May Book to Live By

The Perfectionist Guide to Losing Control

by Katherine Morgan Schafler

This book is an invitation to challenge the way you look at perfectionism. As psychotherapist and former on-site therapist at Google, Katherine Morgan Schafler explains we’ve been looking at perfectionism all wrong. You don’t have to stop being a perfectionist to be healthy. After a quiz to determine which type of perfectionist you are, you’ll go on to learn how to make your perfectionism work for you, not against you. Brimming with humor, empathy, and depth, this book is a love letter to the ambitious, high achieving, and full-of-life women who dare to want more without feeling greedy or ungrateful.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Women on Fire is committed to offering strategies for you to be your best self, but ultimately it is your decision to choose resources that work for you. This book recommendation is not medical advice.

Who is the CEO of your life?

When you think about someone being a CEO, what comes to mind?

And how does that apply to you?

In a quick survey, here’s what women in my life said a CEO is responsible for:

  • ˜ Is in charge of the direction
  • ˜ Holds the vision, values and goals
  • ˜ Knows how and what to delegate
  • ˜ Builds and sustains a great team
  • ˜ Holds the ultimate responsibility and is where the buck stops
  • ˜ Leads everyone through good times and bad
  • ˜ Is the one in charge who doesn’t give up when others do
  • ˜ Has tough skin to receive criticism and either ignores it or uses it for growth
  • ˜ Figures out complex issues
  • ˜ Knows when to take charge and when to let go

Unless you are currently the CEO of a company, you may not think of yourself as a Chief Executive Officer.

But I urge you to carefully read each statement above, and I think you may look at being CEO a little differently.

No matter your job or your position, at the very least, you are the CEO of your life and your family’s life!

In today’s video, I ask three questions that will help you to see how well you are doing at being the CEO of your life.

Use your answers to the questions in the video as a starting point to begin taking charge of your life in a way you might not have done before.

With this new knowledge and power, what is one change you’re going to make this week?

However you decide to fully express your CEO capabilities, we are here to cheer you on!

Now…about that private jet 😉

Love,

Debbie Signature

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Who celebrates you?

Even though it’s not officially fall, today marks the day most of us say goodbye to summer.

And it’s also a special day here because it’s my husband Rob’s birthday. And I’m dying to show you his surprise!

He’s an amazing photographer and I thought he deserved a cake that was “picture perfect.”

The cake was so much fun and gave us so much joy (not to mention that it was delicious with gluten-free vanilla layers filled with chocolate ganache and vanilla mousse!)

The inspiring cake made me think of the many converations I’ve had with women who’ve discounted their tremendous creative gifts.

  • I just like to bake. There’s no money in that.
  • It’s what I do. Nothing special.
  • No one would be interested in what I have to offer; anyone can do that.

I don’t personally know the woman on Martha’s Vineyard — Cakes By Liz — who designed and made Rob’s unique cake. But I hope she knows that by sharing her gift with the world it created a ripple effect of joy and delight for us!

So the next time you choose to discount or ignore that thing that you love and do so well — please remember your gift, strength or talent means the world to the people waiting for it.

OK, today’s SPARK!  is about finding your “people” — or your tribe. What is the result for you when you answer these three simple questions?

 

Keep the quality of the people in your life high and notice the difference.

Last week I laughed at a post I saw on Facebook that illustrated the point of surrounding yourself with the best people.

It said: “I’d rather have four quarters than 100 pennies.”  To which, one very funny Woman on Fire wrote: “I’d rather have 100 quarters.” Agreed!

I wish you always to be surrounded by many great people who uplift you.  Have a fantastic week and keep me posted on you!

Love,

Debbie Signature

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How to turn your bad day around FAST!

The other day I woke up cranky.

(I know … hard for you to believe because I truly am patient and easy going …but then there are those days 😉

Even after I reviewed the shadowy fragments of my dreams for clues, I still had no understanding why I’d gotten up on the “wrong side of the bed.”  And, my day went downhill from there.

