Gratitude. Awareness. and Lemon Zucchini Bread.
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“Gratitude is the healthiest
of all human emotions.
The more you express gratitude
for what you have,
the more likely you will have
even more to express gratitude for.”

—Zig Ziglar

Good morning, dear <<Name>>. How has your week been? On Thursday evening, I wrapped a very full day of writing, holding office hours for Finally Love Your Life,  and coaching wonderful people, poured a glass of Rose, and wandered outside with my book. Golf Course View from PatioThe sun was shining, a soft breeze was blowing and I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

For most of my life, I believed that in order for life to be interesting, then that meant life had to be more downs than ups and fill with all kinds of angst (and other such nonsense). That we had to rush around to prove our worth and relaxing was for those privileged people

Well, baby, I'm here to tell you that though life is a glorious adventure, living a daily life you love includes lots of peaceful moment. That, at the end of the day, I don't have to rush around like a crazy person - I can actually relax and enjoy my home, a good book and an excellent glass of wine - sans drama.

I can't tell your how incredible that feels to a once-upon-a-time drama queen. Or, how contrary that is to what I was taught growing up.

I'm living proof that we don't have to follow in path of what we grew up believing. We get to choose our path and alter it to be experience in a way that feels loving and nourishing.

Though the new year doesn't arrive for almost five months, we've shifted into Next Year Thinking at our house. JB's work uses a fiscal year calendar that begins October 1st, so all of the work travel for their 2019/2020 will be planned soon.

In order to be best prepared for that, we've set aside vacation days to ensure they don't get tossed out and scheduled over. So during my morning porch time, I'm pondering what's on the horizon Theresa and Iwhile savoring the goodness in my present.

I've also begun thinking about how I want my own year to look like.  Yep, when I see the back to school sales going, I know it's time to begin planning my own "New School Year".

Last weekend, I got a chance to meet this beautiful lady at her book signing. And yesterday, I had a call with her.

She's one of the women on my "Board of Advisors" and a big part of our conversation today was about what I want my 2020 to look and feel like.

In some ways, our house is dominated by JB's work schedule. And I play off of that so that when I can travel with him, my schedule is lighter. And when he's HERE and involved in teaching, I schedule myself a littler heavier.

It's a good combination for me personally. I love to be able to have a plan, I enjoy adventures (and traveling is a beautiful adventure), and I love savoring the simple pleasures of the every day.

When it comes to my business planning,  I am longing for yet effective. I am looking for new ways to connect with folks that is both affordable and enjoyable for ME and them. It's like the idea is circling me, but hasn't yet landed.  I will be offering some of my online courses....yet I"m not yet sure if there's another course - or book - bubbling around inside me.  

Time will tell. And though I want to be patient, I am itching for this idea to both arrive and be fleshed out.

I'm going to be reworking my coaching packages a bit here and there - and there may be a new course (or two) coming. It's all about pondering the possibilities and digging into what I desire for the big picture of my life as well as the rhythm of my daily life.

All of this thinking and pondering is really about awareness of who I am at my core and what I need in order to be happy, create and be productive. Life isn't as black and white as I used to believe, there are glorious shades of grey if we allow them.

I like plans and schedules yet I like to be loose enough to shift when a client's schedule changes or they have an emergency and need to talk ASAP. I know I need quiet and solitude to write yet I am an extrovert and must find ways to regularly fill my extroverted needs or I feel isolated. I also have come to understand that writing and coaching use different sides of my brain, and once I've begun coaching, it's Coffee on the patioharder to shift back to writing (and sitting quietly in the office!)

I have to be honest: it's hard to admit some of the things. As a still-reforming perfectionist, I often get into my head the idea that I should be able to do EVERYTHING. I am wired as a "J", which means I tend to see a lot of black and white in the world as my norm. It's sometimes hard to remember that I can't always BE and DO everything. To leave behind the idea that I should be able to do more work in a single day - coach more people, get more words on a page, not need quiet, not need company, and certainly never battle resistance.

