Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Constructive Internet Networking


I’ve always advocated networking as a way to meet people who can be beneficial in your career and lots more. In my music business books, I emphasize how even without tons of money people can develop a career if they develop a friendly personality, get to industry events, collect cards with contact info, and follow up. The Internet makes networking a whole different ballgame.

I’ve been very blessed to make some good friends online, especially since I began this blog. I was honored when Todd at We The Change invited me to be interviewed for his new podcast series. In it I talk more about how I got from being an unhappy DoorMat and teacher to reinvent myself into the career I have today. He posted it Wednesday and I’m humbled by his words about me. If you’d like to hear my story, check out Stop Being a Doormat: Lessons from an Expert.

Internet networking is both more personal and more detached.

People answer personal ads, share deep feelings back and forth, fall in love before even speaking on the phone. Then many experience profound disappointment or deep hurt after meeting this person who seemed perfect as a partner. People can be whoever they’d like on line. When there’s no face attached, it’s easier to be more open and say what’s on your mind.

Being open digitally can come back to bite you later!

Some potential employers or clients do searches on line. What might seem like fun to post on Myspace or Facebook can turn off someone who might otherwise want to work with you. The casual communication styles used in emails makes us not think as much before we write. You might share way too much or piss someone off by saying something you wouldn’t say to his or her face, at least not as readily.

Networking on the Internet is most effective when you learn to walk a careful line between making people like you and not getting inappropriately free in what you say.

When you’re dealing with anyone who might be related to your career, that line should get straighter—making people like you while still coming across as professional. There are MANY ways to make contacts on line that will work to your advantage if you use some level of care in the process. After being a DoorMat, it was hard for me to find that balance easily. I jumped at every sign of interest in me or kind word.

But I learned some electronic boundaries along with ways to make some great connections, like I did with Todd at We The Change. Some rules I recommend to avoid common problems and to generate good feelings are:

* Think before you put anything into cyberspace. Once it’s there you can’t make it go away. You may think it’s gone but things get archived for a long time. Even websites that close still have links that can be accessed.

* Be especially careful about emailing friends from work. Delete doesn’t mean gone. Emails can be retrieved from your computer long after they were sent and trashed. Think about what you write and ask yourself if it could hurt if your boss read it. It’s so easy to share gossip or a sexual encounter with a friend. Those should be no-no’s at work.

* Ask yourself if you’d tell someone off in person the way you do in an email. If you wouldn’t, calm down and rewrite it until it is something you would say in person. It’s so easy to shoot your mouth off if the person isn’t there. But it can cause problems down the road.

* Don’t get lost in making friends or answering emails. With only a finite amount of time in our days, it can be easy to lose yourself online. Social networking can get out of control. Forums can be addictive as you chat with others. Prioritize what’s most important. I have a “to be answered later” box and put less important emails there and take a block of time occasionally to answer them all at once.

* Read before you post. If you go onto a forum or on comment on a blog in hopes of promoting something, get a feel for its vibe before posting. When you do, share something valuable instead of jumping into a sales pitch. Once people get to know your name and appreciate your posts, you can include a bit about what you do at appropriate times and invite people to check you out. Someone who’s only there to sell something is easily recognizable and that’s a big turnoff.

That said, do what you can to network for your best interests:

* Join the social communities that will best serve your needs. I’m on MySpace because of the music books I write and on Linkedin for my writing, speaking and consulting. I don’t initiate making friends as I don’t have time. But I can click on accept when people come to me. ? MySpace has brought me together with fans who for whatever reason didn’t find my website. I haven’t found Linkedin to be valuable so far but see it could be valuable if you work it, which I also don’t have time for. I just joined Facebook today and have 2 friends who were waiting for me to join. I’ve heard folks say it can be the best one so I’m giving it a shot. If you’re on it and want to be a friend, come on over to my Facebook page!

