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,
Debbie Signature

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She’s A Woman on Fire! Introducing…

She’s a Woman on Fire! member and we want you to know her.  Please say hello to…

Rosi Amador

Rosi Amador

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Women on Fire Member: #00209

Member since: September 2013

Please tell us about YOU, your family and your work.

I’m originally from Puerto Rico. My parents were New Yorican (that’s a New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent) and Argentine performers who instilled in me their love of music and the spoken word. They raised me bilingually and biculturally.

My nuclear family consists of my husband Brian Amador and 19-year old twin daughters, Alisa and Sonia. Brian is a composer and Spanish guitarist, as well as a bilingual voice actor.

Alisa is now a sophomore at Bates College, where she is majoring in gender studies and minoring in dance. She also tours as singer-songwriter. Sonia is a creative artist with a passion for textiles, fashion, miniature sculpture and collage. Her specialty is creating unique, amazing crocheted wearables.

For 31 years, my husband and I have recorded albums and toured nationally and internationally with the Latin band we co-founded, Sol y Canto (solycanto.com; facebook.com/solycanto), a socially conscious Latin roots music ensemble that joyfully performs for adult, children and family audiences.

In 2010, I launched Amador Bilingual Voiceovers (www.amadorbilingualvoiceovers.com), and I’m now a successful full-time English/Spanish voice actor. I spend most of my days recording commercials, documentaries, children’s audio books and educational narrations from my private studio in Cambridge, Mass., as do Brian and, when they’re available, our daughters.

From my private broadcast-quality home studio and sometimes when I’m on the road, I record in both my native Spanish and English, using my voice to inspire, motivate, educate and inform the exponentially growing global Hispanic market and the general market.

My clients include PBS, Mattress Firm, OXFAM, Disney, L’Oreal, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Comcast, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston Children’s Hospital, the Lonely Planet, Expedia, and the Smithsonian.

What are you “on fire” about?

After many years of trying to make a sustainable living as a creative, I have created a diverse career that allows me to use my natural gifts through both spoken word and song and that affords me the opportunity to travel, rest and play with those I love.

I can honestly say that now, at the age of 56, I am finally approaching the fullness of my power and my fullest potential! This career has also provided me with the opportunity to shape my desired work/life balance and model for my daughters what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur who is in charge of her life.

How did you originally connect to Women on Fire?

I met Debbie in the 1990s when Brian and I performed in a small musical venue in Martha’s Vineyard. We were seated at the same table and she had no idea we were about to perform. We became friends instantly and stayed in touch.

She even brought her godchildren to see us perform once in Ohio, and she has always been incredibly supportive and helpful from day one. Brian and I were lucky enough to do a couples’ Vision Day with Debbie and her incredible Rob in 2007, and I discovered my superpowers big time!

What one thing are you the most proud of?

My tenacity in claiming my voice and power as an adult! By choosing love and connection, I overcame childhood traumas, educated myself and went about creating and identifying the circles of support I’ve needed so that I could then also help my family and career to thrive.

I chose to live very differently from how I was raised, which took a great deal of courage and self-belief that I didn’t think possible. I have finally created a sustainable life that revolves around meaningful work that allows me to prioritize my physical and spiritual well-being, including connection, rest and play with those I love.

What is your big dream?

The big dreams that I am passionately achieving: to continue singing for fun and performing my cherished Latin music and to become the premier English/Spanish bilingual voiceover service provider worldwide — a business which, with ease and flow, contributes mightily to my financial, personal, and spiritual abundance; and which, with ease, joy and play, enables me to use my multitude of gifts to amplify my values and improve the human condition worldwide.

As a child, what did you want to grow up to be?  

A singer.

If you had the opportunity to teach a child one strategy that would help to guide her life, what would that be?

I believe that putting yourself in someone else’s shoes — empathy — allows you to feel compassion and naturally gives way to kindness toward others and even yourself, which is often a lot harder. When we give, we get so much more back. This is something that I know to be true.

Where do you find inspiration?

I am a self-proclaimed inspiration sponge and TED Talk junkie; however, my most powerful inspiration comes mostly from other women. Apart from our own Debbie, whom I consider a cherished life mentor, I have learned so much from Kristine Oller, a superb coach for creatives, and my voiceover colleague, Amy Snively, the founder of a yearly voiceover gathering with a generous mission. In addition, I consider Brené Brown and Oprah to be role models in living an authentic life.

All these women have provided guidance that has been fundamental to the way I live my life and run my businesses.

On a day-to-day basis, I am also deeply grateful for the inspiration and camaraderie provided by my voiceover colleagues all over the country. I created a Mastermind group three years ago with eight outstanding, seasoned voice talents with whom I’m honored to be in a support group.

