Tag Archives: Debbie Phillips

Day 263: recharge your battery. skip class. just jump. mountain day.

20 Sep

What a day.

Just when I had everything planned out precisely …the car battery dies.

It took two cars and two sets of jumpers (Justin and the neighbor!) to boot the battery back up.

As I sat in the car waiting for the engine to turn over, crackling and churning without any charge, I couldn’t help but think it was such a visual, living analogy for when my own life battery runs weak.

Ironically, today was Mountain Day at my alma mater Smith College. Mountain Day is a special day reserved specifically for rejuvenation in the beautiful fall air.

The best part? It’s a surprise.

I remember when I first entered Smith and upperclass(wo)men explained Mountain Day to me. They promised that one morning, early in the morning, the college bells would ring and that meant we could skip class for the day.

“Really, we get to skip class?” I asked in disbelief with big nerdy-school-girl eyes wondering if it was really a hoax or some sort of hazing trick for all the new students, just to mess with us.

I soon found out it was not a trick. It was the real deal. MOUNTAIN DAY exists.

And, today, on this Mountain Day of 2012, while I sat in my car waiting for the battery to charge, it occurred to me that it always take more time and more resources to refill and recharge — and, really, don’t we need more Mountain Days?

To skip out and seek a surprise break from it all.

Good thing I am headed to OMEGA tomorrow with Debbie Phillips! I think that will more than recharge my batteries.

Speaking of renewable energy…
I LOVE the photos Susan from Dawgma Gallery posted today of our little pups.

This was Brady’s first photo shoot.

How Susan got him to crawl up on this boat (with AMERICAN FLAG waving in the background) I do not know. She’s a pro.

And, while Pup is also a pro at photo shoots by now, he still showed up with supercharged charm — even at ten years old.

They make a cute pair.

But, boy, do I wish I could BOTTLE THAT ENERGY.

Doesn’t it make you want to jump?

Starting tomorrow and over this weekend, I will be reporting from OMEGA and will share any insights I gain on supercharging our batteries. Until then, maybe we should all think about taking a break, a day off, or totally skipping out on something?

That is … if you didn’t already today.

Happy Mountain Day. 


Day 123: blooming like a monet canvas

3 May

Today we packed up and trained over to Giverny.

It was like stepping into a canvas of color.
I was in awe of Monet’s masterpiece as it came to life, right before my eyes.

And, my camera.

I visited Giverny with Debbie Phillips and friends in honor of Ellen Wingard’s birthday. What a special place to celebrate life.

And friendship.

And flowers.

In the middle of the tulips, pansies, lilac and crepe myrtles, we also saw frogs.

Scratch that.
We HEARD frogs.

Apparently, it’s mating season at the pond.
And you know what they say… if the lilypad is rocking, don’t go a knocking.

The frog’s mating calls sounded like riotous laughter echoing through the valley and circling the pond in a round, bouncing from lilypad to lilypad and back again.

It sounded as if they were putting on a show — truly making the painting come to life before our eyes and ears, and all senses combined.

Being in the fresh scent of lilacs and the buds of wisteria made me realize something.

I don’t grow anything.

Well, I’ve had a little luck with some tomato plants.
But, that’s about it.

So I bought some certified Monet seeds from the gift shop.

Both to represent the beautiful blooming flowers I witnessed all around, and the bounty of blossoms in the hearts of these women I was so privileged to share a journey with into the french countryside.

If there is one thing I witnessed today, it is this:
Nothing can grow without love.

Not flowers.
Or friendship.

All you need is a few good seeds.
And, a lifetime of unconditional love. 

Day 83: f*ing friday :: fire it up

23 Mar

It’s F*ing Friday!
I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5 in Year 1, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the word Free Food. 

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the word:
Fire it up.

As in, passion.

Tonight, I led a Women on Fire Tea at Cottey College.

It was significant for me because it my first time leading a Women on Fire Tea.

But, even MORE significant is the fact that the tea was for young women at my alma mater, Cottey College.

I am so impressed with and on fire about these young women.

Tonight’s tea was dedicated to Debbie Phillips ~ the founder of Women on Fire ~ who was also leading a tea in New York City at the exact same time we gathered around our table in Nevada, Missouri.