* Have good manners. Please and thank you go a long way in all communication. It’s amazing how many folks just jump into what they want and don’t show appreciation when they get the response they need. I get many emails from people who’ve read my books and want me to answer often long questions or give them other info, even though consulting is part of my profession that I get paid for. That sense of entitlement really puts me off. But when someone acknowledges they know I’m busy and asks nicely, I’m more likely to give a real answer. I’d guess that of all the folks I give at least a short answer to their questions, at least 90% of them never say thank you. Remember, what goes around comes back to you!

* Don’t be a snob. Be friendly to everyone. You can selectively choose who you keep in better touch with. But you never know where someone you deem as inconsequential for your career might end up.

* Trust your intuition, not your ego. It’s easy to get caught up in a big talker’s blarney. Or be wooed by high praise. This is where I used to have BIG problems when I was a DoorMat. Someone would say what I wanted to hear and I’d jump in and trust them, rarin’ to be their friend. On the Internet, it’s much easier fo
r someone to be a poser. Get beyond someone emailing you what you want to hear and see if this person is worth cultivating as an online friend. Step back from your ego and see if you see signs that there’s a problem. I’ve met lots of people though my blog and other e-interactions but only keep in real touch with a small few.

Just as Internet sites and resources are endless, so are Internet friends. I don’t have time to write back and forth endlessly to anyone, no matter who it is. But I do keep in touch with the people I’ve come to like and who’ve earned my respect, as I’ve earned theirs. Until someone invents the 48 hour day (what I wouldn’t give for that!), there’s not enough time to get lost in Cyberspace.

I liked the blog, We The Change and when Todd dropped me a note to comment on how he liked mine, I saw he lived in NY like me. We ended up having lunch in person. I’m used to lunching electronically with friends so this was different. That evolved into his interviewing me for his podcast, and becoming supportive. My gut told me he was a great guy, and he is! Now we help each other.

Use common sense and your instincts to choose who you interact with online to avoid getting into cyber-trouble and to make the most of opportunities. Be friendly, supportive and appreciative of any help you get. That’s the best way to meet folks who will be good friends and supporters. Don’t forget to check out my podcast, Stop Being a Doormat: Lessons from an Expert.

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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Carnival of Healing #125


Welcome to the Carnival of Healing #125! I’m absolutely delighted to be hosting again. The Carnival is a weekly round-up of personal blog posts on the topics of holistic health, wellness, spirituality, and self-empowerment. It’s coordinated by About.com’s Guide to Holistic Healing, Phylameana Iila Desy.

Last week’s Carnival of Healing was kindly hosted by World Healing. Astrid is a Reiki Master Teacher and as someone who also does reiki, I was delighted to read We Are One World Healing » Reiki- 10 Myths Debunked. Reiki is hands on healing and people have a lot of misconceptions about it, which this article clears up. Next week it will be hosted by Natural Pain Relief.

I’ve been celebrating self-love on my blog his week in honor of Valentine’s Day. In that spirit, I’ll present the articles as different ways you can show yourself love. I believe that taking care of body, mind and spirit is very loving. Having a Love Affair with Yourself is a strong catalyst for many other things that are beneficial to your soul. I learned to treat myself in special ways for V Day, and will continue throughout the year to nurture my self-love. It begins with my buying A Rose for Me. Many of the articles below can give you more ideas for ways to treat YOU more lovingly, which nurtures self-love and builds better self-esteem. So you improve, feel good, and grow into a healthier person! There are many great articles and I thank everyone for their submissions.

Self-love is nurturing your inner self. The most loving gift I’ve given to me was developing my spiritual mindset and getting in touch with who I am inside. Todd at We The Change posted an insightful article about his own journey to manifest spirituality in Spirituality: What I Have Learned So Far. Growing faith in whatever way works for you makes it easier to feel loving to YOU!

Self-love is finding peaceful ways to disagree with others.
Warren at Personal Development shares several reasons why mediation can be extremely useful for communication in his thought-provoking post, Why Mediation Can Be Very Useful. Having someone understand your point can be a very loving way to settle yourself down from the stress of not being listened to with objectivity.

