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Stacey, Doug and Griffin on the slopesThat’s a photo of me, Doug and Griffin from last week enjoying a magical winter break at Sugar Mountain, and boy was it SWEET!

NC hadn’t gotten any snow all winter and then just as we arrived at the ski resort the skies opened up and gave us over a foot of fresh powder!!

Stacey, Doug and Griffin on the slopesWe even extended our trip to have the experience of a “Bluebird Day” – a bright, clear, sunny day after a night of snowfall. It was so heavenly!!

You may remember that I only learned to ski last February because it was Griffin’s new passion and I wanted to share it with him.

I only gained some confidence in my ability when we went to Snowshoe Ski Resort over the Christmas holiday, but it was during this trip that I felt the extraordinary ease and ecstatic pleasure of racing down a mountain!!

Double Black DiamondIf you’ve been feeling bored or unhappy, I highly encourage you to challenge yourself to do new and challenging things. As my son says, “The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.” (This was after he successfully skied down a Double Black Diamond run – and no, I did not follow him!)

The February Love continues. The following is an article from my friend and Certified Intimacy Coach, Stacey Murphy (not to be confused with Stacey Martino, who I talked about earlier this month!). Be sure to check out her awesome free event!

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CommitmentThe other day, I was watching a video on Facebook that blew my mind. This woman was going on-and-on about what women need to do to get a man.

If I were to meet her face-to-face, I would…give her a high-5, a major hug and say, “You go girl.” She was passionately sharing that no man wants to be “Handled.” He wants to be loved, respected and to feel appreciated, but NOT handled like a piece of luggage.

Does it ever feel as if you have
to drag your man along like dead weight?

Maybe when you start to get close,
he goes running for the hills?

Or, do you feel ignored and invisible?

These are the million dollar questions I hear from many women. At one point in my life, I was asking the same questions until I realized the answer was smacking me in the face.

I finally opened my eyes and saw the light – men will commit to a “High-Value Woman.” A woman who is confident, authentic, intelligent, charismatic and passionate. Is this you?

Let me point out, there’s a clear distinction between a “high-value” woman versus a “high-maintenance” woman. When you value something, you give it time, attention and treat it like a precious gem. By contrast, when you maintain something it’s like a job, you have to work at it.

As a “High-Value Woman,” men will cherish, adore, respect and COMMIT to you. Not because they have to, but because they want to.

So beautiful one, this is how a man will lovingly COMMIT to you:

1) Let Go of the Past! When you have the courage to let go of self-defeating behavior and past hurt, this is the moment you have freedom. Any man you desire isn’t going to put up with being compared with your ex-boyfriend, lover or husband. He’s not the resurrection of your past, so don’t treat him as if he is. This will push him away which is the opposite thing you truly desire.

2) Focus on Being Authentic! Remember, you’re the common denominator in what you attract. If you want to experience the best, you have to BE the best version of you. This means being authentic and loving yourself mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually.

3) Kiss Sabotaging Behavior Bye-Bye! Let go of typical female sabotaging behavior, because it’s ruining your chance of being with a good man. I ask you, drop the insecurity, jealousy and envy like a bad habit. Your man can support you, but it’s not his job to heal you; that great distinction belongs to you.

4) Rock What You Got! Take pride in how you look! Please understand this isn’t “superficial” nonsense and don’t try to mislead yourself by thinking the outer packaging doesn’t matter. How you express yourself on the outside is a direct reflection of how you feel on the inside.

5) Tap Into Your Power to Attract! Focus on what you want in a man versus joining the pity party of what you don’t have. You hold a tremendous power within you to attract the relationship you deeply desire.

6) Sing the Accolades of a Yummy Man! When you start praising the deliciousness, intelligence and strength of men; this will produce a magnetizing energy propelling your man to your front door, and lovingly encouraging him to commit.

7) Get Your Sexy Back! Boldly proclaim you “LOVE and ENJOY sex”! Sex is good, sex is natural. Sex is that 3 letter word you should passionately embrace. Being in your full sexual glory also demonstrates your self-confidence and self-love.

8) Come Out of the Closet! Get from behind your computer; this is essential in meeting your mate. You’re BEing fully engaged in life and savoring every delicious drop. It’s this sense of adventure which holds the most potential and the greatest opportunity for true love.

If you embrace any of my pearls of wisdom, you will find a man that will be ready to commit…TO YOU!

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If you liked Stacey Murphy’s article, you’ll love the FREE training she’s offering TODAY which you can sign up for by clicking here.

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Stacey and FabienneWow! What a week! I was in Connecticut last week for a training, and what you see is a photo of me on stage with my mentor, Fabienne Fredrickson, and 3 of my co-authors (and some of the BEST women you could ever know!) after we found out that our book, Choosing Happiness, made it onto multiple Amazon Bestseller lists!

Many of you reading this let me know that you heard my call for help with our Bestseller campaign and bought the book – so thank YOU!! You helped us do what we seemed highly unlikely – top Tony Robbins and the Oprah Book Club pick!

