JOY of living is the meaning of this French phrase.

Exuding supreme happiness is the message of our nation. Installing President Noynoy Aquino as our fifteenth president last June 30, you and I woke up to a new "Aslagan" (morning) in our land of 7,107 islands. Hallelujah to outstanding leaders like him.

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What a great day for all of us, Filipinas/Filipnos, as we answer the call of unity, courage and strength of spirit in our prominent country. Come! Walking on the golden gateway of freedom, let us give our efforts to encourage, enhearten and enliven our beloved Philippines.

The Book

Spreading the seeds of bliss, we give love to our family, friends and familiar community.

In my case, I came across this golden book, which brought a smile to my face. Indulging myself with my favorite diet soda, reclining on my comfortable chair, thereto, I felt nirvana (bliss) upon opening the pages of this book authored by Dan Baker and Cathy Greenberg. It is entitled What Happy Women Know.

Know what? Initially, I was a little skeptical to read a book about women's happiness written by a man. The author, Dan Baker, Ph.D., earned my respect with his insight, imprint and imagination. He called his experience of 20 years of day-to-day work with the women who visited the famous health/spa facility, Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Baker is the founder of the Life Enhancement Program at Canyon Ranch.

Sampling the brilliant ideas popping up in its pages, here some "ahas", which the book sprinkles:

1. Happy women understand the three steps to self-forgiveness:

*Acknowledge the lesson you learned.

*Recognize that you're now in a different place.

*Know that you may make a new mistake tomorrow.

2. Men and women experience happiness differently. For men happiness is the pursuit of power and for women, happiness is the pursuit of relationships.

Powerful and thought-provoking pearls of wisdom dot the landscape of his work. Proactive thoughts truly spur the reader to do what she wants. Taking a cue from its abundant ideas, I felt inspired to get pencil and paper to draw a lighthouse. Months have passed by when I promised to draw and paint. Joyfully, I was able to do it today.

Voila! Stirred by happy thoughts, I created an acrylic painting of a purplish lighthouse amidst a verdant/green background.

What a feeling of joy to my artist self! Returning our gaze to the book's contents, we see several chapter titles as follows:

~ Perfectionism: You Can't Get There From Here

~ The Revenge Rut

~ I'm Nothing Without Him

~ Transcending Loss

~ Happiness and Health

~ Ten Qualities of Happy Women

These few chapter titles should give you a clue to the overall approach that Dr Baker takes in this book - you control your level of happiness and happiness begins inside.

Definitely, I recommend that you buy yourself this golden gift wrapped with the sparkling title of What Happy Women Know.

Finale

You and I are one. We all yearn for our summum bonum (highest good).

Blessed Sunday to one and all. Let us always ring the bells of public service, progress and positive empowerment. Be happy for life is short. Find the roots of your own joie de vivre!