The last time you filled up?

Hello from snowy Alpena, Michigan! I’m about to hop on a plane to Naples, Florida after three days here speaking at four events to more than 250 phenomenal women “on fire” (and quite a few men, too:-)

I am leaving this city on the shores of exquisite Lake Huron with my heart full and, in a moment, you’ll see why my tummy is full, too!

But first…

I am wondering how you are? As the long winter turns toward spring, are you in need of a renewal?

If you were with us in Alpena these past few days, you are likely full of fire and ready to take on the world. And, if you weren’t, I want to share why my visit to Alpena has left me feeling renewed and filled with joy and how you might benefit, too.

It all started when Women on Fire Book Co-Author Mary Ellen Jones saw the need in her community for women to be inspired and re-energized. (You know MEJ from her terrific chapter “Finding Love Way Past 40” in the Women on Fire book.  A former television producer, she moved from the shiny hills of Hollywood to the rolling hills of a farm near Alpena to be with her beloved “gentleman farmer.” Or, as she puts it, “I went from the stage door to the barn door!”)

For nearly a year, MEJ and many caring others worked to organize RENEW, an event to connect fabulous women to each other to renew their hearts, minds and spirits.  She invited me to be the keynote speaker.

(You won’t believe the hilarious thing that MEJ did to surprise me when she introduced me to the wonderfully enthusiastic crowd at RENEW. She told them about my sweet tooth and my rule that I refuse to eat a dessert bigger than my head. Check out what happened in this video!)

What I hadn’t counted in Alpena was how I would be the one renewed these past few days and here’s why:

* Surrounded in nature — mountains of snow, gusts of fresh air and the tastiest, freezing cold water from the tap — awakened my senses and made me feel alive.

* Family-style meals with long-time and brand-new friends and pets Bootsie and Sammy filled my heart and made me feel so at home. (Thank you, MEJ, Rich Mills, Nan Katzenberger, Christine Wagner and Jamie Eslinger.)

* Dedicated and enthusiastic Women on Fire  — Julia McLemore, Lisa Davis Cooper, Kim Dettmer, Anne Thurston, Mary Lou Peters, Beth Kloesener, Debra Collins, Lori Tomlinson — drove long distances through ice and snow to attend RENEW.  It was so great to see them and I felt very loved and supported.

* The warmth of the people of Alpena.  Everywhere we went people welcomed us — and even showered us with gifts!

* The hope and enthusiasm from the many, many men and women — from ages 12-88 — at the events where I spoke, to live their dreams and be their best, lifted me up.

So, here I was half-way across the country “working” and I was the one filled up as though I just took a vacation!  Thank you, Woman on Fire extraordinaire Mary Ellen Jones and to each and every person in Alpena who shared a hug, a hope, a dream with me.

What is it you need to do today for you to feel renewed, loved and supported? Please pop down to the comments section and share with us.  We really want to hear.

Here is a fun little video our talented Jamie Eslinger captured of our Alpena experience. I hope it inspires you to find your own renewal.
(Hint: the video also reveals the reason why my tummy is full!)

WARNING: There are images of a woman in her pajamas!

Love and hugs,

4 Quick Tips To Light Your Fire!

My bag is packed again.

After a million miles, my tattered suitcase was more duct tape than fabric so I’ve bought a new one.  I’m good to go now for another couple of years!

This time I’m headed for Alpena, Michigan to keynote the R.E.N.E.W. women’s conference, and a chance to see many of you I know and love and to meet so many of you for the first time.  I can’t wait!

Wilber Philber Hides Out IN Debbie Phillips' Suitcase
Wilber checking out my brand-new Swiss Army suitcase, purchased at Target for $139. I love the 360-degree wheelie feature. Sorry, Wilber. Not this trip. Your 17 pounds of “muscle” will cause me to exceed the 50-pound limit!

In Michigan, former Hollywood producer and Women on Fire Book Co-Author Mary Ellen Jones has organized (with the help of many others, thank you!) two full days of incredible events in Alpena, including a Women on Fire tea, to bring women together to explore what they are “on fire” about.

Best-selling author and motivational speaker Stedman Graham and I paired up with Mary Ellen Jones last April at the Women on Fire Retreat. A true Woman on Fire, Mary Ellen has dedicated herself to inspiring and connecting women in Michigan.

Many of you know MEJ, as I affectionally call her, from her inspiring chapter in the Women on Fire book “Finding Love…Way Past 40.” (If you haven’t yet read the Women on Fire book, you can find it on Amazon. Or order it here and I am happy to personally sign it for you or as a gift to a friend or family member.)

My keynote talk in Alpena is “How To Be A Woman on Fire…Even If You Can’t Find Your Spark!”

If you aren’t able to join us in Michigan, I still want for you to be a part of the gatherings and the inspiration and strategies.  Here’s a teeny sneak preview of my talk.

4 things you can do right now to ignite the sparks that can lead to your passion:

  • Get some rest – It’s hard to feel enthusiastic or in touch with your deepest desires when you’re exhausted. Check yourself now. On scale of 1-10, with 10 being “completely tired to the bone,” where are you? Can you make a plan now to get some rest? When you feel well-rested you’ll notice how much easier it is to be in touch with your inner joys and interests.
  • Ask people you love, trust and respect what they see as your “sparks” –People who know you well and truly care about you often have surprising insight into you that you might not see yourself. It doesn’t hurt to ask!  A simple email request of them can make a world of difference for you to help you get back to what you know in your heart.
  • Inspire yourself – If you love nature, be in it; if you love children, hang out with them; if you love to read, find books that uplift your spirit. So, what will you do this week?
  • Get out of the rut – If you’re in indoor person, venture out even if just for a walk; if you’re active, get quiet; if you snooze until 7:06AM, explore what it’s like to wake up at 6:07AM; if you read Vanity Fair, Oprah or People read Scientific America, Organic Spa or Women2Women for a change.

(Do not despair. In my 15-year career of coaching people to express their gifts and passions in the world, I have NEVER met a woman who doesn’t have a spark of her passion inside of her somewhere!)

There are many more ways, too, to find your sparks and I’ll share more after my talks in Michigan.

Do you have tried-and-true methods you use to find and keep your sparks alive?  Please share in the comments section below. We love reading what you have to say!

Off now to track down a winter coat and boots for Alpena — and to shoo  Wilber out of my suitcase!


Debbie Signature


4 Quick Tips To Light Your Fire!