And the best part is that because you helped create such a buzz, even more women learned about the book and have a better chance of choosing happiness for themselves!

I truly believe that anyone can choose to be happy – even in the face of terribly challenging circumstances. One of the things that I’ve noticed time and time again is that people who choose happiness no matter what do things that other people don’t do.

Yes, we’re all challenged by unwanted or unpleasant circumstances, but if you make certain habits a priority, you will be able to find happiness, or at the very least peace, no matter what.

That’s why I’m sharing my article in the current issue of Aspire Magazine with you this week – the entire issue is devoted to happiness, and you can get your own copy by clicking here.

Here are The Five Things Happy Women Always Do:

Happy women have happy habits. They manage their thoughts, feelings, and actions in ways that set them up for happiness. Check out these things that happy women always do so that you too can become happier too.

1. They Define What Happiness Means for Them.

Think about a time when you were truly happy. What were you doing? Chances are you weren’t sitting on a beach drinking fruity cocktails.

Of course, that kind of passive, pleasure-oriented contentment can be a part of overall happiness, but researchers have provided compelling evidence that a service-based focus has a more powerful effect on your overall sense of well-being.

Whether you know it or not, whether you’re currently connected to it or not, I believe you have a purpose. You’re here to make meaning with your life – to do good – in service of something larger. The more you do it, the happier you’ll be.

I define happiness as the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.

I’m paraphrasing Frederick Buechner’s quote about vocation and this definition is important to me because I’m married to a man who for 19 of the 20 years we’ve been together had not been successful at making money.

But my husband, Doug, and I have always done work we loved whether we made a lot of money or not. And guess what? Doug sold his first book six months ago with an option to create a series of many more.

So don’t you think we’re very happy that he didn’t give up on writing just because it didn’t make money for so many years? That we chose to focus on work we loved and that made us happy? Yes, yes, we are!

2. They Create the Conditions for a Life They Love.

It may seem obvious, but I talk with women everyday who are so overwhelmed with the daily duties of their lives that they haven’t seriously considered the fact that they have choices about how they spend their time, and even more importantly, how they feel about how they spend their time.

Of course, analyzing one’s life isn’t easy and may require questioning long-held assumptions, like a need to please others over caring for yourself.

Fortunately, changes don’t have to be big ones to tip the joy in your favor.

Research shows that if you transfer even an hour of your day from an activity you don’t enjoy (grocery shopping or sitting on a committee) to one you enjoy (reading or taking a yoga class) you’ll see a tremendous improvement in your overall happiness.

Don’t feel like you even have an hour in your day? Spend 15 minutes walking outside or 5 minutes journaling about what you’re appreciating right now and you’ll still get a significant happiness boost.

Most importantly, happiness is a choice.

I have always been the primary, if not the sole, wage earner in my family and for many years I focused on how everything depended on me. I had to make sure everyone else was okay before I got any “selfish” needs met, and I found that pretty stressful.

For a long time that outlook contributed to a lot of unhappiness – until I decided that I could choose to feel happy about the fact that I was supporting our family doing meaningful and satisfying work as a nurse-midwife while my husband and I both pursued more purpose-driven work.

Taking action in alignment with your true values and your deepest desires is the key to a happy and meaningful life.

It will probably be a long journey to get to whatever it is that you have defined as success (and I can pretty much guarantee that the success will look different than you imagined), and you might even fall down a time or two.

But if you are deeply in touch with your purpose, your Big Why, and you keep getting up, you’ll notice that with every step you’re feeling happier and more fulfilled. And yes, you will get there.

I can promise you this: It’s not “the arriving” at your goal that’s even so great or interesting – it’s who you become on the journey.

3. They Avoid “IF/THEN” Propositions.

If only I could get a better job…find a man…lose the weight…then I will be happy.

Happy people don’t buy into this kind of thinking.

The problem with IF/THEN is that our brains tend to shift automatically from believing that the thing we’re after is just one condition for happiness to believing it’s the only condition for happiness, and we stay seriously stuck.

But when you make it conditional — when you say that happiness, or success, or whatever, depends on that thing you don’t have — you set yourself up to be chronically unhappy. Plus you overlook all the other ways you can achieve the feeling of having the thing you truly want right now.

Instead of making everything an “IF/THEN” proposition, ask yourself: “What will it mean to me to have accomplished this?”

That meaning — your why — is the most powerful fuel you can access as you make your way down your path. Once you have your why, it’s exciting to take one step and then another and another, and you never doubt that you’ll make it to your destination.

I talked about this in my interview with Linda Joy in the last issue of Aspire, but it bears repeating because the latest research shows that we’re surprisingly bad at predicting what will make us happy.

The brain creates something psychologists call “hedonic adaptation” or a natural dimming effect, which means that a new car won’t generate the same pleasure a year after its purchase and the thrill of having a new boyfriend will ebb as you experience the frustrations and disappointments that are a natural part of being a couple.