Awareness, while sometimes a bit painful, is actually quite freeing. If we can pair the awareness with kindness towards ourselves, it gives us a great opportunity to step into our own greatness. To allow what could be seen as flaws or cracks in our perfect facades to burst open so that the light from our souls can shine.

It's the most beautiful part of my work as a coach. To finally understand that when we step into our own awareness that life only gets sweeter. That we aren't made to be perfect. That our cracks don't indicate Library Stackbrokenness, but the ways in which we've been touched by the world and our existence in it.

I saw my first bright yellow school bus this week as they were practicing their bus routes. When I visited the sunflower field on my bike ride, I saw sprouts.

We're in the season for transitions and new beginnings. And that means that mind mind is ripe for what the season brings.

So, tell me, darling, what about you? Where can you step into awareness around who you are and what you need? What can you do to handle that awareness with some kindness towards yourself?  In what ways can you shift seeing the world in black and white and begin to see that there are many shades of grey?

What do you need to shift in your world so that you can include glorious moments of peace for your soul? What can I do to help you step into the most glorious stage of your life?

I love hearing your stories and helping you find the resources you need to create a life you love.

With so much love...........


From the blog:   You Can’t Go Back to the Old You and That’s a Good Thing

When I talk to a client that has been through an incredibly challenging time, the first thing they tell me they desire is to go back to who they used to be – or living the way things were. When we are dealing with pain or simply wake-up and realize we’ve been living on auto-pilot, what we most deeply desire is to go back to a time when life was simpler and we were happy.

We want to go back to the days when our heart didn’t ache or our thighs weren’t quite as thick. After being betrayed by someone we love, we desire to go back to the moments when we were oblivious to the betrayal. Returning to a time when we weren’t so stressed and didn’t feel so overwhelmed.

But the thing is, we can never go back to how things used to be.

You can't go back to the old you

We can’t turn back time and be the person we were in days of the past.  Because we have changed. Challenges and heartache and stress and pain shifts us. And, let’s be honest, too: looking back at the past often is done through rose colored glasses and we gloss over the hard stuff.

But it isn’t just “bad” experiences that shift us from who we used to be.

Sometimes, we get a taste of a new way of living and realize that now that we’ve had a glimpse of how our life can be different, we are unable to go back to life as usual. When you learn alternative approaches to life, then it opens your world. Sometimes, it’s a big event – a retreat, a vacation, a new love. But, it doesn’t have to be a major event that shifts us.

Maybe it’s a single conversation we have with a friend or a book we read. Or we we learn something new about ourselves in the ordinary living of our lives: going out to dinner, a trip to the grocery store, or sitting at your desk doing your job.

Those ah-ha moments, once had, can’t be stuffed back in the box, can they? And trust me, this is a good thing. This means that you are growing as a human being. These are critical moments that spur us to set new goals and pursue new dreams.

Big or small, having an eye-opening ah-ha leaves us feeling uncomfortable within our own skin.

Well, most of the time, even in a what we would judge as “good” changes, we want to go back to how things used to be. We try to “shape up” and “fix” things to go back to how things have always been. We ignore the little niggling that our brain sends us….telling us to lean into the shifts and changes. We discount the way our body tingles at the thought of new ways of living or being.

The truth is, no matter what shifts, we will never go back (exactly) to who we were. It’s possible to appear to go back to “life as usual”, but our soul knows differently. The more we reject or evade the calls of our soul, the more we struggle with the blues and dissatisfaction with life.The more we try to force ourselves into a life that doesn’t feel as if it fits right, the more we set ourselves up for discomfort – and in some cases, just more pain.

You can’t go back to the old you. Because the old you no longer exists. Because your soul won’t let you. It will not allow you to stuff yourself back into a life that no longer fits.

So what CAN you do when you want to go back to the old you even if you logically understand you can’t?

Even when you intellectually understand you can’t go back to the old you, that doesn’t mean you don’t sometimes long for that. And it can be tempting to go down the rabbit hole of trying to recapture that old life. To twist yourself inside out. Comparing the present you to the old you as if you does your old self an injustice.

