It’s funny the lessons that keep reoccurring when you try to avoid it, ignore it, push it aside to deal with later. For me, the signs came in an annoying technological error first on my camera and then on my laptop. A lack of memory from a never deleted and semi-organized hard drive forced me to confront an issue I’ve been avoiding for most of 2011. Letting go.

As I weeded through 3-year-old invoices and duplicates photos, I wavered between a feeling of complete defeat and relief. It felt good to go through and delete the files that were no longer serving my present life. But going through each one was painful. Not only was it time-consuming, but the process brought back happy and unhappy memories. Hours later I wondered why had I let this go on so long. Why did I continue to avoid dealing with the problem despite pop-up reminders that warned me I was running out of memory and time?

I realized that it was the same heavy burden we carry when we hold onto people and problems that don’t feel good to us. Because it’s uncomfortable, we endure it. Because what we know feels safer than the unknown, we hold onto what doesn’t work. And in the end, they clog up our system, drain our energy, slows us down, like it does our computer. Instead of taking the time to reflect on our lives, we live day to day just surviving. Not really living, but merely getting by.

I hope this post and the five ones below will be the wake up call you need to begin living again. Appropriate for the start of a new year, they will teach you how to live more authentically, find happiness and take more risks in your life.

Take the Pledge to Make the World a Happier Place

(Adventures in Positive Psychology) – Want to be happier in 2012? Joe’s found an organization with resources and practical advice to help you take the steps to get there in the new year.

A Key Aspect of Being Authentically You – Identifying Your Triggers

(Neuroscience & Relationships) – If you want to live a more authentic life, you need to spend the time to figure out who you are. And one aspect of that is discovering what triggers you. This post introduces an exercise that can help you identify yours.

My New Year’s Wish for Folks with Depression…

(Depression On My Mind) – What’s one word that could potentially heal your depression? Passion. Christine’s explaining why having passion is so vital to keeping her healthy, it’s her mental health insurance.

Extend Yourself

(The Gentle Self) – For those of us who’ve been called, “gentle souls,” (I just got labeled one this Christmas myself) you need to read this. Yes it’s much comfier staying at home alone, but this a good reminder why it’s worth taking the risk and extending yourself.

A Nugget of Wisdom for 2012

(Mindfulness & Psychotherapy) – Maybe you’re worried about paying off your Christmas gifts from last year or you’re still bothered by a comment directed at you over the holidays, this may help put things in perspective for 2012.