January’s Book To Live By

In getting 2018 off on the right foot, I followed some advice from a new book. It said: “Seek direction from wisdom figures.”

The wise author, Joan Chittister, has been a role model of mine for more than a decade. As always, I found comfort and hope in her words.

Joan is a Benedictine nun and one of our most beloved humanitarians and social activists. You may have seen her on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday or read some of her more than 50 books.

To help you jump-start your year, I am honored to introduce you to our January Book to Live By:

Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life by Joan Chittister

Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life by Joan Chittister

As the subtitle suggests, this is a guide to breaking the chains of what Sister Joan calls “the nagging hungers of the self” — such spiritual assailants as fear, anger and addiction.

The book is based on the teachings of Saint Benedict, a sixth-century Italian known as the founder of Western monasticism. The key to freedom, we learn, is humility.

Saint Benedict’s 12 steps of humility include such simple but savvy lessons as “Endure the pains of development and do not give up,” “Acknowledge faults and strip away the masks,” “Listen” and “Speak kindly.”

Sister Joan takes tales and events from around the world and weaves them with her own life stories to illustrate each step. She mixes her insights with a large dose of humor.

Radical Spirit offers a peaceful, practical remedy to the stresses of modern life while acknowledging its daily challenges.

I love this book and will reflect on its many inspirations over and over throughout the year.

Wishing you a radically spirited 2018!

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January 2018 Sneak Peek Interview with Joan Chittister

Fear is not the opposite of courage. Fear is the catalyst of courage.

The ripening process of life brings out the best in us, however trying the test of the seasons.

These two quotes have been lights along my own path. And they both come from one of my greatest role models.

Joan Chittister is a Benedictine nun, an international speaker and a teacher. She also is the author of some 50 books, including her most recent, Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life.

WOF Sneak Peek Jan400x400

Her work as an energetic advocate for social justice and equality, especially for women, has blazed a trail for me over the last 15 years.

I asked Sister Joan to help Women on Fire kick off the new year with inspiration and passion. She provides a large dose of each. This is one of my all-time favorite interviews!

For the January membership packet, I am so pleased to introduce this humanitarian, in all her wisdom, grace and humor. I know you will love her as much as I do.

Listen here as Sister Joan describes what she calls “the ripening process in life”:

In the rest of this fun and challenging conversation, you’ll learn:

  • A beautiful ritual you’ll want to use as a spiritual jump-start for each year
  • How Sister Joan has had to face down fear over and over again during her ceiling-shattering career
  • The way she defines and observes authenticity in the people who most inspire her
  • About the saint whose example guided her in writing her latest book
  • How humility can transform all of your relationships
  • What it means to be a “maverick” for the rights of women and families
  • Ways that women can find nourishment and comfort in the church today
  • The “intoxicating” beverage Sister Joan might have used for toasting the new year!

To hear the rest of this profound conversation, join the Women on Fire Monthly Membership today.

You will become part of what New York Times’ best-selling author Marianne Williamson calls “the ultimate ‘you go, girl’ community for inspiration and support.”

You have until January 5 to receive the full interview with Joan Chittister, your personalized coaching materials, access to the Women on Fire private Facebook page and much, much more.

We hope you’ll join us!

With love,
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December 2017 Sneak Peek Interview with Rob Berkley

Your magic is inside of you, and it just wants to come out.

That message was at the core of the Women on Fire 2017 Retreat in Miami Beach, where our theme was Time to Make Your Magic Happen.

The final event of the retreat brought it all together. Rob Berkley shared his wise, wonderful and easily applicable action plan for how to release your magic into the world.

It is unusual to see a man at the retreat, much less as a speaker! But Rob is special to Women on Fire. We think of him as our rock, our keel.

Rob is a master-certified coach, an author, an entrepreneur, a visionary. He is also my husband and partner.

After his talk at the retreat, many women asked me for a recording or the presentation points so they could listen to it again.

For the December membership packet, I am so pleased to share Rob’s inspiring message, “How to Unleash Your Magic,” especially for those of you who couldn’t be with us in Miami.

