How do they stay so vibrant?

Remember a time when you were so excited about life that you could barely  contain yourself?  A time when everything felt new and alive?

As a little girl, I had so much energy for life that I used to bounce off the walls, believing I could fly,  just like Judy Miller, the character Gilda Radner made famous on Saturday Night Live.

(And, yes, my mother would holler up the stairs: ‘what’s going on up there?!’)

Fara Lagstein, left, celebrating her 3rd annual Girls on Fire party! (Photo by Wendy Lagstein)

Last week I was reminded of all that joy and energy I once possessed when I heard from our youngest Girls on Fire — and from our oldest Woman on Fire who is nearly 90!

Anne Thurston-Brandley, author and newspaper and magazine columnist, at nearly 90 is newly married — and a cover girl!

Lucky me that I receive news and emails every single day from women in every decade of their lives who share with me what they are “on fire” about or not.

The latest from our young ones: Fara Lagstein, 9, hosted her 3rd annual Girls on Fire party; Carly Dulitsky, 8, opened her first bank account and said she loves money; and Sierra Vaughn Tollefson, 16, an aspiring champion equestrian, cheerfully and selflessly spends day-after-day nursing back to health her horse after surgery.

And, the latest from our oldest:  with several books written and waiting to be published, our enthusiastic Anne Thurston-Brandley landed on the cover of Women2Women Michigan Magazine!

Even though there is a span of eight decades between the youngest and oldest in our community of amazing women, can you guess what they share in common that keeps them all so vibrant?

Before I tell you…

Do you know how to tap into your own vibrancy and juiciness — that sweet spot that keeps you inspired and engaged in life?

Most of us find ourselves in age and experience somewhere in between our youngest and oldest Women on Fire.

If you are anything like me, even though you know you’ll feel better, you have to drag yourself to the gym or out for a walk; you sometimes approach the next stage of life with a bit (or a lot of) fear and trepidation; and you might even wonder if the best years are behind you.

None of this seems to be the case with our youngers and olders!

So, today, I decided to explore that energy well they seem to access so easily. I found some nuggets of gold — and remembered a wise woman from my past.

Years ago I had the great fortune to meet in person Martha Reeves, the lead singer of the Motown girl band Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. She was in her 50s at the time and incredibly vibrant and energetic.

I asked her how she did it.

“Girl, every single morning I get up and dance to my own record “Dancin’ in the Street,” she told me. “It keeps me young and going for the rest of day.”

And, that made me realize something about our youngest and oldest Women on Fire.

They dance to their own rhythms.

“I’m a Girl on Fire,” says nine-year old Fara, “because I’m smart, confident and fun. I love to experience everything in life and I’m kind.”

From 16-year-old Sierra: “I’m on fire about horses because through my training I’ve discovered who I am.

“Horses have taught me how to be a whole human being. When I ride I can’t be thinking about an embarrassing mistake I made yesterday, or what I’ll be tomorrow. I have to put it all away and embrace what’s happening in that moment, or else I’ll lose my balance and control.”

Eighty-nine-year-old Anne was happily married to Ed for 65 years.  After he died, she decided she wanted to find love again. She went online and was so moved by her experience datng that she wrote a book on how to meet online for seniors.

Last year she married Ray, a younger man. He’s 85. “We feel like 18-year-olds and couldn’t be happier,” she reported.

What these two ends of the Women on Fire age spectrum seem to have in common is an unstoppable zest for living.  In addition, they are kind, grateful, determined, proud, loving, caring, giving and they know how to have fun!

So, in my tiredness this morning, I headed outside, plugged in my earbuds, tapped my iTunes, and let the music touch my soul until I could feel I was dancing to my own rhythm.

Thanks to Martha’s “Dancin’ in the Street, Bruce Springsteen’s “Tunnel of Love” and Katy Perry’sFirework” I started to feel again I could fly!

Please tell us how you tap into those feelings that you can do anything? And, if you’re not feeling it right now, I hope this helps you think about ways you can change the channel.

How will you stay vibrant throughout your life?

It sure makes it easier getting things accomplished when you can ride that current of energy just as Fara, Carly, Sierra and Anne and so many of you are doing!

Have an amazing week ~


What’s hot with Women on Fire!

When I started Women on Fire in 2003 I had an inkling the “rising tide” of women coming together, inspiring and supporting each other would “lift all boats.”

I just had no idea of how much fun it would be!

This past weekend many Women on Fire came to Martha’s Vineyard to enjoy an evening with RoseMarie Terenzio, author of Fairy Tale Interrupted, her best-selling book about her life as John F. Kennedy Jr.’s personal assistant and publicist.

Celebrating with the dynamic and entertaining RoseMarie Terenzio!