An incredibly powerful source of reciprocal inspiration comes to me from my “accountabilibuddy” Liz De Nesnera, also a female bilingual voice talent. We meet via FaceTime several times a week to build more accountability into our businesses and to encourage one another to live joyful, sustainable lives.

Finally, my daughters inspire me! They are not yet 20 yet they are so wise, kind and giving. Performing with my daughter Alisa and watching her bloom as a singer-songwriter is one of my greatest joys, and watching Sonia create amazing artistic wearable crafts and come into her own is another.

Name a woman who has influenced your life and tell what you learned from her.

I have not one but two very close beautiful women friends in my life who are in their 80s and are a huge source of support and inspiration. I speak with my beloved Marie Jo Miera and Sondra Sperber regularly by phone, Skype or in person when possible, even though neither of them lives nearby.

They’re both creative, strong, spiritual women who are fully engaged in their personal development, showering love on their families and friends and powerfully using their creativity and love to make the world a better place.

These two women came into my life after I lost my mother, and they model for me how to live a positive life, always learning, appreciating life, looking for joy and inspiration outside as well as within.

No matter what obstacles present themselves, Jo and Sondra always find a way to overcome it with grace and wisdom and luckily for me, they share all this with me on a regular basis. I feel so blessed to have my personal “wisdom council” and to be the object of their profound love.

When you reflect on your life so far, what comes to your mind?

Through my 40s, I struggled with self-image. I worked hard to get off the dieting cycle of my adolescence and college years. As an on-stage performer, I always felt the pressure to look “great,” a.k.a., “thin.”

I was lucky to find a local therapist who specializes in body dysmorphia. With my wonderful husband’s blessing, I worked with her for nearly three years when I could scarcely afford it and was able to find self-compassion and befriend myself once again.

This changed my life and is what I modeled for my daughters. In tandem with this, it took me years to recover from being a workaholic and finally come to see that a more balanced life, where physical and emotional well-being, rest and play are prioritized.

Finally, I am so grateful to have been blessed with an incredible life partner in my husband, Brian, as he’s a wildly supportive business partner and loving husband and father.

Who cheers you on?

My “wisdom council” — Jo and Sondra, mentioned above, and my daughters, Sonia and Alisa. One of my daughters gave me a gratitude journal and recommended that I journal daily, like her! They both help me look and feel great when I dress up by offering their opinions.

And of course, I’m also cheered on by my closest girlfriends, my Women on Fire sisters, and my loving and supportive husband, Brian. People tell me my optimism and positive energy are infectious. That brings me incredible joy! I believe it’s because I surround myself with positive people; therefore, I attract them and boldly reach out any time to create connection.

How do you cheer on others?

I love cheering others on. It’s one of my superpowers! I’m great at helping my friends look at their lives objectively, to figure out what the priorities are and how to shave away at the negative energy and activities that impede any forward motion.

In my studio and office, I continually have interns and assistants and enjoy mentoring them immensely. They always give more than 100 percent during their time with me, and I have remained friends with so many of them because they know I believe in them and their gifts.

The biggest area in which I cheer others on is my voiceover colleague circles. Little did I know when I walked into a voiceover career — one that by its very contemporary definition requires that you spend many solitary hours in front of a microphone in a home studio — what an amazingly supportive community exists among colleagues! By attending a voiceover conference and meeting in person, Brian and I instantly became part of a whole new supportive family.

I consider it my responsibility and honor to pay it forward as often as I can, sharing what others have generously shared with me. For this reason I’ve created several voiceover colleague support groups both in person and online via video conferences.

In addition, I frequently organize and/or host gatherings, particularly of women, and I ask them to talk about what they’re on fire about (sound familiar?). I ask them to share any obstacles and ask for support. I am also part of a Latina women’s group that meets several times a year in the Boston area, and typically host that community gathering once a year.

FURTHER INSPIRATION FROM ROSI:

I couldn’t live without… my sweet husband’s extraordinary gourmet cooking, walks with my doggie, time with my twin daughters and my two peaceful weeks each year on Martha’s Vineyard, which I jealously guard.

I’m picky when it comes to…. how I spend my time and give away my life energy. In my personal and professional lives I look for positive people who value and inspire me.

My favorite component of the Women on Fire monthly membership is… Debbie’s presence and the programs she’s created for us, from the monthly live chat master classes and monthly interviews to the support and love offered by our private Facebook page, where we can safely be vulnerable, sharing our losses and triumphs, receiving and offering genuine support.

Favorite go-to self-care strategy… my daily meditation + journaling ritual.

I dream of visiting… New Zealand, Portugal, Brazil, The Canary Islands. I can’t wait to return to France, Spain and hopefully Switzerland next summer, to sing and visit with friends!

I’m getting better at… asking for what I’m worth. After many years, I have learned to actually turn down clients who pay me less than I’m worth.

