Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

happiness Archives

Own Your Future

I had a dream about going to Banff in Canada and Montana since I was a teen and a cousin went on an adventure there. He showed me his pictures and they blew me away. I had to go too! […]


Question: Why Do Friends Judge What Makes Me Happy?

A reader, who I’ll call Sandy, wrote to say she was making progress with doing what she wanted but her friends and family continued too judge her choices. Sandy pared down her lifestyle so she could quit her good job […]


From March Madness to Happiness

It’s been a long winter for many of us. I’m sick of being cooped up because of snowstorms and frigid temperatures. As the March weather gets better, there will be a lot of catching up to do. I think women […]


Building More Meaningful Friendships

Studies show that having good friends can be healthy for you. Yet these days, with people spending more time adding “friends” to their Facebook page, personal connections don’t get the attention they should have. Today my guest is Dawna Hetzler, […]

“I Love Me” Tip: Love Your Heart

Today is Day 11 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jump-starting your own self-love and joining The Self-Love Movement™. Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and […]

“I Love Me” Tip: Use Heat or Cold to Soothe Yourself

Today is Day 3 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jump-starting your own self-love and joining The Self-Love Movement™. You can feel better by changing the temperature of things you use. In […]

Why Pleasure Does Not Equal Happiness

Do you think that having lots experiences of pleasure will make you happy? That’s an erroneous belief that gets people into trouble. Often when I ask clients if they’re happy, and why, those who say they are tell me about […]

You Know You’re Happy Because…….

Can you actually say that you’re happy? Saying “yes” to that question seems to be more automatic than heartfelt to most people. It’s like we think that we’re “supposed to be” happy and don’t want to look bad for answering […]

Emotions & Happiness

Positive emotions tend to be more fleeting. Negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, fear, sadness, etc. often stick with you longer. Good feelings from positive circumstances are often short-term. Stress can become a lifestyle. Guilt lingers. Anger can foster a […]

Law of Attraction in Action: Happy Endings

This is post 247 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to manifest your desires.. I do it every day! Read all the posts in my Law of Attraction in Action Series […]

Replace Regret with Finding Blessings

Most of us have some regrets. Maybe you did something that you wish you didn’t do. Or you spent years involved with the wrong person. Or you didn’t go after a job you wish you had. And a million other […]

Are All People Are Jerks Until Proven Otherwise?

I wrote the book, All Men Are Jerks Until Proven Otherwise, in 1998. Now it’s out in its 15th Anniversary edition because so many women found it helpful. Not surprisingly, I got questioned often over the last 15 years about […]

17 Ways to Empower Yourself

No one is born feeling self-empowered. Confidence is learned. EVERYONE has fears and insecurities. But, some create a confident façade. Attractive people at the top of their game share fears and self-loathing at my workshops or during counseling. Nobody feels […]

Be Happy for No Reason

Do you need a reason to be happy? Do you look to other people or what you can have to be happy. Do you count on having a romantic partner to do it for you? When I was a DoorMat, […]

What Makes You Happy?

Lynda Wallace After twenty years as a highly successful executive with Johnson & Johnson, where she was responsible for a $1B portfolio of businesses including Band-Aid, Neosporin and Purell, Lynda Wallace chose to change careers to pursue her passion. She […]

Thoughts on Happiness

Yesterday I had a guest post from Marilyn Tam called Are You Truly Happy and Free?  Happiness is so important to strive for. We all want it but it can seem elusive. So today I have a video that I […]

Have You Chosen to Be Happy?

Most people would ideally like to be happy. Yet achieving it can seem elusive. Having been an unhappy DoorMat for many years I can attest to how wonderful it is to actually be consistently happy. That’s why I’m delighted to […]

Give Yourself the Best Gift

Today is Day 24 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jump-starting your own self-love and joining The Self-Love Movement™. I’m always happy to have self-love ambassador Tina Tessina, Ph.D. (aka “Dr. Romance”) […]

Self-Love in Action

Today is Day 10 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jump-starting your own self-love and joining The Self-Love Movement™. Today I have a special guest. Self-love ambassador Brenda Lidwell wrote to me […]

The 10 Commitments of Self-Love

With Self-Love Month (January) is approaching, I wanted to go into more details about The 10 Commitments of Self-Love that are posted on The Self-Love Movement™ site. These are principles you should begin to develop in yourself that will help […]

Are You Considered a Pollyanna?

