Where’s your next trip? Paris maybe?

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. ~ Saint  Augustine

I love that inspiring quote and use it often to give myself extra permission to do the thing I’m crazy for — travel!

To visit a new place, learn history and culture, see how others live, and get a new perspective on my own life exhiliarates me.  How about you? Do you love to go away and lose yourself (or find yourself!) in another place?

I’ve been to Antarctica, India and Egypt.  But I’ve never been to Zanzibar, Zagreb or Zurich. I sometimes worry I won’t have enough time in my life to go everywhere I want to go! What’s the next big trip on your agenda?

Wherever you go, I hope you will share your travel dreams with us so we can cheer you on — and maybe even live vicariously through you.

In 2012, one of the highlights of my travels was when Woman on Fire Doni Belau, the founder of Girls’ Guide to Paris, and I took a group of women to PARIS! It was life-changing.

For the women who went, they made lifetime friendships and figured out next steps in their lives, all while celebrating, devouring and luxuriating in what is so historic, gorgeous and feminine about Paris!

Because you are here, you know that being a Woman on Fire is about creating transformation in your life — and nothing does that quite like leaving your everyday environment to take a fresh look at yourself. All while surrounding yourself with a powerful and uplifting circle of support.

You’ve got to see this delightful video that Woman on Fire Meredith Schoenberger created from our last Women on Fire trip to Paris with Becky Adams, Lisa Umberger Arundale, Kim Davis, Jill Dulitsky, Angela Ittu, Susan Kruger, Tandi Musuraca, Michelle Whittaker, Jamie Eslinger, Doni and me.

Want to travel to Paris with Women on Fire?

Women on Fire are headed back to Paris in 2014.  And you are invited (just in case Paris is one of your big travel dreams, too!)

We will take 20 of you on two different trips (10 women on each trip) next April and May.  Many of you are already on our Paris list for more information.  If you’re not on the list and want to be considered to join us, be sure to let  meredith@womenonfire.com know your interest so we can be in touch with you.

Soon we will be sending everyone on the list a brief application and then registration will begin soon after.

I hope the video inspires you to think about your next trip — whether it is Prague, Patagonia or with us to Paris!

Have a phenomenal week and I’ll see Women on Fire members on our LIVE CHAT at 8PM Eastern on Tuesday. I’ll share tips on The Power of Your Story — And Why It’s Important to Share Yours.

Members also should receive this week September’s CD package 9 Questions To Ask Yourself To Live An Extraordinary Life. Hope you enjoy!


For love of a great haircut

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. ~ St. Augustine


Yesterday I returned from Paris where 11 Women on Fire experienced the trip of a lifetime together.

We laughed and cried.  Listened and empathized.  Honored and celebrated.

We experienced days with four desserts! And, evenings with fine French food and wine.

Every woman on the trip carried a full plate prior to coming on the trip.  So, for each of us, Paris was a chance to stop, to breathe and re-calibrate our lives, and then to return home inspired and re-invigorated.

Years ago, a very talented colleague of mine, the writer Sue Ann Jones, referred to fashion or life make-overs as “The Before. The After. And, After The After.”

And, so it occurs to me that there are at least three powerful stages we go through in moving toward our dreams and deepest desires.

First, there is the excitement, the notion, the possibility of a goal or dream that inspires you to something better or greater for your life.

Take the paris trip, for example.  Several women on the adventure wanted to have a fun experience with other women; others wanted to take a break from overwork and overwhelm; still others wanted to “re-do” Paris after an unpleasant past experience.

Each one listened to the inkling or desire to follow her heart.  (Is there something in your life right now tickling your imagination?)

Next, there is taking action to make it happen.  You may launch a business, go on a vacation, move to another city.

With the Paris women, they signed up for the trip and started to plan.

And, finally, there is the reflection after the experience.  In this stage, you receive the wisdom, feel the glow, and apply the experience to a new and improved life.

For the women who went on the trip, I watched us each transform in a magical way, and I saw the three stages at work in us all.

Going to Paris was a lifetime dream of mine, and the trip proved to hold dreams within dreams.

One of them was my own “Before. After. And After The After.”

For a while now, I have been wishing for a new look.   Something different, but I had no clue what exactly.  It was just an inkling.

And, in Paris, with the help of renowned magazine cover hair and make-up stylist Rita Dell’Orco, my wish came true!


The Before

Rita Dell’Orco working her magic

The After

And, finally, After The After – living with the new

Wherever you are with your dream – maybe life has gotten in the way; maybe you need support and nourishment; maybe you need confidence – you can be assured  the stirrings inside you are waiting for expression.

And, perhaps something as simple as a new haircut you love, will get things moving in the right direction for you!

Keep us all posted on your dreams and goals in the comments section below.

Angels to each other

Hello from Paris!

This past week has been the long-awaited, much anticipated Women on Fire trip and Vision Day® in Paris.

It’s been magnificent and I hope you’ve seen the many posts about our trip on Facebook and Twitter.  We want to share as much of this magnificent adventure with you as possible.

