Tips, Tools and Perspective for Being More Empowered

Welcome to my self-empowerment blog--as seen in The Huffington Post Guide to Blogging! I used to be a wimp and never got taken seriously. When I became one of the first chicks to start a record label, I learned to navigate the male dominated music industry and earned respect, without raising my voice or getting overtly tough. I transferred those skills into all areas of life and now get what I want from most people. I'll share those lessons here by talking about my observations of situations and habits that hold both men and women back from being as empowered as possible. I'll also give tips for more effective communication, handling yourself with more confidence, and in general, how to come across as more serious--whether it's at work, dealing with an annoying phone company, your mother, a romantic partner and anyone else you want to feel more in control with. Everybody can use more tools for taking control of their lives, like in my latest book, Nice Girls Can Finish First (McGraw-Hill). Please subscribe if you'd like more!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Women Get a Heart Advocate

It’s concerned me for a while that so much health research is done on men. Then the facts are generalized to include women. This isn’t good for women, since our bodies are very different. So are our needs and the symptoms of health problems. Heart disease is the number one killer of women. Yet many people ignore symptoms in a woman having a heart attack because she's not having the same ones as men. Dr. John A. Elefteriades and Dr. Teresa Caulin-Glaser want to change that!

I’m grateful that they wrote the recently released, The Woman’s Heart: An Owner's Guide (Prometheus Books, 2008), dedicated to a woman’s heart. They kindly allowed me to excerpt some below. The authors examine the differences in the structure and function of the heart in women, exploring the effects of hormonal influence as well as the phases of the lifecycle. They provide a description of the symptoms of heart disease specific to women.

Even if you’re not a woman, become aware of the signs of heart disease in half the population!

The authors’ goal is to provide an “owner’s manual” for women to take care of their hearts; to be more attuned to female symptoms of heart disease. If you should develop or currently suffer from heart disease, this book will make you well versed on general options and expectations. Whether you’re a woman or you want to be more vigilant about the health of a woman you care about, pay attention to this book! If your love partner, or mom, female friend or YOU complain about symptoms that are often written off, you might save her life!

The Woman’s Heart
By John A. Elefteriades MD and Teresa Caulin-Glaser MD

When it comes to the health of hearts, the differences between men and women can have serious consequences. Because heart disease in women is often dissimilar to that of men, our medical system has been guilty of under-recognition and substandard scientific investigation and clinical treatment of women’s heart disease. The quintessential image of angina (the medical term for chest pain or discomfort due to disease of the blood vessels of the heart) usually shows a middle aged man clutching his chest in agony. This is the mental picture imprinted in physicians’ consciousness from the first day of medical school.

The physician has not been conditioned to think immediately of coronary heart disease in the female patient. Women, we are beginning to realize, may not feel heart attack pain in the same way men do. By virtue of her hormonal protections, the woman was considered to be practically immune to coronary artery disease until well after the change of life. This assumption likely affects how physicians regard the threat of a heart attack in their female patients. It also often prevents women from being appropriately screened for risk factors for heart disease before they reach menopause or have a heart attack.

For decades, virtually no scientific research addressed the specific manifestations of heart diseases in women. This phenomenon led to powerful regulations from the National Institutes of Health requiring enhanced enrollment of female subjects in heart research. In recent years, study after study has shown that heart disease eludes detection in women, even in the hands of otherwise superbly trained and widely experienced physicians. Furthermore, once heart disease is diagnosed, aggressive treatment and secondary preventive therapies in women are often less optimal as compared with those for men.

The concept that women are immune to heart disease is, simply put, a fallacy. After menopause, women catch up very quickly to men in the prevalence of coronary artery disease. Equally important, in women younger than fifty who do suffer a heart attack, the statistics are frightening: these women are twice as likely to die during their hospitalization for the heart attack as compared with men. Consider the following sobering facts:

MYTH: Breast cancer is the number one killer of women.
FACT: Cardiovascular disease kills the most women. While breast cancer claims 42,000 women in the United States each year, cardiovascular disease accounts for the deaths of 500,000 women in the United States annually. In fact, three times as many women die of heart disease each year as from all cancers combined. Virtually half of all female deaths are caused by heart disease.

MYTH: Only men are affected by heart attacks.
FACT: More women than men die of heart attacks each year. This has been true since 1984. Currently, women represent nearly 55 percent of all deaths from cardiovascular disease.

MYTH: Women and men have the same symptoms during a heart attack.
FACT: Women are often delayed in seeking or receiving care for heart attacks. The symptoms of heart attack may be different in women than in men. Men more often experience the classic chest pain and pressure, while in women, the symptoms may manifest themselves only as gastrointestinal discomfort/pain, shortness of breath, shoulder/ arm/upper back discomfort/pain, nausea, jaw pain, extreme fatigue, dizziness, or any combination of these. The woman herself or the treating physician may fail to recognize the symptoms and to reach the correct diagnosis.

MYTH: Only postmenopausal women are at risk for heart disease or have heart attacks.
FACT: Generally, women are protected from coronary artery disease until menopause. However, this is not absolute. Before the change of life, vascular disease is held in check by the woman’s hormones as well as a low likelihood of cardiac risk factors. The occurrence of heart disease in younger women is usually related to the presence of very strong risk factors such as a family history of heart disease, tobacco use, diabetes mellitus, or markedly abnormal cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, with the increasing incidence of obesity, smoking, inactivity, hypertension, and diabetes in teenagers and young women, we may see heart disease at increasingly younger ages in the future.

MYTH: Men are more likely than woman to die from a heart attack.
FACT: Men are at higher risk for all types of heart problems, compared with women. Although we tend to think of heart disease as a male phenomenon, certain cardiac illnesses actually occur more commonly in women. Among those cardiac diseases are mitral valve prolapse, rheumatic fever, and ulcers of the aorta (the main artery of the body).