You belittle your own journey. Rather, it’s important to take the attitude to embrace who you are becoming.
The key to any change in life, of course, is to accept the simple fact that life continues to change and shift. We can’t change the pure fact that over time, our bodies replenish all of our cells. We are always changing physically. We are also always growing mentally and spiritually.

You shed what doesn’t fit. You clear the clutter that’s distracting you. You brainstorm. You clear your head of ideas and swirling thoughts.

Next, rather than long to go back to the old you, choose to embrace what the growth has taught you about yourself.

This is where life can become better than ever. As this gives you the fuel for exploring and distilling the best parts of who you’ve been. And how you want to carry that forward.
  • Begin with exploring your core values. What values have always been important to you? And what new values have emerged after life has changed?
  • Create a list of everything you’ve accomplished in your life. This allows you to recognize how you’ve thrived after past challenges. And, my dear, it also helps you
  • What’s also great about this growth is that it allows you to distill the best parts of yourself and carry that forward. So, make a long list of your best traits.
  • Remind yourself of all the beautiful stepping stones to your journey. Some of these stepping stones may seem negative at the time – a divorce, a job loss, and such. Yet, in hindsight, you realize they were key events that made you a stronger, better human being.
Rather than desire to go back to the old you, my dear, the truth is you don’t want to do that. Because you get to honor your journey and embrace who you are becoming.  This is the gateway to creating the kind of life you desire to live. Even though there are going to be days that are uncomfortable, it’s worth it. Because you are worth it.
Though I'm not eating a lot of gluten these days, I still enjoy baking.  Since I love using what's in season Lemon Zuchinni Breakwhen I cook, why not use it when I bake??

I'm loving the flavors of this lemon zucchini bread.

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.  (325 if you have a convection oven). Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with PAM for baking.

In large bowl, sift together: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder,   1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream 2/3 cup sugar with 1 stick of softened butter. Add 2 eggs, ½ cup of buttermilk, the zest and juice of one lemon (zest first with a Microplane zester, then juice). Blend well. 

Gently fold in one cup of grated zucchini (keep the peel, shop of the stem). Combine in dry ingredients gently (but don’t overmix or your bread will be tough)

Pour batter into prepared 9×5″ loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (About 35-40 minutes in a convection oven).

Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.   This is pretty yummy as is, but if you want a bit more tart and sweet added, you'll want to do a simple glaze.

So, if you want to lightly glaze your zucchini bread, put a piece of waxed paper under your wire rack for spillage.   While loaf is cooling, you can make the glaze if you desire.  Simply sift a cup of powdered sugar and add in two teaspoons of lemon juice(about the juice of one lemon) and pour over loaf.

You CAN freeze this for up to six months. Wrap it first in waxed paper and then put in a freezer bag.

Volume 9 - Issue 16

August 03, 2019

Love Notes Published Every-Other-Saturday
Thank you, darling for the precious in-box space! 

See something you'd love to share?  I'd be honored if you forwarded this along to a friend.
Debra Smouse Love Note

About Debra

Debra Smouse is a writer, life coach, and Tarnished Southern Belle who is on a mission to help people create a daily life that is loving and nourishing.

A native Texan, she resides in Ohio with the Man of her Dreams. Connect with her on social media:
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Elizabeth Rago

Love & Affection

In a day and age where relationships are flat and a true connection to each other is a rare gem to be found, Debra’s genuine enthusiasm for life fuels your coaching experience. An ever-faithful ally and pillar of evolving ideas,

Debra approaches her clients with an intuitive ear, a foundation of love and sincerity, sprinkled with a touch of humor.

Elizabeth Rago
Modern Domestic Woman
30 Days to Clarity: Home Office

Your Home Office

Clearing Clutter & Creating Systems for Entrepreneurs and Others Who Office At Home

Working from home isn’t always easy. There are distractions abound – neighbors, the postman, the laundry, Netflix…. So, don’t let the clutter add to your distractions.

Working from home can give you a sense of freedom you’ll never find in a cubicle. So the creation of systems will help you feel free because you’ll be supported by a structure that fits your needs.


