5 Rules to Live By for a Happy Life and Peaceful Soul

Now you can meditate with ease!

The year was 1998, I was living in Dallas, Texas, and I decided one day to take a trip to Tuscany for a weeklong cooking class with the late chef Giuliano Bugialli. It was a magical week of cooking and traveling around Tuscany. I met this adorable couple who told me about their 38-year-old daughter (I was 38 at the time, as well) who looked like she was 18!  They told me that their daughter follows a specific diet for her Dosha type which she learned from Dr. Pratima Raichur in NYC.

The minute I got home from Tuscany, I called Pratima and set up an appointment and flew to New York to meet her. We sat down and it was like she was totally psychic! She told me what my health issues were, and exactly what to eat and not to eat for my Dosha type, (which is Vata/Pitta, apparently I’m very fiery, airy, and dry). But before she went into prescribing the right diet for me, Pratima explained how important it is to meditate every day, and how it’s near impossible to quiet the mind if we have angst.  She proceeded to explain these incredible 5 important rules of life to live by to have a happy life and peaceful soul. These rules are profound and will change your life!

#1 : Don’t Lie, not even a white lie.  

Have you ever lied to protect someone’s feelings, and you find that you keep lying to cover up the first lie?  And did you really even help that person or yourself, by lying? Pratima warned to not even tell a white lie. For example, say you are shopping with a friend, and she’s trying on a dress, and she loves it and asks you if you like it. You really don’t but you say you do to not hurt her feelings. So, she buys it! It would have been kinder to say: “What I think looks great on you is when a dress shows your tiny waist! Or I love it when you wear blue instead of duller colors.” You get my drift. And guess what? They’ll be so much happier with your truth than your lie. Plus, when you sit down to quiet your mind for meditation afterwards, you’ll feel so much happier that you’ve helped your friend.

#2 : Don’t Hurt

Of course, we all know it’s not nice to punch or hurt somebody physically, but we’re also talking about not hurting someone with your words or actions. Saying something mean to someone, calling them names, reacting impatiently, or doing something that undermines their success, etc., will come back to haunt you. When you sit down to quiet your mind, the negative treatment you imposed on someone else causes angst.

#3 : Don’t Steal

Obviously, stealing from a store or other people’s possessions is wrong, but we’re also talking about stealing from other’s happiness. An example is if you have a friend who maybe just met the love of her life, and she’s telling you all about him! She comments that she really likes this guy, loves his lifestyle a lot, and he lives across the country. You respond, “Well, you know long distance relationships never work.” (First, sometimes they do!) And second, what good does it do you or your friend to say something negative? Later when meditating, you’ll feel badly remembering how you weren’t very encouraging and happy for her. How could that conversation have still been truthful, but supportive at the same time?

It happens with business, as well. A colleague gets a big promotion, and you counter it by saying something like: “It must be nice that the boss’s husband and your husband are friends…”. Their success does not take anything away from your own light! Be always happy for your friends. It will make your heart happy at the same time.

#4 : Don’t Judge

It seems to come naturally to us to judge others if they are not like us or do or say things we wouldn’t do or say. We are all humans who have grown up differently, have unique experiences, and are exposed to life in a variety of ways. It’s a question of who first came up with this quote, so I won’t give credit, but this is a quote to live by:

Small minds talk about others, average minds talk about current events and big minds discuss ideas.  

It is so much more fun to talk about ideas, philosophies, creative aspirations, travel, and love. When you sit down to quiet the mind you will feel gratitude when thinking about all the fun you’ve had with these types of interactions.

#5 : Don’t Expect

You’ve heard the saying: “If you expect from others, you’ll surely be disappointed” – so true, right? Bottom line is when you give to others, do special favors, invite your friends to parties, give them gifts, etc., do all these good deeds from your heart, without expecting anything in return. Really hard to do at first, right? Training our minds and our hearts to give freely ends up making us feel wonderful, and there may be reasons people do not respond in kind. They may be having a tough time, or just don’t think about returning the favor in the same way. It’s very important to remember to give a lot of self-care and fill our emotional banks, and then we’ll have the bandwidth to give freely to others without expecting or even wanting, anything in return!

Now… settle in, relax, take 3 deep breaths, and quiet your mind. It’s time for you. You’ve been the best version of yourself, you’ve had compassion and care for others and for yourself. You feel peace and love.  Marinate in space, connect with the Universe, feel the magnificence of being alive.  

Lots of love,


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