How to break through upper limits of happiness
I can’t believe it. My own upper limits just knocked me down.
Today’s blog post had about a million iterations because I’m evolving, letting go and rethinking my beliefs (which means they’re also evolving) while opening up to bigger levels of happiness in so many ways.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m happy just because I’m beyond blessed, which certainly helps. Challenges are still there. I just don’t spend time thinking about them.
I’ve also had down days where I feel sad, and my mind goes to negative places. The contrast helps me remember — oh right. I’m generally happy because I’ve worked really hard to heal my heart and find peace.
It’s a daily practice of devotion to my highest self. Practicing gratitude and meditating. Doing yoga and eating healthy. Following my dreams and working hard… not balance because balance is a lie, but essentially following the flow.
Waking up and allowing myself to be the unfettered version of me without judging myself.
At first, today’s blog post was all about how I’m opening up to joy. I’m shedding some things that felt heavy — namely writing about emotional healing all the time — and opening up to things that feel illegally fun, like helping people tell their stories and live their dream.
For a long time a martyr complex held me back from this evolution.
I feared that I couldn’t help the world if I was too happy. That I couldn’t serve others if I lost my connection to pain.
I’d get really happy and peaceful, and then get pulled back down into suffering by what I think was an upper limit issue, which Gay Hendricks talks about beautifully in his book, The Big Leap. (That’s an affiliate link, and if you purchase the book, I receive a small commission at no cost to you!)
Over time I realized that was only fear and upper limits. My happiness is actually of HIGH service because more joy makes the world a more joyful place.
It’s not about ignoring suffering and living in a compassionless happiness bubble. I mean if my husband has a bad day I don’t want to be that person saying, just be positive. I admittedly have done that, but it doesn’t feel good. It feels better to hold space for people and be present for them.
But at the same time so many people needlessly suffer. That doesn’t result in depth or wisdom. In fact needless suffering is bad for the world because it means those people who could maybe help are just stuck in sadness and pain.
We have a vast ability to co-create a massively, abundantly joyful life. And staying stuck in needless suffering or thwarted by upper limits blocks you from savoring all the goodness that’s available.
So this morning I was feeling good, really good.
And then a few well-timed emails and social media posts totally popped my euphoria.
It was like the universe was testing my newfound commitment to joy or maybe my own upper limits knocked me down.
The old fears rose up. (Thank you universe for highlighting my blocks to freedom and joy!)
An email from one woman celebrated the beauty of her friend’s authentic writing about the dark night of the soul, and how inspiring it was in its haunting beauty.
Ohmygosh, can I still be authentic or inspiring if I’m happy?, I thought.
And then a raging social media debate on, of all things, body positivity in the yoga community, which is a wonderful, important issue, but is just not my torch to bear.
Ohmygosh, should I be concerned about this? I mean, I should stand up for the oppressed!, I thought.
Which is kind of laughable as I’m writing this because honestly I think our use of the word oppression is becoming a little loose if we’re calling heavier women who have access to iPhones and social media oppressed just because their photos aren’t pictured on major yoga clothing Instagram accounts. But I digress.
I really wrestled over this.
Wondering if I was selfish for wanting to stay connected to contentment in light of suffering.
And then I realized: my upper limits thwarted happiness!
Essentially, Hendricks says upper limits are when we subconsciously sabotage our happiness through things like causing a fight with a loved one after an amazing weekend, or even getting sick after a great success at work.
There’s a part of us that deeply fears being happy, deeply relaxing into peace, not getting caught up in the many dramas that surround us on any given day.
Because are the issues of the day important? Of course.
But you know what? Me getting caught up in whether heavy yogis are adequately represented across popular social media accounts and losing my happiness over that does not serve the world.
There are very real issues that we all face in the world.
But I also strongly believe that if we all move toward joy, then each person has within their heart the inclination to work toward an issue that moves them, from a place of joy.
We’ve assigned importance to things that are heavy. But it’s also a sacred duty to find and spread joy.
For example, my emotional healing work had been feeling a little heavy, and I had this martyr thing going on like I had a responsibility to serve people who were suffering. That sounds great, but writing about the things I thought I had to write about was no longer joyful.
Finally, I let go. That’s why, last week, I launched the evolution of my work, my new program Soulful Storytelling, to help other people tell their stories.
I’m so beyond ridiculously excited about it. It makes me feel light and happy and excited and free.
But check this out…
The people that said yes to that journey, they all want to share their stories to help other people heal and find peace or experience more justice in a cruel world. That brings them joy.
And so by me following my joy, allowing myself to do what feels light and expansive and free, I’m using my skills of building an audience around a compelling message to make a much, much bigger impact than I ever could alone.
My message has touched thousands. But when the people I help, help thousands, maybe more? Imagine the impact.
From following joy. How beautiful is that?
No, life is not fair. But for those of us who are beyond blessed, it’s safe for us to receive those blessings.
We can help others and engage in important conversations. Life isn’t always easy. But that’s even more reason to welcome the lightness when it’s here.
Savor it. Be grateful for it.
Stay blessed and connected. Give back when your heart feels called.
And trust that you, as a divine child of the universe, are being led exactly where you need to go. And that guidance comes through joy.
I hope that resonated with you!
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
And if you’d like, download the free guided meditation for emotional healing below.
This technique absolutely changed my life, and I know it can change yours, too!