It begins Monday, September 16th  

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Your advice has always been spot on…….from helping me see how important it is to be thankful for my blessings to helping me remove physical and emotional clutter from my life. I am actually the most grateful for the times when you have spoken the truth in love and been honest with me when I wanted to continue to delude myself. Without those wise words, I would have continued to lie to myself and not had the breakthroughs I have experienced.

I’m not all I want to be yet but I would have ever found my path had I not met and worked with you. Thank you for your efforts in helping me find my life. I am forever in your debt.

~Basil Human, Engineer, Chief Operating Officer, Writer

Hunka Burning Love

A Year of Support & Accountability

My most popular coaching package as it allows us to spend 12 months together. We build trust and get to know each other intimately.

This allows you go go as wide - or deep - as your stage of life demands.

You choose the number of sessions that fit your lifestyle (and budget) and we’ll create an amazing year together for a life you love.

Learn More or book a discovery session to see if we're a good fit.

A Joy

Working with Debra is a joy.

She inspires me, she supports me, and she gives me direction so I can identify my needs and my wants. But she doesn’t stop there. Not only does she assist me in laying the foundation, but she gives me the tools to actually achieve the life I desire. This is an ongoing process, not a quick fix. And it takes practice.

If I veer off my intended path, Debra has given me the structure, along with the tools to get back on track. Since working with Debra, my life flows more smoothly, I know where I’m heading and I know how to get there.

I feel better about myself and my life. I look forward to each day as an adventure!

–Susan Mushkin

Over at YourTango

Too much stress can make you overwhelmed and if you want to know how to be happy in life, it's time to learn how to manage it.

Read ==>  When Life Feels Like Too Much To Handle

Unbelievable Difference

Working with Deb for just a few months has made an unbelievable difference in my life.

With her encouragement, I made major progress on clearing the clutter in my physical life as well as in my emotional life, which paved the way toward creating a new vision for the life I want to live now.

Deb has an easy conversational style, rational down-to earth wisdom, and a warm sense of humor.

She got right to the heart of the things holding me back from living my best life, and has given me sound principles and practices I can carry forward into the future.

For the first time in a long time I feel excited about my life, and I have Deb to thank for that!

-Becca Rowan, Author

Clear Your Mind

Want to know how to clear your head?

One of the biggest challenges to loving my life is my own thoughts. One moment, I’m feeling on top of the world and then suddenly feel overwhelmed, thanks to swirling thoughts that soon become brain clutter.

Read  ==> Here’s How To Clear Your Mind When You’re Stressed To The Max


I believe everyone could benefit from a good life coach. Yes, everyone. Even (and especially) other coaches! Debra is a coach who models what she encourages in her clients—deep soul searching, practical living skills, and solid business sense. Whether you’re new to exploring personal growth or someone who assists others along their own paths, Debra offers a style that meets you where you are.

Personally, I’ve done a ton of my own transformational work and continue to explore new pathways every day. While I wish I could say that I have ‘arrived,’ there really is no such destination for a lifelong learner like me or probably you. Debra is a friend and mentor who helps keep me on task, shed light on my blind spots, and untangle the stuck places that I can’t quite tackle on my own.

Throughout the time we’ve worked together, she’s nudged me forward with just the right amount of force and given me space to grieve my losses and celebrate my victories. She’s more than a coach. She’s a muse and cheerleader, and I am immensely grateful to have her on my team.

Kayce S. Hughlett – Life Coach & Author

Love Yourself & Track Your Goals

I believe that if you were to really get to know all the sides of someone, you couldn’t help but fall in love with them.

What if YOU were that person?

Become Besotted. With Yourself. With Your Life.

Become Besotted will assist you in writing your story, a month at a time. An opportunity to get to know all sides of yourself and fall in love.

Become Besotted will also help you explore your dreams and desires. It will serve you in monitoring your victories and shedding what isn’t serving you.

You receive an in-depth questionnaire and 12 months to unfold your story and fall in love...

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