Five secrets happy women know

February 24, 2012

Bliss, Lifestyle, Women

Your deepest bliss is neither a miracle nor a far-off milestone, but rather participation in every moment of every day.

by Sara Avant Stover — 

We women have it all wrong. Happiness does not come from a new hairstyle, handbag or husband. True contentment is found in the most unlikely of places — inside yourself. That is right; you alone must become the steward of your own happiness.

Your deepest bliss is neither a miracle nor a far-off milestone, but rather participation in every moment of every day. At first that does not seem sexy, true or possible, but how many handbags, hairstyles and husbands do we have to go through to realize that nothing outside of ourselves can bring happiness?

Here are five tried and true (and surprisingly simple) ways to start treating your own happiness as your most sacred daily duty.

1. Be selfish — Every morning when you wake up ask yourself, “What can I do just for me today?” As women we are virtuosic givers, but happiness requires us to strengthen our receiving muscles. Start by putting yourself first.

Throughout the day ask, “What would bring me harmony and balance now?” or “What do I really need in this moment?” Then respond accordingly. Take a bubble bath. Eat a big bowl of oatmeal. Get a pedicure. Go for a walk in the sun. Find ways to nurture yourself, and you will have much more to give others.

2. Get in synch — As women we are intricately linked to the cycles and rhythms of the Earth. The more we recognize and synch up with them, the healthier and happier we become.

Before you hole yourself up in an air-conditioned office or go for a run on the first day of your menstrual cycle, do yourself a favor. Notice what is happening inside of you. Notice what is happening outside of you. Then feel how you can reconcile the two.

Rest and be quiet on the new moon; dance and throw a dinner party for your girlfriends on the full moon. Eat salads in the summer and hearty stews in the winter, be kind to your body when you are menstruating, and push its edges when you are feeling frisky and active.

3. Let love trump all — There have been times in my life when my heart hurts so much that it literally feels like it is breaking; I know you have had such moments, too. They usually come in the midst of great loss (a death, break-up, big life change or watching a loved one suffer), or when you witness something magical and precious (a child being born or a beautiful rainbow).

These are important moments to stay present for. These are the moments in which your heart will open and you will know who you truly are — beyond emotions, thoughts and circumstances. Breathe deeply into your heart and feel your feet on the ground. Stay present in the moment and what it brings, even if it is colored with the pain of sorrow.

Sadness often opens the door to compassion and love — first for yourself and then for others. This can be beautiful and wondrous. Even when it hurts, open yourself to the truth of each moment.

4. Dance, sister, dance! — As women we are wired to experience and express pleasure, and the more we consciously create circumstances for bliss and delight on a regular basis, the healthier and happier we will become.

Dance is without a doubt one of the best ways to do this. Do not let a day go by without dancing — even if it is just swinging your hips as you wash the dishes or snaking your shoulders while driving your car. Go all out for a night of dancing with your lover or girlfriends, or take a nia, salsa or tango dance class. Dissolve into the ecstasy of rhythm and movement, and enjoy how it lights you up from deep inside.

5. Fake it ’til you make it — When you are in a funk, if all else fails, resist your resistance. Smiling (even a simple “Buddha smile”) can elicit the secretion of “feel good” hormones in your body. Don a toothy grin while you take a shower. Answer the phone with a more enthusiastic “Hello!” than you usually do.

Watch a slapstick comedy when all you feel like doing is complaining and crawling into a dark hole. Wear a sexy matching bra and panty set when you are tired and bloated. Cultivate the skill of laughing at yourself, and do not take life too seriously.

Remember that at the end of the day, the person most responsible for your happiness is not your boss, your husband, your children or your family. It is you.


Sara Avant Stover is the author of The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life, and is a teacher and mentor to women around the world on wellness, spirituality and lifestyle.

Reprinted from AZNetNews Volume 30, Number 3, June/July 2011.

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