MYTH: The accuracy of diagnostic testing for heart disease is equal in men and women
FACT: Some noninvasive testing for heart disease can often lead to false positive results in women (that is, the test result suggests that heart disease is present when it is not). For example, in one of the most useful diagnostic tests for coronary artery disease—the nuclear stress test—the images can be misleading for one simple reason: the shadow of the left breast obscures the camera’s view of the heart’s shadow.

MYTH: Men are more likely than woman to die from a heart attack.
FACT: Heart attacks are more lethal in women than in men up to the age of seventy-five, when the death rates become equal. Younger women have a particularly high risk for death from a heart attack, compared with younger men.

MYTH: A woman who has not had a heart attack is not at risk for developing heart failure.
FACT: Almost 63 percent of deaths from heart failure occur in women. Untreated high blood pressure places a woman at a greater risk to develop heart failure compared with a man—even if she has never had a heart attack.

For all these reasons, it is imperative that women be well informed about recognition and treatment of heart illness.
Excerpted from The Woman’s Heart: An Owner’s Guide by John A. Elefteriades, MD, and Teresa Caulin-Glaser, MD (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2008). Copyright ©2008 by John A. Elefteriades and Teresa Caulin-Glaser. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the publisher.

John A. Elefteriades, MD is chief of cardiothoracic surgery and professor of surgery at Yale University School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Hospital and co-author of Your Heart: An Owner’s Guide and House Officer Guide to ICU Care.
Teresa Caulin-Glaser, MD, FACC is Director of Preventive Cardiology and Research at the McConnell Heart Health Center, Riverside Methodist Hospital, a clinical associate professor of Internal Medicine at Ohio State University and co-author of four medical textbooks and numerous journal articles.
Check out The Woman’s Heart: An Owner’s Guide

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Monday, August 25, 2008

The Law of Attraction in Action: Service People

Every Monday I’ll try to post something for my Law of Attraction series that I was motivated to start after watching the You Can Heal Your Life, the movie, expanded version, from Louise Hay. I want to share the lessons I’ve learned for manifesting a happier life and specific goodies. Today I’ll address how I used a spiritual approach, along with the techniques I spell out in my upcoming Nice Girls Can Finish First book (which work for guys as well!), to deal with an ongoing problem with my Apple iBook G4 laptop.

First I’ll say I’m a devout Mac-a-holic! I’ve always bought Apple computers and plan to continue. We Mac-a-holics are known for our loyalty to the brand. And my iBook G4 is absolutely my favorite by far.

As a professional writer, I live in my computer, so I get attached. This laptop fits so perfectly on a table when I take it for brunch or to a coffee shop to do some writing. It’s lighter than the others too. But while I love the laptop in general, I didn’t love the loud buzzing noises it made, and the quirky irregular patterns I noticed. At first I just lived with it. But, I didn’t like my battery burning out suddenly. I got another but after the computer got especially loud and had weird symptoms, the second one went from lasting 4 ½ hours to just over an hour in a day. So I brought it in to the Apple Genius Bar. Since I was under warranty, I got a free battery and a suggestion to have it sent out for repairs.

After several more visits to stop the loud fan noise and other issues, I was tired of the tech guys acting like nothing was wrong with it and they wouldn’t let me leave it for repair. Then, almost by divine intervention, my screen suddenly went dark. That was a problem they had to acknowledge and I left it with them in February. Several parts were replaced. I was lucky to be able to borrow a laptop during that time.

After 2 weeks of writing bliss on a quiet laptop, the loud noises resumed. I was writing 2 books at once, along with a few smaller projects, and couldn’t afford to be without it. I tried the Genius bar but was again pooh-poohed and only half listened to when I laid out the patterns I’d observed. My warranty was going to expire this week so I needed to do something. Then the same pattern as last time cranked the noise up higher and my battery went again. But I didn’t want to have to go back in and argue with someone who might not listen carefully or take my problem seriously.

Each time I went to the store, I felt like they treated me like I imagine a doctor who thinks someone is a hypochondriac does. Since the noises, etc. mainly happened intermittently, and after I’d been working for a while, the tech guys never heard them or saw most of the other things. Or they blamed it on the settings.

So I did what I advise in my book. I went to the Consumer Action website and called the number they had for Apple. I asked for a supervisor when someone answered and was put through to a Product Specialist after I explained my problem, without letting my anger or frustration show. I spoke nicely to the Product Specialist as I explained that I wanted everything recorded, before I brought the laptop in, since I needed it fixed right this time. He listened carefully to my list of symptoms and wrote them down. It was a relief.

The Product Specialist said it was probably the Logic board (which many others who knew Macs had suggested) or the DC inboard. He assured me that he’d made careful notes in my file and he’d monitor the repair. Once again I borrowed a laptop and brought it in, 3 weeks ago. I asked to have it sent out but they insisted on keeping it. Three days later someone called and asked what was wrong with it. I told him the notes were all there but went through it again with him.

The next day, someone else called to say they found the problem—my battery was no good! Hello! That’s a symptom, not the cause. I almost went ballistic that no one had read the notes so far or paid attention to all the things that were going wrong. I was back to being treated like a hypochondriac!! I explained the other things that had been happening and he was surprised, like I hadn’t told 3 others before him.

Looking back, I expected these guys to not take my complaints seriously and not work fast, and that’s what happened! That’s the Law of attraction in action—in a way I didn’t want!

The next night yet another person called to ask what was wrong, since he thought it was the battery. I took some deep breaths and nicely but firmly explained that I’d had enough of this and needed my computer back—fixed properly. I dropped the emotions behind my expectations of things screwing up and got serious in my intention to get it fixed. I was polite but very serious and he knew it. I firmly said that someone needed to read the notes in my file or I would keep going higher until I got some resolution. It was Sunday so I couldn’t call the helpful Product Specialist but I would the next day. The tech guy promised to read the notes.

