How do they stay so vibrant?

Remember a time when you were so excited about life that you could barely  contain yourself?  A time when everything felt new and alive?

As a little girl, I had so much energy for life that I used to bounce off the walls, believing I could fly,  just like Judy Miller, the character Gilda Radner made famous on Saturday Night Live.

(And, yes, my mother would holler up the stairs: ‘what’s going on up there?!’)

Fara Lagstein, left, celebrating her 3rd annual Girls on Fire party! (Photo by Wendy Lagstein)

Last week I was reminded of all that joy and energy I once possessed when I heard from our youngest Girls on Fire — and from our oldest Woman on Fire who is nearly 90!

Anne Thurston-Brandley, author and newspaper and magazine columnist, at nearly 90 is newly married — and a cover girl!

Lucky me that I receive news and emails every single day from women in every decade of their lives who share with me what they are “on fire” about or not.

The latest from our young ones: Fara Lagstein, 9, hosted her 3rd annual Girls on Fire party; Carly Dulitsky, 8, opened her first bank account and said she loves money; and Sierra Vaughn Tollefson, 16, an aspiring champion equestrian, cheerfully and selflessly spends day-after-day nursing back to health her horse after surgery.

And, the latest from our oldest:  with several books written and waiting to be published, our enthusiastic Anne Thurston-Brandley landed on the cover of Women2Women Michigan Magazine!

Even though there is a span of eight decades between the youngest and oldest in our community of amazing women, can you guess what they share in common that keeps them all so vibrant?

Before I tell you…

Do you know how to tap into your own vibrancy and juiciness — that sweet spot that keeps you inspired and engaged in life?

Most of us find ourselves in age and experience somewhere in between our youngest and oldest Women on Fire.

If you are anything like me, even though you know you’ll feel better, you have to drag yourself to the gym or out for a walk; you sometimes approach the next stage of life with a bit (or a lot of) fear and trepidation; and you might even wonder if the best years are behind you.

None of this seems to be the case with our youngers and olders!

So, today, I decided to explore that energy well they seem to access so easily. I found some nuggets of gold — and remembered a wise woman from my past.

Years ago I had the great fortune to meet in person Martha Reeves, the lead singer of the Motown girl band Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. She was in her 50s at the time and incredibly vibrant and energetic.

I asked her how she did it.

“Girl, every single morning I get up and dance to my own record “Dancin’ in the Street,” she told me. “It keeps me young and going for the rest of day.”

And, that made me realize something about our youngest and oldest Women on Fire.

They dance to their own rhythms.

“I’m a Girl on Fire,” says nine-year old Fara, “because I’m smart, confident and fun. I love to experience everything in life and I’m kind.”

From 16-year-old Sierra: “I’m on fire about horses because through my training I’ve discovered who I am.

“Horses have taught me how to be a whole human being. When I ride I can’t be thinking about an embarrassing mistake I made yesterday, or what I’ll be tomorrow. I have to put it all away and embrace what’s happening in that moment, or else I’ll lose my balance and control.”

Eighty-nine-year-old Anne was happily married to Ed for 65 years.  After he died, she decided she wanted to find love again. She went online and was so moved by her experience datng that she wrote a book on how to meet online for seniors.

Last year she married Ray, a younger man. He’s 85. “We feel like 18-year-olds and couldn’t be happier,” she reported.

What these two ends of the Women on Fire age spectrum seem to have in common is an unstoppable zest for living.  In addition, they are kind, grateful, determined, proud, loving, caring, giving and they know how to have fun!

So, in my tiredness this morning, I headed outside, plugged in my earbuds, tapped my iTunes, and let the music touch my soul until I could feel I was dancing to my own rhythm.

Thanks to Martha’s “Dancin’ in the Street, Bruce Springsteen’s “Tunnel of Love” and Katy Perry’sFirework” I started to feel again I could fly!

Please tell us how you tap into those feelings that you can do anything? And, if you’re not feeling it right now, I hope this helps you think about ways you can change the channel.

How will you stay vibrant throughout your life?

It sure makes it easier getting things accomplished when you can ride that current of energy just as Fara, Carly, Sierra and Anne and so many of you are doing!

Have an amazing week ~


Women On Fire® names National Program Chair

Each day, I receive emails about the tremendous difference Women on Fire support has made in your lives.

In the past week alone, I heard from one of our members that she finished her novel and another informed me her lifestyle show has been “green-lit” by Oprah’s new network OWN.  Both women attributed her success to the inspiration, strategies and support from her Women on Fire sisters.

I want you to know we are building even more systems of support for you.

Today, I am announcing the appointment of Jan Allen as Women on Fire’s National Chair of the Each One Reach One Program. The program will launch nationally with an intense focus on Ohio as a model state that embraces and supports women to live the lives they dream of.

Jan Allen

Jan, who lives in Columbus, Ohio, is a talented business strategist, change agent and organizational expert — and she’s been my best friend for 25 years.

We have supported each other through every twist and turn of our careers and life — and we will continue to share our combined knowledge, success strategies (and our mistakes, too!) — with you and all Women on Fire.

In her new position, Jan will help to lead some very exciting plans and programs that we have in the works. There are more than 2,000 women nationwide  involved already in our organization.  Our first goal is to reach and connect 5,000 women in Ohio to each other so they have the inspiration, strategies and support to make their dreams realities.  After that, our plan is to connect at least 1,000 women or more in every state and country.

Here’s a little more about Jan and why I feel Women On Fire is so fortunate to have her talent and support:

She was one of the first women to hold a top position in state government, as Deputy Chief of Staff to former Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste. She has also led executive teams, most recently in Ohio Governor Ted Strickland’s Administration and prior to that as a business owner and principal of three successful entrepreneurial enterprises. In addition to her vast experience, she is trained as a lawyer, executive coach and therapist.

Shortly after I became a coach in 1995, virtually an unheard-of profession back then, Jan and I together launched a very successful women’s group in Columbus. Some of you were even in that group!  That year-long experience of women supporting women through inspiration and strategies served as a forerunner for what is today Women on Fire.

Welcome, Jan!

Now, here’s where you come in:

Imagine the world if each one of us would reach out to just one other woman to give her the support she needs to succeed?

As part of the Each One Reach One program, if you know of one other fabulous woman who may be struggling and could benefit from Women on Fire inspiration, please encourage her to subscribe today to our free, weekly newsletter The Spark!

No matter where you live, if you are or know of a woman in Ohio who can reach many women, please email Jan at

Additionally, I am pleased to announce Andrea Dowding, who has led Ohio coaching groups and tea parties since 2008, will be Women on Fire’s Ohio Training Leader to build a cadre of talented coaches and facilitators who can lead and connect women in powerful, in-person settings.  Please let me know if you want to shine as a leader of women in your community and would be interested in learning more.

Finally, before I sign off, please mark your calendar. I am thrilled to announce Women on Fire Day will be held in Columbus, Ohio on September 23, 2011. It will be the first stop on our new and exciting Women On Fire National Tour. Stay tuned, more dates and cities will be announced soon!

My dream is for you to have your dream.