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The sound of your alarm clock bolts you awake like an ambush. You should’ve gone to bed earlier, you tell yourself, but you didn’t want the weekend to end, so you stayed up late. Your body aches; your eyelids are impossibly heavy. If only you had just one more day off to get done some of the things on your to-do list. Now you have to get up and go to work. You don’t even like your job, but you go there day in and day out. “You’re lucky to have a job,” everyone tells you. You’ve been doing the best you can, taking care of your responsibilities, but you wish your life could be different, easier. Argh. You hit the snooze button.

You awaken to your favorite music on your iPod. You’re feeling good after a quiet evening of reading and a full night’s sleep. You spring out of bed, make a cup of tea or coffee, and move to your favorite sitting area. You’d set the alarm thirty minutes early, so you’re feeling the spaciousness of the morning. You wrap yourself in a soft afghan and light a candle. You pull out a blank CalmUp® Journey, then close your eyes and quiet your mind. You ask from your heart a “How can I…” question about a troubling issue or personal situation. Moving from the bottom to the top of the page, you respond to each question, remaining gentle with yourself. You make a conscious choice that will forward the day. You trust that you’re right where you need to be.

Which Monday morning would you prefer? Do you feel you have a choice in the way your mornings play out? What about the rest of your day? And the rest of your life?

These two scenarios don’t represent good and bad, right and wrong. They’re just choices we make. Perhaps you relate to parts of each; perhaps neither scenario describes your current or desired typical morning. Still, do you feel overwhelmed at times, uncertain about your life path, longing for a better day? Do you know you need to make a change, but the thought of doing something new is daunting? Hey, many of us are not really sure what we need or where we’re going. All of us could use a hand.

Enter the CalmUp® Journey.

The CalmUp® Journey isn’t a magical formula for happiness. The truth is, you don’t have to do anything, let alone complete a form, to experience peace and joy. It’s too easy, however, to let the pace and distractions of contemporary life misguide us about what we want and derail our best intentions. What the CalmUp® Journey facilitates, then, is your intentionality, your choosing with full awareness; and the regular practice of completing the tool can revitalize that awareness so that you’re operating at your height of power daily.

Of course, you don’t always feel overwhelmed. Sometimes you know precisely where you’ve been and where you’re headed. You’re filled with feelings of appreciation and abundance. Can your day really get any better?

Yes. There’s no limit to the quality of your day. The paradox, however, is that improving your own day involves serving others. In other words, true self-help is really about “other-help.” The CalmUp® Journey’s help is multifold: you’ll learn a new tool to support you in improving your day and, in turn, the day of those around you.

The name, CalmUp® Journey, is derived from the structure of the one-page, self-guided form (see next page and also Appendix B). You’ll begin with a “How can I…” question and investigate your relationship with that issue through multiple lenses, moving up the page. So, referring to the form, you’ll begin at “Start” in the bottom left-hand row and end at “Finish” in the top left-hand row. For each CalmUp® Journey you take, you’ll ascend through the seven levels (I–VII) by completing the form from the bottom row to the top row and from the left-hand column to the right-hand column.