the refrigerator door. Draw them, paint them, create a little song about them. And then practice them. Every day.
When I did this exercise, I discovered that how I want to feel is abundant, creative, and secure. I listed many actions that have helped me feel this way in the past. After playing with the list for a while, I narrowed my five points down to five words: creating, exploring, family, sharing, and spirit.
The five points will become like a guiding light. When faced with a decision about taking on something new, we can ask ourselves, “How will this fit in with my five points?” If we are looking for motivation to do something that needs to get done, we can look for a way that it fits with the five points. If we cannot find a connection, we can probably let it go.
From Kallayil to myself, did you notice how different the set of five points I shared are? This is precisely why I think it is important for each of us to consider our own five points. By taking the time to contemplate and define them, we create a framework we can use to gauge ourselves. We create our own personal blueprint for life.

Jennie Hastings is a board-certified massage therapist, writer, and teacher. She is the creator of The Blossom Method and author of The Inspired Massage Therapist (Massage Blossom Books, 2012). She wants to be your friend on Facebook. Sign up for her monthly newsletter and check out her blog at Massageblossom.com.