Tag Archives: Women On Fire

Day 157: can i borrow the shirt off your back?

6 Jun

What an amazing day with Women on Fire!

Here I am in Columbus, Ohio with Debbie Phillips and Jan Allen welcoming with open arms some absolutely amazing women who are ON FIRE and full of sparks.

And, I enjoyed it all with a half borrowed outfit.

Here is a photo of it … can you guess the something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?

I’ll tell you tomorrow, until then… here’s your Where’s Waldo puzzle of the day (can you find the borrowed clothes?)


Day 109: finishing, finished, finito. finally!

19 Apr

It’s so easy to start something, with an idea, with a spark of passion, with a glimmer of hope. It’s the finish line that screws up the starting part.

Today was the very last 24 hours of our 2-week cleanse.

And, sadly, I almost caved.
During a lunch meeting.
In front of a salad.

I started out being a very good girl, sticking to my last day regimen of no dairy, no fat, no gluten with a bowl of berries for breakfast.

At lunch I joined Debbie Phillips and Jan Allen for our Women on Fire team meeting and confidently knew I could find something to eat at the restaurant Bravo!  As I poured over the menu, I saw many options of salad with all usual suspects I couldn’t eat, blue cheese, bacon, etc.

No problem.
I can nix this, delete that, put some avocado on it (avocado is allowed, yummy!).
I can work with this … Bravo!

Okay, let’s be honest:
If there is one complicated way to finish a cleanse, it is eating at a restaurant. Not because you can’t find food to fit the bill, more because you immediately step into the role of “high maintenance customer” (Said in Oprah’s sing-songy voice for more impact. Try it again: “high maintenance customer!“)

After explaining to the waitress that I was on a cleanse, it’s my last day, no dairy, no gluten, yada yada yada, yada, I ordered a salad and then promptly asked her to 86 everything but the cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes. Oh, yeah, can I add some avocado? And, could I get more lemon slices? Oh, wait! And, a side of steamed broccoli.

Not a problem.
Everything they serve is freshly prepared, made on the spot.
She assured me.

Well, she was right.
It all came out, perfectly orchestrated, beautifully prepared with sliced avocado and a side of broccoli.

PLUS,  a big splattering of PARMESAN CHEESE across the top of it all.


My hunger pain immediately turned into a little devil on my shoulder, poking me with a fork saying:

“It’s your last day, what’s a little dairy going to do anyway? I mean, I can barely see it. Go ahead, Eat! Eat! Eat!”

And that’s when the little angle popped up beside me and said:

“You spent two weeks following the cleanse to a T, swallowing all that ghee, taking all the herbs, eating all the rice, drinking all the lemon water, and not once did you waver. SEND THE FOOD BACK and get what you want.”

And, in that split second I actually thought about eating the cheese. It wouldn’t be the end of the world or my digestive tract, I told myself.

But, even more so, I knew it wouldn’t be the way I wanted to end the commitment I made to myself.

So I donned my most pleasant “high maintenance customer” voice and asked the waiter to take it back. He actually looked pained by the prospect of having to bring back another salad sans cheese. But, he did.

So it was, today, I finished this cleanse.
The way I wanted.

Beyond dropping a few pounds, quelling my craving for coffee, learning to blend beets into applesauce, eating 3 solid meals a day without snacking, and taking really good care of my body through massage and yoga, and dealing with some emotional toxins too…

These two weeks reminded me of this:

We start to finish.
But, finishing is the best part of the start.
If you get all the way to the end, why not finish your way?

Day 40: yoga just got hotter

9 Feb

Hot yoga night over here.

Day 2 of my week-long commitment to yoga it up with a super fabulous hot rock massage as my reward.

So far the count this week is: 2 days, 2 yoga sessions downward dogged.

Tonight was not just any yoga night: can you say Hot. Yoga. With. A. DJ?

How hot is that?
Very. Sweaty mat and towel included.
I actually wasn’t sure what to expect.
Well, I knew I would get all stretched and sweaty and sent to the edge physically. No question there.

But, yoga and a music DJ!?
Would it be hip hop night at the old Bala Vinyasa or a some meandering mellow jazz? Turns out it was totally cool.

Most yoga classes go like this for me:
Step One: Ahhhh!
The stretch feels so good. I am ready to unwind and feel the love.

Step Two: Put my foot where?
Feeling the ouchie-ouch. Trying to stay zen and on my mat but, Oh. My. God. my body doesn’t bend that way!

Step Three: Total distraction.
I am sweating rivers down my arms, I can’t keep up with the flow.
I am wobbling on one foot trying to find a spot in the room to focus my eyes in order to stay balanced, but I can’t stop noticing I am about to fall sideways and face plant into the beautiful bamboo floors.

Step Four: What time is it?
Searching for a clock in the room. How much time is left in this class anyway?

Step Five: Ahhhh.
I thought you’d never say it: Savasana!

But not tonight.
Thanks to yoga instructor, Michelle Ploog, and yoga DJ,
Ian Hyman (DJ Hyfi) my power yoga yin and yang were perfectly aligned.

Time flew by at light speed.
Michelle encouraged everyone to go to each persons physical edge while at the same time reaching out to the actual person by their side.

Seriously, we literally held each other up by the foot during some of the most heinous holding moves. (Oops, am I allowed to say heinous when referring to yoga?).

It was kind of like performing in the Rockettes, or standing in a Women On Fire closing circle: each one of us was literally and physically reaching out and extending support (and dripping sweat on each other at the same time — how beautiful is that!?)

