The back of a woman in lingerie
She still recalls the purely sexual thoughts she had the first time she saw him: "Tall. Nice butt, tight jeans. And the way he walked! Oh, Lordy. I couldn't talk. I couldn't breathe." Lois Jensen, 38, of Vancouver, Washington, is describing the man she seduced on their second date, then married five months after he first took her breath away.

That was 11 years ago.

Today, when her husband, still handsome at 39, is stretched out on the bed beckoning to her, "Come do me," this mother of four is thinking, "You've got to be kidding!" Nowadays, she says, "sex is the furthest thing from my mind."

The same scenario is being played out in bedrooms across America: Women who used to enjoy good sex with their partners, and who still love them, say that now they would just as soon go straight to sleep. An estimated 24 million American women aren't interested in sex, based on a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. car, a full social calendar. But you know what? I was still deeply unfulfilled.

To create a new life for myself, I had to get clear about who I was, what I believed and what I thought was important. And I began that process by using a new yardstick, a new measure of what authentic success meant for me. What I discovered: Having joy is authentic success. But to experience joy, I had to first learn what brought me joy—not that fleeting happiness I got when I completed a project, but that deep—down contentment that comes from recognizing my own worth. Then I had to align every part of my life with what brought me joy.

Here's what I know: Every woman deserves joy. If you're willing to ask yourself two key questions—and give truthful answers—you can begin to experience a life free of the anxiety and emptiness that once confounded me. These two questions seem deceptively simple—maybe even obvious—but I promise you that if you really contemplate your responses, you will free up your inner power and unbury your joy. And you'll begin to live the life you desire today.