How Embracing Your Sweetness Can Benefit Your Well-Being

“Make me sweet again, fragrant and fresh and wild, and thankful for any small gesture.” — Rumi

On a snowy day in New York City, I jumped into a cab and in a hurry asked the driver, “Please take me as fast as you can. I can’t be late for my appointment.”

The cab driver very kindly turned to me and said, “I’ll do my best, but your safety is more important to me than going fast.” He was an older man with such a kind presence that touched my heart.

On the window dividing us was a life achievement certificate for his service to his passengers. I was curious and asked him about it, and he said, “Driving in the city is a battlefield. It seems like everyone is out for themselves. You fight every day. But,” he went on, “I treat every passenger that comes as someone very valuable.”

We ended up chatting about the city, the people, and life. Before I knew it, we had arrived. I thanked him for the ride and tipped him generously.

“You are such a sweet lady,” he said to me, “Women in New York have become too much like men. I have daughters, and I say to them ‘Be sweet, don’t be like men.'” He turned to me, looked at me and said, “Don’t ever lose your sweetness.”

I shook his hand and told him he’d made my day, and he said, “You’ve made mine.” As he drove away, I teared up at this spontaneous and heartfelt exchange. Clearly, I had come across a very caring human being.

This encounter stirred up something in me that I have been wanting to write about. Why is it that we women start to loose touch with our sweetness and deny that part of ourselves?

When we are children we are innately filled with sweetness. As we grow up we are socially trained to replace that quality with a drive for achievement, and the need to belong starts to compromise who we are in our essence. Gradually, our sweetness is replaced by our external personas and the image we project in the world.

Even when we try to walk the spiritual path, our most devoted practices that lack sweetness can leave us dry like the dessert. Unless our heart is in any kind of spiritual practice, we can very well miss the point. A moment of loving and sweetness can help us connect back to ourselves.

Sweetness often gets a bad rap and is seen as a weakness. If a man is sweet, he is described as effeminate, and if a woman is sweet, she is deemed weak and not sexy. Well, I think sweetness is the new sexy. Consider how we cry at movies during scenes that touch the heart, but then emerge into our lives and tuck that emotion away so we can survive in our competitive world. After all no one puts on their resume “I preserved my sweetness” and is hired for it.

And yet, the fastest way to someone’s heart is to be sweet to them. Maybe the reason we all crave and love sweets is because we all crave to taste the sweetness of life…

It’s so important that we do not become bitter when we do not get what we want or because the men we marry turn out to be different from what we expected, or we have a bad breakup, or a job falls through. On the other hand, when we do get what we want and succeed, it is important that we do not become harsh, aggressive, and disconnected from our true nature of our feminine spirit in order to maintain that success.

Underneath all of our interactions lies the heart, which longs to be authentically seen, known, shared, welcomed, and accepted. There is nothing more intoxicating than the gift of an open heart and human warmth. These are the natural gifts that keep on giving, and there is a never ending well from which we can all draw. I think this is part of the reason people fall in love when they go to Greece — there is an outpouring of warmth and caring that you feel down to your bones.

When my dad was at the last phase of his life, I watched a man who I had known and loved, who had demonstrated the qualities of Zeus, Poisedon, and Hades, asserting his power with a volatile temperament, transform into a sweet and vulnerable man. But isn’t it a shame to wait until the end of your life to experience the sweetness that we all came into the world with? So share your sweetness to those you meet each day. By sharing your sweetness, you will inevitably attract it ten-fold. You’ll start to feel so abundant.

Don’t miss this moment by hurrying too quickly to get to the next thing and the next thing. What matters, and what makes us feel alive, is that we pause to savor the sweetness of life and of each other. Don’t hide it. As Rumi said, “Find the sweetness in your own heart, that you might find it in every heart.”

Share with me: How do you share your sweetness, and how can you experience more of it?

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Why You Need To Take A Sabbatical From Happiness

If you Google happiness, about 77,600,000 links pop up, many of which are meant to help make you a little bit happier. As far as books on happiness, the results are overwhelming. The longing for happiness seems to increase the more we search for it. We are all searching for the fairytale “happily ever after.”

