It. Was. Magnificent!

The long-awaited Women on Fire Day in Columbus, Ohio is over.

And the joy from the love, inspiration, new and rekindled friendships, wisdom and great energy from the day still lingers.  Proving once again that “isolation is the dream-killer” and we can do so much more in the company of each other than alone!

Nearly 150 women from 17 states ranging in age from teens to 80s came to Ohio for the day filled with inspiration, strategies and support.

Here are a few highlights from the day’s photos in this video by Jamie Eslinger.

Do you see yourself or recognize other Women on Fire in the video?  No matter, I hope you will be uplifted to see so many women “on fire” in one room cheering on each other’s success!

Huge thanks to ALL of these Women on Fire for making the day so special:

* Jan Allen for organizing and hosting this amazing day at the gorgeous Franklin Park Conservatory.

* Keynote speaker — the one and only, five-time Emmy Award-winning producer, writer and star of her own show on SiriusXM — Janette Barber

* Panelists who spoke from their hearts about their lives: Liz Lessner, Debi Lilly, Mary Ellen Jones

* Women on Fire book co-authors who shared their stories from the book and gave an update on where they are today: Allison Barry, Lori Gagnon, Holly Getty, Mary Ellen Jones, Shannon McCaffery, Ginny Barney and Patti Wynn Brown.

* Our super-human and inexhaustible volunteers: Tandi Musuraca, Tricia Simpson, Angela Ittu, Kim Dettmer and Sandra Gurvis.

*  During Women on Fire Day, Andrea Dowding was honored for coaching so many women to success. The day was dedicated to her for her unflinching determination to help women and girls share their gifts, strengths and talents with the world. 

Since 2008, Andrea has led Women on Fire coaching groups and teas, along with Jerry Browning.

* Women on Fire and Sophfronia Scott presented the first annual Theo Scott Scholarship to inspiring, young entrepreneur Nicole Lovett.  The award was in honor of Sophfronia’s sister Theo who died this past summer and had planned to attend Women on Fire Day.

* Thank you to photographer Nancy Lambert who deftly assembled 150 women to take that final amazing photo in the video!

Thank you so much for being a part of our powerful and ever-expanding circle of love, inspiration and caring.

You can’t stop a Woman on Fire!

Today I am introducing you to a Woman on Fire whose inspiring mid-career choice was one she might never have predicted or imagined.  It happened because she was just following her heart.

Pier Boutin, of Housatonic, Massachusetts, was hiking in a mountainous village in Morocco last year when her eye caught the tiny figures of a little boy stumbling and his five-year-old sister helping him up as he fell down with each step.

The little boy had a serious and debilitating case of “club feet” and Pier, a mother and an orthopedic surgeon, was drawn to this little boy and knew she had to do something.

Dr. Pier Boutin with “Little Amed” at home in the Berkshires; his legs are in casts from his groin to his toes; only 4, and far from his home in Morocco, he rarely cries and brings such love and presence to his American family!

In the village, she met the little boy’s family who speak Berber.  Through translators she explained that she could help him.  In his village, a deformity such as his would prevent him from receiving an education or being employed.

Pier did what a Woman on Fire does.  She returned to the United States and  put to work every skill she possessed to change the course of life for this captivating and beautiful little boy she could not leave behind.  Nothing would stop her then — or now.

She raised money, organized his many surgeries and medical care, made arrangements for travel (he and his father had never ridden in a car much less fly on a plane to the U.S.) and that’s just the beginning.

She and her husband Dr. Mark Hyman, who are already parents of four, prepared and opened their home to love, nurture and protect Little Amedduring his many months’-long stay and extensive medical care and recovery.

And, Pier has done it all with such gratitude for Little Amed’s parents, marveling that they would trust her with their precious child.

Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Pier Boutin and Little Amed
Drs. Mark Hyman and Pier Boutin joyfully playing with Little Amed who loves Superheroes especially Spiderman

These past few months since Little Amed has joined the Boutin-Hyman family Pier sends regular updates about the little boy who has changedtheir lives.

When I see her emails in my inbox (and especially after I got to meet the amazing Little Amed last June), I always prepare for happy tears at the latest happenings with this darling child.

Here is an excerpt from Pier’s most recent update:

Little Amed is blossoming. He looks forward to school every morning.  He chooses his clothes for school and helps me prepare his snack every night.  He is so proud to hobble to class pulling his little backpack on wheels. At night, we have to hang his new drawings by his bed.

His teachers have integrated him and welcomed him wholeheartedly.  The children, not only in his class, but in the entire school have followed suit.  For example, Little Amed cannot run and play with a ball like the others, so one day he started to roll in the grass.  The kids apparently thought this was so funny and fun!  They all started rolling in the grass kicking their feet up laughing!

Little Amed is thrilled to attend school.  I wish every child could attend class with the same enthusiasm.

And, here is what I mean about Pier living the life of a Woman on Fire. She is living full out and, in doing so, at every turn the universe has risen to help her:

The kindness and innate humanity always shines through hardships. Today, I mention one of so many people who have come forward to help Little Amed, Mohamed Zabian.

While in the mountains of Morocco, the “I love you” watch my husband gave me years ago fell apart.  Upon my return (to the Berkshires), I immediately took it to Mohamed Zabian Jewelers.

While completing the paperwork, I mentioned I had a little boy with the same name at my house.  I proceeded to explain how I came upon this wonderful little boy with clubfeet.  Mr. Zabian asked to be added to my mailing list.  As I left, I asked for directions to St. Mary’s School.  I thought Little Amed should go to school, play with kids his own age, and learn to speak English.

Mr. Zabian knew St. Mary’s school had already started and there was a waiting list.  Enrollment was complete and the school was expensive.  Despite this, I decided I would plead Little Amed’s case to the school. Perhaps St. Mary’s would let him go there one or two mornings a week.

 Mohamed Zabian instructed me to go home and he would call me about the school the next day. Well! He certainly followed through for Little Amed and me. The very next day, Little Amed enrolled at St. Mary’s full time with the tuition paid in full.  Doesn’t it make your heart sing to hear of such generosity!

Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Pier Boutin, Debbie Phillips and Little Amed
 Dinner at the Hyman-Boutin home is not only fresh from their garden as they promote good health for all but full of love and life with Little Amed in the house! (Photos by Rob Berkley)

You are welcome to read more inspiration and to follow Pier and Little Ahmed’s latest surgeries and adventures by going to these sites:

Facebook page:


Info/donation page:

Here I am with Little Amed…I, too, fell in love with this little angel boy who will undergo further major surgery September 27.  And, after his recovery, he will be able to run and play with all the other children!  

And, last…

A huge and warm welcome to the many of you who’ve joined the SPARK!this week after hearing Janette Barber interview me on her show on Sirius XM or you read the profile that Capital Style Magazine EditorKristy Eckert wrote about Woman on Fire. We are so happy you are here!

Also, in less than two weeks, 150 women will gather in Columbus, Ohio for Women on Fire Day featuring keynote speaker Janette Barber, the Women on Fire book co-authors, and a panel featuring Debi LillyLiz Lessner and Mary Ellen Jones.

The event has sold out.  I can’t wait to see all of you there!

I’d love to hear how the universe has risen to help you when you’ve lived your life “full out.” Please share your thoughts below in the comments section.