Since I’ve been posting about happiness all week, I thought this topic was appropriate to end the week—seeing the world through the eyes of the kind of optimism that being happy can give you. Sometimes when I try to be […]

Why the American Happiness Formula Is Making our Kids Depressed

I’ve been talking about happiness all week. It’s important to understand how our adult concept of happiness affects our kid. That’s why I’m happy to have Jonathan Hewitt, author of Life Ki-do Parenting: Tools to Raise Happy, Confident Kids from […]

Law of Attraction in Action: Happiness

This is post 212 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to manifest your desires.. I do it every day! Read all the posts in my Law of Attraction in Action Series […]

Stoke Your Happiness Mojo!

While it’s not officially happiness week, I’m calling it that and my posts this week will all relate to happiness. Why? BECAUSE I WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY!! I endured many years of unhappiness when I was a DoorMat. Even […]

Become More Bouncy

There have been several recent studies showing that people who develop resilience live longer and healthier lives. But what does resilience mean? I see it as the ability to bounce back from adversity. This doesn’t mean ignoring bad things that […]

Find the Fun in Your Work

Lately I’ve been hearing people talk about how they’re counting the days, or years, till they have enough time in at their jobs so they can quit and still get their pension. You can feel how much they hate going […]

Life Lessons from JD Messinger Part 2

Yesterday I had a post called Life Lessons from JD Messinger Part 1. Today is part 2 of the interview with JD Messinger, a man who has had a remarkable journey into understanding life, and himself. He went deep inside […]

Life Lessons from JD Messinger, Part 1

While I’ve met all kinds of people who adhere to a spiritual mindset, I’d never have expected someone who was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy by the U.S. Secretary of the Navy and was one of 37 Distinguished Graduates, […]

It’s My Birthday!

Today is my birthday. I turn another year older. And, I’m happy about it! Getting older no longer scares me like it did when I was younger. I’m content with who I am. And I love me VERY much. Every […]

Getting Older vs. Getting Old

My birthday is this week and I’m excited. Yet I know many people, especially women, who dread each birthday like it’s a curse. I always find that a shame, especially since I’m older than many of them. But I become […]

What Do You Want to Be When You REALLY Grow Up?

The title of this article might seem confusing since you may assume that since you’re an adult you’re already grown up. But age doesn’t necessarily make you a grown up. For me, grown up means grown into yourself, who you […]

Do You See Life in Color?

Years ago I was dating Brian, a guy who I liked a lot, but, I knew he wasn’t right for me. He treated me well, was like my best friend, and I trusted him completely. Sounds perfect? Some friends didn’t […]

What Really Matters to You?

What makes you happy? Many people say lots of money or expensive things. Kids tend to reach for the biggest one of something, thinking bigger is better. Many of us still do that. We think more expensive or fancier is […]

Connect to Your World

Many of us live with blinders on, walking down the street without actually noticing who’s there. It seems like life moves much faster these days, with more effort put into making ends meet and keeping up with technology. Texting, social […]

Let your Passions Take Gymnastics

How rigid are you? I have a friend who has what I call a cookie cutter life. Karen was raised to be a traditional sort of woman and became teacher because she was told it’s a good profession for women. […]

Handling the Green-Eyed Monster—Envy

Envy really can be a deterrent to your happiness. It can suck the life out of your joy if you let it rule your perspective. Envy can minimize your own blessings if you compare what you have to other people […]

The Benefits of Being Happy

People tend to look for ways to feel happy, but they’re often fleeting. Often we’re so busy trying find happiness we don’t recognize it when you have it. Happiness isn’t something you build by buying stuff or adding more bells […]

What Brings You Down?

Stuff happens. Life can be going well and then boof! A glitch appears. It could be something simple like getting a run in your stocking at work or hearing a weird noise from your car. It’s common to go to […]

Can Money Ever Buy Happiness? Yes!

I write a lot about how money can’t buy happiness. Having it won’t substitute for unhappiness inside you. But Laura Vanderkam, my guest today, has an interesting take on it. She’s the author of several books, including her new one, […]

Minimizing Actions of Unimportant People

Have you ever had a waiter who was impossible to deal with, but you had to? Maybe he got your order wrong and had a snotty attitude. Someone like that can trigger you to leave the restaurant in a bad […]

What’s Going On For You Right Now?

