6. Have a purpose and a mission. I truly believe that each person has a special mission and purpose on this planet, and the closer we all come to finding it and living it, the happier we are. My mission and purpose are closely aligned with the family business I run and are all about healthy living on a healthy planet. In my fairy-tale mind I am a knight protecting people and the planet from harm. Hey, it works for me. Donít make fun of it until youíve tried it.
7. Listen to nature. Whenever I have a question I need an answer to or a problem I canít resolve, or I just need comfort, I go out into nature and sit quietly ALONE! and listen. I may just be listening to that quiet, still voice inside of me that canít be heard unless I turn off all the other noise. But I also believe nature loves to converse with us, and if we are open and still, she has quite strong opinions. Try it!
8. Exercise. Iíve seen all the studies in the world, just about. And if there is one thing that is essential to health and happiness, itís exercise. I know. Itís hard for me to fit it into my life, too. But it works. I do yoga and Pilates. I garden. But those alone are not enough to keep me truly fit. If I am feeling depressed, a walk, run, or bike ride really does the trick. It doesnít matter what you do, just that you do it, and do it a few times a week. Iíve started putting stars on the calendar every time I do 30 minutes or more of exercise. My goal is to have a five-star week every week. I have learned that we ladies have to put ourselves first if we are going to take care of the other important people in our life. Itís not selfishness; itís sanity.
9. Eat healthfully and well. Food is important, tooóorganic, of course! Fresh, toxin-free fruits and veggies. Meats from local organic farmers. Whole grains. I find that cutting out white flour really makes me feel so much better and so much less hungry. Exercise, too, controls my appetite. But good, yummy food is essential to having energy, strength, and stamina to live a full life. And sit-down dinners with the whole family are a key to family harmony and health.
10. Feel the love. I think this is the most important thing of all.† Surround yourself with love. Snuggle and play with your kids. Donít waste time or energy on movies or TV that are violent and depressingówatch happy-ending love stories! Reach out to friends and family on Facebook. A good email from a long-lost friend can make me happy for days. Forgive and forget the bad stuff, and focus on love. Itís a happy feeling (most of the time).