Eradicate self-judgment – Negotiate for Joy – Embrace your true power

Negotiating for Joy index cards with Debbie Happy Cohen and Michele Stone Joy Based Living.png

In any negotiation, I always desire and imagine and aim for the very best and highest joy for each person. And when someone I care about is struggling with something, nothing matters more to me than their greatest joy. This doesn’t mean that they will always get exactly what they want from me or from the universe. But it does mean that I care to help them get as close as they possibly can to get what they want and to have their needs met.

Tonight’s conversation with Michele was extreme team building and extreme emotional awareness. At its best. On both of our parts. It was tender and honest and vulnerable and caring and scary and real and beautiful.

I am so proud of us for engaging a “negotiating for joy” conversation. We didn’t record the conversation because that was a time for us to be vulnerable and tell our truths to each other. But the index cards are our notes from DURING the conversation and I am sharing them with Michele’s permission. We are sharing this with you because we want to share our teambuilding-in-action, so that we can learn from one another and include you in our evolution, our development, our growth.

What does it means to NEGOTIATE FOR JOY?

One of my favorite questions to ask my friends and loved ones is:


And then, really listen.

And then, ask it again, and keep listening. Encouraging the other to reveal their deepest truth, their truest desire.

And then, having the other person ask me that question:


And then, really listen.

And then, do our best to get as close as we can to making our combined desires a reality.

I am so proud of me and Michele. We did that tonight.

And we are in the midst of a real live experiment as we go forward with our Podcast conversations.

Much love and big hugs to all of you.

Stay safe, be well, and negotiate for joy!

Debbie and Michele

Happy Debbie at JBL VillageDebbie Happy Cohen, author and coach, is also the founder of Joy-Based Living. Her Master’s Degree is in counseling, specializing in family systems, healing emotional trauma, and turning OY into JOY! She lives on Lookout Mountain in Alabama, near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Debbie’s books include Reach Your Stars!SANCTUARY and It’s All About Kids: Every Child Deserves a Teacher of the Year. And I Don’t Think So! Her friends have nicknamed her Happy D! and Reverend SASSY SHORTS! You can find her blogging and write to her at

Michele Stone bio photoMichele Stone is a professional artist in Tampa, Florida as well as a Certified Therapeutic Art Life Coach. She teaches classes for children and seniors and also curates art exhibits at the Carrollwood Cultural Center. Masterpieces with Michele, LLC is her company where provides painting parties for adults at their workplaces.  You can watch her videos and subscribe to her youtube station here.


This podcast is for all you moms and dads out there freaking out about what to do with your children for the next 2-4 weeks, while we are all quarantined. We plan to do a whole series of refreshing topics and life hacks to keep the stress and frustration down to a minimum. They will cover a wide range of topics, including emotional intelligence, doodling, navigating challenging times, resistance and so much more. Please leave a comment and I might draw out a doodle for you!! 


This podcast is CLEAN LANGUAGE AND KID FRIENDLY. I am swearing to give up swear words during these podcasts because your young ones are at home and you need this info to be heard and shared freely!! We want you to be a great lioness during these times. We want to help you you be the calm amidst the storm. We know how much you love your kids and we know how much you care.


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