I still need to work on… time-management strategies that permit me to be more proactive in my business and not feel as tied to my abundant work email.

I’m always up for… an evening of listening to live music I love, from Latin to jazz and world music, or work by an innovative singer-songwriter.

I’m still afraid of… the fact that Brian and I got an extremely late start on saving for retirement. We’ll be working for a long while so we plan to continue focusing on health and wellness so that we can be happy, productive and inspiring into our 80s and 90s!

I could spend hours… watching TED Talks. So inspiring!

I believe in… love, kindness, generosity, compassion, empathy and boundaries to maintain my sanity.

The best thing I ever did was… to seek out a wonderful therapist. She helped me to rebuild and love my life!

More about Rosi Amador…

In 1981, she fulfilled her parents’ dream to do what they could not. She earned a college degree from Bryn Mawr College. You can learn more and be in touch with Rosi at rosi@amadorbilingualvoiceovers.com

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She’s A Woman on Fire! Introducing…

Welcome back to our ongoing series to introduce you to each other.  She’s a Woman on Fire! member and we want you to know her.  Please say hello to…

IMG_0090

Andrea Dowding

Dresden, Ohio

Women on Fire Member: #00004

Member since November 2011

Please tell us about YOU, your family and your work.

My husband, Dave, and I are empty nesters for the first time in our 19 years of marriage and our collective 44 years of raising kids … his, hers and ours! August marked was the first time in 27 years that I didn’t have to fill out the never-ending and dreaded “back to school” forms and fees. We are loving finding our new normal.

I am an executive director of sales field learning and development at Thirty-One Gifts, the 28th largest direct selling company in the world. I work with an amazing CEO, Cindy Monroe, and an amazing staff that celebrates and supports a sales field of over 90,000 women.

What are you “on fire” about? 

Taking back my health, one walk-run, one bike ride, and one lap in the pool at a time. I am a four-year survivor of carcinoid cancer, and 2015 is the first year that I have been surgery- and treatment-free. I believe that every woman — no matter her size, shape or circumstance — can begin to reclaim her heath!

I am launching a closed Facebook group called Powerful … Not Perfect to encourage women to journey with me, just as they are, starting right where they are. It is such a relief to show up willing rather than to stay behind waiting.

How did you originally connect to Women on Fire?  

Rob Berkley! Rob was my amazing executive coach, and I met Debbie during Vision Days, first in Naples, Florida, and then in Martha’s Vineyard for a group Vision Day. Debbie and I talked one morning over breakfast at the Harbor View Hotel in Martha’s Vineyard, and she shared her incredible vision for Women on Fire.

I knew instantly that this was the kind of support and community so many women needed and would benefit from. After I received my executive coaching certification, I worked with Debbie and offered Women on Fire teas and the first Women on Fire  coaching groups in the Columbus, Ohio, area.

What one thing are you the most proud of?

In August, I rode in Pelotonia — the bike tour that raises funds for cancer research at the Ohio State University — and am happy to say I crushed every goal, riding 50 miles in four hours or less, with only one stop, and raising $4,000.

In April, I didn’t even own a bike in April, and I was scared to put my goal out there publicly. I wasn’t sure that I had it in me to do it. It felt good to start from ground zero with my training and then to meet or beat every goal.

I highly recommend setting a big — maybe even scary — goal. It moves you forward to another place. 

What is your big dream?

I think my dream is now unfolding, four years into my journey back from being so sick. My dream manifested into helping women (especially those over age 50) try new adventures, maybe for the first time working to take back their health and possibly their life!

Along the way, there has been lots of fun, lots of encouragement, lots of laughter and much celebration! It doesn’t have to be perfect to be powerful!

As a child, what did you want to grow up to be?

A doctor or a writer. That ambition may have merely manifested in a different way than I imagined. I love to see healing occur and hear the stories that come from the journey toward wholeness and full potential.

If you had the opportunity to teach a child one strategy that would help to guide her life, what would that be?

Be adventurous and explore with curiosity and confidence, fully embracing and owning your journey along the way. We have a hand-carved mirror in our home that says it this way, “Go out for adventure and come home for love.”

Where do you find inspiration?

In the stories and success of others.

What is your favorite time-management strategy?

I have learned to manage my energy rather than my time, and it has made all the difference.

Name another Woman on Fire who has inspired you and tell why.

Amy Marzluff is someone I greatly admire. She is wonderfully talented at her craft and continually meets women right where they are and lifts them. She has a passion and a drive to help women in their health journey, but does it in such a way that makes them feel safe, educated and empowered with new information and always, always celebrated.

Amy is a lifelong learner, which I admire, and generous in heart and spirit in sharing her expertise and wisdom. I love her dearly.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced? How did you overcome it?