Rose was recently featured as a Women on Fire members’ CD interview and her touching book was our monthly Books To Live By selection.

Women on Fire who attended included:  Kacy Cook, Jamie Eslinger, Holly Getty, Anne Gallagher, Belleruth Naparstek, Jan Orosz, Elaine Pace, Pam Putney, Lisa Umberger Arundale, Suzi Schadle and Ellen Wingard.

In sharing her engaging stories of life with and after JFK Jr., Rose is a powerful example of strength and perserverance after tragedy. (Photos by Rob Berkley)

If you haven’t yet read Fairy Tale Interrupted, I highly recommend this memoir for its triumphant story of life, love and loss.

And, that brings me to another favorite moment of my month — celebrating in today’s SPARK! the recent dreams, goals, successes and accomplishments of women in our community.

I love sharing what you are “on fire” about so we can support you and cheer you on.  Please keep us posted!

Kacy Cook with the subject of her next book — Bruce Springsteen’s popular saxophone player Clarence Clemons, in a photo taken only weeks before Clarence died.

Kacy Cook, Columbus, Ohio ~ Author and editor Kacy Cook is working on the authorized biography of the Big Man himself, Clarence Clemons.

Kacy met Bruce Springsteen’s famous sideman in 1985 during the “Born in the USA” tour, and over the years developed a friendship that crossed paths when the band was on the road.

As her interests became more focused on writing, the two discussed the possibility of her writing Clarence’s biography.  The idea took root late in 2009, and Kacy began the research and interviews.

When Clarence died in June 2011, Kacy at first found it difficult to imagine continuing the work without him.  But she soon realized how important it is to finish the labor of love they began together.

About her upcoming book, yet untitled, Kacy says:

Clarence always said that his purpose in life was to bring joy and light to the world … and he certainly did that!  I want to continue to expand that legacy on his behalf.

“People who are familiar only with his work with Bruce and the E Street Band will be amazed to find out how truly big the life of the Big Man was. I am honored to have the opportunity, the gift of bringing this to others.”

Kacy edited the Women on Fire book and also will edit the upcoming Women on Fire book 2.  You can visit her at her website to stay posted.

Anne Gallagher receiving Inspiration Award for her dedication to the arts

Anne Gallagher, Martha’s Vineyard ~ After dedicating a lifetime to her passion for art, Anne has been selected as the first recipient of the Inspiration Award from the Wendy Taucher Dance Opera Theater.

From spending her allowance on her first piece of art at age 12 to 20 years of lectures at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to her current involvement in the vibrant Featherstone Center for the Arts community on Martha’s Vineyard, Anne has not only held onto her childhood passion, but provides many opportunities for others to enjoy and appreciate art.

Dr. Elvira V. Lang, Boston ~ An interventional radiologist affiliated with Harvard, Elvira was recently featured in the New York Times’ article “When Health’s at Stake, Waiting Is Hardest Part” by Jan Hoffman.

Elvira, CEO of Hypnalgesics and author of Patient Sedation Without Medication, has studied the effects of stress on cortisol levels and teaches medical professionals how to alleviate patients’ stress through breathing exercises and letting go of unhelpful thoughts.

Lowering a patient’s stress level can quicken recovery time and keep side effects minimal as well as strengthen the doctor-patient relationship and give patients a more positive medical experience. Elvira is a pioneer in training medical professionals to provide this kind of attention to patient care.

With my beloved Anne Thurston-Brandly at an event in Alpena, Michigan in 2011 (Photo by Jamie Eslinger)

Anne Thurston-Brandly, Boyne, Michigan ~ Ever delightful, refreshing and surprising, Anne, 89, is the oldest in age and youngest of heart in our Women on Fire community!

Her news is that she will become a columnist for Women2Women Magazine — and she will be featured on the cover of the January/February 2013 issue!

A mother of four and in her 70s a mother to three grandchildren, Anne also writes a blog.  She is the author of the book E-Males to provide inspiration and encouragement to older men and women to date online.

And if you think she’s not busy enough, she also is a columnist for the Boyne (Michigan) Gazette — and recently married a younger man, Ray, 85!

Jessika with contestants in the Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant in Providence, RI
Jessika Ferm, Columbus, Ohio ~ Jessika was honored to give a keynote presentation at the Ms. Wheelchair Amerca Pageant earlier this month.

Author of The Ballroom Dance Coach, Jessika is also an executive coach who dedicates her career to helping business professional enhance their leadership skills and on-the-job effectiveness.

Congratulations to all of you — and many, many more of you in our community — for following your dreams!

And, finally …

Women on Fire weren’t the only ones eager to meet RoseMarie Terenzio when she came to Martha’s Vineyard.  Wilber was the first one to line up to get a book signed;-)

Have a fabulous week!