Where are you between the struggle and the dream?

Welcome new readers of The Spark!

Whether we’ve just met or I’ve known you for a long time, the question I’m always curious to learn is: what are you “on fire” about and what are you struggling with?

Your answer almost always lies somewhere between the wanting and the having — the struggle and the achievement — of your dream.

Women on Fire members celebrating and supporting each other in New York City last week (Photos by Meredith Schoenberger)

Discovering your passion and being supported on your path to your dream is the very reason I created Women on Fire more than a decade ago.

(There is no other community in the world quite like this one, which I know makes it rather difficult to explain to others, right?! You almost have to experience being cheered on by Women on Fire in person to understand the full impact of support 😉

So, how do you go from uncertainty, or a hint of an idea, to living a life rich in living your dreams and making a difference in the world?

Inch by inch. Step by step. Bird by bird, as writer Anne Lamott told us so powerfully in her best-selling book.

Above, I’m pictured with Deirdre Martin of Plainfield, New Jersey. Dee is well on the way to making her dream come true. She’s in that sweet spot on the journey. She continues to work a regular job while growing her dream and building her company, Assisting Virtually.

She works on it. Every single day. Step by step.

And, here’s Heike Vogel of New York City, one of our co-authors in the latest Women on Fire book.  She made the courageous move from working for a large law firm to having it her way — starting her own law firm!  She, too, works at building her dream. Every day. Case by case.

Have Dee and Heike fully achieved their biggest dreams and desires? Probably not — yet. But they are well on their way.

When you are clear about what you want and make small achievements day-by-day, steady progress takes you from idea to reality.

Where are you on the scale from struggling mightily to achieving your ultimate goal?

Here are five strategies to help you get from where you are to where you want to go:

5 Strategies to go from wher eoyu are to where you want to be- Women on Fire

1) Clarity — First, you must be clear about what you want. If you don’t know or aren’t sure, ask people you love and trust to tell you what you are great at doing. What you do naturally is often the biggest hint at what your gifts are.

And, in discovering and embracing your gifts, you are most likely to find your passion.

A mentor of mine, author Barbara Sher reminds us: “you must go after your wish. As soon as you start to pursue your dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning.”

Clarity with a side order of focus also helps. I hear from a lot of women who tell me they want “to reach all the women in the world” with their project or idea. That is wonderful. Except when you start out so broadly, you can topple over before you get started.

How about reaching out to one woman with what you have to offer — and start the ball rolling that way? 🙂

2) Inspiration — “If you stay true to who you are, the world will embrace you,” the late Maya Angelou said. That quote alone can pick up my spirits when I doubt myself.

Keeping yourself in close reach of inspiration — whatever form inspiration means for  you — is a very important aspect of reaching your goals. You need daily inspiration to keep yourself lit up and energized.

3) Strategies — It’s not enough to simply will your dreams into existence. You need practical, step-by-step “know-how” and “how-tos” to get where you are going.

Think of strategies as your GPS for getting where you want to go. Of course, I believe the powerful, tried-and-true strategies you learn at Women on Fire are the best! Still, you can find useful strategies from many different resources:

  • Wisdom from someone who has accomplished what you dream of
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Popular culture
  • Online forums
  • Coaches with expertise in your area of interest

4) Support — Support is a essential and the framework for you to move from struggle toward what you deeply desire.

The pictures you see sprinkled here are of Women on Fire members coming together to cheer each other on, to be in each other’s company to share the excitement of the journey. With support, you will feel your tank filled and your spirit enlivened.

5) Perserverance — If you have a great idea and are passionate about it, don’t give up! Perseverance is the secret of all triumphs.

With inspiring Woman on Fire Teri Goetz at the NYC gathering

Any and all of these strategies can help you to move from wanting your dream to actually making it happen!  Let me know what kind of inspiration, strategies and support you’ve found work best for you.

Have a great week ahead! It’s my birthday this week so I’m taking off a few days to celebrate and enjoy a little rest and relaxation. 🙂


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Two secrets to strengthen your intimate relationship

If you are new to Women on Fire, welcome! Each week we bring you inspiration, strategies and support to live a life closer to what you truly want.

And, because your intimate relationship should contribute to a deeply satisfying life, this week I have two powerful strategies to keep strong a precious relationship — that with your significant other.

If you are not currently in a relationship, but look forward to having one in the future, you can keep these strategies in mind for when you meet “the one.” You can even practice these on your own as a way to connect with yourself.

*This week’s Pinspiration*

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Discover 2 secrets to strengthen your intimate relationship instantly on the #womenonfire blog

Studies show that one of the keys to a successful marriage is for each partner to come into the relationship content with themselves.

Before I tell you two ways we stay strong as a couple year-after-year, if you’ve not yet met my husband Rob Berkley, please let me introduce you …

Rob is usually the one behind the camera but he let me photograph him this past weekend in New York City in a cab on the way to the theater!

We have been together for nearly 14 years.