But what is happiness? Isn’t happiness a feeling that takes over us when something positive happens in our lives? We become dependent on outer circumstances to make us feel good, and this is an incredibly tough position to base one’s well-being on. Life has its ups and downs, and we need to have the skills to navigate through them all.

I want to share with you some of the keys I have found that can help you unlock a feeling of lasting well-being.

The first is to reframe our concept of happiness. The Greek word for the state of happiness is “euphoria,” and the noun “euphoros” means the bearer of goodness. One of the fundamental elements to finding euphoria is to be that euphoros — bearer of goodness — for yourself and for others. This means radical generosity, starting with yourself.

If we see ourselves as the bearers of good, wherever we go we will create an atmosphere of goodness around us, and we will spread a sense of well-being to others. We will start to do good things for ourselves without thinking about it, and we will start having good thoughts about ourselves. We will experience positive emotions and produce positive outcomes because we will be connecting to our innate goodness. And from that place we will bring it to others.

It can be challenging, however, to hold onto this sense of goodness and sustain it throughout life’s transitions. When things happen that cause us stress, worry or anxiety, the tendency is to hold onto those feelings and make us question our goodness — even though in reality, it does not have anything to do with our circumstances.

The second key is to let go, as fast as you can, of any feelings that trap and suffocate you. Face them, name them, accept that they are happening and forgive them. As we name them, they start to get out of our way and our goodness shows up like a sunbeam.

I have identified seven patterns that cloud your sense of goodness. Take a look and try to identify which one(s) are standing in the way of experiencing your own sense of goodness.

1. Discouragement: When something negative happens in life, you go down the roller coaster of negative thoughts and feel bad about yourself. This blocks good things from happening to you.

2. Guilt: When we do something that we think we shouldn’t, and then we let it linger instead of forgiving and letting it go. (Again, blocking you from experiencing your own goodness.)

3. Comparisons to others: Thinking that those around us have a better life, and thus abandoning our own potential. (Nothing good can then happen to us that is “as good.”)

4. Making other people responsible for our happiness: (Feeling completely dependent and victimized.)

5. Feelings of unworthiness: (Blocking good things from happening to us, and attracting things that undermine our value.)

6. Judgements: We are our harshest critic and we never feel good enough.

7. Worrying about the future: We think the worst of the unknown future, which then causes us great unhappiness and robs us of the present.

These patterns all boil down to the basic feeling that we are not good. Each one of us must find the cause of this and uproot it. Where did it start? From a very young age, most of us are conditioned to find validation in how we measure in the world and our levels of achievement. We must learn to separate the two. Our goodness is our goodness, and what we do is what we do.

Become aware of what the recurring theme is that denies you that sense of goodness. We must take mental dominion over these negative unconscious patterns. As Pema Chodron says, “You are the sky. Everything else — it’s just the weather.” When we get hold of that reality, the light of our goodness will beam high and bright, and the lesser thoughts and patterns will not be able to sustain themselves.

So, let’s take a sabbatical from being happy or unhappy. Forget it! It’s putting too much pressure on ourselves, and making us very narcissistic and self-absorbed, which is definitely cutting off the circulation to our happiness.

Instead, practice focusing on being the bearer of goodness, regardless of the things you have or don’t have, or what happens or doesn’t happen to you. You will then become a magnet that attracts good things and people to your life.

In psychology, they say it takes 32 days to form a new habit. So start now. For 32 days, stop looking for happiness and instead run a tape inside your mind and heart that says “I AM the bearer of goodness.” Let that feeling fill you up to capacity. Go to bed affirming this knowledge and let it steep in. If you prefer, say it in Greek: “Ime Euphoros.” You never know, your subconscious might take to the sound of Greek!

You will attract good things into your life and you will most likely land into happiness without thinking about it.

It’s amazing what happens when you decide to be the bearer of your own goodness. You’ll start to experience that life is rigged in your favor. This, my dear friends, is the secret of the ages.

Please share with us your experience of connecting to your own goodness, and what patterns are showing up in your life that block your own sense of well-being.

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