The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life

is a book by Sara Avant Stover  (I found it at the library this evening and it’s my current favorite.)  Here’s a quote from the preface written by Kate Northrup Moller, (daughter of one of my health heroes, Christiane Northrup, MD) and she expresses well what I want people to know about the health coaching program, a six-month adventure in health, that I will soon be offering (for more info, visit

“Your body knows the answers already.  She has led you to pick up this book (or to schedule your initial complimentary health consultation with Lily).  She is the only one you get this lifetime.  You are the only one going all the way with you this time around.  Follow Sara’s (or Lily’s) refreshing guidance to incorporate only what resonates with you in this book (or six-month adventure in health) instead of attacking it like a new program, some sort of regimen to whip yourself into shape, or adding it to your already full to-do list.  Your body thrives on love.  Treat her as the divine creature she is, and I promise, she will never steer you wrong.”

And here’s a quote from Sara’s introduction to her book:

You Are The One You’ve Been Waiting For.  No doctor, spouse, TV personality, yoga instructor or medicine woman can heal you.  She can help support and inspire you, no doubt.  She can show you the way.  But ultimately you have to take the power back into your own hands and treat each moment as an opportunity to reclaim your health, and, in turn, your wholeness and happiness.  Being healthy isn’t about doing everything right and having everything go your way; rather, it is a way of being and perceiving yourself and the world with honesty – of showing up for life fully.”


I woke this morning at 2:30AM when Panda, the cat, came in from outside the apartment where I am house-sitting and walked around my head on my pillow.  I was pretty upset and tried to go back to sleep but I was too worked up.  I decided to get up and play the piano.  I love playing the piano.  I started taking piano lessons when I was 11 or so.  I continued for about 9 years, until I decided to  become a sailor and go to sea.  The ships I worked on didn’t have pianos, so I would play a few times a year when I was home.  I found a practice room in the library when I moved to Portland, ME a few years back.  I spent the occasional wintery afternoon exploring what was left of my musical repertoire.  I felt, then and now, really excited to be back in touch with my piano playing self.

Next activity on my morning adventure was the discovery of a book by Pema Chodron on the book shelf behind the piano.  It’s called Start Where You Are: A Guide To Compassionate Living.  Within the first few pages I was drawn in and felt my insides starting to melt a bit.  After a little writing about what I had read, and about my fierce reaction to the cat, I was ready to watch a movie: the Devil Wears Prada.  It made me laugh, and also reminded me what a difference it can make to wear clothes that make me feel fabulous.


As the movie ended, I noticed that the sky was starting to lighten.  I figured I had better take advantage of the fact that I was up this early, and go out and enjoy the sunrise.  I dressed warmly, and armed with my camera and my bicyle helmet, I cycled down to the harbor and walked along the beach.  The air was still and the water perfectly calm, picture perfect.  I walked down the beach towards Grace, the sculling boat that was born from a vision of my father’s to have a community rowing program on the island.  I could see that there were a few people gathering on the sand near her stern, and before I knew it, I had been invited to go out rowing, and we were stroking steadily for the outer harbor.


It was an absolutely ideal morning for a row, the water still, and the air not too cold.  Soon after we started, my hands began to ache.  Near the end of our trip I finally figured out how to hold the sweep (the big, long oar) properly, and “play the piano” with my fingers as I pushed so I didn’t grip the round wooden handle too hard.  I practiced letting the blade of the sweep dip just below the surface of water as we pulled the boat forward.  I turned the long wooden oar to feather the flat end, letting it glide just above the ripples on the way back.  Occasionally, when I got in the groove, it felt meditative.  Even when it didn’t feel easy or smooth, I knew that I was in the right place at the right time.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Alyssa
    Dec 03, 2011 @ 02:17:42

    Beautiful writing & pictures to go along with your thoughts. What a lovely surprise morning you had for yourself all because of Panda the cat.. funny how life hands you these little adventures. xxx


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