Reaching New Heights on My Joy-o-Meter

Yesterday on a walk with my friend and our kiddos, she saw someone she recognized on the street. “How are you?” my friend asked him.  “I’m joyous!” replied the neighbor.  And he seemed to truly mean it.  What an answer!

Over the past few weeks, I have been feeling joyous too.  This is a wonderful surprise, because a short time ago I felt little more than fear. So for this week’s speed-blog, I thought I’d reflect on why.

  • I am living according to the one set of personal standards I articulated in May, rather than constantly judging myself on an ever-moving set of criteria.
  • I deepened my commitment to my mission and detached from the money angst that felt so present recently.  I put my money where my heart is and new opportunities magically appeared.
  • I am investing more time with the people who matter most to me.  I took my son to his first Red Sox game.  I’ve been marveling longer at my daughter’s monkey-bar tricks.  I spent 2 luxurious hours on the phone with one friend.  And last Thursday, at our school’s annual barbecue, I delighted in feeling comfortable chatting with so many parents and observing my kids interact joyously with their many friends.
  • In addition to feeling gratitude, I am allowing myself to feel desire too.  I uncovered and released a nagging shadow belief that desire equals greed.  Aha! – I can be grateful for what I have, and want “more”, with no guilt or shame.
  • I am trusting my creative process more.  On Friday I intuitively coached a new client to articulate her mission that matters.  She and I were both open to the flow, and by the end we experienced breakthrough on multiple levels.
  • I am being more, doing less.   (If this means I owe you an email, I’m sorry.)
  • I have been running regularly.  Last week:  3 miles, 3 times.  My new 43-year record!  It seems that as I run I release fear, doubt and uncertainty.  In their place grows more connection to my voice, brilliance and power!

Where are you this month on your own Joyometer?  Why?


  1. Margelit Hoffman

    Very cool. This month is eternity. It's great that she has a plan to make it happen. Otherwise, happiness just wouldn't happen. Reminds me of the Psychology of Happiness class at Harvard, the most well-attended class in history. I only know about it because Shmuel made a video about it.

  2. Debra Woog

    Hi Jen – start from where we are is just right. I feel another nap coming on. 🙂

  3. Debra Woog

    Raquel – so good to hear from you! Happy contract renewal! I'd be delighted to have a Connection Call with you. When you are ready, email and she'll find a time that works for us both. I'm excited to see what your next adventure in entrepreneurship brings… the world needs your creativity!

  4. Debra Woog

    Joyous Margelit, will you say more about the Boot Camp Nice Plan…. is that inspired by Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project?

  5. Debra Woog

    I love More != Better. You are more than enough as you are!

  6. Margelit Hoffman

    Oooh–what's Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project? I'll have to look it up. The Boot Camp Nice Plan is a phrase borrowed from the Rules books by Ellen Fein & Sherrie Schneider. Being on the Boot Camp Nice Plan helps me shut up any negative thoughts in my head and just be nice. The results are always more than I expected:-)

  7. Raquel Ortiz

    Hi Debra: It's me Raquel. I just read your joy-o-meter…WOW, you've come a long way. I've been at FEMA 2 years, started my third yesterday with a enw 2-year contract. I'm in The Partnership Inc., Fellowing Program (” target=”_blank”> ” target=”_blank”>( and it's been great. Classes on efficacy, personal brand, mentoring, caring for yourself first, and more to come – 10 full day classes over 12 month period, graducation in 12/10. I would love to take advantage of the "phone call" if that's OK with you. I'm doing fine, slowly getting out of debt, have my 25 year old niece living with me, she's at Emerson, entering her Senior year in September. I'm looking at entrepreneurship again, post 2011 or 2012, when my contract ends. Which is why it might be good to find a new mentor…and when I saw your message and looked at the JOY-O-Meter had to connect. Will be in touch over the summer for a chat. You sound and look wonderfu. Congratulations on all your accomplishmetns and changes.

  8. Jen/A Place of Joy!

    Love it, Debra! It's so inspiring–even the email sounds relaxed and infused with joyful acceptance!

    Congratulations on your running achievement–that's huge! I've just embraced the start-where-you-are philosophy instead of my usual, set up mile-high goals from day one and give up by day three. This way is so much better!!

    Keep inspiring–and enjoying–and napping… xo jen

  9. Debra Woog

    So glad to see this speaks to you!

    It's important to me to keep this honest at all times, so I want to clarify…. I certainly have not succeeded at *all* I attempt. I am both a mom and an entrepreneur, after all! 🙂

  10. Margelit Hoffman

    Things that bring me joy lately are the little things:
    -my 3-year-old son singing religious songs in his sleep
    -my astoundingly generous family that has taken me in along with my husband and three kids
    -I lost 2.5 pounds after a long plateau!
    -We finally found an affordable, spacious apartment to move into.
    -I'm on the Boot Camp Nice Plan with my husband and it's paying off 🙂
    -I took on a new client–my first nonprofit.

    My dad (I quote him a lot) always says, "Happiness is the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal." Sounds like you're onto something, Debra.

  11. Jenny McFadden

    It's so great to get to hear how you're going through this process – one I'm dabbling in myself and would like to continue pursuing! I find your desire to focus and simplify refreshing and inspiring. Thanks for taking us along for the ride!

    I think for me, this week, what's bringing me joy is the resounding theme of More does not equal Better. Since I'm a programmer, it's really: More != Better. I've been letting go of possessions left and right, and this feels so good! I'm finding great joy in the freedom of being able to manage smaller amounts of things with a higher level of quality.

  12. Keirnan

    Debra, I love reading this post. On one level I love knowing that you are succeed in all that you attempt and on the second level as an inspiration to myself! Keep up the great work!