The elusiveness of happiness! What a rat race to find it and then if you were lucky to get it how to keep it. Marcus Buckingham's research and findings in HuffPost based on his paper "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness" inspired me to reflect on my own progression in life to happiness and on the happiness of the hundreds of women I have worked with over the past 10 years as an intimacy and relationship coach.

What's happiness anyway? The older I have grown the happier I have become. And that does not just have to do with that I now own a business, make a difference in the lives of women and men, and am in the most inspiring relationship with my Beloved and business partner. That's rather a result of something else.

After all happiness is a state of being! And how did I arrive at that state of being? For me this occurred through two major life experiences that awoke me to that state: One experience had to do with "accepting "what is" at the present moment and declaring that I choose to be happy which I learned through Buddhist meditation at Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum Village. That philosophy is totally in line with what Buckingham identifies in his findings: "The women who could answer positively to the questions [regarding happiness]..., simply decided that they were going to be happy. They made that choice."

The other experience had to do with "weaving" or Tantra. O.K. - what did I learn about weaving? It was about reintegrating my feminine with my masculine or the yin with the yang that is frequently out of balance for women living in this time and age. Most of us have learned to develop our masculine side that is required to compete and make it in the world. Great capacity to have! However, if my feminine got dwarfed because of the dominant orientation towards achieving in the worldly dimension I am just not whole any longer.

Here is what says about the feminine and masculine: "According to the philosophy of Tantra, the entire universe is a manifestation of pure consciousness. In manifesting the universe, this pure consciousness seems to become divided into two poles or aspects, neither of which can exist without the other.

One aspect, Shiva, is masculine, retains a static quality and remains identified with unmanifested consciousness. Shiva has the power to be but not the power to become or change. The other aspect, Shakti, is feminine, dynamic, energetic and creative. Shakti is the Great Mother of the universe, for it is from her that all form is born.

According to Tantra, the human being is a miniature universe. All that is found in the cosmos can be found within each individual, and the same principles that apply to the universe apply in the case of the individual being."

The aspects of feminine and masculine show up in women just as they do in men. However, they are not merely to be considered as gender qualifications. To illuminate the principles further take a look at the list of feminine & masculine characteristics and locate yourself where you are at in various areas of your life: family, intimate relationship, work and career, body, hobbies, etc:

Creative focus
Purposeful presence
Desire for truth
Oriented towards vision & goals
In one's mind & focused
Emotion of compassion
Looking at life from the outside
Fear of failure in life
Work before intimacy

Creative flow
Open & connected
Desire for sourcing and sustaining
Oriented towards love and care
In one's emotions & flow
Emotion of trust & gratitude
Looking at things from within
Fear of rejection & loss of love
Intimacy before work

Reintegrating the feminine with the masculine, the spiritual with the sensuous, the body with the soul, the giving with the receiving wholeness shows up. Experiencing wholeness is the source of feeling pleasure, joy and yes, HAPPINESS!!! It's up to each woman to return to that wholeness. The tantric practice provides a guide to that wholeness as shown by transformative shifts in many women who have worked with me here at TantraNova.

Looking forward to your comments and thoughts about this topic of happiness! Elsbeth

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Author's Bio: 

Dr. Elsbeth Meuth is an internationally renowned seminar leader, intimacy expert and relationship coach. She co-produced the best-selling DVD series Creating Intimacy & Love Creating Intimacy & Love., and is the co-founder and director of the TantraNova Institute in Chicago. Over the last decade she has assisted hundreds of couples and singles expand their intimate and love life. She and her partner were featured on Showtime's documentary Sexual Healing.