The cat bit me. I ran late to my first appointment. The dryer died.

And, life continued to slide off course until I pulled myself together (I am a coach with tips and strategies after all!) and took a few minutes to do these quick strategies in this brief (2:53) video:

Can you believe how simple?

In short order, my day turned around. It seemed almost magical that using these easy strategies could make such a difference, but it did.

If you ever find yourself a cranky, hot mess, I hope you’ll try them out. And let me know how it works out for you. I’m betting you’ll feel less stressed and miserable — and much more like yourself again.

Have a great week!

And stayed tuned: we have a BIG surprise coming soon for you! 🙂

Love,

Debbie Signature

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September’s Inner Circle Sneak Peek with Beth Nielsen Chapman

We have another sneak peek of what’s coming in your Women on Fire members’ care package for September.

Have you ever listened to a song that was so powerful you felt like the lyrics were written just for you?

We often turn to music in times of great joy, sorrow and uncertainty.

That’s because music has the power to heal, far beyond words.

There is no one who better understands the healing magic of music more than our featured guest.

A singer-songwriter.

A cancer survivor.

A Grammy-nominated artist.

A teacher.

A mother who was widowed at a young age.

A woman who has built a wildly successful career by channeling the healing power of creativity.

And today, Beth Nielsen Chapman is here to help you discover how creativity can give purpose to your pain and transform your setbacks into strengths.

I’m telling you, she’s beyond brilliant! 🙂

If you’re not yet part of our membership inner circle, please be our guest and listen in today for free to a clip of Debbie’s interview with Beth.

Press PLAY for a quick (2:30) audio clip of this deeply inspiring interview.

In the full recording you’ll discover:

  • The many ways creativity can help you heal
  • How to tap into a collective wisdom
  • Techniques to find inspiration when your creative well has run dry
  • What the “divining rod of inspiration” is and how you can find yours

All that, PLUS a little birdie told me that Beth might have recorded a very special serenade…

But who knows? You’ll have to listen to find out! 🙂

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

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 Sunday, August 30. Less than 48 hours left!

Don’t miss out on one of the most authentic and uplifting interviews we have recorded ALL year!

xo

The Women on Fire team

P.S. Have your goals slowly slipped away over the summer? Want to get back on track this fall?

TUNE IN to Debbie’s live monthly Members’ Master Class and Chat on September 15 at 8:00 p.m. EST. She’ll be sharing her favorite tips and tools for ending your year strong!

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How to Get Back on Your Path When You Fall Off

If this is your first Women on Fire SPARK! since you registered, welcome!

And, if this is the first time you’ve heard from me in a while, I’ve missed you.

We’ve upgraded the way we provide you inspiration, strategies and support with a new video format to make communicating a little more personal.

Let me know if you like it!

My goal is that in three minutes or less you can learn something to lift you up in your life.

You know those times in your life when you wonder where you’re going? Those times when you feel you’ve fallen off your path — and you’re not sure which way to turn?

If you need to get back on the road to the life you want, here are two strategies that will help you:

Key Takeaways

1. Keep a journal for 6 weeks, without reviewing it until the end, keep track of the single thing that brought you joy at the end of each day. After 6 weeks review and observe patterns that appear. Those patterns are usually a great indication of what you need more of in your life.

2. Enlist the help of your family, friends and colleagues. Create a quick questionnaire for them to fill out. Ask them to reflect on what they as your greatest strength and gift.

Keep me posted on how these strategies work for you.

And let me know …

If you’ve ever fallen off your path, how did you get back on track?

Love,

Debbie Signature

P.S. For further support to take next steps in your life, check out “Finding Your Next” by Jan Allen in our book: Women on Fire: 21 Inspiring Women Share Their Life Secrets (and Save You Years of Struggle!)

P.P.S. Give yourself the gift of a Women on Fire journal here.

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Do you pinch yourself off?