Self-love is changing your thoughts or mindset for a healthier outlook and to get rid of negatives that attract more negatives. Ananga at Ananga Sivyer’s Living by Design Blog says, “Some of my fellow bloggers have been writing lately on the subject of de-cluttering. De-cluttering cupboards, de-cluttering rooms, workplaces etc. And that got me thinking about another key area that really benefits from being free from clutter. The clutter in our heads. What are we tucking away in corners and lugging around with us that we don’t need anymore?” Amen! In her post, Have you De-cluttered Your Head Lately?, she has fabulous suggestions for clearing our heads. All cleaning is an act of self-love!

Dr. Gabriella at Psychology, Transformation & Freedom Papers discusses a very loving concept that’s in all my books, in Claiming Responsibility For the Self. That gives you power over your life—a very loving act!

Shirley at Brighter Days for you and me! talks aboutWhy Doesn’t Life Come With an Instruction Book?, with checklist for creating a more positive and orderly life. Doing that makes me feel more loved!

Self-love is developing better personal habits that make you feel more like a person worthy of love. David at Slow Down Fast Today! says, “I’m not sure being polite to convenience store clerks has ever been covered completely in self-help literature, but I think it may be one of the best things we can do to actually become, and remember, who we really are.” Maybe not yet, but it’s discussed in my next book, Nice Girls on Top. Since the Law of Attraction brings back what you give out, being conscious about being courteous to all brings it back to you, which is an act of self-love too. Check out more about why it makes sense in David’s post, You Don’t Have To Be In A Good Mood To Be Courteous.

Self-love is watching your weight in healthy ways. When you become conscious of your eating habits, you give yourself love by feeling better about your body! Paul at Workoutebooks says, “If you choose to join a weight loss program to give you the support necessary to assist you to shed those extra pounds then you might well elect to join a web-based program. But just what can you expect from a web-based program?” He gives tips for choosing one in What Should You Look For In An Online Workout Program?

And if you’ve ever wondered whether men or women have an advantage for burning fat, Stanimir at All About Your Body And Spirit discusses Who burns more fat, men or women?. The more you learn, the more love you can give YOU!

Many people struggle to lose weight. The discouragement it can cause creates stress that isn’t loving to YOU! Healthy Tips For A Healthy Lifestyle offers Health Tip #32: Use the law of attraction to lose weight and get fit. A positive attitude about weight loss is much more loving!

Too much dieting isn’t loving! Dr Martin Russell at Self Help Blog addresses the serious problem of a
norexia in The Strange Behavior Of Anorexia – Part 1.

Self-love is learning how to generate healing energy. Gia at The Science of Energy Healing explains how different types of energy that we all have in Energetic Integrity with the Three Primary Energies of the Body posted. When your energy is balanced, it’s easier to love yourself.

I love pearls! Wearing them makes me feel great, which is loving. So I was delighted to read Astrid’s article, Power of Pearl at World Healing. Now I have a good excuse to buy more pearls! ?

Self-love is making an effort to reach your goals. Brendan at Brendan McPhillips compares the illustrious Oprah Winfrey to Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense and a big force on the American Revolution. He shares qualities from these 2 great people who share a birthdays that can help you reach your goals in Choose and Reach Your Goals with Paine and Oprah Power (POP). Giving yourself power is a loving gift.

Self-love is enriching your life with good friends. Life Balanced posted The Secret to Being a Great Friend saying, “The secret to having great friends is to BE a great friend. This post includes eight things we can all do to strengthen relationships with people who are important to us.” The right friends enable us to both give and receive love. Gotta love that! ?

Self-love manifests from a smile, which is very loving in that it attracts people who are attracted to good energy, and it stimulates you body to release more serotonin and endorphins, which lift your mood. Kavit at Wellness Junction by Kavit Haria tells us How to make your smile more attractive. Prepare to curl your lips!

Self-love is doing things to become more fit, which helps you feel great! Lovelyn at The Art of Balanced Living talks about her experience with Thai Massage, which combines assisted stretching with an acupressure style massage. All massage is loving (I’d get one any time or place it’s offered!) and what a self-loving gift when great stretches are added!

