I recently found an article written by Marcus Buckingham, What’s Happening To Women’s Happiness?. He wrote this article and posted it on line September 17, 2009. I have linked the article for you to read. It talks about the strides that we have made as women since 1969 — women running countries in the 21st century, heads of companies, political leaders, achieving greater levels of degrees, and more. Many of these women are married and with children. They seem to have it all and do it all. The question is TO WHAT EXPENSE?

In Marcus’ latest book, Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently, he tackles head on the numerous studies revealing drastic decline in female happiness over the last 40 years, and offers strategies for reversing this disturbing trend.

In the latter part of his article he identifies why as women our happiness is declining. He says,” Over the last 40 years or so, life is not trending toward more fulfillment for women; life is, in most ways we can measure, becoming more draining instead. To use Thomas Jefferson’s words, though women now have the liberty to choose whichever life they’d like, many are struggling in their pursuit of a happy life… [The trend] is caused by women bearing a disproportionate burden of the workload at home, the ‘second-shift’ as some have labelled it.”

This is something that many of you can relate to, have experienced and definitely see and hear discussed amongst your girl friends! In the last 6 months I have been thinking a lot about women’s roles and how as women we are paying the price of having and doing it all. I have come up with some ideas but first I want to share with you a teleclass that I recently participated in.

How timely… I received an email from Christine Arylo, author of Choosing ME Before WE, in which she invited me to a “mini-retreat” Summer of Self Love tele-call. The topic is the self-love revolution…to say NO! to the pressure of having to do, be and have it all … and to say YES! to peace, love happiness, and all we want to ‘achieve’ in this lifetime. It resonated with me for many reasons. As women we initially believed that in order to SUCCEED in this man’s world was to become and behave like men. Men were successful because, for the most part, they were aggressive (actually men get called assertive and women get called aggressive), sometimes manipulative, had agendas, stepped on those that stood in their way. Women saw this and decided to replicate this.

This call was hosted by three very successful women: Marci Shimoff, Queen of Happiness & NY Times best selling author of Happy for No Reason, Christine Arylo, Queen of Self-Love and author of Choosing ME Before WE, and Kris Carlson, Queen of Inner Peace and NY Times best selling author of Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff for Women. On this call they brilliantly talked about their own journey and how they reached pinnacles of success according one definition yet each one felt exhausted and were no happier, just more spent.

They offer some reasons as to why as women we are feeling this way. As women we have been told that we can do anything that we want so now you feel pressured to do, be and have everything and worst is that you often compare yourselves to your neighbour, friend, cousin — or anyone else who you think is doing better at this than you! As women we push and struggle to find balance; we say yes to everything and become the SUPERWOMAN! We spend more time doing what we have to versus what we love to.

They say it is not our fault… “You’ve been taught to power yourself through your life… to hold it all together, not get emotional and push forward, no matter what. You’ve been bred to be a ‘doer’. And, while driving yourself hard may have propelled you forward before, today it’s wearing you out….with not much to show for it.
The truth is… What you learned in college/university and in your climb up the ladder prepared you to survive in a man’s world, in a man’s way, they did not teach you how to thrive as a woman….”

For me on my journey and in my work surrounding empowerment it is about finding the balance of your male and female energy within. This is true for both men and women. What I mean by male energy is your source of strength – toughness. The difference is that we no longer are required to be aggressive, manipulative, feet stomping and survival of the fittest. It is about the ability to go within and find your strength to say YES – this is my truth of who I am and I will follow it and be true to it. It is about loving and honouring who you are however in a way that is loving and compassionate. The greatest empowered strength that you can have is KNOWING WHO YOU ARE AND LIVING THAT TRUTH. No one can take this away from you — we can only hand it away. The other side of the coin is saying NO – setting boundaries and only doing and taking on what we choose to not what we think we have to! The first step in this process of WHO AM I? is deciding what your purpose, truth and intention in life are? Setting goals – about financial wealth, physical levels (weighing this much, or losing this many pounds) is not what will bring you to your happiness. Getting to your higher place of wanting over all health will lead you to the steps needed (eat healthy, drink lots of water, get good rejuvenating sleep, and so on) to achieve the goals which then lead you to your overall desire: peace, happiness, calmness, joy, etc.

I LIVE THIS WAY THE BEST I CAN. I also teach this to a Mastermind group of women. It took much explaining as to the difference between Intentions and Goals. Please see my workshop page for this is what I have set out in a 5 part series. I will be beginning a session in late September. More to come on that.

IN THE MEANTIME… there is an option right now. Those three women I have just talked about have put a program together called THE SUMMER OF SELF LOVE. It is a 40 day virtual retreat which starts Tuesday, June 22nd. Get more information about this and join!

Here is what they say you will achieve and receive:

“You will leave these 40-days connected to sources inside yourself you never knew existed. You will have the tools and wisdom you need to allow your life to fuel you vs. you fuelling it. And you will finally have the answers to how you can create happiness, inner peace and love… And achieve and succeed.”

IT ALL BEGINS WITH SELF LOVE.

Have a great weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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