When I returned from my run early Monday, there was a message from the guy the night before, apologizing and saying they’d replace the 2 major parts the Product Specialist had recommended. The Product Specialist called me back and said if I didn’t have it by Friday, fixed to my satisfaction, he’d overnight me a new one. I had it Thursday night. They replaced the logic board and dc inboard, after holding it for 9 days!

But it didn’t end here, and I had to use the Law of Attraction to deal positively.

I had 5 days of writing heaven and felt so relaxed not writing on a loud buzzing computer. But on Wednesday I began noticing quirks again. My mouse arrow disappeared for a while. The computer started shutting off randomly on Thursday. I ran right to the Apple store. This time the supervisor saw the big black box that kept popping up saying to reboot due to a problem. He thought it needed a new airport care and said I could leave it overnight Friday and probably have it back the next day, IF that was it.

The blessing? I stopped being treated like a hypochondriac since they saw the problem this time!

When I left it on Friday night, I put it into God's hands to get it back repaired properly on Saturday. I have a major book deadline this week and another book I must work on, so I needed my laptop and couldn’t borrow one again. I spent the day out of the city. I didn’t feel well all day, which put a damper on my visit with a friend. My body was on edge, which affected me in many ways.

I got a message in the afternoon that the problem was the logic board, which was replaced last week! And, they had none in the store so it had to be sent out. I was truly surprised as I had complete faith that it would be fixed when I got home Saturday night. I got stressed but told my friend I'd pick it up when I got home. I refused to accept I’d be without it again. I didn’t call back and trusted that God wouldn’t let me down.

While I was very upset over the whole situation, I kept my thoughts on no more drama over the laptop.

On the way home, I felt really lousy from all the stress. Thursday night I’d had to wait 3 hours in the store, like waiting in the emergency room for the doctors to help a loved one ☺ and got home after midnight. Then I had to bring it in Friday night. It affected my sleep both nights. So I was tired, stressed and grouchy. I didn’t want to put this negativity out to the Universe and knew I had to turn it around fast!

I began saying positive affirmations and used my newly acquired Reiki skills to turn my situation around. It began on the train ride home and continued as I walked home from the station. “I am very healthy, very happy, very relaxed and very energized. My computer is working fine. All is well in my world.” Over and over. As I walked home chanting this, I noticed my hands relax and the knots in my tummy leave. I felt empowered again, relaxed and confident in God's hands.

When I saw a message on my machine when I got home, I said, “good news only!” Unbelievably, a logic board had arrived at the store suddenly. They installed it in my laptop, which was working fine! I could pick it up. As of mid afternoon on a Saturday they didn’t stock logic boards for my laptop. but one was delivered late on a weekend. Miracles truly happen when you make the Law of Attraction work for you! I felt lousy, thought about how lousy I felt and continued to feel lousy. When I changed my thoughts, and put some passion behind them, all my ailments disappeared and a logic board suddenly arrived at the Apple store.

I screamed thanks to God, over and over and over. My decision to stop all the negatives threw a switch in me and then the energy and consciousness I put out.

We all have the power to control our outcomes but it’s so easy to forget. I encourage others to do it but had to remind myself to put the Law of Attraction into positive action. When you need good service and get into a mindset of expecting a good outcome—before you make the call or go in person. I did that before I called the Product Specialist and have an advocate to help me. When I dropped the negative expectations of the tech guys, good service manifested too.

I will call the Product Specialist now and ask WHEN my new laptop will arrive. ☺ He promised me a new one if it wasn’t fixed properly by a week ago Friday and it wasn’t. Even now, I have fonts missing and other little things. Who knows when it might give me trouble again? So I do believe I deserve a new laptop based on the promise. That’s my expectation to the Universe. I’ll let you know WHEN I get it! ☺

Thanks to these Blog Carnivals for including this article:

Carnival of Self-Mastery

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Finding Blessings on a Bad Day

The last 2 weeks have been stressful, with my internet service down on several days and my computer in the shop for 9 days. I also had the edits for both my new books given to me on the same day last week and undoing some of the editor’s damage for one of them increased my agita. My deadline for it was yesterday. I worked long days on it and did little else. Right after I finished it last night, my computer went off for no reason. Grrr…. I was at the Apple store for hours and must bring it in tonight to leave it for at least a day as they replace another part. It's still shutting off randomly still so my nerves are shot as I work and save every few words. That’s why I haven’t posted on this blog all week.

Because of all of the above, I felt out of line with my flow. Life didn’t seem so good—until I posted at least one blessing each day on my Conscious Gratitude list on Yahoo.

Each day as I was frustrated by a tech problem or editor, I looked for blessings and found them. Posting them made me feel blessed, despite the glitches going on. It kept my spirits up. I began my Conscious Gratitude list last year. Anyone can join and post their blessings. I read everyone else’s and it revs me, also reminding me of things I might not have thought to feel gratitude about. Small things that are a blessing to someone else remind me that I have that blessing too.

Finding your blessings when things are going right is easy and fun.

* I got a raise—Yeah!
* My romantic partner did something special for me—Yummy!
* The weather is glorious and I have time off—Fun!

And so on. It truly is good to count those blessings and show appreciation for what you have. As I’ve said in other posts, expressing gratitude attracts more things to be grateful for, and it feels good. So enjoy the days when blessings are easy to count.

The trouble is, we often neglect counting our blessings when they’re not obvious. Finding them when things aren’t going right can seem impossible, especially if you focus on the negatives. But that’s when you need to find them the most! When things aren't going so well, finding blessings can pick up your mood. There’s always a blessing if you look! Often many if you don’t stop looking. So look!

I’ve gone hiking high in mountains with little growing. It’s windy and dry. But every once in a while, there’s a little flowering plant in the midst of flat dry ground. Now that’s a blessing to appreciate! Often you need to stop and think about what you have to be grateful for or find the blessing in a situation that doesn’t seem like one.

* You may feel overworked but someone smiled at you.
* It may be a freezing cold day, but that burns more calories!
* You learned a valuable lesson from making a bad mistake.