The music was my distraction and my anchor.
I never made the connection before, music totally takes the sting out of running for me, so why wouldn’t it super-zen a yoga session? I think I stretched even deeper and longer. Now, I’m not saying I made any pigeons fly but I did hold a crow for a record .0003 seconds.

Gotta love progress.
If I can keep this challenge up through the end of the week, just imagine all the other farm animal poses I could do!?

Makes me wonder, as far as investments go:
If music and support are this powerful, how else could they super-zen or super-charge my life. How else could they help yours?

Day 35: suddenly i see

4 Feb

If you are reading this today — it is dedicated to you.

Did you ever want something so badly, you don’t dare say it out loud?
Like keeping a secret, except, it isn’t a secret, because YOU know it’s there. The yearning. Almost like a calling?

About three years ago, I had the urge to create a vision board.
It came to me in the midst of New Year’s Eve, and at the height of the media circus surrounding the book, The Secret. And, oh, yeah, also in the depths of a really bad marriage that I didn’t know how to resolve.

I was overcome with enthusiasm to craft a vision!
I googled. I searched. I found tons of images online of all the things I wanted in my life and pasted the photos into a Word Document. Voilà!  An electronic version of a vision board!

It looked nothing like my life at the time.
Some of the images were:

  • a couple walking on the beach at sunset
  • a couple playing tennis
  • a woman happily working in a home office
  • a couple surrounded with many children
  • a photo of Oprah
  • a couple sleeping with a dog on their bed

I printed out the pages with all the pretty pictures and promptly tucked it in the back flap of my daily planner.  Then, I forgot about it.

Six months after creating my crafty little vision board:
I left my husband.

Six months after that, I lost my job.
Two months after that, I reunited with my high school boyfriend.
Three months after that, we moved to Martha’s Vineyard …an island, with a lot of beaches.
Five months later, I started my own marketing consulting practice …with a virtual office.
A year later, I am living in Naples, Florida for the winter, working with Women on Fire, and playing tennis almost every single day.
Right at this very moment, as I sit on our bed, typing this blog post, Pup is snuggled next to me, laying on his back with his paws up in the air …snoring.

Which brings me to today.
I spent Day #35 of this year at Group Vision Day.
The experience is much like crafting a vision board: but on steroids. Debbie Phillips is an amazing coach who helps women craft a strategy, plan of action, and provide support to bring dreams to life.

On my way home from Vision Day, the song Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall came on the radio. It made me smile. Ironic?

The last few years have not been a sudden process, but I do see.
I have learned to tune into me, to listen to my gut, and look into my heart — in order to see my future.  And then, invest in my vision with a clear plan. It’s a much more fulfilling process than just leaving my dreams up to chance.

And, that’s essentially what ThePromise365 is about.
Writing every single day is a solid strategy to keep me on track with my vision: to be the most amazing self I can possibly be this year. How to do it? Invest resources in my success, my dreams, my best self, and write about it everyday.

It’s not easy to write everyday.
But, it is my strategy.
You are my support.
And, I, am very grateful.

Thank you.
And, here’s to your amazing dreams and vision.

Day 7: professional shopping advice

7 Jan

Since I am not spending any extracurricular time shopping this year, it doesn’t really make sense for me to give anyone shopping advice.

So I’m not.

But, I will share some expert advice from a professional shopper and a woman I am so honored to call my friend …Ms. Holly Getty!

Holly is known in New York City for helping individuals liberate their personal style, she helps them create a signature look that allows them to feel good in any situation while working within their budget.

Holly has spent most of her career working in the fashion industry for such notables as Jones New York, J. Crew, Liz Claiborne, Bergdorf Goodman and Calvin Klein.

When I told Holly about the inkling of my idea for The Promise 365, she shared with me her own personal shopping tips.  I loved them so much I asked Holly if I could publish on The Promise 365. She said yes, so here you go:

Tip #1: Decide if it really belongs to you.
Holly never purchases anything without first deciding if the item really belongs in her life. How does she do this? She walks around the store with it in her hands for 10 minutes before purchasing it. After taking just 10 minutes to sit with the idea she knows.

Tip #2: Shop as if there is no return policy.
Holly appreciates the way many overseas stores do not have a return policy because it makes a shopper really think before purchasing. If you buy it, it will be yours. A “no return” mind set solidifies the finality of a purchase.

What I love about Holly’s tips is they are all about personal awareness.

If I had a dollar for every item that sat forgotten in my closet because it didn’t fit well, was an impulse buy, was a stupid idea or was scooped up on a whim, well, I suppose I would have a lot of dollars.

So, when I do start buying again in (ugh!) 2012, I will keep Holly’s advice close to my heart and more dollars in my wallet.

DAY 3: the inspiration

3 Jan

I have to credit Debbie Phillips, founder of Women On Fire for giving me the “spark” of inspiration behind The Promise 365.

Debbie took me to Lake Austin Spa Resort (check it out if you haven’t already, it is amazing!) for a week working on Women On Fire marketing projects (yes, we were really working at the spa, promise).

Here’s the video we took on the grounds of Lake Austin where I found my inspiration and explain my big decision.

So, I know it sounds simple.

And, I know it may also sound a little silly.

But, this is what I would love you to think about: what if you dedicated one entire year to really understanding what you put in and on your body? What would you do? What promise would you make to yourself?

What am I learning? For one thing, I choose chocolate when I really want comfort. I buy dresses when I want to feel beautiful and I purchase shoes when I need to express my creativity.

What I know is true: while shoes are a passion, dresses make me feel pretty and chocolate is pure joy, they do not compare to an hour of power yoga or one minute of meditation.

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