It was a deeply touching week here in Paris – and I’ll tell you why.

You might think it was seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time …or eating at the Michelin 2-star Restaurant Helene Darroze … or learning to ride Segways and buzzing about the streets of Paris.

Paris by Segway! We had a blast zipping about Paris on Segways. The 11 Women on Fire from left to right: Susan Kruger Woodcock, Jill Dulitsky, Angela Ittu, Tandi Musuraca, Doni Belau, Debbie Phillips, Lisa Umberger Arundale, Michelle Whittaker, Kim Davis, Becky Adams and Jamie Eslinger

Or you might think it was shopping the fresh markets with a French chef. Then taking the ingredients back to his cooking school kitchen to learn how to whip up from appetizer-to-dessert (including cheese and wine) the most fabulous French meal.


But no.  What was most deeply satisfying was something else.

The 11 women on this trip spent the week in Paris together sharing our dreams, our hopes, our challenges.  We listened to each other; comforted each other; cheered each other on.

That we could come together in this nurturing way was more touching and inspiring to me than anything else on this trip.

My best friend Jan Allen and I always say of each other, “as best friends, we take notes about life and share them each other.”

And, that is what happened when 11 women, most of whom did not even know each other before Paris, came together to share love, life, work, motherhood, dreams and goals.

More than one woman said to me over these past few days in Paris, “I had no idea how much I need the company of other women.”

So here in Paris, we laughed and cried and celebrated and turned our attention to next steps forward in our lives.

While you don’t have to fly to Paris for support like this (although I certainly would not stop you!).

Please know that sometimes it takes getting away in a purposeful and planned way to stop and take stock and breathe again.  And to be in the company of and to hear from other women to see the way forward.


What I would want for you are loving and caring women to spend time with regularly; women who cheer you on; women who accept you for you; women who celebrate how far you’ve come; and women who believe you and your dreams.

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” ~ Jane Howard (1935-1996)

With love to you from Paris ~

California dreamin’ and thinkin’

If you look up, you might see me.

Right now I’m looking down at you and sending a hug — from 40,000 feet — as I zip across the country from California to Florida!

This past week I’ve been in Palo Alto and San Diego to attend two fascinating and inspiring conferences – both focusing on energizing, equipping and supporting women to go for their dreams.

I loved being in the company of so many talented and accomplished women and having the luxury of time to dream and think!

And I sneaked in some juicy fun with close friends, too.

There is so much to tell you about, and I know how busy you are.  So I’ll share my Top 5 favorite highlights and resources from the week that I hope you will find useful – or at least fun to know about!

But first…

While I was in California, Ohio Women on Fire Jan Allen and Kim Dettmer led the first-ever-in-Cleveland Women on Fire tea.  The joy and gratitude in the emails that I received from women attending told me you had an amazing time!

Women on Fire Tea in Cleveland! From left: Betsy O’Connell, Noelle Celeste, Mary Carran Webster, Sonya Pryor Jones, Nicole McGee, Charlotte Thomas, Jan Allen, Mardele Cohen, Victoria Kunkel, Anne Bloomberg, Emily Cole, Laura Opheim, Katia Scharz and Kim Dettmer.

Janette Barber, who has been coming to teas New York City since the very first one in 2004, frequently reminds us, “the tea party always works!”

When women get together and safely share their inspiration, strategies and support, we all can feel empowered, invigorated and reassured.

Thank you, Kim Dettmer, for writing a lovely blog post to further describe the Cleveland tea last week.

While in Palo Alto, I met with the amazingly talented Woman on Fire Betsy Dee (who attended the first-ever Women on Fire event in 2003).  Just have to brag here about the genius in our community. It was Betsy who gave Direct TV its name and Invisalign its tagline: Science in every smile!

And, in San Diego, I caught up with Women on Fire member Becky AdamsBetsy, Becky and I savored the kinds of girlfriend lunches that I live for!

I’m the one with the messy hair! Woman on Fire member Becky Adams and I had a pre-Paris lunch at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. She is one of the women going on our trip to Paris next month!

You know what I mean?  The kind of connection that brings tears, laughter, deep knowing, understanding and acceptance – all in only a few short hours!

And that reminds me…

When was your last girlfriend lunch? Is there a wonderful woman you might reach out to and schedule some time together? You’ll both walk away re-energized and re-invigorated. I just betcha!

The first program in California that I attended was Deborah Perry Piscione’s Alley To The Valley.

Deborah brings together women mostly from Silicon Valley to offer funding for businesses and projects and support for entrepreneurs looking for financing as well as help for women to find corporate board seats.

I met Deborah when she and I shared the page of More Magazine last November in a piece written by Linda Yellin.

The second conference was information marketer Lisa Sasevich’s powerful and dynamic program and focus on creating super successful businesses. I’ll be sharing more about Lisa in the future.

So, here are my top 5 favorite thoughts, ideas and recommendations from last week:

1) No matter your political affiliation, the movie Game Change with Julianne Moore portraying Sarah Palin is a must-see.  Being that this was California, the director himself Jay Roach spoke at the movie’s first public screening held at Stanford University’s Business School. (I got to go because my long-time friend and mentor Paul Costello took me!)