My divorce and the events that led up to it. I wrote about it in the first Women on Fire book. I had so much work to do on myself to recover and heal. I had to silence the negative voices and find my own, which was really tricky with young children and all the stress that came with a corporate job as a single mother.

I really had to learn to do things on my own terms, which wasn’t easy, and I wasn’t always successful at it. The biggest lessons learned were to celebrate my strengths, admit my mistakes, be quick to forgive myself and others, and be open to any repair work that needed to happen along the way.

Who cheers you on?

My husband, my children and my family and a handful of friends. I am very grateful and blessed to have a wonderful community within my close circle of family and friends.

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

It is from a speech called “The Man in the Arena” by Teddy Roosevelt, which hung in my father’s office until he died. Now it hangs in mine.

     “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

QUICK-RESPONSE ANSWERS:

I always have room for…

kids and grandkids!

I’m picky when it comes to…

hanging pictures.

My favorite component of the Women on Fire membership is…

hearing other women’s stories.

My favorite go-to self-care strategy…

silence in nature.

I dream of visiting…

Greece and Italy.

I can’t wait to return to…

Hilton Head and New York.

I’m getting better at…

saying yes to me first.

I still need to work on…

putting big dreams in the forefront.

I would love to have lunch with…

my mom, all of my daughters, and my sisters and their daughters. What fun!! I can hear the laughter now!

I’m always up for…

a bike ride.

I have a soft spot for…

teenagers and young women starting their careers. I think in that order (smile).

I have no sympathy for…

self pity.

The top three songs on my iPod right now are…

I could spend hours…

swimming.

I believe in…

new beginnings.

I never forget to celebrate…

a goal or dream realized! I love to celebrate that journey!

I don’t leave the house without…

my confidence and compassion.

I never developed a taste for…

okra.

I’m always on the lookout for…

a new, wonderful, BIG idea.

My biggest pet peeve is…

the phrases “I am so jealous” and “you are so lucky.”

The best thing I ever did…

was giving birth and being a mother to my incredible children

More about Andrea Dowding …

In addition to her work with Thirty-One Gifts, Andrea is a leader in the innovative field of executive and life coaching. She specializes in coaching and supporting professional women and top leaders in the $34 billion industry of U.S. Direct Sales.

She is an accomplished keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, whose insights and life strategies were highlighted in the chapter she wrote for Women on Fire, Vol. 1.

Andrea formerly served as the vice president of sales and executive director of product innovation for The Longaberger Company as it grew to be a billion-dollar direct-selling business. She developed and oversaw the new product lines and was co-inventor on 27 products that received U.S. patents.

Andrea resides in Dresden, Ohio, with her husband and one of their six daughters.

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The 5 most-often questions you ask me… Answered!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

If you’re anything like me right now, you’re eagerly tidying up 2014 to bring on the holidays and 2015.

(And I hope you’re having a little fun doing it as my colleague Meredith Schoenberger …uh, I mean Santa Claus … and I did last week during the Women on Fire Holiday Live Chat!)

Before we say goodbye to the year, I want to share with you the five questions I am most frequently asked.

These questions come to me all year long either in emails or private conversations or in public talks or forums.  Some are personal; some are serious; all are asked with love and genuine curiosity.

1. Debbie, you’re so positive. You’re so perky. Are you ever in a bad mood?

Hahaha! I was tempted to invite my husband answer this question. 😉

Born on June 25, I am a Cancer, a Moon Child, so I wax and wane with the moon.

When I was a little girl, my mother would exclaim of my flair for being emotionally up or down (sometimes every other minute), “you’re sooooo dramatic and moody!”

I wish I knew then what I know now.  I would have flung myself across the floor and implored of her, “But, Mom, I am a Cancer, trying to express myself, and I am being mysteriously controlled by the moon!!”

I AM a positive person, and I see the glass half full, but that doesn’t keep me on occasion from being cranky, sad, angry or depressed about something upsetting.

Fortunately, after years of therapy and personal development, and at a stage in my life where I am happy, content and deeply fulfilled by my marriage, work, friends, family and colleagues, I have strategies to cope with the times I’m less than my happy self.

Chiefly, I stop the action and ask myself what is really at the core of my upset or mood. Self-awareness is key to living your dreams — and peace of mind.

No one can stay perky 100% of the time. Including me. (I am tempted though to ask Katie Couric how she does it?!)

2. Do you believe every person has a (fill in the blank) gift/spark/passion/purpose?

Yes, I do!

I’ve talked with and coached thousands of women over the years, and unless someone was profoundly and clinically depressed, I have always seen a spark inside of every single person.

She may not feel it.  She may not even believe it’s “in there.”  But it is.

Best-selling author Deepak Chopra once said that the single greatest job a parent must do for their child is to help them find their gift, their purpose, their passion.

