Bunny bunny and counting sheep

There’s a British superstition that if you say “rabbit, rabbit” the first thing on the first day of the month you are ensured to have good luck all month long!

Years ago our friends Debbie Cook (a Woman on Fire, of course) and Bob Linton introduced us to that good luck charm, and we quickly adopted it!

Since then my husband Rob and I never miss a month and even put our own twist on it by saying “bunny, bunny” on this first day of December and on every first day of the month.  Thought you should know the important strategies I live my life by … 😉

Like us, you’re most likely wrapping up your Thanksgiving weekend and I hope you had a warm and wonderful one.
Around our Thanksgiving table on Martha’s Vineyard were my husband Rob, Holly Getty, me!, Edward Beck, Ellen Wingard and Robert Joerger.

Ours ended up to be an easy and very sweet holiday here on Martha’s Vineyard with great friends, walks, naps and amazing food, even though it was one of the first times I’ve not created Thanksgiving at home.

With all the losses, stress and travel in my life lately, I made the tough decision that we would eat at a local restaurant instead of a feast at home.  We had a ball so it was a good lesson about how much more important the people around the table are than the food!

Still, we had plenty of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie and I slept like a log all weekend.

*This week’s Pinspiration*

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The best way to see what tomorrow brings is to sleep through the night. Need help sleeping? Women on Fire has you covered in the latest spark. www.womenonfire.com

Sleeping through the night was a welcome relief from my pattern lately where stress and sadness has taken its toll on my sleep.  Did you know as many as 70 million U.S. adults are affected by disrupted sleep?

In today’s SPARK! I want to share an excellent report by a close friend of mine Belleruth Naparstek on An Epidemic of Sleeplessness.

I’ve wanted to introduce Belleruth to you for some time. (And monthly members will hear even more from her in the future.)

She is a psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer and an inspiration for creating a super successful business by following her heart. Thirty years ago, she started out by recording audio cassettes of guided imagery to calm her cancer patient clients.

Today, her company Health Journeys provides guided imagy for every disease, affliction, ailment and stress you can imagine.  I’m a regular listener of her CDs and I know some of you are too.

A lack of sleep can lead to serious health consequences, weight gain and jeopardize your safety.  So when Belleruth wrote a report on just how to get a good night’s sleep and offered it to us, I jumped.

In this report, you’ll learn:

  • Which teas to drink to promote your sleep
  • The fruit to eat before bed to help you sleep
  • The most effective item in your bedroom to ensure a good night’s sleep
  • Why you shouldn’t turn on lights during the night and what to do instead if you have to get up
  • Which helps more for a good night’s rest: rising early or late in the morning?
  • And lots more about getting a full night of zzzzz’s.

When you click on the link for the report, it will ask your name and email and invite you to join Belleruth’s list. I encourage you to join so you learn not only about best practices for a good night’s sleep but you’ll also see all the resources Health Journeys offers for you, your family, friends and clients.

Belleruth also is the author of Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal, an award-winning book that explains why imagery is a best practice for posttraumatic stress.

Listening to her audios has made a huge difference in my life for my peace of mind, health and healing.  And I know it will help you, too.

And, finally, I want to share a book you might like by another friend of mine Marianne Schnall, author of What Will It Take To Make A Woman President?

Two weeks ago a number of Women on Fire members gathered in New York City to celebrate the release of Marianne’s book and to hear expert panelists on the topic of a woman becoming president.

Women on Fire members in New York City celebrate the release of What Will It Take To Make A Woman President? by Marianne Schnall. From left: Janina Serden Sebesky, Jan Nolte, me, Jenifer Madson and Eva Tenuto. (Photo by Amanda Chu)

During the panel, Marie Wilson, founder and president of The White House Project, suggested women join “circles of courage” to inspire and support each other to increase the chances of support for a woman president.

In the audience, we all smiled at each other, knowing that is exactly who Women on Fire are. We are circles of courage that lift up and light up each other to live our dreams.

So “bunny, bunny” to you and a good night’s sleep to us all.  And, maybe, just maybe someday soon there will be a female U.S. president!

Wishing you a terrific week ~

What do you really, really want?

What is it in your life that you really, really want?

Is there a change in the world you want to see; a place to visit; a person to meet; a personal challenge to accomplish? What are the powerful stirrings inside of you asking you to be or to do?

