Links That Light Us Up

32nd Edition

Hello Women on Fire!

Welcome to another week of fabulous links from across the internet 🙂 Here we go!

Best You Go Girl- Nothing says you go girl, like young ladies dressing up as important female figures.

Eunique Jones' Because of Them We CanEunique Jones’

 Best For Your Budget- Why not think about spring cleaning for your finances?

Top 50 Money Saving Tips via Martha Stewart.jpg

Best Airline Buckle Up- We always get a kick out of clever airline safety videos, so here are the top 11 according to Travel and Leisure.

11 Most entertaining airline safety videoTravel and Leisure

 Best Selfie- Our very own Linda Neff has embarked on the great #selfieadventure2014 / #selfiesforacause and to call it inspiring would be an understatement. Every day she features a charity, cause, or movement that deserves recognition, and we think it’s about time that the woman behind it all is recognized 🙂

Linda Neff #greatselfieadventure2014

 Best Heartbleed FAQ- Confused by the latest internet security issue and how it affects you? Us too, so here’s a helpful article.

How to heal from heartbleed


Best Sound Bite- Passed over to us by one of our youngest Women on Fire, Run to You by Pentatonix is worth a listen (or 10.)

 Best Treat- This is the PERFECT spring dessert for your Easter or weekend celebration.

Lemon Rosemary Layer Cake by Baker BettieBaker Bettie

 Best Garden Tech Tools- Bring your gardening to the next level with these nature inspired apps.

Top 10 gardening apps via Gardenista.jpg

We hope spring is sprouting in a yard, on a sidewalk or in a park near you this weekend. And as always let us know what’s lighting you up lately 🙂


The Women on Fire team

Developing your “ask for help” muscle

Nothing makes me happier than when Women on Fire members get together to nurture and expand their dreams!

Writing from their hearts: Darlene Wade, Nancy Aronie, Dyana Robenalt, Elizabeth Cassidy, Carrie Mays and Jenifer Madson. (Photo courtesy of Jenifer Madson)

Such magic occurred this past weekend for women who attended our recent retreat speaker Nancy Aronie’s Writing From the Heart workshop in New York City.

And, while Women on Fire members were being inspired by brilliant Nancy Aronie and each other in New York, I was winging my way back to Naples, Florida from California.

I spent two days consulting with and being inspired by America’s #1 success coach and co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, Jack Canfield at his home in Santa Barbara.

He and his company’s CEO Patty Aubery praised our latest Women on Fire book and gave me great advice on how to reach more women so they, too, can be connected to the inspiration, strategies and support found here.

But it was not the fascinating business strategies and discussion at Jack’s house that I would immediately put to use.

*This week’s Pinspiration*

Pin to Share the Love

Learn how to 'ask for help' in this week's SPARK from Women on Fire®

As we said goodbye, Jack gifted me a book he co-authored with Mark Victor Hansen — The Aladdin Factor — with the provocative line on its back cover: Anything is possible…if you dare to ask!

At Women on Fire, we talk a lot about learning to ask for help.  It’s even one of the aspirations we’ve set out for ourselves: I can ask for help.

And yet most of us admit we aren’t so great at it.

Some of us dream to be like Woman on Fire Agapi Stassinopoulos, author of Unbinding the Heart, and the subject of a past Women on Fire monthly interview.

In her wonderfully charming way, Agapi revealed her philosophy and how she learned to ask for help.

“This directness was something that my mother taught me … to simply ask people in a gracious way for whatever I might want from them.

“I am ruthless. I will ask for anything. I will ask absolutely for anything. I ask people all the time in a particular situation—at the airport—I ask people to help me with my baggage. I see a nice man next to me and I ask, “Do you mind helping me?” Sometimes men get up and they help me and sometimes I say, “Would you mind helping me?” Nine times out of ten they are very happy to help.

“To ask for help you have to not have a fear of being rejected. Not to feel that if people say, ‘no, I can’t’ that you’re not going to collapse inside and feel that they don’t want you. It takes a certain confidence and a certain self-esteem and a certain feeling good about yourself that you’re worthy of asking for help. That you’re worth asking for help.”

With Agapi’s asking abilities on my mind, on the first leg of my flight home from Jack’s house, I devoured his book, determined to put into practice his wisdom:

  • You get what you ask for
  • The answer is yes …but you have to ask!
  • There is a price you pay for not asking
  • She kept asking…and she got it
  • If you don’t ask, you don’t get
  • Asking improves our chances of receiving by 200 percent!
  • You can ask for anything

Emboldened, on the second, three-hour leg of my flight, I had no idea I was about to test my “asking” wings when a drunken, vulgar-mouthed young man stepped over me and plopped down in the window seat next to me.