In the first two decades of my varied career – as a newspaper reporter, Governor’s press secretary and television company executive – I operated in public but never really stood alone with my own desires, views and opinions.

After I became a coach in 1995, an awareness crept upon me.

If I didn’t stand up publicly for what I truly believed in, no matter how much I talked about it behind the scenes, I would never be able to fulfill my own burning desire to help enough women to live lives they dream of.

By standing in the shadows, and feeling more comfortable being the voice for someone else or staying silent about my beliefs, I had essentially pinched myself off from my big dream.

When I look back now, I kept quiet to stay safe and free of criticism. I did this even with my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quote posted on my desk:

Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you’ll be criticized anyway.

Today, over and over I observe the ways, big and small, women pinch themselves off from what they say they want.

So today, I invite you to look at yourself to see if any of these questions applies to you; and decide if you are closing yourself off from the abundance that is naturally flowing to you.

You may discover that you are limiting yourself without realizing it.

1) Do you put yourself and your needs last?
For instance, are your college daughter’s soccer games more important to attend than going back to college to get that degree you’ve promised yourself?

Do you put off your dreams until your husband, partner, kids get situated, graduate from school, find jobs, etc.?

Are you always there for your friends or family yet burn with resentment that you have not made progress on what you most want?

Our culture mistakenly has labeled us “selfish” when we put ourselves first. But what might happen if you didn’t put yourself last?

2) Do you feel unworthy or undeserving of your greatest dreams and desires?

I spent last week in the company of author and motivating force Esther Hicks of Abraham-Hicks, author of 10 books including Ask and It Is Given: Learning To Manifest Your Desires. Esther captured the notion of feeling “unworthy” better than anyone.

“Unworthy people are people with plenty of negative emotions and they are willing to put up with them,” she said.

We all know that you get what you believe and what you are focused on. So when your self-talk and beliefs are negative, it sets off a chain that conspires against creating your own success.

“Care more about what you feel at the earliest stage and don’t let yourself collapse toward the negative emotion,” she advises.

3) Do you march up to the line with your dream or goal and then pull back?

Fear will stop you in your tracks.

(And, just so you won’t think I’m perfect 😉 …
It took me years, step-by-step, day-in-and-day-out through every scary fear that showed up to follow my heart and to live my dream.  And it was worth every gremlin☺ )

The good news is that you are a Woman on Fire! And there is no better community in the world to surround you with the inspiration, strategies and support to keep you going and help you push through your fear.

If you are a monthly member, you have the private Facebook page where support is unparalleled! And you also have the Women on Fire fan page with more than 65,000 women to cheer you on.

Fear, and fear of failure in particular, keeps many women from even trying.

4) Do you ignore the need to invest in yourself?

Does your money trickle away and leave you with nothing to show for it?

Whether you budget $30, $300, $3,000 or $30,000 a year for your personal and professional growth, investing in yourself is key to your success.

You must expand your competency and relevancy by bolstering your skills, abilities and awarenesses throughout your life!  When was the last time you invested in yourself?  What did you do — and what was the result?

5) Do you avoid making a plan to get where you want to go?

Studies show that people who write down their goals and plans have a significantly greater chance of being successful than those who don’t.

What are you waiting for? Even a simple journal entry with your annual plan and goals will keep you focused and on track.

Knowing what you want can keep you from missing opportunities that will support your dreams.

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you are likely pinching yourself off, holding your back from sharing your great gifts with the world.

What might happen if you became aware the very next time that you were holding yourself back – and moved forward anyway?

Here’s to your success.  I know once you’re aware of how you pinch yourself off, you can do anything!

Love,

Debbie Signature

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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.

Love,
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The hidden magic in your struggles

You may be new to Women on Fire or you may have been a part of this ever-expanding circle for years.

I am super happy and excited to start off 2015 with you!

Women on Fire exists to celebrate or discover what you’re “on fire” about, and to provide inspiration, strategies and support to bring you more of what you want into your life.