My favorite scene is Julianne as Sarah watching “herself” portrayed by Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live!

2) If you are struggling to move forward in your life, Lisa Sasevich recommends watching just the first 10 minutes of the Pixar movie UP.  In 10 minutes you see the passage of life and time.  And, if that doesn’t underscore that life is not a dress rehearsal then be sure to watch Steve Jobs’ Stanford University commencement address.

3) Looking for business financing? In general, I learned at Alley To the Valley if you have a great idea and are already funding it yourself, do everything possible to keep financing it.  Venture capital money and angel funding sound great, but women at the conference urged finding a strategic partner with complementary skills, abilities and resources is a much preferred way to see your business or project become successful.

Women on Fire members will remember ice cream maven Jeni Britton Bauer recommended staying in control by financing yourself, if possible, unless you want to have a “boss” (even an angel investor), which defeats the purpose of being your own!

4) What would happen if you stopped whining and complaining for 21 days? I know. I started to imagine the possibilities myself!

The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity by Edwene Gaines, a Unity minister, includes a life-changing, 21-day exercise to stop all complaining, gossiping, poisoning ourselves and our environment. If you find yourself speaking negatively to yourself or anyone during that time, you have to start over!  I bought the book to start the challenge tomorrow. You are welcome to join me.

5) Inspiration from being surrounded in beauty.  All week long — from the fog rolling over the foothills in Palo Alto to the sun sparkling off the water in Coronado Bay and the majestic rise of San Diego’s Point Loma — I marveled at the scenery in California. Being in nature there uplifted and inspired me to want to soar and to be my very best.

So, thank you for allowing me to serve you.  I am especially grateful for all of you who are new to the SPARK! and new to our membership program.

We have much to give this world — and I’ll do everything possible to make sure you have the inspiration, strategies and support to be your very best, too!

Video: I think you’ll like this SPA-RK!

Today feels like a holiday to me.  To see why, check out this video!

I am with Woman on Fire Jamie Eslinger and we are headed to Lake Austin Spa in Texas.

It’s our annual speaking engagement at the spa’s Wise Women Week  — yes, really we are working :-).

But you bet in between our talks we are set to take advantage of the fun and relaxation at our favorite spa – and we want you to come with us!

Coming up this week, we plan to share with YOU everything we will be teaching to others and all the new things we will learn and discover.

At the spa, I will speak on these topics:  “Don’t Let What Scares You STOP You!” and “How To Live Your Dreams Like a Woman on Fire.”

If you remember our trip last year to Lake Austin Spa, it was there that Jamie made the decision to stop purchasing clothes or shoes for a year – and instead invest in her potential – in her head, heart, body and soul.

To keep herself on track, she agreed to write about it every single day and her very popular blog The Promise 365 was born. Today is Day 289 of that promise to herself.

So, it will be with great joy this week when Jamie presents to women at the spa her signature talk:  “You Can Do Anything – In One Year.”  She has done it and you can, too!

In addition to her brilliant work at Women on Fire, Jamie is a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and she’ll also talk about her personal experience “Beating The Sugar Blues.”

You can join us and interact with us all week in the comments section below.

And, I was serious when I said I want you to come with us.

If there is anything you wish for Jamie and me to do or try this week at the spa, just leave word in the comments section below.  We will be choosing from among your suggestions. And, then report back to you!

I am not a foodie. But I am tonight.


Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach, and a co-author in the Women on Fire book and me in Washington, DC.

You found me in Washington, DC.

I am here to launch the first-ever (in DC) Women on Fire Tea Party tomorrow at the Willard Hotel, right around the corner from a certain big white Where I am camped out (or rather luxuriating) is a few blocks away — at the French-inspired Sofitel.  Rob and I always stay here when in DC.  If I were to marry a hotel, it would be The Sofitel!  I have never been let down; it has always been for the better; and all visits here have resulted in living happily ever after (for the most part!).  I’m also richer than poorer because The Sofitel is often reasonably priced as it was this visit ($225 per day)  for impeccable accommodations.

I say I’m not a foodie, because, well, food actually kind of  bores me.  But not so if the food has anything to do with France!

So far today, there’s been coffee, a chocolate croissant, homemade granola, a mini-yogurt smoothie and caesar salad.  I’ve always wondered why food in France, the exact food we have here, tastes so much better there? Being at the Sofitel is like stepping into France!

Chicken and Mushroom Crepes

Take my dinner tonight, for instance.  Oh, how I wish you could have a bite of this.

It is a chicken and mushroom crepe with a glass of Trimbach Riesling, which I knew would be a perfect pairing.  (Thanks to Woman on Fire Laurie Forster, the Wine Coach, who has me trained!)

For one brief shining moment here in Washington, DC, I am a foodie caught up in the possibility that I could be one of those French women who savors every single delicious morsel of her meals— and never gains an ounce!