Key to your success?

Women on Fire held its first gathering in New York City exactly 10 years ago this month. The feeling in the room that night was magical when everyone shared what they were “on fire” about, others listened and then cheered them on.

Have you told someone –or many someones — your greatest dreams and passions, had them really listen to you, and then celebrate you? It’s the best feeling ever!

Support for your dreams and goals is as elemental to your success as sunshine is to earth’s survival.

*This week’s Pinspiration*

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Surround yourself with those that lift you higher- Women on Fire

Since that first Women on Fire gathering in 2003, thousands of women — — no matter whether we were in a tea room or a ballroom — have participated in Women on Fire events and been inspired from the love and support given and received when they share their highest hopes.

What a joy to return to my alma mater Ohio State to conduct a Women on Fire Day with juniors, seniors, staff and mentors cheering each other on.

Most recently at The Ohio State University in Columbus, nearly 100 women participated in a Women on Fire Day to learn just how good it feels — and important it is — to share your truth and dreams and receive support for it.

And the women that day were additionally supported by seasoned Women on Fire who served as panelists: Mary Kay Purdy, Gail Forest, Liz Lessner and Nancy Kramer.

A co-author in our upcoming Women on Fire book, Mary Kay Purdy shares her life lessons and encouragement with Ohio State students.

These experienced, successful and generous women told their ups and downs over their long careers. They shared from their hearts to benefit Ohio State’s young women and to inspire and support them as they embark on their own journeys in the world.

In the center, Tracy Stuck, a Women on Fire member and Ohio State’s assistant vice president for Student Life, is an amazing mentor and supporter of many young men’s and women’s careers and lives.

Where are you right now in receiving enough support to see your dreams through? Who is there for you?

And, equally important …

How are you doing in cheering on other women with their goals? Do you?

One of the reasons women tell me they often don’t share their enthusiasm for their dreams — or even speak them out loud — is because they are teased, criticized, ridiculed, met with blank stares or jealousy.

There is no light of day for dreams kept under a bushel basket!

So, how can we become better cheerleaders of our own dreams and other women’s dreams, too?

Receiving and giving support is a balance like a teeter totter.  Sometimes you give more, and other times you receive more, but the give and take of support  provides just the lift you need to make your own endeavors successful.

Here I am with Women on Fire member Gail Forest of Atlanta, a role model for Ohio State students with her down-to-earth discussion of her own success and longing for dreams to come!

So this week, make a list of what you need support for and who might be able to help you.  And, on another list, think of one woman in your life you’d like to give some support to.  It may be as simple as sending her an email, connecting or referring someone to her who could help her, giving her some praise on Facebook.

You never know what your “you go, girl” might do for her!

Which list is easier for you? 🙂 Many women (me included!) say it’s much easier to help someone else rather than to ask for support for themselves.

Awareness, it is said, is 90% of the problem solved.  So now that we are all aware of the role support plays in our success, let’s climb onto that teeter totter and create some balance of support!

A huge shout-out and my personal thanks to Ohio State student and photographer Katie Riccardella for all of the photos today! Especially the one above which captured the joy I felt during Women on Fire Day at Ohio State.  If photography is your big dream, Katie, you are already rocking it!

Have a phenomenal week.  I’ll see you later this week with our latest Book To Live By for October and a brand-new She’s A Woman on Fire! feature. I can hardly wait to share with you.

‘You go, girl’ strategies

Hello to you from Martha’s Vineyard, where it is blissfully quiet and peaceful this time of year.

Quite a contrast coming from bustling New York City where this past week I got to see many of you, and it made me oh-so-happy!

A group of us attended the Women on Fire-sponsored “Our Inner Lives” event featuring Marianne Williamson, singer India.Arie and other spiritual leaders, organized by

Some of the Women on Fire who spent time with Marianne Williamson: Jessica Robinson, me, Jenifer Madson, Marianne Williamson, Jan Nolte, Shannon McCaffery, Robyn Silverman, Holly Getty, Janina Sebesky and Michelle Whittaker.

Women on Fire from as far away as Ohio and California joined us in New York to be motivated and inspired by Marianne’s wisdom.

Becky Counts Freese, owner of Cookies on Demand in Montpelier, Ohio, traveled to New York to meet Marianne!

As many of you know, Marianne came into my life (thanks to Woman on Fire member Kelly Boggs who introduced me) nearly two decades ago when I was picking up the pieces of loss, despair and uncertainty in my life.

Her wisdom guided me to the very happy life I now live!

In fact, Marianne’s spiritual teachings and  ‘you go, girl’ encouragement saved my life.

She helped to bring me back from the brink after losing to death my beloved mother-in-law, then getting divorced, coming to a fork in the road with my career, moving to a new city, and eventually finding love again.

A teacher, author and lecturer for more than 30 years, Marianne has published ten books, including four New York Times #1 bestsellers.

I know many of you know and love her work with The Course In Miracles.  If you don’t know about Marianne, I encourage you to check her out.

My favorite is her prayer book Illuminata.  But if you are reading her for the first time, you might start with her classic A Return To Love.

Celebrating at lunch with my wonderful friends — Marianne, Edward Beck and Kathy O’Hearn

Today I want to share with you five powerful, ‘you go, girl’ strategies I learned from Marianne – and continue to follow — to create inner peace so necessary in this crazy world.

1) When I have conflict with another person, I take this action:

“Who is more sane in this moment?” It is the job of the person who feels the most sanity to listen and attempt to understand the other party in a conflict.

2) When I feel scared or that I am not good enough, I read this:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

“We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”

3) When I can’t forgive, I remember:

“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.”

4) When I feel depressed or lost, I consider:

“We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present.”

5) When I feel overwhelmed by negative emotion, I go here:

“Always seek less turbulent skies.
Hurt. Fly above it.
Betrayal. Fly above it.
Anger. Fly above it.
You are the one who is flying the plane.”

Even though these strategies of Marianne’s wisdom may seem simple, if you practice them, you will find your burdens lifted in ways you can’t imagine.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.

The other night in New York Marianne reminded us of the power of the ‘you go, girl’ attitude and the absolute necessity to have each other’s back, if we are to change the world and our lives.

“It’s time to encourage each other. It’s time to say to each other, ‘You go fly. You can do it. You’re brilliant.’ The only way we can believe that about ourselves is if we help other people feel it about themselves.”

Cheering each other on is what we have been doing at Women on Fire for 10 years.  And encouraging each other to fly is what we will continue to do.   From Marianne and me to you — you go, girl!

*This week’s Spark PINspiration*  

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We are bringing "You Go Girl" back one Woman On Fire at a time.