The Spark! is your home for ideas, inspiration, and strategies — and to feel cherished and supported.  Because you are!

(In addition, our monthly membership was created to super-size your experience here. See the P.S. below for a special surprise for you if you’re not yet an official member.)

Today our topic focuses on how to turn what’s been a big challenge in your life into one of your greatest gifts to the world.  Your real gifts – your true purpose — are often hidden in shame or embarrassment or fear of being found out.

The irony is that it is often our pain that shapes us and makes us so very special – and can help us to help change life for others.

Take these women, for example:

Oprah is famous for sharing her great struggles (poverty, teen pregnancy, unstable home life, sexual abuse) and for transforming her turmoil into the fuel that propelled her career to greatness and beyond anyone’s imagination.

And it is true, too, for a dynamic and inspiring woman I interviewed last week — ABC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo. You may have seen her on Good Morning America or in her last job at MSNBC.

Mara has written Thinspired, a brand-new book about her success in standing up to a nearly life-long food addiction battle to lose 90 pounds.  Even if you don’t have weight to lose, you will be empowered in whatever struggle you might face by how Mara persevered to overcome her demons and become the very best version of herself.

Her life’s great challenge with weight has now become her gift to the world.

Mara’s bingeing and food addiction was at least partially set into motion by a well-intentioned relative who insisted on monitoring and regularly weighing in Mara when she was a little girl.

To confuse matters, when this precious little girl lost weight at her weekly weigh-ins, her reward was a sweet treat such as ice cream!

In our interview, Mara shared how ashamed she was for her eating habits – and also her joy at the freedom of now saying the truth of her life.  And while her book has just been published, I believe she will help, inspire and influence many more people by revealing her greatest challenge than she ever would have in keeping silent even though she has a high-profile job on network television.

So, how is it for you? How can you turn your greatest challenges into your great strengths, as Oprah and Mara have done? Here are some questions to consider:

  • Are you aware of the secrets you keep hidden?
  • Have you overcome, worked through, healed from your challenges?
  • If you told your story, who might benefit?
  • If you die with your story inside of you, is that OK with you?
  • What potential is locked inside of you, hiding, waiting for you to welcome it into the world?

To get clear about your obstacles, past and present, write down all of the challenges that have shaped your life. Then, make a plan to bring them positively into your life.  What do you have to lose? My guess is you have everything to gain.

Have a fantastic week ahead and I am so thrilled to be on this road with you to living your most fulfilled and inspired life!

Love,

Debbie Signature

P.S. If you’re not yet an official member of Women on Fire, you are invited to join our monthly membership program where you’ll receive the interview with Mara Schiavocampo in your February membership package.

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Women on Fire Gift Guide 2014

Enjoy some of our favorite gifts for the upcoming holiday season!

30 below Women on Fire gift guide

 

1. Hillary: The Photographs of Diana Walker ($28) 2. Happy Mail by A Beautiful Mess ($20) 3. Table Topics ($25) 4. Gold Luxe Pocket Planner by Sugar Paper LA ($10) 5. Silpat Baking Mat ($18) 6. What I Wish For You Journal by Knock Knock ($10)

Women on Fire gift guide 100 below

 

1. Magic Carpet Yoga Mat ($89) 2. Eden Scarf by FashionABLE ($65) 3. Comfort Zone by Trudy Dujardin ($48) 4. Vegan Leather Weekender by Sole Society ($70) 5. Wool Throw by Faribault ($79) 6. Year of Wishes Candles ($49)

Women on Fire Gift Guide Splurge worthy

 

1. Momofuku Milk Bar 3 Month Subscription ($175) 2. Glacier Necklace by J.Crew ($125) 3. Alpaca Grey Shawl by Cuyana ($195) 4. Long Pajamas by Marigot Collection ($132) 5. Down Sweater Jacket by Patagonia ($229) 6. Teddi Tote by Gigi New York ($295)

Happy Holidays!

xo

The Women on Fire team

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