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Feeling like a woman

27 Nov 2005

“Many women today feel a sadness we cannot name. Though we accomplish much of what we set out to do, we sense that something is missing in our lives and we fruitlessly search out there for the answers. What’s often wrong is that we are disconnected from an authentic self.” -- Emily Hancock, author of The Girl Within

When was the last time you felt like a woman? Has it been a while since your last hair appointment? When did you last have your nails done, gone shoe or bag shopping?

Take a moment to think about what makes you feel like a woman. Can’t remember the last time you read a good book, had a spa treatment at home, a new dress, or when your husband cooked dinner and your children were absolutely perfect?

Women with busy careers and a home life have little time for themselves these days. Women who aren’t careful in controlling their stress levels may find themselves spiraling out of control, which may often lead to depression. Studies have shown that “at least 8 percent of adults in the U.S . experience serious depression at some point during their lives, and estimates range as high as 17 percent. The illness affects all people, regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic standing. However, women are two to three times more likely than men to suffer from depression,” says researcher David B. Cohen.

Women should pay extra attention to the girl inside and find out what they want.

Live, breathe and learn new ways of reinventing yourself. Participate in activities, like dinner for one or maybe a movie, a vacation by yourself to rejuvenate and regain your authentic self.

As women embark on new relationships, whether they are working relationships or personal, it’s important to maintain your identity in order to keep your inner child (what I believe is your authentic self) in sight.

Childhood holds an innocence that adults often lack. Children are indiscriminate about life. They will try anything, and their minds are free of fear. Think of that time when, as a child you, were free, you didn’t have too many expectations about yourself or life. Too often, we lose ourselves in other people, in chores and in our careers. Women find themselves wondering whatever happened to that girl who had the smile that lit up the entire room; the girl with energy who giggled and knew how to make other people laugh; the girl who didn’t think she was weak even if she allowed herself to cry just a little. Instead of missing her, find her and be happy again.

Recently, I was on a mission to find my authentic self. The transformation allowed me some much needed down time (three months to be exact!) and I made it understood to everyone around me that I was doing just that. During this time, I launched several websites, continued to paint and started laying the groundwork for my book. For years, I wanted some time off to do exactly what I wanted and finally I was able to make it happen (with the help of a very supportive husband). Now, that I have taken care of me, the stress of not knowing when I would get time for my projects has been alleviated.

Feeling like a woman has nothing to do with how much money you have, how trendy your clothes are or whether you are on People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful” list. I feel like a woman because I have developed my own sense of style and I do things that make me happy like reading, writing, journaling and taking walks. Occasionally, I will take in a movie without my husband or go shopping alone. What makes me the happiest is being able to do the things that I love.

When we forget our authentic selves it shows in the way we dress, how we project our voice, in our confidence and the world can tell. I ask you today to reclaim yourself, first for you, then for family, friends, and the world. They all miss you.

On your path to feeling like a woman, sit with yourself and make a list of ten things you could do different in your life that will make you happy, then make another list right beside the first one and list another ten things that will get you there. Be sure to keep this list with you so you can always refer back to it. You must make a note to self to the effect that you promise to do the things listed and set a deadline. This won’t be anything like a New Year’s resolution but rather a New You Resolution. If it’s money you need to fix your hair or you want to buy make-up, but living on a tight budget. Try to cut back on expensive unnecessary items that you may not really need. Make-up counters offer free consultations if you would like to experiment with a new look.

Remember, what you invest today in yourself will pay-off in the long run. You will be a happier and healthier you. Stress is the leading cause of many of our health problems. It’s not enough to just laugh, but to be happy doing it.

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