How to Experience Ultimate Happiness

(Written on New Year's Eve, 2016.)

Originally, I was going to write a blog post all about how to pick and set an intention instead of a goal (which I still think is a really good idea, by the way), but I feel called to share something different. Something better. So here it is:

If you want to experience ultimate happiness in 2017, let go.

Let go, let go, let go. 

I'm re-reading a book by one of my most favorite-of-all-time authors right now, Liz Gilbert. You've probably heard of it: Eat Pray Love. And I forgot how much wisdom, direction, and magic is in this book! What a perfect one to be reading right at the end of 2016, amiright?? #synchronicity Here's a particularly inspiring section from her book I'd like to share that will help you let go:

1. Life's metaphors are God's instructions.
2. You have just climbed up and above the roof. There is nothing between you and the Infinite. Now, let go.
3. The day is ending. It's time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.
4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. Your being here is god's response. Let go, and watch the stars come out--on the outside and on the inside.
5. With all your heart, ask for grace, and let go.
6. With all your heart, forgive him, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and let him go.
7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.
8. Watch the heat of day pass into the cool night. Let go.
9. When the karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It's safe. Let go.
10. When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy. 

This section comes in a chapter where Liz is healing post-divorce after much struggle and agony, but I think this set of guidelines can apply to anything that we need to let go of, in order to open ourselves more fully to increased joy, growth, and wonder in 2017.

Take a minute for yourself now, wherever you are. No matter how short, let yourself pray, journal, meditate, breathe deeply, something that makes you stop and allows you to let go. Or even just read through the guidelines above, and breathe it in. Let go of whatever isn't serving you, whatever is holding you back, whatever is causing you fear. And then move forward. "With great joy." Because you deserve it, and it's already been given you. 

Tips for how to let go:

  1. If you're struggling with letting go, chances are there's an emotional block there. Most of us try to let go before we've consciously recognized and addressed the emotion behind what's holding us back, and just try to push forward instead. But rather than freeing us, we get more stuck and trapped further. So if you're feeling a lot of emotion around not being able to let something go, clear the emotion first. This can be done through: meditation (headspace is an amazing app), journaling out exactly what you're feeling without judgment (ex: "I feel anxious and overwhelmed at the thought of being happy with where I'm at. It feels like a buffalo is sitting on my chest, and I feel really tight in my throat because I want to cry. I feel like there's a weight on my shoulders. My thoughts are swirling with all the things I wish I could have, and I'm really tired and overwhelmed at it all." Keeping it to simple, declarative, non-judgment statements like that. You don't have to like what's going on--this is simply to get yourself to a place of seeing it.) or simply just experiencing the emotion by letting it run its course (crying, talking, laying on the floor and breathing it in, etc.)
  2. What you focus on is what you will bring forth. If you were not on the thing you're trying to let go of, what would you gain? Take that end goal as your focus. Maybe you'd experience greater clarity, more enduring happiness, a stronger connection with others...any number of wins! As you focus on the end result rather than dragging yourself down with things like, "I should let this go because...or I'm such a loser for not being able to let this go..." you'll find (unless, again, there's some kind of block there) that letting go will become a natural byproduct of the happy and satisfying result you're currently cultivating. It'll likely become very easy not to think twice about letting go, after focusing this way for a while. 
  3. Remember you're a human, and notice resistance. Anytime you go through an energetic shift, like letting something go, you're essentially sifting through all the different elements of who you are. And our egos don't always like that! So our egos will throw dart after dart at us, trying to distract us from the main purpose (because really, what you're trying to do isn't releasing these things. What you're really after is growing the things you want to gain, through release.) so that we don't change things up on them. Cultivate your consciousness (this is great to work on with a coach!) to get yourself to a place of recognizing when your ego is trying to self-sabotage, then subsequently being able to consciously choose action from there. As you do this, the resistance you experience in opposition to change will have a much weaker hold (if at all) on you during your self-construction process. 

Share your thoughts in a comment below!