Listen here as Rob asks us to look at our commitment to our purpose:

In the rest of his talk, Rob shares his tried-and-true strategies, including:

  • 10 ways to create happiness
  • 10 blocks to your magic showing up
  • The essential step to unleashing your magic
  • How to set, reset, and manage your boundaries
  • The subtle but fundamental differences between happiness and pleasure
  • The magic of a supportive community
  • What to do if the people you love don’t give you the support you need
  • Why you are already perfect to begin living the life of your dreams today

Even if just one of these ideas speaks to you and you put it into practice, over time you will move your life in a positive direction — and toward what you truly want.

To hear the rest of Rob’s practical and insightful talk, join the Women on Fire Monthly Membership today.

You will become part of what New York Times’ best-selling author Marianne Williamson calls “the ultimate ‘you go, girl’ community for inspiration and support.”

You have until December 5 to receive the Rob’s full keynote address from our 2017 retreat, your personalized coaching materials, access to the Women on Fire private Facebook page and much, much more.

We hope you’ll join us!

With love,
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November’s Book To Live By

Are you looking for a tantalizing, titillating, totally bewitching book to warm your winter nights?

I have a special recommendation this month that will fit the bill.

And you could expect nothing less from one of our most inspired and inspiring Women on Fire.

For the November Book To Live By, I am thrilled to present the new book by our dear friend:

Unforgivable Love by Sophfronia Scott

Unforgivable Love by Sophfronia Scott

Unforgivable Love offers a stunning retelling of the 1782 French novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The book was scandalous in its time, yet so irresistibly provocative and universal in its subject matter that in the two centuries since it has seen numerous adaptations in every imaginable format and setting.

Given this rich history, it is remarkable to find such a fresh and alluring twist on the themes and a deeper exploration of the characters. But Sophfronia gives us a portrayal that is utterly original and surprising.

Unforgivable Love is set in 1947 Harlem among the crème de la crème of African American society.

The beautifully written and elegantly plotted tale is told from four viewpoints, each drawn with depth and texture. You may not like all of the characters, but you won’t be able to resist or forget them.

Treachery, revenge and seduction abound. The tension will at times leave you gasping and heartsore. And you will want to luxuriate in the luscious scenery.

Unforgivable Love is brilliant and beguiling, and I am so proud to share Sophfronia’s achievement with all of her Women on Fire sisters. It is available from Amazon and wherever books are sold.

Here’s to warm winter nights ahead,

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November 2017 Sneak Peek Interview with Sophfronia Scott

What is your dream worth?

Author Sophfronia Scott, one of our Women on Fire sisters, overcame huge obstacles to learn the answer to that question.

She had to move past unthinkable tragedy and even give up her own successful business to become the writer she knew she could be.

Now she has arrived!

Sophfronia Scott

Three of Sophfronia’s books are being published: her second novel, Unforgivable Love; a collection of essays; and a book on faith she co-wrote with her 13-year-old son.

In the November interview, Sophfronia shares how she maintained her determination through life’s challenges to meet such lofty goals.

Listen here as she describes how she used the wisdom and support from the Women on Fire community to help keep her dreams on track:

In the rest of the interview, you’ll also learn:

  • The moment that convinced her to commit to her writing
  • How she got an agent and her advice to others looking to be published
  • Her ideas for keeping a positive attitude in the face of rejection
  • How she organizes her daily writing practice and the way she adds companionship to her solitary work
  • About the days following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where her son was a third-grader, and what gave her family strength
  • How she was finally able to write about the horrific experience
  • Her views on faith and raising a spiritual child
  • Ways she maintains her authenticity while marketing herself and her work
  • The writer who has most influenced her

And the After Interview features another Woman on Fire sister, Janina Serden Sebesky, who is planning a special celebration for Sophfronia’s book releases.

To hear the rest of this inspiring interview, join the Women on Fire Monthly Membership today.

You will become part of what New York Times’ best-selling author Marianne Williamson calls “the ultimate ‘you go, girl’ community for inspiration and support.”

You have until November 5 to receive the full interview with Sophfronia, your personalized coaching materials, access to the Women on Fire private Facebook page and much, much more.

We hope you’ll join us!

With love,
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October 2017 Sneak Peek Interview with Loung Ung

Loung Ung has faced down darkness and emerged with love, dignity and grace.

As a child, she saw more of the evil in the world than most of us can even imagine. She is a survivor of Cambodia’s Killing Fields, a genocide that claimed one-fourth of the nation’s population.

Loung’s best-selling books about her nightmarish experiences and devastating losses — First They Killed My Father, Lucky Child and Lulu in the Sky — are gripping narratives of terror, but also of courage and resilience.

