And the winner of the spa package is…

If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.

*This week’s Pinspiration*

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Inspiration from Women on Fire

That is my very favorite African proverb.  Mostly because it so beautifully sums up what happens when women join forces with each other.

Last week was filled with all kinds of collaborations here at Women on Fire that resulted in women achieving more together than alone.  Life is just too difficult to singularly take on the world.

So here’s what happened when a few of our members put their geniuses together!

But first …

We have a winner for the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Naples spa package, valued at more than $300, for an attendee to the Women on Fire retreat in Naples, Florida Feb. 28-March 1.

So before I say goodbye to you today, you’ll learn her name.  (And so will she!)

(And, if you’re ready to say goodbye to winter and hello to a weekend of sunshine and inspiration with your Women on Fire sisters, we still have a few more seats remaining! But please register today before our annual event is sold out.)

Now back to our fabulous women who came together last week to make something special happen:

Dana Frost and Linda Neff

Linda Neff of Shoreland, Wisconsin and Dana Frost of Wilmette, Illinois teamed up at a women’s event at Linda’s church, United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay.  Linda was the keynote speaker for the event — Wrapped in Love — and invited Dana to lead a workshop.

The participants couldn’t say enough in their Facebook posts about how energized they felt being supported by these inspiring women!

Janina Serden Sebesky and Jan Nolte

Janina Serden Sebesky, creator with her best friend and co-writer Kitt Moran of the musical Chick Soup, has been holding readings in her living room in New York City to prepare for what we are sure will be performances on Broadway one of these days soon!

Janina with Sarah Elizabeth Greer (Photo by Josephine Donatelli)

These are the Women on Fire who came to help and support Janina in taking next steps toward her dream:

Producer and stand-up comic Janette Barber, Women on Fire book, Vol. 2 co-authors Sarah Elizabeth Greer and Heike Vogel, voice coach Jan Nolte, Jodi Graber, Kate Perlman, Mary Ann Donatelli-Reilly and Jackie Reilly. Even candid photos to document the teamwork were done by a Women on Fire member, photographer Josephine Donatelli.

Of the collaborative experience, talented Janina said:

“It was wonderfully affirming to get such positive feedback about the new direction for Chick Soup, which follows the friendship of two women throughout the decades.

“The readings inspired conversation and debate about what makes a friendship survive.  It was helpful to hear what moved them and also what was confusing or unclear in our script.”

As Janette always says, “Women on Fire is a bonanza. Everything you need to be successful is in this circle!”

Lisa Umberger Arundale and Michelle Whittaker glowing at their book-signing!

Michelle Whittaker of Washington, D.C., a co-author in the latest Women on Fire book with her story “Getting Back To Life,” hosted a book signing in our nation’s Capitol. And she was joined by co-author Lisa Umberger Arundale of Naples, Florida who wrote the chapter “Leaning Into Grief.”

Both women said they found it fun and very helpful to work together to sign books and share in the experience of meeting and greeting audience members.

Tricia Simpson, Women on Fire member LaRaine McCoy and Laurel Hodory

Braving frigid temperatures in Columbus, Ohio, three co-authors — Carrie Saba, Tricia Simpson and Laurel Hodory teamed up at Spagio’s Wine Bar for their first book-signing  — and it was super successful!

“It was so great to collaborate,” Carrie said, “as it helped so much with nerves. We had each other to lean on and we all brought ideas to the table which helped with creativity for how the event would flow … the evening flowed beautifully and we were all busy talking and signing.”

Congratulations to all on joining forces to travel farther together in making your dreams come true!

This week who can you collaborate with to take next steps on your big dream? 🙂

And, finally, thank you to everyone who participated in our contest to become a winner of the Waldorf Astoria Spa package! You all did a great job sharing word about the retreat.  Our winner is …

  • Robin Butler Leonard of Clayton, Missouri

Congratulations, Robin! So excited for you to enjoy the spa’s exquisite artisan massage and a bountiful basket of products and treats.

Have a wonderful week and sending you big hugs ~

Debbie Signature

Not only on Valentine’s Day!

We love you all year long!

I hope you can feel the heart and soul of Women on Fire on Valentine’s Day this week — and every single day of the year.

We bring you inspiration, strategies and support, yet above all, Women on Fire is about love.  Love for our dreams and our passions; love of cheering each other on; and love for making a difference in the world and in our family’s lives.

Women on Fire Tea in Naples, Florida last Friday. Lots of love and energy from us to you! Front row: Marie LaBrosse, Tamara Caggiano, Debbie Phillips, Lisa Umberger Arundale, Donna Kim-Brand. Second row: Janet Glancy, Amy Leigh Mercree, Mary Wiggins, Barb Zion, Jan Allen, Jenifer Madson, Kitt Moran, Jamie Eslinger, Plus Hall and Julie Shepardson. (Rob Berkley Photo)

Still, a girl needs her flowers and chocolate and a kiss so I hope no matter whether you have a honey or not, you will give and receive lotsa lovin’ and have a Happy Valentine’s Day on Tuesday!

Right now, I’m watching the Grammy Awards and you will not believe this.

Last night I “discovered” Adele.

Of course, the rest of the universe has been buying her songs and helping her to break music records held by the Beatles for oh, 4o years or so!

Still, until the other night I had no clue of this 23-year-old’s enormous talent and presence (Pathetic, I know…I must get out more!)

A friend suggested that I watch Adele’s recent DVD, so Saturday night I slipped it into my computer and stayed up way past my bedtime in awe of Adele performing at her dream-come-true Royal Albert Hall in London.

Like a two-fisted drinker, I watched her mesmerizing performance on my computer, while on my iPad, I googled information about her life.

What a Woman on Fire.  The daughter of a single, teen-age mother, Adele has an astonishing ability to connect and make us feel through her songs of heartbreak and redemption.

Mostly though, I love the way she totally puts herself out there — every bit of herself in service of her music, her songwriting, her life.

And, when there was criticism about her weight (you’ve got to be kidding me that that kind of thing still goes on?) she let it roll off her back and responded, “I make music for the ears. Not the eyes.”

At the moment, Adele has swept the Grammys. Good for her!

And, good for each one of you who is stepping up and out in the world no matter your background, your circumstances — no matter what.  You won’t be stopped!

I love this picture below from last Friday’s tea because it was the first time I met Woman on Fire Kitt Moran in person.  She and her music partner Janina Sebesky, a long-time Woman on Fire, are collaborating to take their musical play CHICK SOUP to New York City and to the theater district of Broadway.

What strikes me daily about women in our community is that no matter the ups and downs, we stand strong together.  We put it out there.  Janina or Kitt, best friends for more than 40 years, are taking their dream all the way.  Just like Adele.