Happy people are wise to this, and have learned to discipline their mind to be satisfied with what they have by constantly looking for things to appreciate in their current situation.

They also have learned to seek new and challenging pursuits which keep their brains engaged and, yes, happy.

4. They Put Their (Real) Friends First.

It’s no surprise that social engagement is one of the most important contributors to happiness, but there are scientific studies that provide evidence of the value of friendship for our overall health too.

Data actually shows that community is more important for preventive health than daily exercise or quitting smoking!

What’s also news is that the nature of the relationship counts. Compared with catching up with various friends and acquaintances through Facebook, you get a lot more joy from spending longer periods of time with a close friend.

And the best-friend benefit doesn’t necessarily come from delving into heavy discussions. One of the most essential pleasures of close friendship is simple companionship that comes from sharing a cup of tea or a walk on your lunch break.

Yes, it takes more effort to schedule a “real” date with a friend than it does to scroll through your Facebook feed. I’ve made lots of excuses for not doing it too, but studies like these remind me that I will always get more out of it than I put in. So I make it more of a priority now. I hope you will, too.

5. They Allow Themselves to Be Happy.

As much as we all think we want it, many of us are convinced, deep down, that we don’t deserve to be happy (or at least not too happy).

Whether the belief comes from religion, culture, or the family they were raised in, many of the women I work with feel guilty if they focus on their own happiness when there’s so much work to be done and so much suffering in the world.

That’s why I love to quote Howard Cutler, MD, coauthor with the Dalai Lama of The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World.

“Some people would say you shouldn’t strive for personal happiness until you’ve taken care of everyone in the world who is starving or doesn’t have adequate medical care. The Dalai Lama believes you should pursue both simultaneously. For one thing, there is clear research showing that happy people tend to be more open to helping others. They also make better spouses and parents.”

So, for the steadfast skeptic who still needs persuading, just think of how much more you can help the world if you allow more happiness into your life.

Let’s face it, life will offer up some pretty undesirable circumstances for us to deal with, but a simple reframe of “I should” or “I have to” to an “I get to” is usually enough for me to focus on what is necessary – and even good – in any situation, and then I’ve found my peaceful or happy feeling again.

Remember, your thoughts are the source of your emotions, not your circumstances.

What I know for sure is that whether I feel happy or unhappy is completely up to me based on the thoughts I choose to focus on.

There are whole worlds of happiness, strength and new ways to look at things just waiting and ready to be found in your thoughts. Now go find them!

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If you think you don’t need great sex, you need to read this!

February 10, 2015

That’s a photo of me and Doug after an incredibly romantic dinner at our favorite restaurant. Griffin was spending the night with my parents, so this meant we had even more glorious ALONE TIME when we got home, if you know what I mean. I hope you listened to my RED HOT Love and Passion […]

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this is why you’ll leave your partner

February 3, 2015

That’s a photo of me with my dear friends and colleagues Linda Joy (left) and Stacey Martino (right). You’ve already heard me talk a lot about my partnership with Linda Joy – we hosted the AWESOME Feed Your Fears, Not Your Dreams training last week (if you haven’t had a chance to listen yet, you […]

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January 27, 2015

That’s a photo of me with my acupuncturist, Sarah Thomas. But calling her a practitioner of acupuncture does not do her justice. You can read more about her here, but suffice to say that she is a brilliant transformational healer. Back in October (2014) she asked me what I needed and I said I felt […]

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Four Simple Steps for Trusting Your Intuition (+lesson learned from my 8-year-old son)

January 20, 2015

That’s a photo of Griffin with the poster he made to run for the one 5th grade class spot for his school’s student class council. And he made it! There are so many things I love about this story, so I’m going to share in-depth, but first I just want to say that no one […]

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The Certain Way to Get Everything You Want

January 13, 2015

I finally feel like I’m back in my usual happy groove after 2 months of pretty intense holiday hullaballoo. As you can see from the photo, part of that meant getting some quality “Alone Time” with Doug. For anyone who missed my big news over the last month, I acquired a prestigious literary agent. We […]

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13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

January 6, 2015

That’s a photo of me and Griffin on the slopes over the holiday! (Sadly, Doug got hurt on the first day and I hadn’t thought to bring out my camera, so we didn’t get a photo showing the three of us on the slopes – but his injury happened on the last run and luckily […]

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My Top 10 of 2014 and How to Make 2015 Your Best Year Ever (+ a free gift!)

December 30, 2014

That’s a photo of me and Griffin enjoying a lovely dinner at Landmarc in Manhattan after my meeting with my new agent and a publisher at Simon and Schuster! Yes, that’s the really big news I’ve been holding back – in the week leading up to Christmas I was “signed” by a top literary agent […]

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How to find peace, strength (and even joy!) in hard times

December 23, 2014

We’re just past the Winter Solstice, on the last days of Hanukkah, and tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I hope you’ve been having a lovely holiday season so far!! Griffin and I have been doing our best to spread as much comfort and joy as possible this season. The photo to the right tells part of […]

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