And, I think that’s the special magic of being a Woman on Fire.
To be connected, over years, miles and a mission.
To share dreams, passions, goals, yearnings and unfounded joy.
To weep, laugh and cry.
To honor and applaud each other as we all take the next step – together.

It’s somewhat ironic to me that the room where we gathered tonight was in a building called the Women’s Leadership Center.

But, it’s no surprise that floating above, throughout the entire night, shining towards us all, was a sparkling, colorful, glowing…

May we all help each other grow wings, fire it up and fly. 

Day 77: st. holly’s day :: first time shopping in over a year!

17 Mar

This day shall forevermore be known as Saint Holly’s Day. 

Sure, the rest of the world wore shamrocks and guzzled down green beer, celebrating leprechauns and such.  But, for me, today, was more spirited than St. Patrick could ever know.

Today is the day that I officially celebrated my PROMISE.  That’s right, I have been waiting for this day for one year and seventy-seven days.  That’s 442 DAYS!

It. Was. Well. Worth. The. Wait. 

First up, in our fairytale day of days, Holly Getty worked her mind magic and guided me to my Style Points.  Holly has a special process that brings out the best in you — literally, from the inside out!

After much laughter, deep thought and conversation, she led me to my NEW Style Points, which are:  Creative. Expressive. Significant. 

Instead of a St. Patty’s Day Parade on green tinted water, St. Holly had me parade around in ALL the clothes from my summer wardrobe.  We pulled out items that were too big (3 pairs of jeans), too small (2 dresses), too short (pants), too baggy (2 coats), and too out-dated (many skirts, jackets and tops) — and we placed them in a dedicated GOODWILL pile.

After a few hours of Holly working her editing magic, I now have a closet The Container Store would envy — and my hanger shortage has officially been solved!

After a wonderful lunch we hit the Waterside Shops to delve into that thing that I haven’t done for so long.  It’s where you go into retail stores, try things on in a box called a dressing room, and then proceed to the check-out counter.

Do you remember what that’s called?

Oh, yes…

I have to admit, I was intimidated by the mere thought of stripping down in front of a full length mirror that reflects both my front and backside.  It’s been a long time since I have been forced to look at my body in a three-way mirror — NAKED.

But, Holly is one smart cookie, and she took me to Lulu Lemon as the first stop on our journey.  I was surrounded by the familiar feel of yoga pants and tops and we found a bonanza of comfortable and stylish pieces.

From there it was on to J.Crew, Max Mara, Nordstrom, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Calypso, and Anne Fontaine.

I fell in love with a pair of platform slides from Prada!
And, a colorful striped scarf from Calypso!
Oh, the Ande Leather Tote from Milly!

But, in the end, I went back to BASICS.

On this 442nd Day, I did buy something — two things actually!

1)  A pair of Cole Haan black shoes that are both stylish, fun and comfortable. They are significant because I am going to PARIS next month with Women on Fire and I need a pair of really good walking shoes with a little flair.

2)  An expressive pair of AG Jeans!
They fit like a glove and as Holly pointed out, lengthen my legs by balancing out my waist, hips and torso ratio. (Who knew that all my life I was buying my jeans too baggy?)

So, there you have it!
My promise was kept and my celebration has started.

In some ways I feel like Holly has swooped in like a Fashion Fairy-Godmother and granted me my three wishes.

In other ways, I feel like one Lucky Girl, since Debbie Phillips introduced me to Holly in the first place.

On a day like today, some might call it the luck of the Irish.
But, I would like to think of it as a small reward for a big journey.

One that continues to show me how deeply creative our connections are, how expressive we can all be, and how significant this life really is— especially when we take the time to take care of our head, heart, body and soul…

And, I hope that will never end.


Day 41: f*ing friday :: florida (a love letter)

10 Feb

F*ing Fridays are back!
And, they will continue to occur on Friday. I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5 in Year 1, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the word Follow-up

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the word:

As in, a love letter to the sunshine state.

Dear Florida,

Tonight, you were on fire!

Did you feel the heat, as Women on Fire gathered in the Naples Grande for another scrumptious tea?

At one point in the evening, Debbie Phillips asked each of us to share something we love about you, dear Florida.

