Some of my friends think I'm crazy.
I've left popular cities, sold or shut down thriving businesses, ended relationships with pretty women and changed my phone number.
I've stopped doing all the things that SHOULD have made me happy, things that most people dream of doing so that I could do the one thing I wanted to do.
Write romance and travel.
Here's the thing. It appears that we're all bumping along doing what we think will bring us happiness, which usually means acquiring things that show everyone else we have status, power, health, beauty or wealth.
I had those things.
I was doing the same thing, for 30+ years I caught the Entrepreneurial Bug that says I can have anything I want if I only want it bad enough just because I'm a privileged white American.
The paradoxical twist I found was the opposite was actually true. It's such a cliche'.
At the height of it all, my sand castle came tumbling down to dust like so many other thriving fortunes in the crash of 2008 and the housing/mortgage debacle that took another 4-5 years to fully understand, much less unwind and rebuild.
I crashed right along with all those things that turned to dust.
In the 7 years to follow began a fight for my life against depression, alcohol abuse, abandonment and unraveling my toxic past to grieve a childhood of abuse and long term trauma.
I had created an image that needed to survive in a harsh world I didn't understand.
In a last ditch effort to save myself, in 2015 I checked into a treatment center for 6 weeks to face all the demons and dragons that haunted me, keeping me in a state of perpetual fear, anger and resentment.
It's been 3.5 years since I emerged from that tunnel to know this one truth.
There are two of us that exist.
The False self and the True self.
The false self is the survivor, typically the little kid inside us that is terrified in a world that he was never prepared for. He becomes someone different and splits off from his rue, perfect nature at birth.
I spent 3 years grieving all these false creations that I had worked SO hard on. It's terrifying to confront your identity in the mirror and let go everything that defines you.
But when you do...oh. my.
What I found was a beautiful person that was always perfect, always true and could do amazing things in a world that provides unlimited power to those that partner with it through surrendering to the ways things simple ARE, versus how we would have them be.
I guess you could say, I let go.
I've heard these words for years, maybe decades yet never really knew what it really mean, much less HOW to actually practice this.
In time, I developed my Top 5 Ways to Surrender that Leads to Happiness.