The two-step framework for peace and joy

Happy Sunday! ✌️

There's nothing like a sun-lit morning after days of non-stop rain.

This week, we rode out endless hours of scary thunderstorms huddled up on the couch with the High School Musical movies on repeat.

I now have three up-and-coming Troy Boltons in the house. Watch out world:

But before I spiral into a puddle of mush over that smile, I want to tell you what's been on my mind this week.

We last talked about the three false programs for happiness:

  1. power and control
  2. esteem and affection
  3. security and safety

It makes sense that we have these needs, but it's hard to remember them in real-time.

Does anyone really walk around evaluating their thoughts like, "That barista just looked at me weird. Did I say something wrong? Do I have something in my teeth? Oh wait, that's just my false program for esteem and affection kicking in. Let's move on."

No, not really. But, ideally yes?

There are two reasons this is extremely difficult to pull off.

One: we're zero percent aware of what's happening in our brains at any given time.

When I decided to write you this email, a funny thing happened.

I got up from my bed and walked down the hall to my grab my computer. In the time it took me to walk those 10 feet, my mind whisked me off to my kids' school (I thought of tomorrow morning's early morning wakeup time), then to Colorado (I glanced at a photo on the wall of a recent vacation) and finally to the house I grew up in (I smelled the Chapstick I've worn for years.)

You'd think walking through my house would be a simple enough task. This kind of thing happens to you, too, several times a minute.​

The mind can take you anywhere at any time, past or future, without us even realizing it's happening.

And two: the emotions triggered by our false programs for happiness are incredibly strong. Their magnetic pull is almost impossible to fight off. When anger, embarrassment, or fear come over us, it feels like we have no choice in the matter.

In the words of C.S. Lewis:

“What a man does when he is caught off guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is ... Apparently the rats of resentment and vindictiveness are always there in the cellar of my soul."

These strong emotions can feel like a tidal wave approaching. We see them approaching but have nowhere to run.

If you let the emotions take over, though, you know where you'll end up. HULK SMASH!

No bueno.

Instead of running, I practice letting go. If the strong emotion is a balloon, I practice letting go of the string and watching it float away.

Wait, that sounds too relaxed and easy...

It's really more like I'm gripping the balloon's string for dear life, my forehead sweating from the sheer effort of trying to convince myself to let go.

But every time I'm able to let go, I'm overcome with peace—and that makes it easier to let go next time.

So, to deliver on the promise I wrote in this email's subject line, here's my two-step framework for peace and joy:

  1. Become aware of what's happening inside of you.
  2. Let it all go.

This takes practice, but each rep makes the next one easier.

In order to tap into the infinite source of peace and joy you have within, this is your mantra:

Become aware. Let go.

Become aware. Let go.

Become aware. Let go.

It's difficult, but it's worth it. You got this. I believe in you.

All the best vibes ✨

Marcella Chamorro

Mental Health Coach + Executive Coach

PS. On Friday, I recorded a convo with one of my besties, Antonella, about our spiritual journeys—contemplation, Enneagram, reckonings, and small talk like that. 😉 We've been having these chats privately for years, so why not share them with other seekers? Listen here.

Marcella Chamorro

Marcella is mindset coach for award-winning tech teams and an experienced marketing leader with a track record of successful creative ventures focused on mental health. She's worked with both thriving venture-backed organizations and wildly profitable bootstrapped companies to maximize their work performance and well-being.