Many of us dwell in the past, letting old memories affect our present life. Or we look to the future with expectations that can be positive or negative. Doing so is usually reflected in to your level of happiness. If […]

Get an Attitude of Happiness

I’m a happy person—a very happy person! People say they envy me as they try to figure out what I have that they don’t so maybe they can buy it too! Happiness is one of those feelings that’s hard to […]

Who’s Giving You Love on Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day is considered a day for love. But there’s no law that love has to be the romantic kind. Giving flowers and gifts was a tradition created by companies that sell the products you buy. It puts pressure on […]

Do You Have the Patience to Be Happy?

Today is Day 27 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jumpstarting your own self-love. You have the patience to wait on line to buy a ticket to a movie you’re anxious to […]

The Joy of Being Imperfect

Today is Day 2 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jumpstarting your own self-love. Many of us were brought up with very high standards. Your parents might have pushed you to get […]

Blessings for the Holiday and Beyond

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or don’t have a specific religion, it’s lovely to enjoy the spirit of this holiday season. People seem friendlier. I love walking through the streets of Manhattan and always express amazement about how […]

Why Life Can Be Like Fruitcake

Life doesn’t always go smoothly, despite your best efforts. While I often recommend that you try to set boundaries on things you don’t want to do, there are times when doing something unpleasant is the right things to do, even […]

Give Yourself Permission to Be Down—Sometimes

I’ve always been an upbeat person and known for my smile. As a child, people liked me more because of it so even when I had nothing to smile about, my mouth automatically curved up. Even when I grew up […]

The Happiness “Drug”

I always encourage people to do what they can to find real happiness. I don’t mean the kind that comes from making a purchase and feels good until you find the next item that will make you happy. I’m talking […]

Can You Live Like a Fruit Fly?

I’m delighted to have Gabe Berman as my guest today. An epiphany, a passion, and a trail of breadcrumbs led him out of Corporate America and into a writing career. His columns appear regularly in The Miami Herald and on […]

Making Peace with Problems

I’m delighted to have Joyce Shafer back as my guest today. She’s a Life Coach, the author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say and other books/e-books, and also publishers State of Appreciation, […]

Adopting an Eastern Perspective

I’m happy to have Laura M. Turner back as my guest today. She’s a 15-year veteran fitness instructor, fitness trainer, journalist, author and natural health practitioner as my guest today. She hosts beauty & body online, a website dedicated to […]

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday! Am I sad? No! Lamenting it? Heck no! Feeling bad about another year on my age? No way! Today I’m celebrating me all day long! People as young as twenties begin to tick off their days […]

It’s Never Too Late

I often meet people who feel beyond stuck. When you’re stuck you can at least try to get unstuck. These people see themselves as permanently fixed in how their lives are going and what they’re doing. Some have been trying […]

Happiness Right Now

I’m delighted to have Gina Lake  as my guest today. Gina is a spiritual teacher who is devoted to helping others awaken and live in the moment through her many books, online courses, and intensives. She is also a gifted […]

Law of Attraction in Action: Losing Weight

This is post 149 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to attract all that you need. I do it every day! Read all the posts in my Law of Attraction in […]

Make Your Smile Happy

Do you assume that smiling means you’re happy? Think again! Often a smile is covering up unhappiness. Many people pleasers are brought up told they should smile as much as possible since it makes you seem more agreeable. I was […]

Amy Winehouse: Fame & Fortune Don’t bring Happiness

For 8 years we’ve watched Amy Winehouse battle addictions. As a music journalist, I see too many music artists fall into addictive patterns. Drugs and alcohol are all around the music biz. I’ve been to backstage parties where cocaine was […]

Happiness with Erica Nelson

I’m delighted to have Erica Nelson, author and happiness coach, with a wonderful tip from her book, Happiness Quotations: Gentle Reminders of Your Preciousness. Happiness Quotation #98 Asks You To Glow Like Rudolph By Erica M Nelson Let’s say you […]

Listen to Oprah & Be Happier!

Oprah Winfrey’s last show aired this week. It feels like forever that Oprah has been teaching us wonderful lessons about how to live our lives fully, and paths to develop real happiness. I was honored to do a whole hour […]

Will the World End Tomorrow?

I’ve lived through several warnings about the world ending and heard stories of people selling their homes, spending their money and then being in bad shape when life went on. It seems people need an excuse to enjoy their lives. […]

Do You Focus on Being Positive?