For the October membership interview, I spoke with Loung about her life, the new movie based on one of her memoirs, and her friendship with the film’s director, actress Angelina Jolie.

Loung Ung

First They Killed My Father, which she co-wrote with Angelina, is currently streaming on Netflix.

In this excerpt from the interview, Loung talks about the most difficult part of seeing her life story on the screen:

In the rest of the interview, you’ll learn all of this and so much more:

  • The ways Loung has honored the memory of her parents, who died in the Killing Fields
  • How her friendship with Angelina Jolie has blossomed and flourished and what it’s like to work with this Hollywood icon
  • About her experiences on the set of the film in Cambodia and what she considered to be her main role there
  • How self-care played a part in Loung’s capacity to sustain the arduous movie-making experience
  • About her entrepreneurial side as a restaurateur in Cleveland, Ohio• Her favorite snack — and it’s not Cheetos!

Loung is a favorite here at Women on Fire. I first interviewed her for you five years ago, and she was a guest speaker at the 2014 Women on Fire Retreat. I am honored to bring her back to share the exciting updates in her life.

And the After Interview features another beloved Woman on Fire — Ellen Wingard, a dear friend who introduced me to Loung two decades ago.

To hear the rest of this thought-provoking interview, join the Women on Fire Monthly Membership today.

You will become part of what New York Times’ best-selling author Marianne Williamson calls “the ultimate ‘you go, girl’ community for inspiration and support.”

You have until October 5 to receive the full interview with Loung Ung, your personalized coaching materials, access to the Women on Fire private Facebook page and much, much more.

We hope you’ll join us!

With love,
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September 2017 Sneak Peek Interview with Kate Davis

Movies, at their best, are like magic, elevating the art of storytelling to another level.

Some of my favorite films have been documentaries — that special genre that seeks to record reality, blending information and inspiration in remarkable ways.

For the September membership interview, I’m honored to introduce you to a documentary filmmaker extraordinaire, my friend Kate Davis.

Kate — often with her husband, David Heilbroner — has been producing award-winning documentaries on a wide range of topics for nearly two decades. They include such classics as Stonewall Uprising, The Newburgh Sting, Jockey and one of my favorite movies of all time, Southern Comfort.

Let’s listen in Kate talks about Southern Comfort, her groundbreaking film on transgender lives that won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival:

In our far-reaching conversation, you’ll learn:

  • A behind-the-scenes view of a filmmaker’s life
  • How Kate overcomes challenges in making her movies
  • Where she gets her ideas and inspiration
  • How she integrates her busy career with life as a wife and mom
  • A sneak preview of her important upcoming work

To hear the rest of this interview, join the Women on Fire Monthly Membership today.

You will become part of what New York Times’ best-selling author Marianne Williamson calls “the ultimate ‘you go, girl’ community for inspiration and support.”

You have only a few more days to receive the full interview with Kate Davis, your personalized coaching materials, access to the Women on Fire private Facebook page and much, much more.

Join us today!

I look forward to hearing about the movies that have created magic in your life!

With love,
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August 2017 Sneak Peek Interview with Nikki Giovanni

What makes a person unforgettable?

For me, perhaps the most memorable characteristics can best be summed up in one word: passion.

In 1985, when I was the press secretary to then Ohio Governor Richard Celeste, I attended a celebration for the latest inductees into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. There, I was introduced to a woman who is the very embodiment of passion.

That woman, Nikki Giovanni, is my guest for the August Women on Fire membership interview.

Nikki is a poet, educator, social activist and so much more. From the moment we met, I have been awed and inspired by her.

You may remember Nikki from her powerful address during the memorial convocation that followed the horrific mass shooting at Virginia Tech University in 2007. Nikki is a professor at the school and knew many of the victims — as well as the shooter.

In this excerpt from the interview, Nikki talks about the days following the massacre and how she came to write her stirring speech:

In the rest of our conversation, you’ll also learn:

  • The effects of the massacre on Nikki, then and now
  • What she does during trying times to calm her soul
  • Her thoughts on being named one of Oprah’s Living Legends — and what she is still waiting for Oprah to send her
  • Her simple truths about living and dying
  • Nikki’s idea that colonizing space could be the next Middle Passage
  • Her advice on living your dreams and purpose
  • The link she makes between church and hair and swimming
  • The quote from Nikki that has long been hanging on the wall in my office as an inspiration and challenge

To hear the rest of this thought-provoking interview, join the Women on Fire Monthly Membership today.