There’s always a blessing in the darkness if you grope around for it.

This week I found my blessings, despite my frustration about working without my laptop and a days without emails. I had the blessing of being able to borrow a laptop to work on. And the blessing of getting more work done without emails. I might not have thought of them had I not consciously looked for blessings to post.

That’s part of why I love my Conscious Gratitude list. Being able to post blessings every day keeps me more conscious of the ones I have. My desire to post forces me to look for them, which is a blessing in itself! It really helps to keep me positive when circumstances may not seem that way. I also like getting ideas from what others post and read every one because of it. Often I see what someone else considers a blessing and think “I have that too!” So my list can also serve as a consciousness-raising.

If you’d like to join the list and experience a consciousness-raising for your own blessings, please join. It’s free, there’s no obligation to post, and nobody comments on what you write. You can read more about it at Conscious Gratitude.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Developing a Nonverbal Advantage

DoorMats make a bad impression when their insecurity shows, which is often all the time! It was obvious that I had no confidence when I lived in DoorMatville. Yet first impressions can opens doors fast or close them right up. There are things you can consciously do to improve the initial impact you make on someone.

I’m delighted to have Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D. as my guest today. She’s an executive coach, author and keynote speaker who addresses association, government, and business audiences around the world. Her latest book and program topic is The Nonverbal Advantage - Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work. Below are her suggestions for altering your behavior to take control of how people judge you in the first 7 seconds. She’s an expert in this, so pay attention! ☺

by Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D.

You're at a business conference or a neighborhood party and you turn to the stranger standing next to you. She turns to face you and in seven seconds you've already decided whether you like her and whether she is competent, confident, and trustworthy. Sure, your opinion may change once you get to know the person better, but that first impression will always linger.

And as you're consciously and unconsciously evaluating her, she's also making the same kind of instantaneous judgments about you.

While you can't stop people from making snap decisions - the human brain is hardwired in this way as a prehistoric survival mechanism - you can understand how to make those decisions work in your favor. Here are seven powerful ways to make a positive first impression:

1. Adjust your attitude. People pick up your attitude instantly. Before you turn to greet someone, or enter an office for a business interview, or step onstage to make a presentation, think about the situation and make a conscious choice about the attitude you want to embody. Attitudes that attract people include friendly, happy, receptive, patient, approachable, welcoming, helpful and curious. Attitudes that are off-putting include angry, impatient, bored, arrogant, afraid, disheartened, and suspicious.

2. Stand tall. Pull your shoulders back and hold your head high. This is a posture of confidence and self-esteem.

3. Smile. A smile is an invitation, a sign of welcome. It says, "I'm friendly and approachable."

4. Make eye contact. Looking at someone's eyes transmits energy and indicates interest and openness. (To improve your eye contact, make a practice of noticing the eye color of everyone you meet.)

5. Raise your eyebrows. Open your eyes slightly more than normal to simulate the "eyebrow flash" that is the universal signal of recognition and acknowledgement.

6. Lean in slightly. Leaning forward shows you're engaged and interested. But be respectful of the other person's space. That means, in most business situations, staying about two feet away.

7. Shake hands. This is the quickest way to establish rapport. It's also the most effective. Research shows it takes an average of three hours of continuous interaction to develop the same level of rapport that you can get with a single handshake. (Just make sure you have palm-to-palm contact and that the web of you hand touches the web of the other person's.)

Every encounter, from business conferences to PTA meetings, presents an opportunity to meet people, network, and expand your professional and personal contacts by making a positive first impression. You've got just seven seconds - but if you handle it well, seven seconds are all you need!

In her book, The Nonverbal Advantage - Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work, Carol Kinsey Goman explains how good nonverbal communication can give you a great advantage. There are lots of obvious and also subtle suggestions for giving yourself the best possible chance to get taken seriously and maximize the impact you make on others. Check out Carol Kinsey Goman's websites--: and more information about her or the services she offers or email her at

Monday, August 11, 2008

Law of Attraction in Action: Concrete Use of This Power

This is the first in a series on using the Law of Attraction. There’s been a lot of hype about it lately. When Oprah did some shows when the book and DVD, The Secret, came out, it sold like crazy. Many people are looking for easy answers and ways to get what they want. The idea of expressing what you want, and getting it, is very appealing.

But using the Law of Attraction isn’t nearly as simple as The Secret made it look. Nor is it a secret!

The people in The Secret DVD didn’t invent or discover the Law of Attraction. My “idol,” Louise Hay, wrote about it in 1984, in her book, You Can Heal Your Life. When I read this book, I began life as I know it today. It made me realize that I lived a spiritual lifestyle because when I expected things to happen from my heart, they did.

The book emphasizes that we get back what we give out. Our thoughts control what happens to us and what we get. It was a wakeup call that could shatter the earthquake Richter scale. I devoured its pages as light bulbs went off, then bells and whistles woke me up completely. That was when the DoorMat fully found her power! Since then, I’ve used the Law of Attraction to shed my DoorMat layers and become a very empowered woman.

So I watched The Secret DVD after seeing it on Oprah. I was curious. And I learned a lot.

But I do think it’s misleading in how they make getting what you want sound so easy. I wasn’t a novice when I watched, so I could take from it what was helpful. Someone looking for a quick fix might watch, wish for something, and then give up when it didn’t work.

Now Louise Hay has put out her own DVD, You Can Heal Your Life, the movie, expanded version. It’s simple and a lot clearer. It doesn’t have the drama of a little boy wishing for a bicycle and getting it. The expanded movie has talks by a variety of people I admire. It’s a lot cheaper than The Secret, yet it has the bonus input from people I hold in high esteem, including Wayne Dyer, Christiane Northrup and Esther Hicks. They and many more are in the movie too! Louise Hay narrates it all in her soothing voice.

