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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.


I failed yesterday. I missed a conference call with two esteemed clients and friends. Irrelevant is the fact that a minor crisis interrupted my morning. The missed call, while unacceptable, wasn’t the failure.

It was what came after.

I failed yesterday. There was an emergency situation that derailed me but the failure wasn’t there! It was in the hour plus after  where I felt shame, guilt and self-hatred over not checking for the call before dealing with the unexpected crisis.

It took some hefty processing to first surface what I was experiencing, relating it to some core wounding, understanding what the shame and guilt were really about and “being with” the deep, dark discomfort.

After some time, I could come back to a more centered place and then move forward, limping and haltingly as we humans sometimes do, but forward nevertheless.

What was forward in this case? I wrote to my friends, told them the truth of what had happened before, during and after the missed call – sharing the painful process. I recommitted to the relationship by apologizing and offering to make it right by discounting the makeup call  fee by half and allowed whatever was to be, to unfold.

Why am I telling you all this? Because, whatever coaching wisdom I have acquired over the years, there is little more valuable to my understanding than exploring the way of self-hate and the means to moving beyond it.

Self-hate is insidiuous. Whether one calls its awful voice, the “inner critic”, “cruel judge” “Super Ego” or something more glamorous, the self-hatred that frequently descends generally has very little to do with what is actually showing up in the present. It is the carryover of our past. As Cheri Huber states in There is Nothing Wrong With You” Going Beyond Self Hate, “You have been taught that there is something wrong with you and that you are imperfect, but there isn’t and  you’re not.” When we’re young,  we seek to find unconditional love and wisdom outside ourselves rather than inside.  We begin to believe the messages we receive and are sure “we have to earn it” by being a certain way. This is taught to us from early childhood by unwittingly  self-hating parents who were taught by their unwitting self-hating parents and so on…

Yet, every spiritual paths teaches that everything we seek is within – love, compassion, understanding, peace and so on.

It is cyclical in several ways and  a BIG topic. Too big for a short blog…but worth decoding, exploring, mining for its very rich vein of gold!

Clients, readers, friends, family have heard me say, over and over, hold yourself with the compassion and love you would display to beloved others. Yet, yesterday, for a piece of the morning, I failed. (I required support to do that – thankfully present in my life!)

So I am sharing that we are all works in progress, that we all fall down, scrape our knees or our souls, and need to get up. How quickly we stand and move again is the work!!!

We attempt, we make mistakes, we understand that failure is feedback, we learn, we attempt again.

It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something. ~Ornette Coleman (jazz impressario and GREAT)

Enough said. Hopefully this is helpful.