Some of us are lucky and know it early on.  Others of us spend our lives seeking it.

But yes, your passion is in there and it is our parents’ jobs to help us find and nurture it when we are young. And, if we haven’t found it by the time we’re adults, we must make it our quest.

And age is no barrier to finding, embracing, and manifesting your gifts.

3. I’m not on fire.  How can I get in touch with my passion – and how will I know when I find it?

Do you remember a time you were “on fire” in your life? If so, that’s what finding your passion feels like.  You are utterly absorbed.  It doesn’t feel like work.  You’d do it for free.  It feels right.

Here are two quick ways to find your passion:

Slow down and listen to yourself.  Read. Explore. Allow yourself to feel. Go for joy, whether it’s volunteering at an animal shelter, baking a great pie, or skiing down a mountainside.  Whatever brings you joy, do more of it!

Ask others you trust what they see are your gifts, strengths and talents?  Often, those closest to you, including children, know what you are special and gifted at doing – even if you aren’t sure.

Why should you put in the effort to find your passion?  You will spend the rest of your life way happier and more fulfilled!

4. Don’t you get tired listening to people’s problems all the time?

Although I no longer have a one-on-one coaching practice (I’m too busy running Women on Fire!), I have coached women for nearly two decades.  I consider it an honor when people share with me their deepest dreams, desires, pain and disappointments.

A great coach (therapist, teacher, parent, friend) remains separate from the person who entrusts them with their heart and soul.

The truth is I am actually enlivened when I get to share in women’s lives as they search for, discover, struggle and go for their dreams – bumps and all!

I have never been tired by the gift of listening to someone genuinely and authentically share her journey.

What is tiring — and why I suspect I get this question — is because we all know someone who is a help-rejecting complainer.

These are people who have no intention of a better life although they claim otherwise. They live to complain, throw up roadblocks, make excuses, tell you why it won’t work, and in general, stay stuck and miserable. No matter what you do to help!

That’s tiring. It’s not the Women on Fire way of living so you don’t have to worry about that here!

And, while I’ve placed it as the fifth question, the question I am asked MORE than any other is …

5. What about Men on Fire?

The fact that this question is on so many women’s (and men’s) minds tells me there is a crying need for a way for men to connect as we do here at Women on Fire.

Because I hear this question so often, I’ve wondered about it myself.  And I believe that Women on Fire receive so much joy and connection from this community that they want it for their husbands, boyfriends, partners, sons and male friends, too.

Many of you know my husband Rob Berkley is an extraordinary executive coach who works with a lot of men.  So I know from his work, too, that there is great need.

I believe in the future there will be a “Women on Fire” for men to gather in ways that suit their particular needs just as we’ve done here.

In the meantime, the greatest gift we can give the men in our lives is to be our full and radiant, confident and loving selves.  It’s inspiring for men and women alike to see a woman go for it!

Thank you for your questions.  I’m always happy to answer whatever is on your mind.

Thank you so much, too, for being a part of this ever-growing circle of thousands of women dedicated to being your best.

I’ll be back next week for the final SPARK! of the year.

Then, together we’ll welcome a new year and a fresh start to making your dreams come true.  What is it you want to be telling me a year from now about your life? 🙂

Love,

Debbie Signature

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Member’s Club September Sneak Peek!

Each month, our founder, Debbie Phillips, interviews an inspiring expert for monthly members. If you’re not yet a member, please be our guest and listen in today for free to a clip of Debbie’s upcoming candid interview with master coach, entrepreneur and author Rob Berkley.

Along with being Debbie’s husband, Rob is a master certified coach who has spent more than two decades as one of the leading executive coaches in the country, with clients that include McKinsey, Harvard Business School and many of today’s leading entrepreneurs. Rob is a true genius in not only guiding the goals, dreams and visions of others, but also in organization and time-management. His strategies have the power to transform for good the relationship you have with your to-do list!

Simply press PLAY on the video below to listen to a brief audio clip (2:36) of this motivating and transformational interview.

In the full interview, you’ll discover:

  • The best and easiest productivity tool to increase your efficiency exponentially
  • How to set yourself up for success before your day begins
  • Ways to manage your time when your to-do list is overwhelming
  • Strategies to create the optimal environment for productivity
  • The fastest way to clean up your most draining relationships
  • And TONS more

If you are already a monthly member, enjoy this sneak preview. You’ll receive the full interview package in your mailbox in early September.

If you aren’t yet a member and would like to receive the full interview with Rob Berkley, I invite you to join us TODAY! You will also receive:

  • An invitation to our popular monthly live video coaching call/chat with Debbie Phillips, in which you have a chance to receive personalized coaching on whatever you are struggling with
  • Access to our private online forum, where you can connect and feel the support of our amazing community
  • Personalized coaching materials each month
  • And many more benefits

Click here to register to receive September’s monthly membership package.  Registration to receive the interview with Rob Berkley ends on Friday, August 29, 2014. You have only 48 hours left!