Frederic at Frederic at Frederic Patenaude Talks offers some points about how exercise can help you age well in Staying a Step Ahead of Aging. Aging well is a great dose of self-love!

Self-love is finding healthy ways to improve yourself. Raymond at Money Blue Book shares his experience with laser vision correction in My Experience With Lasik Eye Surgery. Improving your vision is another act of self-love!

Petra at Medopdedia Medopdedia shares info about how a new technology can help you detect problems without invasive procedures in the future in Haptics Technology will Let Radiologists feel your Insides via Computer.

Self-love is finding healthy ways to stay fresh and clean. Michael at ControlYourImpact.com posted an overview of health risks that research shows can occur with from using most deodorants and all antiperspirants in Deodorants, Antiperspirants and Your Health

Speaking of odor, did ya ever back off from someone whose breath is pungent? You don’t want to be the one making others back off. Aparna at Beauty and Personal Grooming says “Temporary bad-breath can occur when one has savored delectable dishes interspersed with strong flavored foods like onion, garlic, or as a result of food particles getting trapped in the teeth cavities.” and gives tips for changing it in Beauty and Personal Grooming: Home remedies for bad breath.

Self-love is learning to find the lessons is life’s situations. We all experience loss at some point. Anna at Widows Quest has a short post, The True Tragedy In Grief, about how to learn and grow from your grief. Self-love helps you cope in healthy ways!

Louise at The Human Imprint has a short but interesting article, Maternal skills, on how having kids can each good lessons for being more assertive in general. Standing up for the one you love—YOU—gets you more!

Self-love is finding supplements that can improve your health. I began to take supplements as an act of love to improve myself. There are many out there and we can’t take them all so helpful info can help make decisions. Spencer at Colloidal Silver Secrets explains Why Take Colloidal Silver?.

Herb at Bee Propolis says, “Recent research indicates that bee propolis could be an effective treatment for burns.” He explains this in his post, Bee Propolis As A Treatment For Burns.

Self-love is laughter! I’ll end this Carnival with a humorous post from Madeleine at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog about how many of us procrastinate about making decisions—Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. She has a challenge if you want to try and you may get a good laugh. Laughing is good for you!

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That’s it for this week’s Carnival of Healing. So, get up RIGHT NOW and do something loving for YOU! RIGHT NOW! Remember to check out the one next week at Natural Pain Relief. You can submit to the Carnival of Healing with the Carnival Submission Form. If you enjoyed t
he Carnival, please leave a comment and click on the bookmark and write a short review at some of the sites, especially Stumbleupon. Thanks!

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10 Things I LOVE About Me!


I confess. I’m currently not in love with a guy right now and feel no shame or disappointment. I’ve dated a few guys lately but nothing special. It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m okay. Actually, I’m better than okay. Falling in love with ME has been the most beneficial love I’ve experienced so far. I’d love to meet a special guy who’d be worth my time. Otherwise, I have so much I want to do and would rather do them than to be bored on a date. I do believe with all my heart that there is one special guy for me, and when the time is right, God will arrange for us to meet.

Until then, I’ll continue to enjoy my life and give myself lots of love and appreciation.

That’s why, in honor of V Day, I shall make a list of things I love about me. You should try it too! Identifying what you’re happy with is a form of gratitude that comes back to you. Love yourself and you’ll get more love from others. So here it is:

10 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT ME:

1. My connection with God. For so many years I had no faith and I love that I consciously nurtured the strong spiritual mindset I now have.

2. Not being desperate for a man like I was when I was a DoorMat. It allows me to own my life, more enjoyment, and be more relaxed. I’m no longer one of those chicks who’s always looking to see what men are in the place I’m in or wasting time trying to figure out how to meet one.

3. My pretty green eyes. Not hazel but real green! I never knew I had them until someone pulled me to a mirror and forced me to pay attention. My flaws blinded me to my good qualities.

