Begin by becoming aware of what you say to yourself every day. What is the automatic mantra that plays in your mind?

The list may look something like this: I’m not good enough, I made bad decisions, I’m too fat, I’m a bad mother, I’m a useless provider, I have so many regrets, etc. Now, become aware of what things you believe you need to have, buy, acquire, and achieve in order to remedy all those beliefs.

The only thing creating pain in your life is your THOUGHTS about your life and your situation. Buddhists call this “Suffering” or the nature of suffering. It is all self-created.

If for a moment you could step back, relax and notice that everything is ok right NOW, without the need to change it, to mold it, to work your way out of it, to starve yourself, to win the lottery, to be the best, or drive the fastest car, you would be in a very different place.

Now, take all the stuff you believe you need in order for everything to be great and make you lovable, scoop them into an imaginary brown sac. Put the sac to one side.

Now, visualize yourself as a 5-year-old, happy, giggly and free.

See yourself playing, totally inspired in the moment, maybe you are dancing, or painting.

Feel the peace you have in that moment. Feel your love of being alive, pure joy radiating around you.

Know that THIS feeling is what you are seeking.

See, over time, you have come to believe that you need all the things in this brown sac to feel this feeling.

Now, see your little 5-year-old holding the bag with tears in your eyes because the joy has gone, you are no longer allowing yourself to be filled with love, giggles and happiness, because she/he is told daily that they cannot have fun, they cannot enjoy life, or play freely until you get all of that stuff.

Is that really true? Is it really true that you absolutely need all those material things or achievements to be happy?

Of course not!

This conveyor belt of endless self-criticism is hurting you deeply and robbing you of your self-belief, self-worth and self-love. It is time to heal you and let go of the beliefs holding you back from being happy.

So, ask your 5-year-old self now if he/she is ready to let go of the belief that you cannot love yourself and be happy without that stuff?

Get agreement by saying a “let it go with love” prayer.

You are perfect and you are love. You are ready to feel love.

Imagine a beautiful crackling fire now, take the brown sac over to the fire and imagine yourself throwing the sac on the fire. Say good-bye to the things holding you back from feeling alive, happy, abundant and inspired. As you watch the sac transform and crackle to dust, feel the weight lifting off you and allowing you to feel as light as feather. As you release this baggage from you now as the old sac of misbeliefs turns to ashes, know that your life from now will be filled with love for yourself and radiate to all those around you.

Now, imagine yourself picking up your 5-year-old self and saying:

I am so sorry, I am so sorry I have forgotten you, I have not taken care of you, I am so sorry. From now on, you come first, you are the most important, you are my priority and I will take care of you no matter what. I love you.

This is a call to your inner guide, to lead you back to you, to show you that YOU do not need a thing to be at peace right now.

Look back at your whole life and every experience you have had, every journey, every fall and every victory.

See how you were doing your best, making the best choices you could at the time. Realize that you were just searching for a way home to that giggling, free, lovable 5-year-old self.

Let your heart open now and allow yourself to love YOU right now, exactly as you are. Allow your 5-year-old self to be free again from all the weight of those things inside that heavy brown sac.

The time is now. Fall in love with yourself, your life and your journey all over again.