Louise Hay’s movie bought me back to my spiritual roots. In loving tones, expert after expert shares their wisdom. It reminded me of some tools that I already know but don’t remember to use. Reading or watching something once can be very helpful. Reading and watching more than once reinforces the principles. Over the next few weeks I’ll share some of the lessons on this DVD and how I’ve used them for my benefit. Since watching it, I’ve decided that I must learn all I can and focus on implementing what I learn.

One thing I was reminded of is to change my perception of what seems like a negative situation.

The morning after my conscious was raised, I got an email from the agent for my last book, with the subject saying, “Bad news. This is awful.” Before I read the message, I affirmed that the news would be good. When I opened it, I learned a writer had questioned the need for my book in her newspaper column. It’s a popular paper and she has a popular column. My first response was ouch!

Then I remembered my lesson and looked for the good in the situation.

The writer didn’t trash the book. She just didn’t think it was necessary. So it wasn’t negative! I wrote the agent back saying that I was blessed to have this article about the book. While it wasn’t positive, it did make a lot of people aware of my title. And I expected something good to come from it. An hour tater, l began to get emails from people who heard Howard Stern talking about my book! Robin had read the article and mentioned the title on air. That began a discussion about it. Nothing negative. Just talking about the book itself.
I expected it to become a positive and it really did!

Coincidence? Skeptics think so. But I know that expecting a positive from that seemingly negative situation made it happen. I’ve done it many times every since. MANY! Looking for the blessing in all situations helps you to find them. Next time something negative happens to you, use affirmations to turn it around:

• “Everything will work out for my highest good.
• “Everything happens for a reason. Whatever will be will be.”
• “Out of this only good will come.”

You can turn situations around with your thoughts if you consciously choose to. Look for the good in what you don’t like. There’s always something. Many years ago, before I was published, I’d written a book and got a top agent to rep me. She said there would probably be a bidding war on my book and was asking for 6 figures. She suggested I buy a good, conservative suit to wear to meetings with potential editors. So I did, even though it wasn’t my style, I dropped $300 on one she liked.

I go very excited and told everyone I knew. Six figures seemed like a lot so I thought about what I’d do with that money. But it all fell through. Kaboom! No offers. Not one.

I was devastated—for a few hours. In the past it would have made me give up and be depressed, living in a “why me?” mentality. But after licking my wounds, I affirmed that it happened for a reason and I’d discover it when the time as right. I’ve learned to look back to find reasons for things I don’t like happen. It may take a while but I ALWAYS find the reason. ALWAYS! Finding reasons for why things didn’t go the way you wanted you to allows you to create more blessings.

Finding reasons also helps reinforce accepting that everything happens for a reason. Now that I believe it with all my heart, I can relax if things don’t go my way.

Not getting a book deal felt like a setback at first. I was speaking often and attendees wanted to buy my book. Since I didn’t get a book deal, over the next year I created 6 self-empowerment print newsletters so I’d have something to sell. It forced me to learn how to do graphics on my computer and I designed a really nice publication. People subscribed. I wrote articles I felt proud of. Doing it helped me truly find my writing voice. I wrote for my readers, not for an agent or publisher. Doing this newsletter gave me the confidence to pursue my writing career harder.

I'm selling them out for 8 bucks for all 6, including postage (original price was $18.50). If you're interested, email me at to find out how to get them. They were my magic wands, the first step towards my freedom to do what I wanted.

It took over a year but I found several reasons for not getting a book deal: I was meant to write the newsletter first, to define my writing voice more clearly. Later, I realized that I was glad I didn’t write the original book. It would have sent me in a different direction and I love the one I’m in now!

Find the reasons for why your life takes a path you don’t like. Look back and figure out what blessings came out of what seemed negative. If you look, you’ll find them. Part of using the Law of Attraction is accepting that good can come out of anything. That allows your life to flow peacefully, instead of getting stressed out about life’s road bumps. If you want a real spiritual treat, pick up You Can Heal Your Life, the movie, expanded version. You can watch the movie itself or when you need a shorter reinforcement, watch one of Louise’s guests give a talk. This double CD packs a huge punch for a lot less than The Secret. It takes you on a clearer path too, to find your way to using the Law of Attraction effectively.

Stay tuned for more posts on this topic.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

We All Stink Sometimes

There are lots of unrealistic expectations that MANY women, and some men, try to live up to. We push ourselves to lose weight to fit the unrealistic body image that the media portrays as normal. We strive for perfection at all costs. When I was a DoorMat, I did everything I could to be what I thought people expected. It didn’t always work out that way but oh, how I tried. Our appearance isn’t the only area of unrealistic expectations.

Women take perfection to a whole other level when it comes to being sweet smelling and clean for guys, who often reinforce this expectation, while having a lot less regard for their own odors.

Some men expect women to be perfect about hygiene and body functions. And many of us buy into needing to be “ladylike”—neat, clean, soft, and sweet smelling. We shave and tweeze and wax and exfoliate and use creams and bathe, and anything else we can do to maintain that image. What pressure many women go through to camouflage what happens naturally!

Things that are considered totally acceptable in men may be deemed unladylike in women. Yet our bodies function in similar ways and emit odors too!

Natural body functions are often seen as unfeminine. While a majority of both sexes prefer not to think about it, women sweat, have gas, and do other things that create odors. I don’t want to gross out anyone, but it’s true. Being in denial is stressful for women, and often unhealthy if we hold things in. Women are human! Contrary to media images of odorless, noiseless beings, women have body functions that create sounds and odors.

Yet many of us go to great lengths to hide it. It does take its toll.

Some women are in denial about what’s considered unfeminine. I’ve heard some say they don’t sweat—they “glow” or “radiate.” Hello! We all sweat, and if it’s hot and sticky, it stinks. When I return from a run in Central Park, I’m happy to avoid everyone! Let’s be real. We’re human. But our fear of turning men off creates tremendous pressure. It’s time for everyone to accept that women are as human as men.

