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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 12:00 a.m. CDT

<p>(BPT) - Turbulent, fast-paced, chaotic &ndash; the modern world is increasingly hectic. From this oft-crazy environment, a new movement is emerging &ndash; where people are pausing to find deeper meaning in everyday life. Self-empowerment and true emotional connections can counterbalance daily stress and uncertainty, providing happiness and a genuine sense of worth.</p><p>If you find the days seem to slip away and life&rsquo;s hurried pace to be draining, it&rsquo;s time to find some simple ways to add meaning to your life. Here are five ideas for nurturing a deeper connection with yourself and others:</p><p>1. Reconnect with your passion<br> Did you enjoy painting when you were younger? Have you always wanted to take a photography class? Do you love to travel? It&rsquo;s important to recognize and nurture those activities you love most so that you&rsquo;re able to go out and do what you&rsquo;re great at in the world. New York-based yoga instructor, <a href="http://www.pandora.net/en-us/explore/collections/essence/inspirational-women/tara-stiles" rel="nofollow">Tara Stiles</a> has infused her passion and energy into her work as a yoga, meditation and wellness instructor. &ldquo;Passion is really about going after what you want to achieve in your life,&rdquo; says Stiles. Whether it&rsquo;s cooking, writing or gardening, make time for what you enjoy doing, rather than just doing what you have to. Even one hour a week dedicated to your passion will make you feel more centered and grounded.</p><p>2. Express your individuality<br> Individual beliefs and values make us each unique, and you can express those ideals through your fashion and jewelry choices. For example, the new <a href="http://www.pandora.net/en-us/explore/collections/essence/inspirational-women/tara-stiles" rel="nofollow">Pandora Essence Collection</a> is more than just a beautiful bracelet. You can select from 24 hand finished charms, each representing inner-values like faith, love, courage, confidence and wisdom. Each charm slides effortlessly into position on a slender silver bracelet, thanks to three silicone grip stoppers inside each charm. Whether for yourself or a gift for a loved one, the bracelet is the perfect reminder of what&rsquo;s really important in life.</p><p>3. Give back<br> Volunteering in your community is a great way to connect with others and find deeper meaning in the everyday. Leila Janah, a social entrepreneur based in San Francisco, traveled to West Africa at the age of 17, and volunteered in a school for blind children. The experience led her to found Samasource, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals living in poverty. Janah recalls that &ldquo;[Volunteering in West Africa] was a time of incredible personal growth and it set me on the path to do what I do.&rdquo; Whether you choose to help stock a local food shelf, supervise at your children&rsquo;s school or travel abroad to help build houses for the poor, volunteering is sure to make you feel more connected with the world around you.</p><p>4. Find &ldquo;me time&rdquo;<br> Modern life can be very busy with every hour in every day dedicated to some activity. This can take its toll on your body, so it&rsquo;s important to remember to take care of yourself, even if you&rsquo;re taking care of others. Find your own way to relax and rejuvenate. This may be spending a few minutes each day balancing the mind and body through stretching and meditation. It might be taking a quiet walk, reading a book or having a cup of tea while journaling. Whatever you prefer, make sure to take &ldquo;me time&rdquo; throughout the day.</p><p>5. Be an ambassador for your beliefs <br> What truly ignites your soul? It may be your passion for green living, healthy eating or your faith. Whatever your beliefs, it&rsquo;s important to show the world who you are and what you believe in. Penelope Jagessar Chaffer, an award-winning filmmaker, shares her beliefs and connects with others through her work. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m always trying to find that common thread between myself and someone else when I&rsquo;m interviewing them,&rdquo; Chaffer says. &ldquo;I find that love, and talking about love, is this thing we can use to help connect us.&rdquo; Talk about your beliefs and values with others; you might be surprised by what you find.</p><p>Rather than getting swept away in a hectic schedule, try focusing on what truly matters to you. These simple ways to add meaning to your life will help you reconnect with yourself and with those around you.</p> <img src='http://www.brandpointcontent.com/printsite/ImageWriter.ashx?articleid=17791&memberid=8729' border='0' width='1' height='1' />

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