by Ella Rucker
Are you happy at the moment?
In some ways, yes, in other ways, no. I am extraordinarily grateful for all of the gifts in my life, and the gift of life itself. And, there are many things that pain me in my life and in the world at large. My goal has never been happiness, though, but rather to complete my mission of evolution during this lifetime and to make a meaningful contribution to the world.
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
I would encourage myself to take the risk and join groups that would nurture me and help me grow. I would also encourage myself to take care of my body, surround myself with loving and healthy people, and develop a spiritual practice. At 16, I was engaging in harmful activities because I felt badly about myself and lacked confidence.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
The biggest and most profound way to heal is simply to be wrapped in the divine mother’s wing where you can cry, share your rejected prayers, and rest. People have told me for years that by simply showing up as me, I would heal others, yet I didn’t believe them. I always felt I had to “do something.” It wasn’t until I experienced my own illness this year and healed through the Divine Goddess (the feminine aspect of God) taking me under her wing – not doing anything except listening and holding me as I cried and rested in her arms.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I want to achieve deeper and more integrated embodiment of the feminine Divine. For me, doing so means more surrender and less effort. It means more being and less doing; letting go and simply showing up, knowing that that is enough.
What’s your secret to happiness?
Enjoy it while it lasts because it will be over soon! And then it will come back again. Then it will end again; and come back….. As a Jewish woman (a descendent of slaves and oppression) I’ve learned that one thing that keeps us enslaved is trying to feel good and be happy all the time.
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
What keeps me the most grounded is not actually any of the dozens of practices that I keep daily, but being a mother and being close to my son. He is what keeps me tethered to the earth when I feel like I’m falling off.
What’s your biggest regret?
I regret all of the sun exposure I got when I was young and foolish! I have made unwise decisions, like everyone, but there’s not much I regret, as I have always lived life to the fullest and have learned and grown from all of my experiences.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
I think in threes (spirit, body, mind) – The most important lessons I have taught my child are: (1) the significance of the Sabbath and our Jewish roots; (2) the importance of taking good care of his body through good diet, exercise, rest, and balanced living; and (3) to believe in himself!
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
Overworking and burning out.
Aside from motherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
I am most proud of the fact that I have accomplished almost everything I put my mind to, even though it seemed impossible when I began. I am proud of the fact that I have lived my life to the fullest without letting fear hold me back and keep me stagnant.
When were you happiest?
There wasn’t one time when I was happiest. Happiness has come in waves throughout my life. Feeling connected to myself, God, and other people brings me joy, and laughter is one of my favorite things in life.
What ten words best describe you?
Mystical, devoted, thoughtful, warm, passionate, sensitive, talented, perfectionistic, brave, and generous.
Heather Hans, LCSW, MSW, MBA, CPIC, is a Visionary, Healer & Teacher, and the author of The Heart of Self-Love: How to Radiate with Confidence. It is Heather's firm belief that loving oneself is necessary to have fulfilling relationships and a successful life. To have Heather's inspiration delivered directly to your inbox sign up for her Newsletter (your email will NEVER be shared).