Dr. Holstein talks about The Enchanted Self, when women are happy, what damages them and how they can reconstruct themselves.

When I did my research with women, I discovered that, indeed, women have a great capacity for happiness and pleasure.Yes, we are born with it, we have that capacity.And the women I interviewed, all of them verified that in some way they had a way of accessing happiness, states of well-being, feeling good.They all did.Whether it was through planting a garden, whether it was through reading stories to their grandchildren, going on trips, mentoring others; whatever it was, they had a place where they felt whole and where they felt in a great mood and what we would call being in a state of happiness.

However, I also found out some very damaging news as I went over the case studies and as I further listened to my clients and my friends as I was weaving through all that I was discovering.And some of the damaging news that I discovered was that women are often thwarted by society at large to not feel comfortable to go after their own sources of happiness.

One major example would be that a woman might be very content and really enjoy her body and her whole being.She loves to do whatever.She loves to just have people over, she’s comfortable wearing any clothes that feel good on her.She could be potentially the happiest person.However, the television, the newspapers, the movies, everything, are saying to her:think thin, do your eyebrows, wear a different kind of clothing, how much skin can you bare and not be ashamed of your wrinkles, try this new products, better get better underwear, mm-hmm.Get with it, lady.

Now, obviously, there are some women who are able to put up barriers and not be influenced by society at large.But many of us suffer the consequences of a society that is more external, from the outside in, rather than internal, from the inside out.And that’s a real difficulty.And that does impinge on our sense of happiness.

Also, often women return to their capacity for happiness only in secret, when nobody is looking.In other words, they feel sort of ashamed, or it’s just an extra, you know, when I finish folding the clothes and I finish all the bills and I finish getting everything done for everybody else, then I’ll try to sneak in 15 minutes of meditation or 15 minutes of making myself a special treat in the kitchen or relaxing in the bathtub, whatever it is.

But that’s not enough.That will have us end up in a situation of being empty, running on empty.Literally.Because we won’t have spent enough time replenishing and finding ways to truly enjoy life and feel happy on a daily basis.It’s not something you can just way, well, six months from now I’m going to have three hours of happiness.It won’t work.It just won’t work.We just need so much more than that.

So, really, it is my mission and my passion to teach women how to re-access and, for some women, to access for the first time in a long time, more happiness and well-being as often as possible in their lives.And I’m going to talk about some of the ways that I do that.

However, I just want to mention why, and what is this whole term, The Enchanted Self ®, because my mission is tied in to the expression, The Enchanted Self.

The Enchanted Self is that place within ourselves where we recognize what gives us pleasure, what feels right for ourselves, what feels whole, what feels good, what makes us feel in a great mood.And it is also a special place within ourselves that has a warehouse and a factory attached, just for us.It has a warehouse full of our own memories of what makes us happy, what feels right to us, what feels special, what makes us feel joyful.It’s a computer — well, I like to think of it as a warehouse, because I don’t think as much in computer terms.And it has stacks and stacks of the good memories, the positive things that have happened to us, the things that we have enjoyed.And, true, they may be mixed with some very negative things, but there are ways to sift through that.

And, also, it’s a factory.It’s a factory within ourselves where we literally have a whole staff that reinvents and recombines and regenerates the ways that we can take our lives and find ways to have pleasure and happiness and better times, right now, or in the future.

What do you think? Are you agreeing with me?

Posted in Happiness, Positive psychology for women and tagged , , , , .