Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

This is my third start the week post in my series on the Law of Attraction that was inspired by watching Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life, the movie, expanded version. I learned about the Law of Attraction from her books and was re-inspired by watching the DVD with so many great guests.

We all have the power to heal our lives. You influence what happens to you each moment. When you stay conscious of your actions and thoughts, you can guide your path to more goodies.

But, the best way to attract good stuff is to make doing good stuff a lifestyle.

My next book, Nice Girls Can Finish First disputes the belief that nice guys finish last. But I’m talking REAL NICE, not doing things for others so they’ll like you or to get something in return. Giving unconditional love and kindness reaps the most rewards!

When I lived in DoorMatville, I thought I was nice, but I wasn’t. I desperately needed to be liked and did things for others, often at the expense of my time, money or other things I couldn’t afford. Having people around me and being “liked” by everyone was worth sacrificing my own needs! I stifled the reality that people were with me because I bought them. Deep down, I still felt lonely, since I knew there were few people I could truly count on.

Fast forward to today: I still like to help people when I can but it’s to be kind, not to barter for something.

The Law of Attraction is always on. It doesn’t just work when you do or think something special. When I was a DoorMat, I attracted more situations that helped me continue to be a DoorMat. Today, being a kind person attracts real kindness to me. I’m not kind for reciprocation. When you’re kind, you may not get a reward for it instantly. But it does come back to you, especially if you’re aware enough to recognize when it does.

A few weeks ago, I stopped into Au Bon Pain, one of my favorite places to grab a quick bite or cup of their awesome hazelnut coffee. An elderly lady with a walker was struggling to reach the coffee and asked if I’d help her. I was happy to. So I filled her cup, put in the milk, walked her to the cashier and then to a table. To me it was no big deal—a few minutes of time to do what seemed like just common courtesy to a senior. I felt good helping and she was grateful—a win/win in my book!

So I was surprised when the manager gave me a half price employee discount to thank me for helping the lady. Instant Law of Attraction result!

I was in the same Au Bon Pain on Saturday. Surprisingly, there was another senior in need of help. Once again I provided assistance—a mere 2 minutes of time to be kind. When I got to the register, I joked with the same manager that I seem to come in when seniors have problems. He remembered me and profusely thanked me for being kind, and, said my purchase was on him. He appreciated my reaching out to help and wanted to show his gratitude.

The Law of Attractions doesn’t always work so fast. It is fun when it does.

This was a strong reminder of how REAL kindness attracts more kindness. Some people encourage practicing “random acts of kindness.” To me that means being kind to others when you can, without expecting something in return. For me the act of kindness is reward enough. I enjoy knowing that I’ve helped someone when possible. I did greatly appreciate the bonus I got at Au Bon Pain. It’s nice to see that others appreciate kindness. But I did it without knowing what I’d receive.

Keep your eyes open for at least the next day and see if you can find a way to be kind to someone, just because.

Take pleasure in knowing you’ve made someone’s day a little brighter. It truly will come back to you, often in ways you least expect, like it did for me. The more good you put out, the more good you’ll receive. That’s how the Law of Attraction works!

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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 ca
rdiac 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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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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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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