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  • Darci Daniels

Let It Be Easy

I've never surfed, but I know the surfers talk about "letting the wave take you". Let it be easy, it can be beautiful to surrender!

I’ve decided to be happy! And successful! And not let my anxiety and fear run my life!


Yep! It’s that easy.


Hahahaha, or not. I’ve spent years trying to fix the same negative thinking, writing the same things in my journals, trying to get into a more positive mind-set, trying to wake up happier than I (usually) do, trying to be a better person in general, trying to enjoy my life. And every time I fail, I beat myself up about it. Every time my hormones shift, or something not great happens, or things don’t look just as I want them to be, I crash.


Welp. That doesn’t help.


But something shifted for me recently. Yes, it’s a weird time for this to happen. My business isn’t booming, but it is going in a positive direction. I didn’t get engaged. I didn’t even fall in love. I didn’t win the lotto. I didn’t buy a new car (I bought a few new clothes, because NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE, but that’s not earth-shattering, even though it makes me unreasonably happy). No, nothing big, good or bad, has happened. And yet, something BIG has shifted.


After years of self-help book reading, Oprah watching, and life coaching (both being coached and coaching others), a few things finally fused together this month to shift my perspective.


First, this country is a shit-show right now. There’s no denying it. I don’t care where you fall on the political spectrum, we’re a hot mess, and not in a good way. Between the 24 hour news cycle, social media memes, snap judgements, “news” that’s not, Russian bots, and politicos who now tweet the things they’re not supposed to say aloud to each other, let alone to us… we’ve become a cartoon of the United States of America. (I’m not saying it’s funny, I’m saying it’s outrageous to the level of cartoonism.)


But I digress. Sort of. All of the stress of the last several years in our country got to me. It got to the point I had to un-friend and un-follow people, and block others. It got to the point that I can’t have rational discussions about what’s going on, even with people that I agree with, because we both get worked up at the injustices of it all. It got to the point that I stop looking at my social media for blocks of time because I can only take so much. Which means most of the time I’m home alone, talking to myself. I know I’m not alone it this. My dear coach friend Indrani, whose kids are grown and out of the house, gave me a great piece of advice when I lamented that sometimes I just don’t know what to do about it all. She told me to stand up when I feel moved to, to address things I see happening in front of me, but to let myself off the hook. To let people like her, who’ve raised their kids, step in to fight the good fight. That I need to focus on myself and raising a good kid who can become one of those people someday. And to not worry about it all so much.


Whew. Okay. Do what I can and don't worry about the rest for now. Novel concept, right?


So, then there are my personal and business lives, which became uniquely intertwined. I was laid off a year ago after 20 years in the corporate world. Don’t get me wrong, it was a blessing. I was ready to go and run my own business. Or so I thought. The terrifying fear of becoming an entrepreneur was overwhelming. Why hadn’t anyone warned me?! Also, I missed my people, I missed going into the city, grabbing coffee or lunch with work friends… I missed being a part of something bigger than me. Last Aug/Sept/Oct/Nov/December my anxiety became fairly acute and I was forced to go inward and deal with a lot of shit I didn’t even know was still THERE. Some of it I had worked on before, some of it I never even realized was an issue. Some of it was new, but like the majority of our fears and issues, most of it had been around nearly all my life. The things I thought I’d worked through came back up via my anxiety and made me deal with the last little details. You know, to really let go. Oy.


I wish I could say I was grateful for all of it. I’m not, some of it totally sucked. But I am grateful for the results, because my life is very different on the other side of it. I don’t think everyone needs to have a breakdown on that level to make big changes in their lives, but I did. I’d been making minor adjustments all my life and either in therapy or coaching for 10 years. It was almost as if my employer said, “Here’s your severance, it will pay for the exact number of months you’ll need for your breakdown that will be induced by this layoff. Have fun!”


*Insert eye roll emoji here*


And yet.


I AM happier.


I wrote back in April about setting myself free (you can read it here). It was the first big step toward truly loving and accepting myself and how my life looked right now. Then my coach mentor, Michele Woodward, said something to me that felt so simple, so unabashedly true, that it was like the sweetest slap in the face ever. She said one time she changed her business just by deciding to be successful. That was it. She decided. And that’s where I was. On the precipice of making this business work, or turning around and chasing after plans B, C, D, or E out of fear. I just had to decide that it was going to work. I was going to be successful, and it was going to work, and let go of the rest. Let. It. Be. Easy.


So, after everything I’ve gone through this year, I came up with two fairly simple (yet entirely complicated) ideas to let it be easy. First, letting it be easy means deciding. Deciding to be happy, or successful, or peaceful… and then letting it be true. Second, not letting things outside of me determine my happiness. Or success. Or love for myself. Here comes the complicated part – I don’t have to force it. Any of it. I don’t have to MAKE myself happy, I just have to remove the obstacles in my brain that are telling me I’m unhappy. I decide to be successful, and I disbelieve the stories that tell me I’m not (which often means ignoring the mean voices in my head masquerading as other people, as if they’re saying those things. They’re not. And when they do, I ignore the real-life person’s doubts or mean words too.)


I don’t let my daughter being contrary, or a big project falling through, or a client canceling, or the fears about anything happening outside of me that I can’t control take away my happiness. I love myself through it all, even when it feels like others don’t love me. I accept myself for who I am, unconditionally, in whole. Because that’s what I’ve decided I need to love myself. And I need to love myself unconditionally to be happy.


This is not to say every moment is blissful and happy. Um, no. Not even close. What it means is when I’m feeling unhappy, instead of asking myself, “what’s wrong with me?” I’m asking myself, “how can I be happy anyway?” and I look for things to be happy about and forget the rest in that moment. In other words, be present to what is happening in the moment, not what happened yesterday, or a year ago, or what may or may not happen in the future. I gotta tell you, most of the time the answer is to LET GO of whatever it is from the past or possible future my brain thinks is so important that I need to hang on to the bad feels for dear life. Sometimes it’s more complicated, and then I let myself feel what I feel, but I also have faith that I’ll be able to get back to happy sooner rather than later.


It’s making a commitment to my happiness. It’s making a commitment to how I want to feel, and then letting that dictate what actions I take. That may sound like hedonistic crap, but it’s not. For instance, part of my happiness is success in my business. Part of that is publishing my blog so people can find me and figure out if they want to work with me. Which is why, at 7 PM on a Thursday, I’m sitting here editing this article instead of on the couch watching Downton Abbey. This is for my happiness, even if part of me is saying, “ooooh flopping on the couch to watch Downton Abbey would make me so happy right now!” But I also know my anxiety about what I’ve gotten done for my business this week would creep in and take away some of that ease and peace. Then I’d start to beat myself up that I didn’t get more done or plan my time better. So, I’ve decided to be truly happy, and do what I need to do to feel proud of myself. That’s making a commitment to my happiness. To love myself, and let things go.


There is so much more to this, but more on that next week. For now, I hope this inspired you.


If you have thoughts on this, I wanna hear them! Find me on Instagram or Facebook @lifecoachdarci, Linked In, email me at lifecoachdarci@gmail.com, or sign in and comment here!


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