4. My cheerful nature. I used to act cheerful so people would like me more but inside I was crying. Now the cheer I give is what I feel!

5. My smile, which radiates through me to everyone in my path. I remember when I rarely smiled as I was too on edge trying to please everyone to notice that I wasn’t receiving joy. Now I’m known for my smile. People call me Sunshine and Star.

6. My perseverance for running. It’s NY. Winter. Cold. Yet I continue to go to Central Park whenever my schedule and wet weather allows. Folks are incredulous that I go in the cold. I explain that my body doesn’t cut me slack because it’s winter. It doesn’t put weight gain on hold till spring. I HATE doing cardio at the gym. So I put on my fleece and know that it’s my CHOICE. I rationalize that I must burn more calories as my body fends off the cold winds. ?

7. That I make budgeting for a personal trainer for weight training a priority. I’d never worked out in a gym till 6 years ago. I had taken aerobic classes but stayed away from free-weights, even though they called me, because I didn’t know what to do with them and the room mainly had guys. My personal trainer taught me good form and now I’m the first woman he’s worked with who can bench press 35-pound dumbbells. I’m working up to 40 pounds. Now men in the gym watch me in fascination!

8. My soft, curvy, in proportion body. I used to just see the cellulite. Now I love my curves and continue to exercise to get into even better shape. But I appreciate that I’m good now!

9. My writing skills. I feel so blessed to be able to earn a living as a writer. I LOVE writing so much and found my way into the most fabulous career that any girl could want—one that I never dreamed I could do back in DoorMatville.

10. My tenacity in turning down work, when things are tight. I vowed to only do what I love and my faith allows me to do that, even when things might look bleak to someone else.

Okay, I’m cheating. I said 10 things but I can’t limit it and will continue. Self-love and appreciation is the truest blessing! Since it’s Valentine Day, please indulge me. I also LOVE:

11. That I’ve learned to value passion, people and contentment over striving to make a lot of money. I see so many rich, yet unhappy folks. They work hard to rake in the cash, then spend it on possessions that they think they need, but aren’t happy when they get them. I always have enough for what I need. I LOVE that my joy comes from a deeper place.

12. That I live with intention of serving God through my writing and speaking. I get letters EVERY day from people who’ve read one of my books, telling me the impact it had on them. I may not have the biggest bank account around but I consider this abundance in the richest state.

13. I LOVE that I love my face. That may sound conceited but after hating it for most of my earlier years, it’s so lovely to look in the mirror and like what I see. With or without makeup, I now consider myself very pretty!

14. That I’m aging well and feel like I continue to get better, not worn out. Taking good care of myself on all levels supports that.

15. That I’m VERY healthy and continue to strive to maintain it. I never cared as I didn’t feel worthy of loving care.

I LOVE THAT I’M NOT A DOORMAT ANYMORE!

So there you go. Some of the things I love about me. I had a lovely lunch with a friend today and tonight I’m getting acupuncture, which always makes me fee fabulous after. So it’s a very loving day. I confess that I bought myself a teeny box of chocolates and ate them all! Being in love with YOURSELF is truly the most satisfying love there is.

I encourage you to make your own list of what you love about YOU and would LOVE you to post it in my comments so we can all see them and feel your joy. If you put it on your blog, please let me know and I’ll link to you.

Happy LOVE Day!

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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A Rose for Me!


Tomorrow is the day that creates stress for many folks–Valentine’s Day. We see men walking down the street carrying the often-obligatory flowers. Every year after 5 when work lets out, drug stores in NYC are full of men lining up to pay for something they grabbed off of a shelf to appease the romantic nature of their ladies. I always laugh when I see them, not putting much thought into the candy, card, stuffed animal, etc. to give to a woman who’ll probably oooo and ahhh over it. And it’s called romance.

One day dedicated to love. A day to force people to express their love. But it’s also a tradition that doesn’t put enough emphasis on loving each other every day.