Where does the need to deny natural bi-products from? Some of it is just insecurity in general. Not being comfortable in your own skin can make you more self-conscious about anything that’s not perfect. But it takes on another level when you’re afraid your romantic partner will get turned off by your natural body functions. Some men experience it too. Even though everyone has some stinky moments, it can be embarrassing in front of others, especially those you want to think well of you.

But it goes from silly to unhealthy when it comes to some bathroom functions. You know what I mean! Many, and I mean MANY women say they’d rather make themselves sick by holding in what needs to come out because of the smell. Everyone does something that smells. Yet we all act like ours is unique. While I know this, I’m with those of you who feel self-conscious.

It’s embarrassing to leave an odor behind. Few people feel good about leaving a bathroom stinky or going into one after someone else left it stinky. But not going for days is unhealthy and shouldn’t happen. MANY women say they hold it in for days and then take a laxative when they’re alone. This is detrimental to your health!

Well I have good news for men and women who are embarrassed to go to the bathroom and leave an odor behind.

I just tried a product called Poo~Pourri ® and can attest that it works. Suzy Batiz was into natural products and learned how to use aromatherapy and essential oils. She created a spray for the toilet bowl using all-natural essential oils. You spray it directly into the toilet water before sitting down. The oils absorb the odor and flush it down. It doesn’t mask odor like air fresheners. It removes it. Poo~Pourri ® traps odors under a layer of film. Then you flush it all down.

After flushing, all that lingers is a pleasant scent. So people who don't know you use Poo~Pourri will think yours does smell sweet! There are choices of scents to order. Another perk is that the packaging is very nice and looks discreet on your shelf. They also make it in a small bottle size so you can have it with you when visiting friends, for a romantic sleepover, at work and any time you might hesitate to go to the bathroom because others are around.

Congratulations to Suzy Batiz for creating a product that will help millions of women keep their digestion regular, alleviate embarrassment for many men, and allow everyone to use the bathroom, wince free! From now on, I’ll keep it with me! ☺Check out Poo~Pourri for yourself.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Staying in the Present at Work

I’ve been writing about how to live more in the NOW and not let past issues influence your present mood, decisions and view of your life in general. We often carry old baggage into work. If you develop workplace relationships based on things that happened with others in the past, it can adversely affect your job.

Today I have an article by Debra Mandel, Ph.D., renowned psychologist, columnist, speaker, media expert is the author of several books, including Your Boss Is Not Your Mother: Eight Steps to Eliminating Office Drama and Creating Positive Relationships and Work, Healing the Sensitive Heart and two CDs, Creating Healthy Boundaries in the Workplace and The Abuser Friendly Syndrome. She has appeared on multiple national television and radio programs, and has hosted her own radio show. Dr. Debra's suggestions can apply to other areas of your life too!

Workplace Relationships
By Debra Mandel, Ph.D

According to, 66 percent of women who are unhappy at work attribute it to their relationships with coworkers. People like these suffer because they continually get sucked into needless workplace drama—with coworkers, bosses, subordinates, and clients. In doing so, they’re usually replicating problems they had with parents, siblings, or others in childhood. Once ensnarled, they don’t have the knowledge or tools necessary to escape these traps.

As a clinical psychologist with more than twenty years of experience, I’ve worked with hundreds of people whose unhealed childhood bruises have caused them problems in the workplace. Although most of us understand that “old stuff” can affect intimate relationships, we’re caught off guard when they affect workplace interactions.

Nevertheless, once those familiar buttons get pushed, we may transform our overbearing boss into a bullying older brother, or respond to the judgmental coworker as though she is the parent who failed to applaud us for our achievements.

Mind you, unhealed hurts don’t have to be the result of blatantly abusive experiences. Millions of people walk around unaware that events from childhood might still affect them today. For instance, Jenny had grown up realizing that her parents loved her, even though they weren’t demonstratively affectionate toward her or generous in their praise. She hadn’t realized until she was in her thirties that she ached for approval from others because she had never been given enough strokes as a youth. In the workplace, she unknowingly played out this emotional lack by being an excessive people-pleaser, which caused her to lose the respect of her coworkers. Yes, her parents did love her, but they missed the boat when it came to fulfilling this very important developmental need. In fact, most people’s emotional “bruises” come from well-intended caregivers who did the best they could in raising.

As a result, it’s often very difficult for people to acknowledge their old hurts—let alone understand how these affect them in the present.

Regardless of how a wound came about, if it’s still sore—consciously or unconsciously—it’s bound to wreak havoc in the workplace. Ask yourself the following questions to see whether you have old bruises manifesting in the workplace:

1. Do you expect coworkers, bosses, or employees to be your friends?
2. Do you expect or wish that coworkers, bosses, or employees would grant you special favors when you perform below standard, such as when you’ve been out sick, shown up late, or missed a deadline?
3. Do you wish that your boss or coworkers appreciated you more?
4. Do you take responsibility for the workload of others who are slacking off?
5. Do you have a fear of conflict that keeps you from speaking up about unfairness?
6. Do you censor yourself because you fear being fired or hurting someone’s feelings?
7. Do you go out of your way to befriend people in the workplace whom you would not want to be friends with outside of the workplace?
8. Do you envy other people’s success?
9. Do you have trouble keeping boundaries with your coworkers (e.g., you let them know things about your personal life that have nothing to do with your work situation)?
10. Do you feel hurt or become defensive when you receive criticism about your work performance?
11. Do you ever feel that others in your field judge you harshly even when no one has voiced criticism?
12. Do you have difficulty not thinking about your work or the workplace when you are supposed to be enjoying free time?
13. Do you have difficulty evaluating your own job performance?
14. Do you become argumentative with coworkers, bosses, or employees?
15. Do you believe you are not living up to your full potential?
16. Do you keep yourself from excelling in the presence of others for fear of their envy or jealousy?
17. Do you let others make decisions for you, even when your gut tells you it’s the wrong choice for you?
18. Do you have difficulty saying “no” to unreasonable requests from coworkers, bosses, or employees?
19. Do you withhold your honest opinions about work-related issues for fear that you’ll be disliked?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you most likely have old stuff interfering with your ability to thrive in the workplace. But don’t despair! You can heal your bruises and eliminate drama by applying the following tips.

