June’s Book To Live By

At 56, Sheri Salata awoke from a dream-come-true career to discover that the rest of her life was not at all what she’d dreamed it would be.

After two decades working at the highest levels with TV icon Oprah Winfrey, Sheri realized she’d been neglecting her own needs and desires. Her health, relationships and personal aspirations had been pushed aside.

She began a journey of transformation.

In June, for the second time, Sheri was my guest for the membership interview. It was my pleasure to bring her back to Women on Fire to discuss the newest chapter of her life.

Now, to augment our amazing conversation, it is my honor to recommend Sheri’s brand-new memoir for the June Book To Live By:

The Beautiful No: And Other Tales of Trial, Transcendence, and Transformation by Sheri Salata

The Beautiful No: And Other Tales of Trial, Transcendence, and Transformation by Sheri Salata

The meaning of “the beautiful no” is that beneath every “no” you’ve received, you can find that it led to something better or something special. If you can recognize that at the moment of rejection and hang on for the beauty, you can gain peace of mind and acceptance.

To illustrate this and other profound lessons she has learned, Sheri shares her life story — from the glamorous, thrilling highs to the heartbreaking and self-shaming lows. She meets us with a vulnerability and candor that is relatable and heartening.

For those looking to reconcile with their past and begin anew, The Beautiful No offers inspiration and guidance for getting out of a rut and living with hope.

This is my favorite book of the year so far. I soaked up every word! (And Sheri even mentions Women on Fire. See page 156!)

To get your transformation started, Sheri is offering a free chapter and workbook plus bonus resources at www.thebeautifulno.com.

To your transcendence,

Debbie Signature

October’s Book To Live By

This month’s book choice was recommended to us from one of my favorite inspiring women.

Sheri Salata, the president of The Oprah Winfrey Network, was the subject of our featured interview in this month’s Women on Fire membership package.

If anyone knows the best and latest book to recommend, it’s Sheri, and she didn’t disappoint!

Our October Book To Live By selection is….


Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss and Hope in an African Slum by Jessica Posner and Kennedy Odede is the true story of two young people from entirely different worlds who fall in love — and change the world.

Jessica Posner is a Wesleyan College graduate from Denver,and Kennedy Odede is a young man from Kibera, the largest slum in Africa.

Together, their work has changed the lives of many in Kibera’s most vulnerable population: girls.

They founded Kibera’s first tuition-free school for girls, a large, bright blue building, which stands as a bastion of hope in what once felt like a hopeless place.

There is intrigue and suspense in this book, and it’s impossible to read it without feeling uplifted for what is possible for the human spirit.

Mia Farrow called the book “an astounding story of love, hope, inspiration and triumph. It is a mesmerizing love story; two young people from very different cultures join forces to build a life together—and a new life filled with promise for others. I don’t think either of them understand the word ‘impossible.’ ”

Please order your copy today and let me know what you think. It’s a perfect book to curl up with this weekend.

Thank you, Sheri Salata. This book is such a winner!


Debbie Signature

P.S. Please join me in New York City on Tuesday, November 3 at 7:30PM for an intimate evening, workshop and discussion of the Women on Fire book series.

Sponsored by BookTheWriter at a private home, the evening promises to be fun and inspiring! All information to register is here. I hope to see you there!

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Up close and personal with the woman behind Oprah

We have a sneak preview of what’s coming in the Women on Fire members’ care package for October!

If you attended the Women on Fire Retreat in Chicago a few months ago, and if you’re like most of the women who were there, you fell in love with keynote speaker Sheri Salata, the president of the Oprah Winfrey Network.

So many of you were so inspired by what she said that you asked Debbie if her talk could be made available for you to hear again.

What a genius idea. 🙂

So for all of those members who wanted to listen to this again — as well those of you who weren’t able to make it to the retreat or who are brand new to Women on Fire — today you are in for a treat.

We’re giving you a wonderful taste of Sheri’s interview that brought down the house at our 2015 retreat.

In the full interview, you’ll discover:

  • Sheri’s recipe for life
  • The incredible story of how she got hired to work for Oprah and rose through the ranks to be OWN’s top executive
  • What Oprah’s really like to work for
  • Why you should never give up before the miracle
  • And SO much more, including a candid Q+A with audience members

If you’re not yet part of our membership inner circle, please be our guest and listen in today for free to one of the many inspiring moments from Debbie’s interview with Sheri.

Press PLAY for a quick (2:30) audio clip.

If you are already a member of our Women on Fire inner circle, enjoy this preview of what’s already coming to you in early October!

If you aren’t yet a member and want to receive this Women on Fire exclusive, make sure to join us today.

*** You have until midnight EST Friday, October 2 to sign up and receive Debbie’s full interview with Sheri. ***

Sheri touched our hearts and inspired our minds at the 2015 retreat with her insight, love and authenticity. So if you’ve been thinking about becoming a Women on Fire member, this would absolutely, positively be the perfect month to do it!


P.S. Are you struggling with something big? Something small? Something you just can’t get your head around?

Want Debbie’s help?

TUNE IN to Debbie’s live monthly Members’ Master Class and Chat on October 13 at 8 p.m. EST where she’ll be answering YOUR questions LIVE!

Join us for a very special live chat this October where you can Ask Debbie Anything and receive personalized coaching on whatever you’re struggling with.