As I listened to all the answers, I realized there is so little I know about your wonders — the state where I live.  From swimming with Manatee, to exploring the mangroves of Ten Thousand Islands to tasting the Everglades Seafood Festival, there is still so much more to learn about your land and sea.

So far, I have fallen in love with your sugar sand beaches and bright, sunny weather.  I have even grown to love your thunderous rainstorms now and then.

But now, dear Florida, I want you to know, I am reinvigorated — fire ignited! — to take part in more of your beauty.

How does it feel to be called “Paradise?” — it’s time I find out why!


Day 24: pop goes the birthday!

24 Jan

I love birthdays.  Problem is, I forget birthdays.  
I’m sure I would forget my own if I didn’t have such wonderful people in my life to help me celebrate.

And, it is, in fact, birthday week around here (the official day is Thursday).  That means …our bags are packed for the Bahamas!  We leave in the morning!

Justin surprised me with this little trip as a way to help celebrate my birthday, and to celebrate everything that happened with The Promise 365 last year.

I love celebrations, marking time, reflecting and honoring where we have been.

And, tonight, my first birthday gift, the first marker of this 38th birth year, came in with a POP!   Debbie and Rob gave me a fun send-off with a surprise gift just after our Women on Fire Live Chat ended.

First, there was this beautifully wrapped box.
(With a bow that Debbie’s big, white, fluffy cat Wilbur loved more than anything!)

Then, I opened up a huge, rolled up scroll of paper that was protected with bubble wrap.

And, finally, I realized that THIS wasn’t your average bubble wrap …it is the BUBBLE WRAP CALENDAR! — the one I found online and pined for earlier in the month.  I was so surprised, you can see the photo is blurry from my utter excitement.

So for the rest of 2012, as each day goes by, I will POP it off my calendar.  What fun.  How special.  I. Love. It.  (you can watch a video of how it works here)

And, I love the people in my life who remember my birthday.  What a beautiful act of love, to just say, “hey, happy birthday, glad you’re on the planet.”

So it is, with this popping calendar, I finally had a POP! go off in my mind.
I love birthdays.  I love the people in my life.
Why don’t I remember their birthdays?

So, that is exactly the birthday promise I vow to make, as I blow out the candles on this 38th birthday week celebration.  There is no reason to forget a special birthday, especially with Facebook reminders and technology all around  …and now, this fun, popping calendar!

So, if I don’t already have it, send me your birthday.
We’ll celebrate and make it go Pop!

You can watch the popping video below or at this link.

Day 17: new dresses and new dreams

17 Jan

Oh, happy day, indeed.
Today was Vision Day with Debbie Phillips.   A day to plan, dream, focus and create new goals for the year ahead and celebrate the year that has passed.

It was also a day for me to try on something new — a new dress.
As I surveyed my closet this morning, and stared down the clothes I have worn over and over again for the past year, I yearned to wear something new.

And then I saw the new dress.
I haven’t had a new dress in my possession for over a year now.  This new dress came to me in the form of a Christmas present (thanks Jill!).

Just slipping into this sunny number made me feel like a new person, taking a step into a new year.  In a very subtle way, it made me feel ready for new dreams too.

Because clothes are powerful.
It’s no secret that I love clothes.  I love how they make me feel, how they change my attitude and how they define my day.

But, dreams are more powerful.
And I love them even more — for how they make me feel, how they change my attitude and how they define not just my day, but the entire year ahead.

If there is anything I learned from last year, it is the importance of investing in myself, in my future and in my dreams (instead of my wardrobe!).

How are you investing in your dreams?

Here’s to your dreams, goals, plans and purposeful living as we take on this new year.

(And maybe, just maybe, there will be a new dress along the way too!)

Day 319: surprise!

15 Nov

I love a good surprise.
Bad surprises suck.
GOOD surprise are like gold.

Kind of like the surprise Justin gave me on Day 226 with a treasure of jewelry.

But good surprises don’t’ have to be lined with gold to be good.
Like today, for instance, I got a fun and fabulous surprise right here in Naples, Florida.

Can you guess who arrived?
She is warm, wonderful, and definitely on FIRE and full of surprises lately.

Did you guess Debbie Phillips?

Like I said.
I like a good surprise.