1. Identify and acknowledge how your bruises affect you in the workplace, eliminating shame and judgment.

2. Transform adversity into a resource by recognizing that whatever you’ve endured has made you a stronger person.

3. Take responsibility for your life in the present by becoming your own good caregiver rather than wait for others to fill in the gaps. Don’t blame others for what you didn’t get in childhood.

4. Create healthy boundaries. Learn how to say “no,” “yes,” or “maybe” as is appropriate to the requests of others.

5. Empower yourself by embracing the notion that you are in charge of your own choices. Acknowledge that very rarely are we true victims in adulthood.

6. Recognize that you are only responsible for your own feelings and actions. Don’t burden yourself with trying to control what others do, say, or think.

7. Practice ongoing self-care. Be kind to yourself, create balance between work, play and rest, and regularly acknowledge the value of your contributions.

By practicing these tips you can create better relationships in the workplace. Granted, others whom you encounter may not be repairing their wounds as you are, but you can still keep the energy more positive by having a good handle on your own behavior. And, should you find yourself getting stuck, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Thrivers use all possible resources!

Visit Dr. Debra at Her next book, Don’t Call Me a Drama Queen: A Guide For the Overly Sensitive and Their Significant Others Who Need to Learn to Lighten Up and Go With the Flow! will be published in October. She practices out of Thousand Oaks and Encino CA.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Remember the Good, Part 3

In the first post on this topic, I talked about why it’s so important to focus on the good you have NOW instead of recalling negatives from the past. In Part 2, I explained how the past can manifest limitations in your present, with a technique for moving on from them.

In this post, there are some more suggestions for letting go of the past so you can live more consciously and happily in the NOW. When I discuss the importance of living in the NOW with some of my clients who are still wounded, they argue that it’s hard to let go. I agree. But making excuses for why you don’t let go of misery or pain or bad habits is counterproductive to being happy.

It’s YOUR CHOICE to be a victim of things that happened before right now. And it’s YOUR CHOICE to move on.

When I was a DoorMat, I was also the walking wounded, battle scarred from what people did to me, or more accurately, what I let them do to me. Something innocuous that someone said or did would remind me of something that happened before, and I’d often respond as if that happening again was a given. So I’d be defensive and also hesitant to do a lot of things that I wanted to do. It created a lot of fear.

Keeping my focus just on what’s happening right NOW helps me not remember old incidents and hurts in ways that could affect me today. When I start to look back, I remind myself, sometimes out loud if I can---all that matters is right now, and right now everything is fine. Here are some things you can also do that have helped me stay in the present moment.

* Make an effort to be loving to yourself. Say “I love you “ in the mirror. Find ways to be kinder to you. The more self-love you feel, the more you’ll be motivated to cut negative ties and move forward. When you show yourself lots and lots of love, you’ll heal wounds faster.

* Make a list of why you want to live in the now—why it would be good for you and what you want to let go of. Really think about old situations that may contribute to your current attitude and behavior and why it hurts you. Let that motivate you to take some baby steps.

* Find the lessons in old situations. How can you handle a similar situation in a healthier way? Do you jump into relationships and then get burned shortly after? Go much slower the next time, no matter how good it feels. Maybe you gave someone too many chances. Cut them off quicker in the future. Don’t trust as quickly as you used to. Make people earn it over time with actions that show their words are for real! How might your response or behavior in a situation that ended up unpleasant have contributed to the outcome? How can you avoid repeating it?

* Monitor your thoughts. What negative beliefs may have run through your head, putting the Law of Attraction to work—bringing you more negatives? Consciously think more positively, even if you don’t believe the thoughts—yet! The more you stay aware of what you’re thinking, the more you can change it. Do positive affirmations when negative thoughts arise. Since it’s hard to think two thoughts at the same time, you can protect your thoughts by blocking negative with positives.

* Remind yourself that you’re not the person you were in the past. I talked about how I did this to swallow pills in Part 2. It’s today. You’re healthier, older, wiser. You know more than you did in the past. You understand what you don’t want to attract. The person you’re with now isn’t the one who hurt you before. You’re not the child who had trouble in school or the teen who was abused. Keep reminding yourself who you are now. Consciously refuse the limitations of who you were in past situations.

* Focus on the present with affirmations. When you repeat a belief over and over it can become your reality. Try “Right now is all that counts and right now I’m fine.” Create your own—ones that have meaning for you. And use them often! Put it out to the Universe as much as you can and it will replace your old reality.

* Forgive anyone who hurt you. Forgiveness is a critical tool for moving on. I’ve been able to let go of anger by having compassion for the person who hurt me. That makes it easier to forgive. If you don’t, you continue to hold the anger in and it will continue to resonate in your NOW. Forgiving isn’t for the person who hurt you. It’s for YOU! You don’t even have to communicate with the person. Forgive in your heart and move on.

* Write down everything and everyone that’s hurt you in the past. If you have many memories connected to one person or situation (like your home environment or a boss who drove you crazy) write a separate list for that. This greatly helps you forgive someone. When you put feelings on paper, you can let go of them inside. When you feel ready, read each list out loud, grieve, then burn it. Your anger will go up in the smoke. Then forgive each person in your heart.

* Forgive yourself. You may not think about forgiving the most important person of all—YOU! You may beat yourself up often yet not forgive yourself for being human. I had a post about it called I’m Not an Idiot, I’m Silly a while back that talks about a technique I came up with that generates instant forgiveness. To stay in the present, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s okay that you made mistakes or aren’t perfect. That’s part of being more loving to YOU!

