Of course you want to be happier. Everyone does. So, why are so few people there?

Because most people haven’t learned the simple steps, I am about to share with you.

What’s one huge thing that gets in the way of your happiness?

You probably said money or a relationship or having enough time. And while any or all of those might increase your happiness factor temporarily, they won’t keep you happy for long. Soon, you’ll drift back to the place you know only too well.

What will make a long lasting difference? A new relationship with your inner critic. One based on compassion and forgiveness.

You know, the harsh, even mean, inner critic – the one with the voice. The voice that attacks you with all the, “You should have…” and the niggling, “Why didn’t you?” and spins you into a cycle of blame and shame. The one that is harsh, judgmental and insists on “knowing best” without taking circumstances or feelings into account.

Here’s the shocking news. The happiest people around, the ones that lead lives filled with meaning, on purpose and in balance, they’ve learned the secret to dealing with that harsh critic.

And they deal with it by learning to forgive themselves when they miss the mark.

And you can learn how too!

In fact, happy people hold mistakes as “missing the mark” rather than sins against humanity. They allow their energies to be used to “correct course” rather than be leached away into blame, shame or even, self-hatred.

So here are the 3 steps to living a happier life:
1. First notice your harsh inner critic – how loudly and how often it speaks up – just notice.
2. Next, acknowledge that it really wishes to take care of you; it just isn’t very skillful yet.
3. Now do the forgiveness practice that I’ve included below.

Do this every evening for 28 days. Start tomorrow. Make time for it… 5-10 minutes. Consistency is more important than time.

Place your hand on your chest, right over your heart, close your eyes gently and take a few deep breaths. Let your attention sense into this area of your body. Let it fill this space. Notice what you experience. Just breath and notice.

Remember that there is no right answer – there is nothing that you are supposed to experience. Whatever you find or do not find is your experience. Stay with whatever sensations you find in your heart’s “space,” and note how these sensations change over time.

Keep away from any judgments. Don’t try to analyze the “why” of these sensations. Make a clear distinction between your thoughts and the sensations that arise. Stay with the sensations, letting the thoughts go by like bubbles that arise and burst.

Now with hand over heart, say aloud or silently, “I forgive myself for all the ways I fell short. I forgive myself for my past confusion and behavior. I forgive myself for my past limitations. I truly forgive myself”.

Breathe deeply as the words fade away, keeping your hand over your heart.

You’ll quickly find that as you learn to forgive yourself, your energy will be used more productively, you’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll be happier.

And there’s a bonus! As you learn to be kinder, more compassionate with yourself, the benefits spill over to include others. So you attract people, people who want to hang out with you, enjoy being with you. And that just adds to and reinforces your own personal happiness.

So what are you waiting for? Get started today, be consistent and start living your happier life.

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