Don’t miss out on this genius interview that will have you sailing back-to-school with less stress and more time!

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Getting Stuff Done!

My husband Rob Berkley, in addition to be one of the best coaches on the planet, is an amazing photographer.  (I’m embarassingly biased, I know, but he does have a few fans other than his wife!)

To welcome our hundreds of new Spark! readers this week, I asked him to share some of his latest summer photos with you. I hope you’ll be as inspired by his work as I am.

I think a lot about Rob when I struggle to fit it all in and get things done.

How is it possible, for example, with a full time-and-a-half job he has time to pursue and master his love of photography? (The half-time part of the job being my Honey-Do list for him!)

In the 15 years that we’ve been together, I’ve come to realize his magic:

He treats his time and energy as precious resources.

Do you?

I know I don’t.  And, it’s something I strive to improve upon.  For Women on Fire to pursue and live our dreams, I believe one of several keys to success is cultivating respect for our time and energy.

First, we have to be clear on what we want. Then, we have to determine the steps and take action to get what we want, and that entails honoring and organizing our time and energy in ways similar to Rob.

For example:

  • Rob rarely watches television
  • He starts his morning with practices that launch him into a powerful day (he journals, stretches, meditates, feeds the kitty, brews and delivers me a cup of coffee, possibly his most important job of the day! 😉
  • He rigorously notes and keeps a list of tolerations (the little and big things we tend to put up with that can annoy, frustrate and trip you up) and he works diligently to remove them from his environment
  • He masters his tools and uses time-saving technology such as Evernote and his iPhone timer to keep himself on track
  • He kindly says no to people and things he doesn’t want to do
  • He rarely procrastinates in making a decision and so the “no’s” don’t stack up and eat away at his energy
  • He works from home, proclaims a stop to his day, and rarely emails or texts after 6PM
  • Before he leaves the office, he makes a plan for the next day.

And then he takes a 30-minute daily walk with his camera. So he not only gets exercise but he practices a craft he’s loved since he was 11 years old.

After his walks, he excitedly brings home his photographic bounty.

And that, my sweet woman on fire, is the cherry on top of his time-management sundae!

 My wish is for you to adopt time-saving strategies to streamline your life and work so you can spend more time doing what you love and dream of!

This is a topic we will be discussing in our monthly membership program throughout the fall.

Have a wonderful week! I will be taking a break until September 8 for a little rest and relaxation.

Thank you for being you, and I so appreciate your role in our ever-expanding, powerful circle of fabulous women!

Love,

Debbie Signature

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Links That Light Us Up

16th Edition

Hello Woman on Fire!

We hope you are enjoying your week so far, here are some brand new links to make it that much better 🙂

Best Scrapbook 2.0- Digital cameras make it too easy to take pictures and forget about them. Try using one of these fantastic photo book services collected by Brit.Co to bring your memories back in print.

5 best ways to turn your photos into books via Brit.Co

Best Creative Juice- Do you ever notice that you work better in a coffee shop? There’s something about the calm commotion that makes it easier to stay on task and inspired. Coffitivity is a digital download of ‘coffee shop white noise’. Now you can feel like you’re in the midst of a bustling cafe no matter where you are.

Coffitivity- Background Coffee Shop Noise

Best Budget Wardrobe- We breezed through this amazing list of 100+ fall fashion items under $100 from Vogue. Leather, and jewel tones, and booties, OH MY!

100+ Fall Fashion Items under $100 from VOGUEVogue

Best Word Play- Over at Women on Fire we are HUGE fans of watching TEDTalks, and many of our women have even participated over the years. We stumbled across this one just yesterday from Sarah Kay, titled “If I Should Have A Daughter.” It’s absolutely beautiful and so is the mission for her education based non-profit, Project V.O.I.C.E!

Best Break- Need a break, a breath, a minute to just stop everything around you? Huffington Post created a list of 10 apps to help you relax your body and mind.

10 Apps to relax your body and mind via Huffington Post

Best Fall Photo- Our resident ‘Man on Fire’, Mr. Rob Berkley is a phenomenal photographer who never fails to capture the perfect shot. We’ve seen a lot of fall photos on Pinterest in the past couple weeks but nothing compares to the serenity of this photo. Check out his other work here, or follow him on google+ to keep track of his latest photo updates!

Fall from Rob BerkleyRob Berkley

Best Treat Without Bulge– Food allergies seem to be the new thing, and many of our Women on Fire team members swear by the Paleo Diet. One of our favorite websites Nom Nom Paleo has crafted a delicious treat that eliminates gluten and dairy, from Kelly Brozyna’s unreal cookbook– The Paleo Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook: 80 Gluten Free Treats for Breakfast & Dessert. Food allergies or not, we highly recommend you take a look.