As Debbie asks in her latest post — Is there anyone you’d like to surprise? — tons of ideas come to my mind.

If you want some more inspiration, here are some of Debbie’s suggestions:

*  A phone call to someone who’d appreciate hearing your voice instead of an email?

* An offer to take kids on a play date with you!

* A invitation to treat someone to lunch at their favorite place — for no special reason?

You can read more about Debbie’s surprises in her weekly email The Spark!
And, no matter where you find your inspiration, I hope you have a good surprise coming in your life too.

It doesn’t have to cost a thing — and it’s good for the soul.

Day 299: on the eve of 300

26 Oct

Today I counted up 299 days of this promise, which means, even more exciting news: tomorrow will be Day 300.

It’s hard to believe.
Well, it’s easy to believe when I look back at the day-to-day path of this process, but, still, I can hardly believe tomorrow begins the 65 day count down.

It makes me want to celebrate.

And, maybe I will, in a small and meaningful way.  Because even though I know this isn’t over until I greet 365 days, I do feel good about making this small milestone.

Isn’t it the little milestones that get us through?

Whether it’s not drinking coffee for five days straight, or just getting my body out of bed today, (even though my head feels like it’s about to fall off) or saying no to desserts at each and every meal so I can say yes to my low sugar pledge — it’s tracking these little milestones that make me feel good.

And, I know it’s that happy dance I do inside that makes me want to continue, push forward, keep going.

Last night, Debbie Phillips shared 7 Strategies for Living Your Dreams Like a Woman on Fire in her live chat.  And, one of the strategies — did you already guess it? — was, Do you celebrate your success and achievements? Do you celebrate when you’ve set a goal and accomplished something you’ve been working toward?

Tomorrow, I will celebrate Day 300.

But, today, I celebrate just getting out of bed, drinking lots of water and green tea and taking it easy with a slow pace as I clear this head cold.

Oh, and one more thing…
Today, I celebrated my favorite slippers.
They aren’t new but they are warm, cozy and comforting to my body and soul.
And, I wore them all day long.

Day 298: spa rah rah! i miss the spa!

25 Oct

I miss the spa!
Maybe it’s because my head cold is getting the best of me today. Or maybe I miss the food.

Either way, sniffle, sniffle.

I just spent 15 minutes on SpaFinder dreaming about other spas to visit someday, when I found this: a free pamphlet on Ayurveda practices from The Raj Spa.

With each word I read, I am brought right back to the lavender and calmness of Lake Austin Spa Resort (which I visited just last week with Debbie while we were working for Women on Fire of course!).

I suppose the teachings of Ayurveda remind me of the spa because we were up early, fed well, out in nature, exercised on water, gave our bodies lots of nourishment and self-care and then, of course, slipped into bed at a reasonable hour.

It seems like our morning hike through the Texas Hill Country (pictured below) was just yesterday, so it’s hard for me to believe it was really a week ago.

And, I suppose that’s the hardest part of returning home — figuring out exactly how to incorporate the spa lifestyle that I love into my own lifestyle, and those pesky things called day-to-day habits.

I suppose it could be as easy as starting my day with a morning walk in nature?
Or getting to bed early?

Here’s a pretty good schedule if you ask me — a sample daily routine from the Ayurveda download explaining the impact of each dosha:

2:00 AM to 6:00 AM
Vata active
Awake before 6:00 AM
Good for meditation

6:00 AM to 10:AM
Kapha active
Good for exercise
Avoid sleeping into this period

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Pitta active
Digestion is strongest
Largest meal at lunch (12:30)

2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Vata active
Tendency for tiredness
Herbal tea & spices in water or milk
Rejuvenate with meditation

6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Kapha active
Evening walk
To bed before 10 PM

10:00 PM to 2:00 AM
Pitta active
Metabolic housecleaning strong
Sleep for best purification

Maybe, I’ll add some of this insight to my schedule.
Well, maybe, tomorrow. I think I have an appointment with Nyquil tonight.

If you’re looking for a spa in your area, here’s a fun place to start — check out SpaFinder’s deals site at Spa Rah Rah which gives discounts on spas and wellness centers across the country.

Plus, If you want to learn more about Ayurveda, the free download from The Raj Spa is here.

I’ll be over here sniffling and spa dreaming…

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