Deb Beroset is an award-winning journalist, a mother and a muse. When she was 56, single, and had just gone through some rough emotional and financial times after a divorce, she had a nagging feeling that she was just nibbling at the edges of life. She had also harbored a long-time dream of creating something for herself. Beroset decided it was now or never, and so she claimed her vision and left a corporate job to create Moxie, a business that helps others to thrive.
Beroset’s life followed an eclectic path prior to becoming an entrepreneur. She started out studying music—French horn and violin, to be exact. After one year of music school at the University of Michigan, she realized the life of a professional French horn player in an orchestra was not the movie she wanted to be living. As much as she loved music, she needed way more variety and flexibility. So she decided to go with her other love, writing, and study journalism.
However, before she had a chance to enroll in a new school, she had a wild opportunity fall out of the sky. Her Uncle Bill, who had an oil pipe coating business in Dubai at the time, called her and said if she could get over there in two weeks, he’d hire her as a secretary. While she had no interest in a secretarial career, this open door to a different world was attractive and exciting, so she said yes.
“I wound up staying in Dubai for three years, most of that time working as a journalist for the Gulf News. I talked my way into a writing audition (I only had high school paper experience at the time) and got the gig, and what a life-changing turning point that was. My years overseas shaped me in so many ways,” she reminisces.
Eventually she returned to the U.S. to get that college degree. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism—specializing in magazine journalism—and went on to do graduate work in sociology, with a concentration in the culture of cyberspace. “There was no obvious reason for me to do that. I was just fascinated with the whole emerging internet thing. This was in the late ‘80s, and I was very curious about the impact it would have on how we live and learn and connect,” she says.
“For context, the World Wide Web opened to the public in 1991, so it’s safe to say I’ve been drawn to this online world since its beginning. I had my first baby at the tail end of my master’s program and never did the thesis, but it didn’t matter really because I’d learned so much,” she recalls. “I had no way of knowing that one day I’d be collaborating with people around the world via this internet thing.”
Beroset’s journalism career included writing for The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and many magazines, including Redbook, Glamour, Ladies’ Home Journal, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and more. “My most fun job working for someone else was my stint at Hallmark, where I headed up the company’s internal think tank. I was fortunate to work with some truly extraordinary people there, and I learned a lot about innovation and the creative process,” she notes.
Beyond formal education, she’s been engaged in different forms of personal development work her whole adult life. Beroset explains, “It’s not out of trying to fix anything. I gave up on that a long time ago. It’s about expanding my mind, tapping into my soul, learning more about who is this Deb person, and how might I best live this one wild and precious life of mine?”
She did the Landmark Forum, and she was profoundly moved by it. That led to years of participation with Landmark Worldwide, and she went on to lead seminars for Landmark for eight years, and oversaw the company’s public relations for 12 years. Beroset also studied with BEAbove Leadership and is certified in coaching that is grounded in neuroscience and focused on a transformational journey.
She says it’s no coincidence that she met her husband within mere weeks of her decision to leave her corporate job and pursue her dream of creating something of her own. “When your actions are in alignment with your soul and your dreams, it’s as if the universe says, ‘Oh, okay, you’re serious about this. Let’s get this party started,’” she says.
Between the two of them, Beroset and her husband, Chris, have five adult daughters. The couple recently moved from Chicago to Marietta, Georgia, out of a desire to have more space, daily access to trees, and to be within “come on over for dinner” distance of family living in the Atlanta area.
“Having a life partner who is a high-vibe old soul—and as committed to my dreams as I am—is the treasure of a lifetime. Don’t ever let anyone tell you it’s too late for love,” she opines.
Q&A with Moxie Creator Deb Beroset Do you consider yourself a life coach?
Calling me a life coach is like calling Willy Wonka a candy maker. Is it true? To an extent, sure. What doesn’t get communicated by that term is the magic. I engage people’s imaginations in new ways, I spark their creativity, I create experiences, and I help them elevate their energy, tap into their own innate wisdom and get their passions expressed in life. And how we go on that journey involves some mystical, artistical, magical means. Ultimately, it’s all about unleashing your magic—that unique spark and song within each person.
I currently describe my job as Creative Muse & Mentor of Delight. That feels much truer to me. What do you think is the key to your success?
I am a creative beast. I am willing to go unfamiliar places, stretch myself to try new things, risk failure and looking bad, and be a beginner repeatedly. That takes some real fortitude, a deep trust that my innate knowing and intuition will steer me in directions I cannot fully understand with my mind alone. Also, I am absolutely, positively unwilling to give up on having a life that turns me on. So even when I make a mistake or hit a rough patch, I might hide under the covers for a minute, but I’m dependable to get back in the game. What is your mission in life?