* Recite your blessings. Say out loud what you’re grateful for NOW. Write them down and hang your list as a regular reminder of the good you have NOW. When old fears and memories come up, recite your blessings as an alternative.

* Get an energy clearing. A lot of people don’t know it but I’m a certified Reiki (hands on healing) practitioner. I’m currently studying to get to the second level with a wonderful teacher named Janet Dagley Dagley, who writes The Reiki Digest. I just do it for personal use. As I study with Janet, I feel a huge transformation happening since I still have some DoorMat scars. I’ve learned that there are a variety of ways to clear bad energy from your body. Studying Reiki or getting a treatment can help with that. There are many practitioners who can help clear negative energy.

Years ago, I heard from a spiritual counselor, who’d read one of my books. I mentioned I was struggling to remove a block from an old belief that I couldn’t let go of. It kept me from making progress in my career. I’d had several negative incidents that made me expect one to happen when something good was on the horizon. I’d tried all of the above but couldn’t let go of that nagging in the back of my head that warned what I hoped for wouldn’t materialize. And of course, the Law of Attraction sabotaged my getting what I wanted, as per my thoughts! The spiritual counselor generously offered me a session on the phone. It opened me up to many opportunities that my subconscious blocked before that. You must be open to this kind of treatment. It truly does work when you’re open to it working!

Open up your consciousness so you can become more aware of self-sabotage. When I got to a point where I wanted to live for today badly enough, I did all of the above. Now I’m happily living in the present moment. And in this moment, I’m blessed beyond measure! He hurt me last year and that’s not NOW so it doesn’t matter anymore! She called me names but they’re not true NOW so I don’t accept them. Oprah has a series with Eckhart Tolle, who wrote The Power of Now. I listened to it on a CD when I did a long driving trip and it upped my awareness by a lot. Oprah’s series is free if you register. Living for right now is such a lovely place to be! Please join me! ☺

Thanks to Anand Dhillon for including me in the Carnival of Self-Mastery.

If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment and/or click on the bookmark and write a short review at some of the sites, especially Stumbleupon and Digg. Thanks!

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Is Dating Men for their Money Prostitution?

I caught a segment of the Morning show with Mike and Juliet today on women who only date men with a LOT of money and the men who are fine with it. They actually referred to the Sugar Daddies Club, where sugar daddies—wealthy men—can hook up with sugar babes—women who want a sugar daddy to take care of them.

What a sad commentary on some of these women! A prostitute has sex for money. These women have sex for the money these guys spend on them. Hmmmm…

In NYC where I live, a majority of women I talk to say they wouldn’t date a guy who isn’t making at least a certain level of income. It’s usually pretty high. They say they’re used to a high standard of living and want a man who can maintain that for them. They’ll blow off terrific guys if they don’t make enough money for their taste.

What happened to love and passion and all the delicious stuff that money can’t buy??! And these same women later complain that men are jerks. Hello!

Women say they want to be treated equally. We bitch about double standards. We whine about not having equal opportunities. We fight for equitable salaries. Some of us say we don’t need help and rebel if a guy holds a door. Yet some women will ditch a guy who doesn’t buy dinner and spend what they consider enough. Women in my workshops indignantly say they expect a guy to pay for everything, otherwise he gets nothing from her.

I asked what that makes them besides hypocrites. What does that say? That we want equal rights when it suits us? That men can’t use double standards but we can? We’re used to men treating us. It makes us feel special and we don’t want to lose that. Many men aren’t comfortable having us pay either. Few men I date let me kick in for the check. But women who don’t at least offer send mixed signals.

Women with a more equitable attitude about dating agree with me. Those who want to be taken out, receive gifts, get wined and dined, and be treated for everything scoff at my words.

Many men have expressed anger at women who seem almost mercenary. I agree. Our actions may say we’ll take equality when it’s in our favor. Many women are accustomed to an expensive lifestyle and want a guy to accommodate them. Men say they feel like they need to bring a resume on a first date, to pass the tests women put them through.

I was horrified when Maggie described a dating experience at her summer-share. She met Joseph in the Hamptons. The main social activity was going to parties in people’s homes or at clubs. She and Joseph spent every weekend together immersed in the party scene. She was very attracted to him. They’d kiss and flirt when he took her home. After six weeks, he initiated sex. I almost burst out laughing when she said she was furious about his advances. Maggie told Joseph how dare he expect her to sleep with him when he hadn’t bought her dinner yet!

I asked her if she was a prostitute, since she’d sleep with a guy if he bought dinner. Plus, she was a cheap one if she’d do it for a dinner!

She was clueless in her anger about my question. I told her to think about it. The big factor that determined whether or not they had sex wasn’t attraction, desire, passion or just liking him enough to want to jump into the sack with him. No, she wouldn’t sleep with him because he hadn’t bought her dinner yet. He’d provided transportation to all sorts of parties and the beach for 6 weeks. She liked him enough to spend all her time with him. But just because he hadn’t had the opportunity to take her out for dinner (they served it at the parties), she wouldn’t sleep with him.


These kind of women need to ask themselves what’s more important? Having money or being happy. Of course you can be happy with money. But making money the most important factor often makes you go to someone for reasons that won’t ultimately make you the real kind of inner happy. You may soothe yourself with possessions. But happiness in a relationship comes from having a good relationship with him, not his wallet.

But then there are the unabashed sugar daddies—men who’ll use their money to get young, attractive chicks. Yeach!

The women interviewed on TV who went after the Sugar Daddies were attractive and flip about wanting a man to take care of her in style. I believe the minimum income was a half million. And the men, rich and not bad looking didn’t care that that’s why they got these women. SHALLOW!

I’ve met men who made a point of letting me know they had a large bank account, as if I’d like them more because of it. I want a good man, not fat wallet! Money does NOT bring happiness if it isn’t there without it. I feel sorry for people who think they must have lots of money to enjoy their lives. The best things I can think of to do with I guy I really like don't cost much at all! ☺

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