Valentine’s Day? How about drive-by kindness?

It’s the week of Valentine’s Day!

*This week’s Pinspiration*

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Love is not just a feeling but a set of actions- womenonfire

If you’re dreading February 14, sad because you don’t have a romantic partner – or you want to shake things up from the usual candy, card, flowers, dinner — today’s  SPARK! is for you.

But first …

According to Wikipedia, Valentine’s Day was first associated with romantic love in the High Middle Ages when the tradition of courtly love flouris


In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“).

Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

And that brings us to today – to create a modern Valentine’s Day for everyone to partake in!

To me, Valentine’s Day is simply a reminder to show your love in some way and to as many people as you want.  A romantic interest is not required.  February 14 becomes then like the chime on your cell phone.

Ding, ding, who is it I want to surprise in some beautiful and unexpected way to show them how much I care?

In our household, “valentines” also have given way to what my husband Rob and I call “drive-by kindnesses.” They aren’t limited to February 14.  In fact, every day can be Valentine’s Day!

15 ways to practice drive-by kindnes- womenonfires

Here are some drive-by kindnesses I’ve recently witnessed:

  • Leaving waiter a tip — and a $25 gift card
  • Leaving waitress a tip — and a lottery ticket
  • Leaving waitress a tip — and a special silver coin (worth $50!)
  • Traveler paying for airline maintenance crew’s breakfast in Dunkin’ Donuts line
  • Mother in a coffee shop handing over diapers to a stranger — another mother she noticed was caught up short with her baby
  • Friend providing one month’s rent to one of her colleagues through an anonymous giving program
  • Neighbor handing out bottles of water (and cookies) to thirsty lawn crews, UPS and FedEx delivery drivers
  • A Woman on Fire member paying the tuition for another woman to attend the upcoming retreat!

The list is inspiringly endless. I know you, too, have witnessed and been the provider of these random acts of love.

Being the recipient of drive-by kindnesses can have a transformative effect, as I’ve experienced, including one just this morning!

  • Sunburst Café owner and friend Jerome Tocio (whose very wonderful wife Theresa is a Women on Fire member) sent me a note: “Thought of you this morning when I was grinding the Almond Joy coffee.”  Along with his card? A bag of my very favorite, freshly ground Almond Joy coffee! (See photo above:-)
  • A gorgeous bouquet of pink peonies handed to me while I was browsing in a florist shop, courtesy of an unidentified somebody!
  • My goddaughter Julia leaving me little surprise treats in the kitchen after I’d been working in my office all day.
  • The heart-melting cards, notes, posts and emails I receive daily telling me what Women on Fire means to you.
  • My 79-year-old mother’s happy, encouraging notes. (She texts!)
  • The incredibly generous friend whose oil painting I’d long admired, packed it up in her car, brought it to our home, and helped us place it on the perfect  wall.
  • Our elderly neighbor arriving at our door, a freshly baked pineapple upside-down cake in her hands — for us.

These drive-by kindnesses throughout the year fill my heart fuller and wider than a million Valentine’s Day presents.

In our most recent Women on Fire membership interview, well-known psychotherapist Dr. Norman Shub reminds us what romance is truly about:

“Love in you grows by making the other person important. It’s the investment in the other that intensifies your feelings. Unfortunately, in our world, we are trained to think, “Am I getting what I want?”

“We’re not trained to be the best partner (and friend) we can be. Love is not just a feeling; it’s also a way of acting.”


So this single day of celebrating love — February 14 — must not become a day where some people are left to feel less than or left out of – or worse, a day that is obligatory and boring.

Instead, Valentine’s Day — and any other day — can become your own special day to give the unexpected love and joy of a drive-by kindness! Who in your life will you make important by giving such a gift to?

Drive-by kindnesses also don’t have to even cost time or money. Consider this from my dear friend, author Marianne Williamson:

“If everyone took one minute daily to close their eyes and silently bless every other living thing, love and light would sanctify the world.”

May your week be filled with love and light,

Debbie Signature

Carrie Saba’s Word of the Year Program

I’m so excited to share this special gift with you from one of our talented Women on Fire members.

Carrie Saba with her Word of The Year
Please meet holistic health and wellness coach Carrie Saba from Columbus, Ohio, who is certainly in the FLOW for 2014!

I’ve known Carrie for several years and last year I participated in her Word of The Year program. Carrie also is a co-author in the new Women on Fire book, Volume 2!

As I mentioned in The Spark!, sometimes it’s best to take baby steps into the New Year rather than jumping in feet first. The beauty of Carrie’s Word of the Year program is that it helps you to do just that. You’ve heard me talk before about the importance of setting a theme for your year to effectively guide you.

I love Carrie’s program, because it eliminates the pressure to flesh out a full theme right away, and yet still allows you to move forward through your year with intention.  You can have both a theme and a word for the year, as I do.  This year my theme is Creating Oases and my Word of the Year, thanks to Carrie, is LOVE.

Carrie has expertly crafted a step-by-step guide to help you manifest whatever it is that you want more of in 2014. You would be surprised at how much impact one carefully selected word can have on your year. It can be the single spark you need to re-discover your dreams, re-align your passions, and rearrange your path toward your desires.