Kelly Brozyna's Chocolate Pie + Raw Graham Cracker Crust from NomNom Paleo

Best New Books- We are always on the hunt for new books to cuddle up with. If you haven’t checked out our Book To Live By for October yet you can do that here 🙂 If you have, follow us over here for a list 12 new books for fall from Mashable.

12 new books to cozy up with this Fall from Mashable

 

We hope you continue to enjoy your week and don’t forget to let us know what’s lighting you up online!

xox

The Women on Fire Team

 

Hanging with the Big O!

It’s official.  Summer’s over.

No matter how many years you’ve been out of school, doesn’t it feel like you should have new shoes, clothes, a fresh notebook, and a pep talk to start anew? 🙂

*This week’s Women on Fire Pinspiration*

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Get a fresh start this Fall with Women on Fire. Get Inspiration, Strategies, and Support in your inbox and mailbox all year long! www.womenonfire.com

I’d love to hear how you are starting off your fall. And, I hope you had a great holiday weekend. We spent ours hosting a wedding!

Photo by Rob Berkley

Our wonderful friend and colleague (of course, a Woman on Fire!) Regina Blos married her sweetheart Romildo in our living room.

There was lots of extra excitement and joy here on Martha’s Vineyard — and  Wilber wore his finest for the occasion. (Even though it looks like he had a little too much Champagne!)

Photo by Rob Berkley

These last few days of summer also were some of my best days of the year and I’m eager to share with you all I learned.

Woman on Fire Jodi Salata invited me to attend two tapings last week of Oprah’s Life Class with Dr. Brené Brown at Harpo Studios in Chicago.


On the set with Brené and Oprah

(If you aren’t yet familiar with Brené, be sure to check out one of her TED talks, especially the video on vulnerability that has been viewed by nearly 11 million people. Her newest book Daring Greatly also was named our Book To Live By in July.)

After the tapings, Jodi’s incredible sister-in-law and my sweet friend Sheri Salata, the president of Oprah Winfrey Network and Oprah’s Harpo Productions, made sure that we were invited to meet with Oprah and Brené informally in Oprah’s “living room” (complete with a roaring fireplace!)


On our way to Oprah’s “living room” inside Harpo studios in Chicago

Not only were the Life Classes with Brene filled with great inspiration and strategies to live your best life but to be behind-the-scenes at Oprah’s, to be in her surroundings, and to watch her work and have fun were as equally rewarding!

Because there is so much to tell you, I have decided to write a three-part series My Visit To Oprah’s, which will start tomorrow.

On the first day of the series, I’ll share what it was like to meet Oprah 27 years ago when she was promoting the national launch of her talk show and hardly anyone had ever heard of her — and what it was like to meet up with her today.

Has she changed? I’ll tell you tomorrow!

On Day 2, you’ll meet Brene Brown and I’ll share what I learned from her and what she was like to meet in person.


Definitely two Women on Fire!

She’s famous for her academic research that proves “vulnerability is absolutely essential to whole-hearted living. ” And, she packed her lessons during Life Class with brilliant nuggets such as this:

“You can’t do anything brave if you’re wearing the strait-jacket of what will people think.”

On the third and final day of the series, I’ll tell you what the people, offices and atmosphere were like at Harpo. And I’m happy to answer any of your questions about the Oprah experience.  Already I’ve received a number of questions so feel free to email me yours.

Here’s a preview of answers to questions so far:

No, I didn’t cry or surprisingly even feel nervous when I met Oprah. Yes, we talked about The Butler (the #1 movie in the country for the third week in a row.) You won’t believe which scene she re-enacted for me!

Mostly though, I can’t wait for you to see the Life Classes shows with Oprah and Brene for yourself.  They were uplifting and ones that every Woman on Fire will learn and gain valuable insight from.

They are scheduled to air on OWN Network on September 22 and 29.  And there are special Women on Fire appearances that you won’t want to miss! 😉

So, I hope you will treat yourself to whatever inspires you to start fresh as we head into September.  What do you want to accomplish between now and December 31?

Have you taken a look at your goals lately?  Maybe now is a good time to celebrate them, or update them, or decide the next steps for them.

We’re here to support you!  And, as Oprah would say, “how will you live your best life?”

See you tomorrow and happy, happy end-of-summer!

Rob’s anniversary gift …

I’m so glad this isn’t television because if you saw me right now, I look pretty bad. I’m still in the workout clothes I put on first thing this morning – and exercise has had no part in this day whatsoever!

Instead, I spent today unshowered and glued in my seat to put finishing touches on the next Women on Fire book, which will be out by late summer. (I can hardly wait to introduce you to the 21 amazing co-authors and their stories … stay tuned!)