You will become part of what New York Times’ best-selling author Marianne Williamson calls “the ultimate ‘you go, girl’ community for inspiration and support.”

You have until August 5 to receive the full interview with Nikki Giovanni, your personalized coaching materials, access to the Women on Fire private Facebook page and much, much more.

With love,
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July’s Book To Live By

Do you believe to be healthy you have to give up everything you love?

Not so, says this inspiring author and expert.

In this month’s Women on Fire membership interview, I talked with Phoebe Lapine, a private chef, culinary instructor, cookbook author and award-winning blogger (FeedMePhoebe.com).

For the July Book To Live By, it is my pleasure to introduce you to her empowering and engaging new book:

The Wellness Project: How I Learned to Do Right by My Body, Without Giving Up My Life by Phoebe Lapine

The Wellness Project chronicles Phoebe’s yearlong search for answers to a common question: Why don’t I feel well?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer.

In a witty but deeply personal way, Phoebe shares her trial-and-error strategies and tips for dealing with 12 major health categories, including sleep, skin care, exercise, de-stressing, and detoxing her liver and her environment.

She uses her struggles with chronic conditions (an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroidism and a gluten sensitivity) to illustrate how to personalize the research and solutions to your own health dilemmas.

But Phoebe hasn’t forgotten the other side of the story — the desire to indulge in life’s many pleasures. She knows that feeling deprived is a pitfall for making permanent lifestyle changes. Her philosophy of “healthy hedonism” balances healthy choices with ease, comfort and preference.

Of course, food is essential for Chef Phoebe, and I know you will eat up her savvy and savory advice! Each chapter — even those not specifically about diet or nutrition — includes two scrumptious, healthy, gluten-free recipes.

She also summarizes each chapter with a list of tips to make it super easy to review key points. This is a book you’ll want to go back to again and again.

Phoebe is also a longtime friend and an early and enthusiastic supporter of Women on Fire. She is member No. 99! We are very proud to share her extraordinary work with the world.

The Wellness Project is available from Amazon and at bookstores everywhere.

Here’s to feeling your very best today and always,

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July 2017 Sneak Peek Interview with Phoebe Lapine

Healthy living is a balancing act to be sure. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up every indulgence.

You can think of it as a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story.

And I have the perfect guide for you.

My guest for the July membership interview is the amazing Phoebe Lapine — food writer, chef, culinary instructor, blogger, author and Women on Fire member No. 00099.

Phoebe has been sharing her recipes and tips with Women on Fire for years.

In this discussion, we go farther, using as our road map her inspiring new book, The Wellness Project: How I Learned to Do Right by My Body Without Giving Up My Life.

Phoebe began her project with one simple question: Why don’t I feel well? It kicked off a yearlong quest to take charge of her health while still enjoying herself.

Along the way, she examines various aspects of her life, including sleep, sex, drinking, beauty products, her period and her gut.

As you can imagine, food figures prominently in her search.

In this excerpt from the interview, Phoebe talks about her “kitchen fairy godmother” — the Food Network superstar who helped to launch her love of cooking and feeding others.

In the rest of the interview, you’ll also learn:

  • About Phoebe’s chronic health condition, an autoimmune disorder
  • Ways to tame the chaos of complex — and often conflicting — health information
  • How to set yourself up for healthy eating at home so you don’t have to worry so much when you are out on the town
  • What it means to love your skin from the inside out
  • A stress-relieving way to think about insomnia
  • How to find and eliminate toxins in your home
  • The wise advice Phoebe received from her famous father
  • And much, much more

Phoebe’s humor, charm and openness in sharing the details of her life will inspire and empower you on your own journey to wellness.

To hear the rest of this wide-ranging interview, join the Women on Fire Monthly Membership today.

You will become part of what New York Times’ best-selling author Marianne Williamson calls “the ultimate ‘you go, girl’ community for inspiration and support.”

You have until July 5 to receive the full interview with Phoebe Lapine, your personalized coaching materials, access to the Women on Fire private Facebook page and much, much more.

With love,
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P.S. If you sign up now, in addition to receiving access to this powerful interview and other exciting benefits, you will be invited to attend the June Women on Fire Live Chat master class on Tuesday, July 18.

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