In Oprah's newsletter this week, Marcus Buckingham reports on the statistical findings of a recent, 2009 survey concluding that today's women are generally not as happy as women forty years ago (statistically substantiated by six major surveys in developed countries throughout the world). Also, the survey found that women get less happy as they age; men, in comparison, get happier. Depression is the second highest disease for women (heart disease is second) while it ranks as 10 for men.
Excellent educations, powerful careers, equality at home - all circumstances which encourage a life of possibility - are NOT adding to women's overall feeling of happiness. The author reports that instead of more fulfilling, the trend is that life is becoming more draining for women. And statistics show that this isn't about longer work hours, more of a work load at home, or gender-based stereotyping as all these factors have significantly shifted for the better.
The author suggests that people contribute their own take as to why this is so. His stand appears to be that women's careers are lacking in purpose (he is currently in the midst of sharing his steps to a better life).
Well, I couldn't resist putting into the circle of this discussion my own point of view. My guess is that you have one as well - one that I welcome you sharing.
My view is that real happiness doesn't have anything to do with outer circumstances. Causeless joy comes from a deep connection to our true nature, the peace/spaciousness that lies within. In spaciousness, we realize that we are not our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations so they do not run our lives. We experience the freedom that comes from holding the paradox of embracing our humanness and distrusting the mind.
From this place, we give in ways that are natural to us. We feel without a story. We are able to connect intimately with others beyond the personality that causes separation and conflict. We open our hearts - the yearning of the inner feminine.
For those of us who thought the education, career, or family would bring us happiness, it is a learning process, an everyday journey, that has us deeply realize that happiness is separate from what is 'out there'.
As a woman, I embrace my feelings without the story. I release expectations and disappointments - accepting the reality of what is. I include myself in my natural tendency to give and nurture. I take the time to rest into who I really am. I dance, I share myself with other women, I appreciate and make room for my sensual nature, I express myself creatively.
© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.
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Jeannie Campanelli, Ed.D, CPCC, partners with naturally-giving men and women who often put other people’s needs in front of their own. As a consequence, they are not connected to themselves. Jeannie offers a free e-newsletter titled “Notes on Claiming Your Life as Your Own” to support you in feeling the serenity, vitality and wholeness that comes from inner confidence. When you subscribe, you will receive a free guided visualization to support you in this journey home to yourself. Visit www.innerconfidencecoaching.com.