I like to think of one’s mission or calling or dharma as a Cosmic Job Description, and there’s no HR department to tell you if you’re qualified—you just are. Mine is that people experience beauty. And that’s not just beauty in an aesthetic sense, though it includes that. I mean people get to experience the wonder and awe of being present to their own magic. They feel the heart-swelling beauty of love. They tap into the exquisite space of full-tilt boogie aliveness. If around me, some of all that is happening, I’m getting my Cosmic Job done and am an incredibly happy, fulfilled gal.
There are many, many ways one’s mission or purpose can get expressed, and I feel extremely fortunate that I’ve found a fun and impactful way to express mine through my work in Moxie. Through Moxie, what I’m pouring my energy and love into—serving and connecting soulful women with their magic and each other—is a fantastic way for me to be living true to what I say I’m here to give.How do you define moxie, and how do you know if you have it?
It’s a bodacious full-tilt boogie of freedom and joy. Dancing at the edge of what you think you know. Permission to speak and sing and soar. Living full swing, this one wild life. That’s moxie.
Everybody’s got moxie in them; it’s just not always expressed. All humans are wired to want to live that way, and sometimes things happen that tamp it down or bury it so deeply that one gets out of the habit of even hoping for that kind of life, let alone going for it.
You know you’ve got moxie—as in your moxie is alive and well—when you are moving toward what makes you come alive. It’s not necessarily fancy and it ain’t always pretty, and there can be some wild bumps in the road, but if you’re on the journey guided by aliveness, you’ve for sure got some moxie in the mix.
It’s a funny thing, defining moxie. One thing I’ve for sure learned, working with hundreds of women: everybody knows it when they see it. How can someone best align their own life and work with their values?
Well the first thing is to do the deep dive, the soul work, to discover one’s purpose—Cosmic Job Description—and discern what it is that makes your heart skip a beat in a good way. If you look back through your life, and you go searching like you know they’re there, you’ll start seeing themes that run through like beautiful threads. Maybe you’re all about having people thrive, or being a creative catalyst or being a source of peace and healing. Whatever that essence of you is, that beautiful gift you bring to the party of life, we want that to have a way to grow.
If you’re someone who’s all about bringing people together and celebrating life, you’re going to be like a flower trying to grow in a cave if you have no way to get that natural talent and inclination of yours expressed. So think about what’s central to who you are at your best, and then look at each area of your life to find new ways to give those natural gifts of yours the light and oxygen they need.How do cultural pressures interfere with us achieving happiness?
Wow, we could talk for hours about that. Some that come up a lot in conversations with my clients and the women in the online community, Club Moxie, are the cultural norms about beauty, the expectations of women as caregivers to all, the push many of us feel to “succeed” in some way that’s not ultimately satisfying to us and the misguided notion that there is some way we are supposed to behave and look and be.
It really takes something to live a life that’s not defined by those cultural constraints. It takes doing the work to really get in touch with your own self again. To learn who you are at this juncture in your life. And then to muster the courage to act accordingly, even though it’s often uncomfortable at first. I mean of course it’s uncomfortable, you’re saying “hell, no” to some cultural conversation not of your making, and you’re saying yes to something that is true to who you really are. Post-pandemic, how do you avoid going back to a life that doesn’t feel right?
As we all know that time when the world shut down was a powerful invitation for many people to do some reassessing. Many of us were motivated to change some things up to have a life that felt more in alignment and meaningful.
How you avoid backsliding to a life that doesn’t feel right, is you expand your capacity for the right kind of discomfort. When there’s a gap between how things are, and how you want them to be, that’s unsettling. There’s uncertainty, and the brain turns uncertainty into fear. Given that, making any kind of change, even when it’s one you dearly want, can be scary.
It helps to know that ahead of time, though. It’s like being on a plane and being told there’s going to be a little turbulence, and then smooth sailing. You buckle up, know there will be some bumps, and then you fly right through that rough patch to the blue skies beyond. In what ways do a person’s fears interfere with achieving their goals?
Fear wants to pull us back; it wants us to withdraw. Fear wants us to get in bed in our flannel jammies and never come out from under the covers, so we’ll be safe from everything. The problem is, as a lifestyle, that energy is very diminishing. It makes us small and timid. And when we feel like that, it’s hard to take any real steps toward a goal because it’s scary as hell.
The good news is courage is something you can learn to access. And it’s one of my absolute favorite things—to be witness to a woman throwing her shoulders back and stepping into a new future, even though fear is definitely present in the mix. What is soul care?
I define Soul Care as self-care for the spirit. There’s the bubble bath form of self-care, which is important, of course. Even deeper and more impactful is the practice of caring for your spirit—where you listen for what your Soul wants. You begin to hear the bubbles of desire and feel all full of possibility again. You treat yourself as the guest of honor in your own life. You tend to your energy and mojo. And you take actions in ways that are in alignment with your Soul.
It’s a lifestyle—a beautiful, mindful way of living.Connect with Deb Beroset at [email protected] or ItsTimeForMoxie.com. See ad, page 11.
Suzie Agrillo is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to
Natural Awakenings Magazine. She focuses on writing about the arts, inspirational people and the human connection. Connect at [email protected].