At first I thought I would simply ignore his crudeness, swearing and wild attempts to engage me in conversation, including calling me “uptight” and “baby.”

Next, I considered silently slipping a note to the flight attendant to tattle on his outlandish behavior.

But I stopped myself. I realized this was situation where I needed to ask for help. Jack was right.  There would be a price to pay for not asking — a rough and uncomfortable three hours.

So, I unbuckled my seatbelt, walked to the front of the cabin and told the flight attendant that “the man next to me is inappropriate and I need your help to remove him.”

The Captain appeared within seconds, and in very short order, installed a burly man next to the offending man and moved me to a more comfortable seat.

I’m embarrassed to say that in the past I would have been concerned about the drunken man. I wouldn’t have wanted to humiliate him by making a scene nor would I have wanted to put out anyone else by changing seats.

What I also would have feared in the past did happen. The drunken man made degoratory comments when I moved.  I didn’t care.

The burly man was able to handle the drunk with great dispatch, even telling him to sit in his seat and stop speaking.  Surprisingly, the young man complied and was mostly quiet (and snoring) the rest of the trip.

Usually when I think about asking for help it’s along the lines of making a request to build a business, asking for additional support to lighten a load, or inviting others to participate to expand opportunity.

But, sometimes, asking for help means to simply keep yourself safe and out of harm’s way.

Please join me this week in a challenge to ask for help at least once each day this week. Share your courage and success so we can cheer you on in the comment section of our blog.

Thank you for being a part of this amazing community — and welcome to our more than 100 new readers of this week’s SPARK! We are thrilled you’ve joined us.

Now, go ask for help for something that will enrich your life! 🙂


Debbie Signature

Life: In the Shape of a Heart

Happy Valentine’s Day 2010…

Ashton Kutcher said something recently about celebrating Valentine’s Day that I really resonated to.   Every day – not just February 14 — should be a celebration of love.

And, while I’m the first person to jump up and down when I receive flowers and chocolate on Valentine’s Day, today I want to share my heart and deepest thanks to some important people — the many teachers and healers in my life.  The people who’ve helped me to find my path and stay on it; people who’ve filled my heart with love and joy; people who make my life February 14 every day!

Some are my dearest friends, family and colleagues; others I barely know; and others I may never have met at all!

Though my experience with them may be over a lifetime, for a few years, a couple of days, in a moment, in a lesson, in a phrase, or from a quote they’ve all served to significantly influence me and shape my life.

I invite you to create your own list of teachers, healers, helpers and angels who have shaped you into the loving, amazing person you are today!

Today I send hearts, chocolates and flowers to:

  • Alice Walker for teaching me “there is gold in grief”
  • Agapi Stassinopoulos and Bim Bissell for demonstrating what it looks like for a woman to be comfortable in her body!
  • Andrea Dowding for permission to say “maybe I will, maybe I won’t”
  • Barbara Sher for teaching me “isolation is the dream killer”
  • Bella Abzug for inspiring me to tap into my power as a woman
  • Ben and Rosamund Zander for wise counsel to “give everyone an A and then help them earn it”
  • Bill Keesee for nurturing my talents as a reporter and writer yet letting me know my good spirit and positive attitude were what really counted
  • Blue for being the finder of all lost objects and her advice: “if you want to find something, search like a woman!”
  • Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and all other 60-plus-year-old rock stars for removing any excuse I might conjure up not to exercise, stay fit and give my passion my everything!
  • Cecily Saunders for encouraging me to speak from my heart
  • Carly Simon for sharing that “there’s more room in a broken heart”
  • Carole Black for her advice “to reach back and pull up as many people with you as you can”
  • Curt Steiner for the surprising life lesson that my arch-political nemesis could marry my best friend…and I would end up adoring him!
  • David Deida for asking “what is the love you have to give to the world before you die?”
  • Denise Guest for setting the example to “take the time to make the time to take care of yourself”
  • Dick Phillips for standing me in front of a mirror to repeat (under much teen-ager duress!) “I will greet each day with love in my heart”
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for inspiring me “to cultivate a tough mind yet lead your life with a tender heart”
  • Eleanor Celeste for viewing the world from a fresh perspective: “if we change our clothes, will it change our personalities?” and “where exactly does the sun sleep?”
  • Elizabeth Kubler-Ross for teaching me the stages of grief
  • Elvira Lang, M.D. for advising me when receiving tough medical news to “act swiftly and comprehensively”
  • Geraldine Ferraro and Ellen Wingard for showing me the importance of meeting regularly with girlfriends in a “mastermind” group to take stock and get support
  • Gloria Steinem for transforming my life by simply being the very epitome of graciousness and support
  • Holly Getty for sharing the shopping secret that if I wouldn’t pay full price for it, then don’t buy it “on sale.”
  • Hugh Fullerton for advising me to never assume anything
  • Irene O’Garden for sharing creative genius that allowed the rising tide to lift all boats
  • Jack Walker for showing me that peanut butter is to be eaten with a spoon from the jar!
  • Jacqueline Pimentel for NGUNGI – Never Give Up, Never Give In
  • Jan Allen for teaching me best friends take notes for each other in life and share them
  • Janette Barber for transforming heart-breaking adversity into humor, success and service to the world
  • Jerry and Esther Hicks and John and Annie Glenn for living lives of passion, purpose and partnership
  • Judy Tatelbaum for teaching me it takes courage to grieve
  • Julia Celeste for the miracle of a tender shoot in the darkest of winters
  • Kelly Boggs for her knack of introducing me to a wide-range of important teachers and inspirations from spiritual leaders to country music stars
  • Kippy for being a dog I could share my innermost thoughts with!
  • Libby Bradford for showing me how to live as she held my hand and showed me how to die
  • Lucinda Sweeney for being there always with unconditional love
  • Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley for teaching me the awareness of life’s “final gifts”
  • Margaret Mead for the words that made my aspirations seem possible: “no doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world…indeed it is the only thing that ever has”
  • Marianne Williamson for inspiring me not to stop before the miracle
  • Mary Jo Ruggieri for teaching me yoga and meditation and that the future of medicine will be energy healing
  • Mary Lue Phillips for demonstrating change is good, necessary and exciting! (And impressing upon me the importance of education…and telling me I can do anything…and reminding me never to envy anyone because we all struggle with “something.”)
  • Mary Lynne Musgrove for planting the idea that I “must, must, must write a book”
  • Mary Tyler Moore for assuring me I’m gonna make it after all
  • Max Celeste for teaching me the joy of sharing French fries
  • Maya Angelou for reminding me when I have a knife in my hand it’s best not to let my focus wander!
  • MJ Bindu Delekta for creating sacred space and the perfect landing spot on a bamboo floor
  • Mother Teresa for her example of allowing nothing to stand in the way of living life’s purpose
  • Nancy Neal for showing me open, loving hearts cross all boundaries and obstacles
  • Nikki Giovanni for the comfort I will never be without purpose: “There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well.”
  • Norman Shub for locating my “steel rods” and teaching me self-confidence is believing in my abilities; self-esteem is believing in my very being
  • Oprah for having the guts to perservere and lead the way
  • Pat Wynn Brown for sharing her bliss and urging me to follow mine
  • Phil Bradford Jr. for comforting me that God will not give me more than I can bear
  • Phyllis Krumm for advising me when guests are expecting cheese and crackers I should surprise them with cinnamon toast!
  • Rabbi Jerome Folkman for his wisdom that intelligent people get help
  • Regina Blos for courage in face of losing everything tangible
  • Rob Berkley for transforming my life and my soul by loving me to my very core
  • Roseanne Rosannadanna for having attitude: “it just goes to show ya…it’s always something!”
  • Sarah Ban Breathnach for writing a book that I read every single day for two years to keep my head above water
  • Stedman Graham for cheering me on in my new, unheard-of profession by assuring me life and executive coaching fit me “like a glove”
  • Stephen Cluney for telling me everything I need is already inside of me
  • That Girl for the hope and belief that I, too, could grow up, have my own apartment and a great boyfriend like Donald!
  • Thich Nhat Hahn for being the first to show me exactly how to slow down and mindfully drink a cup of tea, wash a dish, take a walk, breathe in loving kindness
  • Thomas Leonard for helping me to perfect the work and life of my dreams — effortlessly
  • Wilber Philber, the cat, for nudging me every day to stop and play
  • William Shakespeare for his terrific suggestion: ‘to thine own self be true’

I would love to hear your own example of someone who touched your life and helped to transform it.  Please share in the comments section below.  I look forward to reading your comments!

Happy Day of Love to you,


P.S. Thank you to Woman on Fire Melissa McClain for the wonderful, heart-shaped image above; you can view her exquisite work at melissaAnneGallery.