I’m happy to have Joyce Shafer, You Are More! Empowerment Coach and author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say & other books/ebooks ( as my guest today with tips for staying on […]

Don’t Waste Your Life!

Yesterday I posted an interview with Rita Cosby, an award-winning journalist who wrote the amazing book, Quiet Hero, the story her dad’s harrowing journey as a member of the Polish Resistance during WWII and how she connected to him after […]

Law of Attraction in Action: Why Can’t I Make Myself Happy?

This is post 137in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to attract all that you need. I do it every day! Read all the posts in my Law of Attraction in Action […]

Finding Your Happy

What makes you happy? I mean really happy, the kind that keeps you content through life’s ups and downs. I used to think that when I had more money to buy the stuff I wanted I’d be happy. But when […]

Say “Yes” to Spontaneity

It was 7:40 PM. I had to get up early that morning so I was very tired. My plan was to try to go to sleep at 10-ish. I was undressed and happily enjoying the quiet as I did some […]

“I Did It My Way”

I’ve never been a big Frank Sinatra fan but I do very much respect the talent he shared with the world. Many of his songs were classics. The one that stands out above the rest for me is “My Way.” […]

Law of Attraction in Action: Staying in the Joy

This is post 124 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to attract all that you need. I do it every day! Read all the posts in my Law of Attraction in […]

Law of Attraction in Action: Responding to Negatives

This is post 107 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to attract all that you need. I do it every day! Read all the posts in my Law of Attraction in […]

Make Each Day a Good One

I recently heard people being interviewed on the radio about the bad weather we were having. They were asked how they felt from all the the heat and humidity. One after another, people complained about it. I agreed with what […]

Getting Along with Everyone

Today I have Tamara Overlee, author of The Truth of Life From the World of Love and Spirit. Her article emphasizes how we should treat one another if we are to make the world a better place. Learning of CompassionAutomatic […]

Question: Am I a DoorMat?

Many of the comments for my posts tell me a story and then ask, “Am I a DoorMat?” To paraphrase an old saying: If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and talks like a duck… Do […]

Through Whose Eyes Do You See?

I never stop being astounded by what clients tell me they hear from others and adopt as their truth about themselves. Just because someone says, “You’ll never amount to anything,” especially years ago, doesn’t mean it’s true, unless you make […]

Instant Gratification vs. Long-Term Contentment

Patience is a virtue that’s lost on many people in our current state of getting so much instantly. The Internet allows us to find out news almost immediately after it breaks. People text each other from almost everywhere. Walking down […]

Using Humor for Self-Empowerment

I’m delight to have Tina Tessina, Ph.D. back as my guest blogger. Her articles always bring a great response as she has such a great take on life’s ups and downs. Tina is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in […]

Finding Good When it Doesn’t Look Good

I was indoors at a conference all day last Friday and Saturday. The weather was what I find most awesome—in the upper 60’s, sunny, clear skies and no humidity. I was frustrated that I missed being outdoors on those glorious […]

Healthy Needs

What do you need? Many of us use the word in reference to what we think we lack and make what we think we need too important for our happiness, or even for our existence. A need is a requirement, […]

Law of Attraction in Action: Time

This is post 81 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to attract all that you need. I do it every day! Read the posts in this series to see how. In […]

Saints Don’t Live Life!

Have you ever been called a saint after doing a HUGE favor for someone. It feels good to be recognized for what you do, as well you should! But often striving for sainthood comes at the expense of your own […]

Declare Your Independence from Dependence!

It’s Independence Day in the USA. The country got its independence over 200 years ago. Now it’s time foro YOU to declare your independence. You say you are independent? Think about how many people, needs and bad habits you depend […]

Finding Happiness in Tough Times

Many people are having a tough time these days. The economy is hurting and now we’re hearing about the swine flu epidemic. It can really get you down. That’s why I’m thrilled to have Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., author of […]

Getting Through the Down Economy

Most of us feel the bad economy. I’m delighted to have Laurie Nadel, Ph.D., back as a guest. I heard from many folks after her last post because she has great suggestions for improving your life. Today she shares some […]

You’re Getting Older If You Smile When Construction Workers Whistle

Okay, I’m being somewhat facetious about the title of this post. But there’s some truth in it! For most of my life I’ve hated walking down the streets of NYC and having to endure whistles and loud comments about me […]

Get Into Oink Mode!

