I once met a savvy, accomplished woman who thought that when she found her heart's desire, a man, she would be happy. That seems like a lot of responsibility to place on another for one's happiness.
When a woman believes this, she subconsciously sends this message, unaware that others are picking up on her cues. The man in whom she's interested senses this and is repelled.
She talks about when she finds a man, then she'll take that trip to Santa Fe that she's been wanting to take. She mentions that she wants to learn ballroom dancing, but, she doesn't have a man in her life with whom to take lessons. She loves entertaining in her home, but, she never invites anyone over because she's not part of a couple like several of her friends.
Conversely, by not waiting for another to bring happiness to her life, a woman places exceptionally high value on herself. She practices extreme self-care and understands that if she doesn't make herself a priority, no one will.
Part of getting centered in your feminine grace is extreme self-care. It means doing things that make you feel happy. In this way you attract love from the inside out.
I started off 2015 by declaring that I want to have a joyful life. I wanted to do things that brought me joy.
For example, after years of doing ceramics as a young girl, I took up painting because I desired to do something creative again. In my weekly painting class, I met people I never would have met otherwise -- a woman from Mexico City, a retired airline pilot, a stay-at-home mom and two exchange students from Austria and Germany, to name a few. I also composed some paintings that ended up in my class art show. I'm no van Gogh, but I had fun.
My passion for wine and learning culminated in a semester-long wine class at a local college. There I became more versed in viticulture (the study of grapes and grape-growing) and enology (the study of wine and wine-making). The weekly wine tastings and recognizing what foods paired well with each new wine was enlightening. I speak basic conversational wine now.
On the heels of my wine class, I went on a food and wine excursion through Provence. Not knowing anyone in my six-person travel group until I arrived in Bonnieux, Provence, I discovered one of my travel companions is a Holocaust survivor. This is what I enjoy most about traveling: I never know who I'll meet along the way. "Betty" was an inspiration and taught me more about what it means to be an outcast than any history book I've studied.
In these moments I created joy in my life. Adding joy to my life in my painting and wine classes, as well as, my trip to Provence is extreme self-care. When I do things that bring me joy, I attract joy. This is the life I want to create.
With this focus I am then able to discover who best fits into my life. It strikes me that many approach finding a romantic partner in reverse: find the man and then figure out what kind of life to build.
By attracting love from the inside out you are forming the space a man needs to come into your life. Thus, he knows that he doesn't have the onus to make you happy because you already are. He just wants to make you happier!
How do you practice extreme self-care?
Consider designing a "joy plan" by identifying things that bring you joy. Commit to doing one item on your "joy plan" and tell someone else who can be an accountability partner. I find when I tell others my plan I am more inclined to accomplish the goal.
If you're not taking exquisite care of yourself, start today. Because if you don't take good care of yourself, how will a romantic partner know how to cherish you?
This article originally appeared in PrimeWomen.