We were both married and divorced before that. So when we came together as a couple, he in his late 30s, me in my early 40s, we set an intention to stay connected and keep our love strong and growing over the long haul.

We knew from the beginning we’d be living busy lives as entrepreneurs packed with work and family and friends.  We were determined to find ways to slow things down and stay focused and connected to each other.

And, after all these years … so far, so good!

The secret?

Sacred weekends and quarterly getaways.

And here’s how it works for us:

Sacred weekendsRob and I agree that one weekend each month is sacred and we schedule it in our calendars. What that means is that we don’t accept invitations, or plan specific activities, or schedule anything. Once the weekend arrives, we decide together in the moment what we want to do.

Sometimes it’s a project together in the house, or we go to the movies, or we lie  on the couch together and read.  There have been sacred weekends we’ve reviewed our goals and set new ones or we’ve grabbed cameras and headed to the woods or beach.

We’ve had conflict during a sacred weekend because we finally have the time to resolve some issue! (Having a framework to resolve conflict is a whole other important subject for a future Spark!🙂

The key is that we are very conscious to spend our sacred weekends to be as relaxed as possible, connected and in sync with each other. The energy and peace  we get from our sacred weekends are a springboard for everything else we do.

Quarterly getaways — mini-trips of two or three days away three or four times a year usually to a city or someplace beautiful that we both enjoy. We’ve taken trips to Key West, Quechee, Vermont, Miami, Columbus and New York City.  These are days to simply be together and refresh ourselves.

As with sacred weekends, our quarterly getaways aren’t jammed with activities. Instead, we focus on each other and just “be” rather than “do.”  This past weekend was a quarterly getaway and we chose to spend it in New York City, which we both love.

We did see the Broadway show “Pippin.” Other than that, we walked a lot, slept in later than usual, shared a couple of meals with close friends, and spent each evening staring out our hotel room window at the Empire State Building!

With all the losses of loved ones in my life recently, our getaway was “a way to get” just what I’ve needed these past few hectic weeks to fill up my depleted tank.

One of the surprising causes of divorce is “misaligned expectations.” As I look back over the years, having sacred weekends and quarterly getaways to look forward to has been an important and powerful expectation for both of us in our relationship.

I love knowing when our next special times together are coming and even more the renewal and connection with Rob that I get from them.

I know many of you have strategies for keeping your own relationships strong and connected.  Please share on the blog your own experiences so that all Women on Fire can dip into this ocean of information to live a more deeply fulfilled life.

Have a great week. I’ll be in Columbus and looking so forward to seeing many of you!

Links That Light Us Up

15th Edition

Hi, Woman on Fire!

Can you believe it’s already October? We’ve been busy rounding up our favorite cozy sweaters, pumpkin-flavored coffee, and fall-scented candles (even if the temperature is still hovering in the low 70’s).  Either way, fall is here and we are ready to celebrate! Hope you’re starting to enjoy the signs of autumn, wherever you might be, and with that let’s get to the links!

Best Take on Work-Life Balance– You might remember when Debbie spoke about the topic of work-life balance here, and we thought this article from Mashable was the perfect followup.

3 beliefs that transform work-life balance via Mashable

Best Halloween Gear- If Halloween is your holiday, then we’ve got a list for you! Brit.Co has curated a list of spooky, gross, and scary products that are sure to give you chills.

25 Must Haves for Halloween via Brit.Co

Best ‘You Go, Girl’- Mayor Bloomberg is looking to empower the girls of New York City with the “I’m a Girl Project.” We think there’s nothing more powerful than a girl who feels good about herself, so two thumbs up for Bloomberg. Read more about the campaign here.

I'm a Girl Project NYC

Best SNL Skit- Speaking of girls…did you happen to catch Tina Fey’s guest appearance on Saturday Night Live last weekend? Just in case you missed it, we’ve included our favorite skit below.

Best iPhone Gadget- Have you ever grabbed just your ID, credit card, and phone in a mad dash to exit the house? Now you never have to worry about losing any of the three above, because Eyn Products has made it possible to carry them all at once. This new iPhone case is our new favorite all-in-one carrier that conceals your cards and ID while still protecting your phone.

Eyn Iphone holder and cards case

Best Quote- This made us laugh and we thought it might make you smile too! However, we might need more than just a day. Try 2 or 3 🙂


Best Roasted Side- We eat roasted Brussels sprouts around here like it’s our job, so imagine how excited we were to find this recipe for Honey Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Dashing Dish. Don’t worry, we’ve already taste tested the recipe for you twice.

Honey Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts via Dashing DishDashing Dish

Best Happy Feet- Not thrilled about walking around your Yoga/Pilates studio barefoot? Try Toezies! They cover your feet while providing a great grip. These would be a great gift to give to your favorite yogi 🙂

Toezies- workout socks

We hope these links light up your day! We’ll see you back here next week for some more fun finds. Let us know if you have any links that you are loving lately!


The Women on Fire Team