Happiness Is..

…as unanswerable as why did the chicken cross the road. At least that’s what I would’ve retorted had you asked me any other year but this one. Or, I would’ve given you a litany of wishes: my kids being safe and becoming kind, self-sufficient, contributive individuals; less work hours; losing twenty pounds; world peace. But at about this time last year, I decided to study happiness. I’d gotten to the point where I was sick of listening to myself talk about what was wrong and what I wanted. Life wasn’t getting easier — crises, wars, super storms…they just kept coming. I wanted to stop asking why and wishing them away. I wanted to learn how happiness happened, even in miserable conditions.

Almost exactly a year later, I am thrilled to report that I’m happier than I’ve ever been and have learned a pivotal lesson: happiness doesn’t “happen.” Happiness is a decision. It’s now, no matter the circumstances or what you want or need. Happiness is a choice, and one of the most productive you can make because it sets off a self-reinforcing chain of goodness. From it comes goal achievement (not the other way around), health (system-wide), peace, love, beauty, and more.

InSKIN-Spring2014-images-20“Goodness Begets Goodness.” Besides being the theme of our feature on yoga teacher Monique Borja, you’ll see this in the many tips and “new skin resolutions” in InSKIN, most of which benefit skin, body and mind — with multiple benefits for each! We explore how a spa hour gives you, simultaneously: 1) downtime for your brain (vital, studies show, for top performance and self improvement); 2) a de-stressing session (inflammation reduction); and 3) skin improvement. In “Get Happy”, we look into how health makes you feel happier and how happiness makes us physically healthier, too. Because your skin reflects how your insides are doing, in “Eat Right and Move”, we share tips for getting fit “skinside” and out. Goodness begetting goodness…you’re seeing it now, yes? Being good to yourself and getting healthier makes you fitter, smarter, more effective and happier…and vice versa…and helps you look fabulous while doing it.

Speaking of looking fabulous, check out our stunning spring looks! Vibrant colors for fashion mavens, romantic hues for classicists, bareness for minimalists — this spring, there’s something for everyone.

And everyone is who we care for. One of my favorite VMV photos shows a family I’ve gotten to know and adore, and it pleases me to no end that we provide safe, effective products for everyone from 9 (minutes old) to 99. We even care for those who might feel like there’s no hope. From sensitive skin to perfect skin, skin’s what we “dew.” Check out TheAllergista.com’s uplifting story on turning the “lemons” of her eczema into lemonade. We’re loving the sharing of experiences, the support, the well-researched knowledge, the hope. Small wonder we found each other (goodness works in mysterious ways!)

Above is the driveway of a friend’s home where we’ve shot many VMV photos. Lined by gnarled old trees (wisdom?) is that bright, clear path. Maybe I’m the chicken —finally crossed the road. Why is not the point, I just did. And I am happy about it! Looking to cross one of your roads to self-improvement and joy? Join the conversation online (find us on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter) and help us spread the goodness!

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Laura is the CEO of VMV Hypoallergenics and eldest daughter of our founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist. She has two children, Madison and Gavin, and works at VMV with her sister and husband (Madison and Gavin frequently volunteer their “usage testing” services). In addition to saving the world’s skin, Laura is passionate about learning, literature, art, health, science, inclusion, cultural theory, human rights, happiness and goodness.

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