I’ve heard a gazillion times that too much of a good thing is no good. I know that can be true. Sometimes, having too much of a good thing can make you take it for granted. If you eat too […]

Developing Balanced SUCCESS

I agree with SUCCESS magazine’s perspective that one-dimensional success really isn’t success at all. Often we focus on career advancement or business deals as SUCCESS. But a well-rounded life focuses on body, mind, spirit, AND your career. It creates a […]

Safe vs. Happy

Safety has been on my mind since Saturday when the crane fell on several building that I see right outside my window and talked about in my previous post, Shame on NYC–Building Crash Outside My Window. My neighborhood still feels […]

What Does Happiness Mean to You?

This month, Alex Shalman started the Happiness Project. He’s interviewing bloggers, asking them the same 5 questions about happiness. He’s also asked other bloggers to answer the questions on their own blogs. So I’m participating. If you’d like to answer […]

Music — My Drug of Choice

Music is many things to many people. As a music journalist, I’m privy to a lot of CDs. Depending on what I listen to, music can energize, relax, lift my spirits, make me melancholy, help me heal. Lola Fayemi at […]

Merry Spirit!

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, enjoy the season! People are in better moods around this time and more conscious of the spirit of giving. That’s great to experience, no matter what your religious beliefs. Besides the religious aspects, there […]

Finding Blessings Amidst Unhappiness

Often we look at a negative situation as a whole, instead of paying attention to its parts and trying to find the blessings they can become. Nowadays my strong spirituality helps me to know that everything happens for a reason. […]

Finding Your Passions

Last week I wrote an Can You Really Live by the Grace of Passion? I said that I’d post more specific tips for finding your passions, so here they are as promised. I use the plural of passion since like […]

Learning How to Be Happier

Happiness seems like such a simple concept, yet so many folks walk around unhappy. We often lose sight of what it actually is. When I was a DoorMat, happiness meant having a good day, not getting hurt, getting attention from […]

6 Ways to be Positive in Any Situation

Life can seem negative if you see yourself as a victim the way many DoorMats do. When I was one, I waited for the next bad thing to happen, and my attitude attracted more bad stuff. When you don’t feel […]

Stepping Toward Your Passion

I heard from many people about my last post, Passion Makes a Life. Some expressed how bored and stuck they are and feel it’s too late for them to make changes to have a more satisfying life. I hear it […]

Passion Makes Life a Life!

People know how much I do. As a full time freelance writer, I can spend 16 hours a day working. But to me it’s not work most of the time. Answering emails is work. Other non-writing aspects of earning a […]

Are Women Less Happy than Men?

An article in the NY Times this week was called He’s Happier, She’s Less So It discussed the results of a study that said nowadays, men are happier. Years ago, studies showed women to be the happier of the sexes. […]

80+ Years Old Rocks

All week I’ve been talking Aging with Joy. As the years creep up, some of you succumb to the belief that life is going downhill. NOT! Today is always the first day of the rest of your life, not another […]

Self-Empowerment Busters

You’ve heard old stereotypes but some are still valid. Not for everyone. But, though I hate them, stereotypes are widespread enough to address. I’m not a typical female and hate getting lumped in with some of the annoying things chicks […]

Previous Posts

Ditch the Victim Mentality
A common thread among clients who come to me for self-empowerment counseling is “Why do people use me?” And they groan, “Why me?” And they whine, “I’ll never get what I want because of _____.”  I tell them to fill in that blank ...

posted 10:41:37pm Jul. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Standing Up for Yourself
You may be angry at many people and want to tell them all of. But you need to –prepare to take a stand first. Before taking a stand, ask, “Am I WILLING to be serious?” You may want to stop unacceptable behavior, but are you willing to ...

posted 12:01:04pm Jul. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Law of Attraction in Action: What You Think Of Yourself
This is post 290 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to manifest your desires. I do it every day! Read all the posts in my Law of Attraction in Action Series to see how. Very often, your biggest roadblocks ...

posted 8:44:56pm Jul. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Why People Become DoorMats/People Pleasers
George Bernard Shaw said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to ...

posted 2:09:35pm Jul. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Law of Attraction in Action: “It’s for the best”
This is post 289 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to attract all that you need. I do it every day! Read all the posts in my Law of Attraction in Action Series  to see how. People get confused when ...

posted 12:01:14pm Jul. 08, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.