Right now, I’m in that full-on haze that I experienced with the last Women on Fire book. I lose track of time and space and when I remember to eat, I only want cookies. 😉

Still, I wanted to tell you about something that I can’t stop thinking about.  Rob and I celebrated our anniversary last week – and he did something that was so special and meaningful.


Happy anniversary 2013…before he made me cry!

It didn’t cost a dime except for his time and I thought you might be inspired if you have an upcoming anniversary, or you want to strengthen your relationship, or you simply want to let someone special know how much they mean to you.

Before I share the details, here’s a little background…

Many years ago I was divorced and just when I was certain I would never find love again, on July 31, 1997, I met the most remarkable man – over the phone on a business conference call.

After the call, which like I said was strictly business, I swatted my face and verbally beat up myself at my attraction to this man:  “Stop getting excited over someone’s voice on the telephone; that guy could be an ax murderer.”

When the “ax murderer” and I finally met in person months later, there were no sparks. Just a nice, easy friendship that developed as we began to work together on professional projects.  It was quite a while before the friendship became personal — and then romantic!


One of our first pictures together after falling in love!

Ten years after that conference call, Rob and I were married.  July 31 is the day we met – and married.

So last week for our anniversary we went to Boston and celebrated at dinner at the restaurant No. 9 Park.  We were wrapping up our wonderful night when Rob surprised me with a letter. It was titled “6 x 6.”

1)   Six things I love about you

2)   Six things I am in awe of about you

3)   Six things I appreciate about you

4)   Six things that tickle me about you

5)   Six things that bedazzle me about you

6)   Six things that inspire me about you

Well, you can imagine after reading all 36 of his thoughts and feelings, I was deeply touched and cried like a baby.  My heart was overflowing with love and gratitude.

Our favorite therapist Dr. Norman Shub reminds us that love isn’t just a feeling.  Love is a set of actions and behaviors.  And, Rob, I loved your action steps!

*This week’s Pinspiration*

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Magic is something you make- Learn how to make more magic in your rleationships with the 6x6 trick @debbiephillips.com

We all know how hard it is in a relationship to stay in sync and in love.  Rob and I often laugh with friends about comedian Chris Rock’s famous routine:  “you are either married and bored — or you’re single and lonely.”

But no matter your status, there’s no reason to be unfulfilled.  No reason not to share your love.  Who in your life right now might you delight by surprising them with six reasons you are tickled by them? Ten reasons they make you laugh? Five reasons you’re inspired by them?

I know to be the recipient of such love and positive regard from another human who knows me better than anyone else on the planet is the greatest gift I could ever have received.

Have a wonderful week, fabulous woman, and I hope to see you back here next week.  I’m headed to take a shower. It’s the least I can do to reciprocate some love for that man of mine!

It’s Nature’s Way

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ~ Rachel Carson in Silent Spring

A big hug and a big welcome to you — and to our many new readers.

You are joining a circle of women who will inspire and support you to have what you dream of in your life!  How cool is that?

I hope this long weekend is giving you a chance to relax, have fun, and recharge your batteries.  We’re sure doing that here on Martha’s Vineyard.

Wilber the cat and I took a three-hour nap yesterday.

I don’t remember that ever happening for that long, and even then, I only woke up because he was snoring so loudly!

So, I’m catching up on some much needed rest and I hope you are, too.

To bring in the new season coming soon, in next week’s SPARK! we’ll discuss Breathing New Life Into Your Home for Summer.

Trudy Dujardin, an expert in eco-elegant interior design (and, of course, a Women on Fire member!) will share easy, inexpensive tips and strategies to add  new life  to your home and office for the summer.

If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up to receive Trudy’s Holistic House blog. You’ll stay inspired and motivated all year long to keep your home and environment healthy and beautiful for you and your family.

In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy what I’ve been oooohing and ahhhhing over the past couple of days.

I’ve sprinkled pictures into today’s SPARK! of the incredible natural beauty everywhere I look on Martha’s Vineyard.

My talented husband Rob Berkley took all the photos you see here with his new camera, the Fuji X100S.

Rob loves his Fuji because it is light and small yet takes images that rival the larger model cameras he has been lugging around for years.

(If you’re a photo bug or you have one in your family, this particular camera makes a great Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthday, any-time-of-the-year gift!)

I hope you will be as dazzled as I am by these gifts of nature.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  We’re about to throw burgers on the grill, pour glasses of my favorite club soda with splashes of orange and cranberry juice, and stare out into our lush backyard.

And, I will keep in mind the wisdom of writer Jane Austen:  May you sit in the shade on this fine day, and look upon nature as the most perfect refreshment.

Thank you for being a part of this powerful community of amazing women, and I will see you back here next week!