I encourage you to invest a little time in selecting your word by participating in this fun, easy and inspiring program.  Learn more details and download the full Word of The Year program here!

You will have free access to this special and unique coaching program until next Sunday, January 12, 2014. Just add the course to your basket and enter the code: GIFT at checkout to receive your free copy of Carrie Saba’s Word of The Year!

Carrie and I look forward to hearing the word you choose. Please feel free to share your word in the comments below. My thanks to Carrie for her generosity and great work!

With inspiration, strategies and support, your dreams come true!

I feel so lazy today and I’m all wrapped up in my favorite, super soft Alpaca blanket. Do you have a go-to wrap or blanket to snuggle in with on an autumn afternoon? 😉

My body is lounging around but my heart and mind are still vibrating with energy and excitement from our Women on Fire teas in New York City last week.

I started these teas nine years ago as a way for women to connect in a meaningful way, to be cheered on, and receive support to live their lives and dreams.  Today’s a good day to reflect on what has transpired for some of you!

Attendees at one of last week’s Women on Fire teas in New York City. Front row: Sai Jimenez Fogarty, Lara Licharowicz, Shannon McCaffery, Tammy Gonroff, Janina Sebesky. Second row: Susan Perry, Terri Cole, Holly Getty, Meredith Schoenberger, Nancy Telliho, me, Jodi Graber, Carole Murko and Barbara Hogan.

It never matters whether it’s your first or your 15th tea! Each time your dreams and desires are celebrated and cherished — and then magic happens.

I like to think of Women on Fire teas as incubators — free from negativity and “germs” — where our hopes and dreams can grow and flourish in the loving, supportive caress of women who care.

*This week’s Pinspiration*

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Where are your big dreams going to take you today? #womenonfire

Here’s a recent sampling of three Women on Fire tea attendees and the status of her dreams:

Nancy Kramer of Columbus, Ohio told her Women on Fire sisters at a tea in Columbus in 2006 that she wished feminine products were made available in public bathrooms in the same way that toilet paper and seat covers are. Last week she turned her dream into reality by launching a national movement — — with a TEDx talk and website. You can like her Facebook page and view a 15-minute video of her speech here.  Congratulations, Nancy!

Celebrating Sai Jimenez Fogarty at last Friday’s tea!

Sai Jimenez Fogarty of Bronx, New York often shared her dream at teas that,  as a single mother, she wished to be in a relationship with a man who would be good to her son and and with whom she could create a wonderful family life. Last year Sai married Tommy who loves her 16-year-old son and they are just about to become the proud parents of Patrick, arriving any day now!  She credits her Women on Fire sisters for supporting her dreams throughout.

With Lara Licharowicz and her lucky purple ribbon that symbolizes her work on her dreams!

Lara Licharowicz of New York City came to her first Women on Fire tea a few years ago and was looking for space to launch her business The Lara Touch. She also wanted to share her life with someone special. Today, Lara, attender of many teas and our annual retreat, has a thriving practice and is celebrated for the peace and beauty of the space where she does her energy treatments and classes.

Oh, and one more piece of joyous news: Lara will marry Joe on February 22, 2014!

And, what might be in store for women who’ve just attended her very first tea …

Abby West at her first tea pictured with me, Holly Getty and Sophfronia Scott.

Abby West of New Rochelle, New York, came to her first tea last Thursday.  She recently was promoted to Executive Editor of Essence Magazine’s  Where will she be at her next tea? What dream will she have gone after and accomplished?

And Carole Murko of Stockbridge, Massachusetts who drove three hours each way and came with her friend Nancy Teliho to attend their first tea last Friday.

With Nancy Teliho and Carole Murko at their first tea!

Carole told us about her inspiring business that she’d wishes to expand into the world — Heirloom Meals. Her mission is to preserve treasured family recipes and our ancestors’ tried-and-true meals and dining traditions.

How fabulous is that? Now that she is safe inside our circle of members, what amazing things are about to happen for her?

With inspiring Feng Shui expert Tammy Gonroff!

And first-time tea attendee, Tammy Gonroff of Florida, New York.

She recently received Feng Shui training from international expert R.D. Chin and her certification. What new and wondrous adventures await her now that she is a part of Women on Fire teas?

One thing we know for sure. We can speak hopes and dreams into existence when we are surrounded with others who care and cheer us on.  Of course, just coming to a tea won’t transform your life on its own.  But why not stack the odds in your favor? 😉

No matter whether you are, as so many Women on Fire find themselves, caring simultaneously for children and for parents who’ve become ill or incapacitated, your sparks and dreams are still with you.

And so are we.  You can always come to this place — online at or in person at a retreat or tea and receive the inspiration, strategies and support you need to make your heart’s desires come true!

We are with you every step of the way!!

Please let me know what dreams you are incubating.

Ask Debbie Anything: “How do you approach conflict with your boss?”

Understand how to approach conflict with your boss in less than 2 min. Debbie will show you the importance of approaching the situation in a neutral way, why you should set goals, and the significance of a pre-planned script. But above all, just the act of thinking about doing it means you are moving in the right direction!