I’m not bah humbugging Valentine’s Day. It can be lots of fun and an excuse to have great sex. But it’s given too much importance. Women expect a lot from their guys, who often don’t know what gifts to buy. Flowers are easy. They take no thought except to go buy them. Yet we love getting them. I do. In the long run, a gift, or just a token of caring, is much more special for those smart enough to give them, or to appreciate receiving them.

But what happens if you have no one to bring you flowers or chocolates or someone who gives you love on this day designated to celebrate love?

Valentine’s Day can hurt. You can’t avoid knowing that there’s a day made for love while you’re flying solo. Unless you hide in a closet for weeks before, there are blatant reminders of V Day all over. TV shows gives tips for making it special for your partner. Stores are doused in red hearts. Advertisements for flowers, jewelry, candy, etc. are everywhere. How’s a single person supposed to be happy amidst all the hype about this day for love?

I used to get depressed even before the holiday in the years before I had strong self-love. I remember walking down the street with tears flowing as I saw man after man walking with flowers but none were for me. I’d spend V Day with a friend who felt like I did. We pointed out all the flowers and gifts walking down the street and fed each other’s misery.

But I learned that we always have love if we let it in.

When I had my record label I went to London several times a year and stayed at the Luna House B & B, run by a family I got close to—parents, twin brothers and a sister. They were very good to me. One year I was there by myself during V Day. I was out the whole day and saw flowers come and go. I got sad with no one there to love me. I was very down until I returned to my room and saw a bouquet of roses and a stuffed bear holding a heart waiting for me. And a card from one of the brothers, that said, “I may not be your boyfriend but you’re loved. From your friend, Bernard.” He knew I felt bad and wanted to make me happy. I’ll never forget that sweet act of love!

Appreciating a real show of love instead of yearning for what might be obligatory creates a phenomenal boost in spirit.

My turning point for V Day came when I broke up with someone right before the BIG red-letter day. Since he had a big romantic streak, I’d been looking forward to spending V Day with him and getting roses. I buy myself flowers most weeks but roses always seemed appropriate from a guy. I began to mope when I went out and saw the parade of flowers. I wanted roses too! Then I thought about self-love. It was still fairly new for me but I felt it deeply.

I accepted that loving myself was the most important love of all. Why wait for a guy to get me what I desired?

I craved one perfect rose. It began with a thought and built up to a strong yearning. So I decided to get one. After all, I love me! I knew exactly what I wanted—yellowish orange with darker tinged edges. I pictured it and went on a mission to find the most perfect rose. It took a while as I began later in the day and many florists didn’t have much left. But I finally found the one I loved and spent ten bucks—for ONE rose! That’s love! I smiled every time I saw it on my nightstand and smelled it all week. Now I buy a single rose occasionally. It taught me how complete I really am!

ONE rose reinforced self-love. Small loving acts add up to a love affair with YOU.

——–
Exercise: List every splurge you can think of that might make you smile–what you’d love but hesitate to spend time or money on. Figure out how to get them, or at least one for now.
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One rose is inexpensive but loving! Splurges needn’t cost much. I love taking magazines to a café or park for a reading fest. What would you like?

* Ask someone to watch your kids, even if you hate asking.
* Spend a day walking/biking around town.
* Indulge in a $5 slice of cake.
* Get the optional accessory for your car or computer.
* Buy a pillow for your bath.
* Get your nails done.
* Surf the Internet guilt-free.
* Go to the nearest body of water and relax.
* Run away one weekend and just be – no obligations.
* Eat, sleep, and play how YOU want. Bring books or stuff you haven’t had time for.

Catch up on yourself. Having a relationship with YOU brings so much contentment. Pamper and treat yourself well.

Whether you have a partner or are doing Valentine’s Day solo, find small ways to say, “I love me!” Self-love is the most satisfying love you can develop. You must have a relationship and understanding of yourself before you can share your life with anyone else in a healthy way. So go ahead, buy yourself flowers or something you’ve wanted. Whether you have a romantic partner or not, plan to do something to honor YOU on the day that’s dedicated to love.

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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