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Announcing our special SURPRISE Women on Fire retreat speaker!

Our biggest and best event of the year – the 2015 Women on Fire Retreat – will be held in Chicago, April 23-25, and we have a surprise for you!

We are thrilled and proud to announce that Sheri Salata, president of the Oprah Winfrey Network and Harpo Studios, will be our guest speaker on Saturday, April 25. Sheri is one of the most accomplished and prominent professionals in television today.  And, at the same time she is one of the kindest, most caring and genuine women I’ve met. You will LOVE her!
She first joined Harpo Studios in 1995 and served as executive producer of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” from September 2006 through its finale in 2011.
She only occasionally speaks outside of her industry, so it is a special honor to have her on our Women on Fire stage.During her session, you will learn about her life and work, her ups and downs, and you’ll be able to ask her your questions!As a Woman on Fire, you are invited to attend this amazing weekend retreat, which will be filled with inspiration, strategies and support and much, much more.  Please check out all the details for this nurturning and uplifting weekend here.

There are are only 21 seats remaining, so please grab your seat now. When all seats are taken, there will be no more available and the Retreat will be SOLD OUT. We keep these events small and intimate so that you can have the best experience possible.

If you have already registered, good for you, and you are in for a major treat to hear Sheri in person!

You also will walk away from our weekend together refreshed, re-energized and re-inspired after meeting other like-hearted Women on Fire and learning from roles models such as Sheri.

To register now, please go here.  Or contact Dianne@womenonfire.com

Thank you for being a part of this incredible community of women who lift each other up to live the lives we dream of.

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Hanging with the Big O!

It’s official.  Summer’s over.

No matter how many years you’ve been out of school, doesn’t it feel like you should have new shoes, clothes, a fresh notebook, and a pep talk to start anew? 🙂

*This week’s Women on Fire Pinspiration*

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Get a fresh start this Fall with Women on Fire. Get Inspiration, Strategies, and Support in your inbox and mailbox all year long! www.womenonfire.com

I’d love to hear how you are starting off your fall. And, I hope you had a great holiday weekend. We spent ours hosting a wedding!

Photo by Rob Berkley

Our wonderful friend and colleague (of course, a Woman on Fire!) Regina Blos married her sweetheart Romildo in our living room.

There was lots of extra excitement and joy here on Martha’s Vineyard — and  Wilber wore his finest for the occasion. (Even though it looks like he had a little too much Champagne!)

Photo by Rob Berkley

These last few days of summer also were some of my best days of the year and I’m eager to share with you all I learned.

Woman on Fire Jodi Salata invited me to attend two tapings last week of Oprah’s Life Class with Dr. Brené Brown at Harpo Studios in Chicago.

On the set with Brené and Oprah

(If you aren’t yet familiar with Brené, be sure to check out one of her TED talks, especially the video on vulnerability that has been viewed by nearly 11 million people. Her newest book Daring Greatly also was named our Book To Live By in July.)

After the tapings, Jodi’s incredible sister-in-law and my sweet friend Sheri Salata, the president of Oprah Winfrey Network and Oprah’s Harpo Productions, made sure that we were invited to meet with Oprah and Brené informally in Oprah’s “living room” (complete with a roaring fireplace!)

On our way to Oprah’s “living room” inside Harpo studios in Chicago

Not only were the Life Classes with Brene filled with great inspiration and strategies to live your best life but to be behind-the-scenes at Oprah’s, to be in her surroundings, and to watch her work and have fun were as equally rewarding!

Because there is so much to tell you, I have decided to write a three-part series My Visit To Oprah’s, which will start tomorrow.

On the first day of the series, I’ll share what it was like to meet Oprah 27 years ago when she was promoting the national launch of her talk show and hardly anyone had ever heard of her — and what it was like to meet up with her today.

Has she changed? I’ll tell you tomorrow!

On Day 2, you’ll meet Brene Brown and I’ll share what I learned from her and what she was like to meet in person.

Definitely two Women on Fire!

She’s famous for her academic research that proves “vulnerability is absolutely essential to whole-hearted living. ” And, she packed her lessons during Life Class with brilliant nuggets such as this:

“You can’t do anything brave if you’re wearing the strait-jacket of what will people think.”

On the third and final day of the series, I’ll tell you what the people, offices and atmosphere were like at Harpo. And I’m happy to answer any of your questions about the Oprah experience.  Already I’ve received a number of questions so feel free to email me yours.

Here’s a preview of answers to questions so far:

No, I didn’t cry or surprisingly even feel nervous when I met Oprah. Yes, we talked about The Butler (the #1 movie in the country for the third week in a row.) You won’t believe which scene she re-enacted for me!

Mostly though, I can’t wait for you to see the Life Classes shows with Oprah and Brene for yourself.  They were uplifting and ones that every Woman on Fire will learn and gain valuable insight from.

They are scheduled to air on OWN Network on September 22 and 29.  And there are special Women on Fire appearances that you won’t want to miss! 😉

So, I hope you will treat yourself to whatever inspires you to start fresh as we head into September.  What do you want to accomplish between now and December 31?

Have you taken a look at your goals lately?  Maybe now is a good time to celebrate them, or update them, or decide the next steps for them.

We’re here to support you!  And, as Oprah would say, “how will you live your best life?”

See you tomorrow and happy, happy end-of-summer!