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What Is Happiness?

This post was written by Carrie Obry
on November 12, 2009 | Comments (11)

Goddess to the CoreEven though Maureen Dowd wrote about women’s happiness at the New York Times more than a month ago, I’m still thinking about it today. Research shows that women’s levels of happiness decrease as they age. Based on the research she has read and the women she has talked to, Dowd draws a bold conclusion: “Women around the world are in a funk.”

Do you think this is true? If it is, what is this “funk” all about?

We have a free life to design as we will, but it seems even the most externally happy and succesful women begin to feel bogged down by the choices they have made. We choose to pursue a career, commit to a loving partner, and maybe have children. We choose to stay engaged with the news, pursue spirituality, walk the dog, workout 4 times a week (if we’re lucky!), volunteer, cook healthy food, read, go to the movies, shop for the things we need, and invite friends over for dinner. On top of that, if you are a creative person, you have to honor your more abstract need to create, connect, and pursue work that means something to you on a fundamental level.

Is the 9-to-5 commuting lifestyle at odds with what women need to be happy? But without it, what then?

I’m looking forward to reading Goddess to the Core, a book that begins to unravel the mysterious pursuit of happiness and balance women undertake throughout their lives. Author Sierra Bender‘s hard-won success in life comes from being face head-on with a health crisis and an overwhelming number of questions about what it takes to create a happy life. She dsicovered her answers–and now she inspires women around the world to discover them as well.

I hope you have success in looking for these answers for yourself, and welcome your comments on this important question!

 

 

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By lada
on November 13th, 2009 @ 9:02 am

when asked (and I am, too frequently, it seems)
I can honestly respond that I am as happy as I will
allow myself to be.

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#2 
Written By Mary Carter
on November 13th, 2009 @ 9:13 am

I am 2 months from 60 so here I am looking at really owning my power! WOW in our culture women are told that they are old wrinkly, and only good to be Grandma or the wife of so and so…not me I have have just found what I call My “CORE” the true me. the part of me that is not defined or created by anyone else. The inner child that has grown up and can still be a child.
WAKE UP! women of the world and get it! You are only you and so be you reclaim your true self and you can still be other things that others see you as …It is only important what you see yourself as! You are the one who CHOOSES to see you or not.

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#3 
Written By Carrie Obry
on November 17th, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

Lada – Your response is really thoughtful. I know what you mean, but why would any of us not allow in as much happiness as possible?

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#4 
Written By Carrie Obry
on November 17th, 2009 @ 1:15 pm

Mary – Wow is right! It sounds like you’ve had a remarkable journey to drawing your own conclusions about yourself and your place in the world.

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#5 
Written By lada
on November 18th, 2009 @ 11:45 am

the self-indulgent longing for the happiness I *HAD* is the stumbling block to owning all the blessings that surround me. Having just turned 50, it is a good time to hone perspective.

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#6 
Written By Paet
on November 18th, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

Nearing 63 years old I am now the happiest I have ever been. It took me over 50 years to finally admit to myself that I an a witch. I fought the tings that other witches told me – I was only 13 when it began – and I sadly saw witchcraft as being mixed in with the devil! I had no body to teach me and there were few books to read. I will admit that I was born into witch craft from my mother’s side (Irish) – ancestors were tea leaf readers and banshee wailers to name a few of their callings. I was born with the caul. As a child I felt out of it for I hear things and saw things that my friends didn’t. By the time I hit my teens I learned to hide my “powers”. Then this past Feb. a Latino witch told me that I was indeed a “bruja”. I fought this for several months and the logical non witch lost the battle. I am now free to catch up on things and get back to that world I almost left behind.
A witch friend of mine, many years ago told me that witches are born old and as the age numerically they bvecome young (youthen?) and so it is for me. I am now comfortable with myself and will follow my solitary “family” path and not try to fit in to the mundane world. Now that I have taken up the craft again, there is just too much to do – I AM HAPPY! I will not have to hide my abilities – I will now happily use then to help others!
Maybe mundanes get unhappy as they age – but I don’t think witches do.

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#7 
Written By Carrie Obry
on November 19th, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

Paet – Wow, I’m glad you are owning all your talents, even if it took awhile. People are their most beautiful when they embrace exactly who they are.

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#8 
Written By Denise
on January 22nd, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

Here I am, late to the game. But I am glad I found this post as it is the right time for me to read it. I am struggling with my happiness. I’ve been divorced about six months but separated for over a year. I thought my marriage was the problem. And, while it was part of the problem, I now realize it was not and is not the entire problem. I need to work on myself — to feel happy again, to feel balanced, to feel like I am me.

Carrie — have you read the book and did you like it? Did you learn anything from it?

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#9 
Written By Sol Blanco
on January 28th, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

Very impressed by Paet’s answer. Am I a witch? At 63 I am also at my happiest and fealing younger than when I was supposed to be young! I learnt the difference between’struggle’ and ‘effort’ and the excitement of building my life from awareness. I found this blog with many clues, what do you thik of it?http://beatrizcastilloblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/working-on-our-happiness/

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#10 
Written By Carrie Obry
on January 29th, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

Denise – I think marriage is changing so much in our country it’s hard to tell if it’s a lasting source of happiness. Sierra Bender’s message is universal to all women. Look within. Love yourself first. Sol, maybe that’s the awareness you’re talking about.

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#11 
Written By Alexandra
on April 24th, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

I think happiness is something we can work at, and I don’t believe in “and then they(she) lived happily ever after”. I think we have to work at it everyday through the choices we make and that it’s all the little moments that make up our happiness, not some huge event.
Have a look at this blog entry:
http://beatrizcastilloblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/working-on-our-happiness/

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