This article was written by the Enchanted Self herself, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein.
Let’s talk about the idea of your “Enchanted Self” and what it is. It is a very special part of each woman. You may not have given it a name, you may have dismissed it as trivial, perhaps unimportant in the scheme of a hectic, busy demanding life; but deep inside you’ve yearned to find it and let it out.
There comes a moment in every woman’s life when it is time to bask in your personal delight, happiness, and joy. When that time comes, fly with it and know that you have come home to your Enchanted Self!
Your Memories: Good & Bad
The Enchanted Self is about focusing on your memories, talents, and capacities for joy and happiness. You may not realize that one of your most precious gifts, in terms of accessing joy, is your capacity to utilize your memory in positive ways.
All of us seem to know how to use our memories in negative ways. How easy it is to conjure up bad feelings surrounding disappointment. How easy it is to remember unpleasant times. However, it is much more useful and leads to more happiness, if we can reminisce about good times (we have all had at least some) and sift through our memories for our talents, strengths, and potential.
Value Your Good & Bad Times
To create a joyful and enchanted self, you must value your own history with all its ups and downs even during tough times. Seeing your past, even with its disappointments at times, as a God-given opportunity to experience life, is a major step in validating your uniqueness and your specific purpose in life. This is your story and nobody else’s. Your life is a marvelous adventure that could not and will not happen to anyone else.
You must scan your history to recognize and emphasize your abilities rather than your disabilities…your strengths rather than your weaknesses. Learning to view yourself in a positive way puts you in an advantageous position to reinvent yourself.
The Secret of Successful People
For example, have you known someone who was a very successful businessman or woman? I’m sure in their past there was a grandparent or a parent who took the girl or boy to the factory or the office all the time, making the child feel special. Or perhaps you know a mother who later in life started a successful catering business, and sure enough, there was a love of cooking and nutrition that went back for many years. Successful people always pull from earlier talents and refurbish themselves as necessary.
There is a pleasure and new chance to bring joy into your life in reviewing your life from the perspective of looking for happy memories. For example, you may remember enjoying archery when you were a child at day camp. Perhaps you loved being out in the field and basking in the sun. Actually, you were not interested in archery so much as a chance to have free time and socialize and joke with your friends. Your best friend may also have loved archery, but she loved it for different reasons. She was determined to become a champion and win the blue ribbon at the end of the season. Her intentions and experiences of pleasure were very different from yours.
Bring More Joy Into Your Life
Now when you brainstorm ways to bring more joy into your life, you might pick sitting at a park or spending time walking the boardwalk, or planning more time with friends. Meanwhile, your friend might decide to take tennis lessons and become a competitive player. These are certainly different roads to pleasure and joy. And never be afraid to reinvent what you loved in the past or were good at. You can redesign your future fun and joy to fit your situation now. It will be your recipe for enchantment!
Exercise: To find your Enchanted Self, that joyful and happy person inside, try listing three things you enjoyed doing as a child. How could you find ways to do them again or what else could you try as an adult that might be similar? I hope you have enjoyed this taste of enchantment and enjoyed giving yourself some mental vitamins that we all need as we work our way through the pandemic.
We would love to hear what you come up with as you bring to life one of your early talents, interests, or strengths. Please share them with us in the comments at the bottom of this page?
Sometimes friends and colleagues call me, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: ‘The Enchanted Self.’ That’s because as a psychologist in private practice for over 35 years, I’ve developed a form of positive psychology called The Enchanted Self. I’m not enchanted, but I do have many ways and ideas to help all of us feel better through all stages of life. These methods help us to recognize our potential, regardless of our age, to grab on to our talents and find again and again the emotional energies needed to be creative, resourceful, resilient, and to live joyfully.
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