At my own Vision Day a couple of months ago, I wrote out a long list of goals and dreams that I really, really want.

On the top my big stack was this goal:

I have reconnected with Gloria Steinem.

(Tip:  When writing your goals, create them as though they have already happened.  I don’t know why it works, but it does! I’ve been testing it for years.)

When I was a political press secretary many years ago, I had the great fortune on occasion to talk with Gloria Steinem, the gracious and revered leader of the Women’s Movement.

Each encounter I had with her I would walk away so inspired — and always changed for the better.

She would be personally encouraging, honoring and focused on the possibilities of women – singularly and globally – to have want we want and need.

Last week, seemingly out of the blue, my Vision Day dream came true!

Some of the women leaders in Gloria’s living room included actress Kathy Najimy, Carol Gilligan, Gloria, and Kathy LeMay

Only weeks after my Vision Day, thanks to Woman on Fire Ellen Wingard, I was invited to reconnect with Gloria and spend an evening in her home.  Pinch me!

Gloria opened her beautiful apartment to a group of women leaders to celebrate the writer Marianne Schnall who leads an organization near and dear to Gloria’s heart — feminist.com.

As I entered her warm and inviting brownstone on the Upper East Side of New York City, I could hardly believe it. I made mental notes of every thing and every one, because I wanted you to be with me to share it all.

I was dying to take pictures to show you her apartment’s 20-foot soaring ceilings, her beautiful treasures and pictures, her enchanting red bedroom with floor-to-ceiling dark wood bookshelves and dreamy ceiling mural.

Her home is so warm and cozy that I felt hugged being in her space.

But there is a great reverence for her – certainly not from her because she is so lovely, easy and self-deprecating — that to take pictures would somehow violate the sanctity of the honor to be in her home.

A professional photographer roamed about and did take pictures (that I hope to show you someday) while I chatted with Gloria in her beautiful bedroom where the bar was set up.

(This being New York City where you need to make good use of all space when there is only a living room, bedroom and galley kitchen!)

Gloria, who turns 78 on March 25, looked as chic as always – in her uniform of black pants and top with a metal belt wrapped around and slung low to her waist.

She was her warm and engaging self and eagerly asked for me to tell her all about “Women on Fire.”

Even in her own home, she is, as I’ve always experienced her: gentle and giving, curious and empathetic, preferring to turn her attention to others rather than seek any for herself.

Later, in her cozy living room, surrounded by us all and actress Kathy Najimy, feminist writer, ethicist, psychologist Carol Gilligan and former PBS president Pat Mitchell, Gloria told us she has lots of ideas for the future.

She sees women coming together in smaller groups where each woman can express herself and be heard.  She suggests it should be an odd number of participants “so if there has to be a vote on something, there is no tie.”

“Laughter is the only free emotion,” she  said to us. “You can’t compel laughter,” she said, laughing. And, she urged us to always keep “fun and joy, sex and poetry” in our hearts.

As a Woman on Fire, I sat enthralled, honored to be in the room with other women equally eager, empowered and enthusiastic to make a difference in our world.

Then, coincidentally, in the New York Times today, only days after being with Gloria, is an article entitled Gloria Steinem, A Woman Like No Other.

That is for sure.

In the piece, Christine Stansell, a University of Chicago history professor, said of Gloria that she “was to the women’s movement what Martin Luther King Jr. was to civil rights: the galvanizer.”

The piece raised the question but did not answer it.  Who will be Gloria’s successor to lead women?

Ms. Steinem’s DNA has been scattered into a million cells — in the blogs, as well as in the work of women whose labors do not land them on cable shows…” the article reports.

I believe that is the truth. And, that is the answer to the article of who will lead women.  We will.  We are the million cell the galvanizers — that will continue to change lives for ourselves, our families, our communities, our world.

So, what is it you really, really want?  And, who are you bringing along with you to make it happen?

Thank you, Gloria Steinem, for bringing me and so others along with you all these years. You can be assured the seeds you planted so long ago are blossoming everywhere you look.

Once again, as I did in my 20s, 30s, 40s and now 50s, I walk away from you feeling as though I can take on more of the world that I dream of.  I am so grateful to you, Gloria, my sister Ohioan.

Please share with our community on the Debbie Phillips blog what it is  you really, really want?  It’s inspiring to hear!