6. Admire yourself. Give yourself a Windy Mountain Moment so you can appreciate who you've become.

We believe the old analogy of life being a tapestry. But we think that most of the time we live at the back of the tapestry with strings hanging everywhere. In that jumble of knots, we sometimes feel that we're just trying to stay out of the way of that big, sharp needle that keeps poking through. It's a great gift to yourself to stop and take a moment to come around to the front of the tapestry to see the beauty of a life well lived.

Here's how to have your own Windy Mountain Moment. Imagine yourself standing on top of a mountain on a beautiful, clear day. Look back down the mountain at the steep trail you took to get here. No doubt it does a lot of winding and zigzagging as you had to change direction to get around the occasional large boulder blocking the path. But you did it, and the fact that you made it up that rugged path to this spot where you are standing right now proves you are extraordinary and worthy of your own admiration. Every woman's journey involves detours, challenges, triumphs and a few harrowing moments. It is precisely because of the nature of the journey and your willingness to continue putting one foot in front of the other that you are a remarkable woman. So stand tall on this mountaintop, feel the wind in your hair and shout out at the top of your lungs, "I am an amazing woman, and I admire me."

5. Build and nurture trusting friendships. Face life's joys and challenges with a friend by your side.

Every woman needs at least one good friend to watch her live life so she can occasionally ask, "How am I doing?" trusting she'll get an honest answer. These agenda-free friends are women who want nothing more for you than for you to be your very best.

Through our 30-plus-year friendship, we have offered each other unconditional love and support. Our relationship gives us the courage to take risks knowing that whether we fail or succeed, we will still continue to support each other. We work really hard at our friendship. We know that to have a good friend, we must be a good friend. We try not to take each other for granted, we plan great friendship renewal vacations and we cheer each other's accomplishments without jealousy. And when we fight—and yes, we do get cranky and fight—we are quick to apologize. Not because we are candidates for sainthood but simply because the friendship is too important to lose.


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