It's always about the Love
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“Experiencing our familiar rooms and belongings, our local supermarket and neighborhood streets as if we had never been there, is also traveling.”
― Melanie Peter

You may know this about me already, <<Name>>, but I love the grocery store. I was talking to a friend just this afternoon (Friday) as I did my weekend shopping, and he laughed wiht me, but agreed.

Every aisle is an opportunity to discover something new. Each end-cap display offers me the opportunity to see consider something I may have missed. The bakery case invites me to try something new (garlic Parmesan herbed biscuits this week).  The cheese case invites me to foreign lands (Ireland? France? The Netherlands?).

The produce department presents me with beautiful sights and smells (fresh strawberries! fresh peaches!)

And every employee I happen upon gives me the opportunity to connect - and hear their stories.

I used to hate grocery shopping. Every inch of pushing my cart through the store felt like a mile. I dreaded it. I put it off. I begrudged every moment I spent there.

But then, I got honest with myself: needing to eat is a fact of life. Our bodies need fuel and if I want to have a say in what I put in my body, then I needed to make peace with all aspects of my life around food.

So, why not see grocery shopping as an adventure instead of drudgery?

Adventure led to curiosity: where was my food coming from? how was it grown? how were the animals treated? was I choosing the best foods? in what ways could I choose better options? what would new to me foods bring to my table?

Curiosity led to creativity: what food were best raw and in their most natural form? How could I take raw foods and transform them? What would different flavors and textures bring to the table? How could I stretch my palate and nourish my body? How could I mix tried and true ingredients with new (to us) ingredients?

Being curious and creative about the process allowed me to connect to humanity at a greater level.

Choosing a basket of local, ripe strawberries doesn't just nourish us with it's sweetness and beauty, it connects me to Jon, the farmer who lovingly grew the strawberries and Kenny who manages the produce department.

The strawberries in my cart reminded Dave in the butcher department of his childhood, and he told me about picking wild strawberries along the rail road track. As I made my way to the checkout, I got to further connect with Vicki as she checked my groceries and Earl as he bagged them.

When I put the strawberries on a salad, immerse them in cream, or mix them into my yogurt and oatmeal, I am seizing that long line of connection to the earth, the sun, the rain - and all the wonderful folks I met along the way.

Now, I'm not going to suggest that you need to fall in love with grocery shopping, but it does have me wondering.... in what ways are you choosing to make a necessary task a real chore?

Can you re-frame or re-imagine some of your experiences?  How can you choose to see familiar spaces and places as if they were new to you? How can you reshape your relationship to areas of your life that can be tricky - like food, cleaning, and family interactions?

Where can you let the details in your life matter? How can you invite curiosity into your world? How can you be more creative? In what way can you connect to the greater humanity?

How can you choose to see life as a beautiful adventure instead of dull drudgery? 

With so much love and gratitude,

PS - I have space for TWO new clients beginning in July. Is one of those spaces yours? 

This week in the blog you'll find Make the Choice to Own Your Story. One of strongest truths I’ve learned is that in this journey of life, there is no there. We think that when we set a goal or hire a coach, that life will be “perfect” when we get THERE. But the thing is, once we get there, we find there’s a whole new goal or place or set of changes we want to execute.

This whole living and growing THING that we do is never ending.

Each day is an opportunity to go deeper into our own life and who we desire to be in this world. Yes, we need to get clear around what we want and move towards that, yet understanding that we are ever evolving and ever growing beings that get to experience MORE, it’s both exhilarating and scary.

I never tire of the gloriousness of being human. Just like I never tire of witnessing this glory in others.

The downside of this glorious human experience is that a part of doing such means we are going to experience discomfort and pain.

In order to BE who we desire to be in the world, we do need to actively claim and own our story.

I was recently reminded that in order to do so, we need to befriend our shadows. Yes, I am talking about the painful parts. Our shame, our sadness, our anger, being betrayed, making poor choices, feeling unloved or unlovable. I am also talking about the pieces of our life we want to pretend didn’t happen.

We are afraid that if we look into the shadows we will get lost within the darkness. I can promise you, though, that you don’t have to get lost there.  Yes, I know, it’s easy to focus on the things we do “wrong”. Or we obsess over one single unhappy event in our life and believe that it defines us.

When we step away from allowing the past to define our present or our future, it loses it’s power over us. The mistakes we believe we made were all a part of this magnificent journey that have made us who we are.

By befriending our shadows, we choose to own all of our story. We find our contrasts. Yes, you may experience sadness and heartache, but when we refuse to gloss over the ways we are brave and the recognize the plethora of ways we are amazing, then that painful chapter of our story gets to be a part of our healing.

And choosing to heal the wounds and love our scars? Yes, baby, that is courageous.

So, befriend your shadows and find within them the traces of light, grace, love, beauty, bravery and forgiveness.

Owning your story isn’t just the process of befriending the shadows and rewriting their impact of our life. It’s also understanding that we can’t change what has happened, we just have to choose to move forward.

Owning your story is a process of loving ALL of the chapters of your life. Your victories, your happiness, your accomplishments, your hard work, and the tiny moments of joy.

Owning our story begs us to ask these questions:

  • Are you ready to forgive yourself?
  • Are there others that need to be forgiven so they don’t hold your story hostage?
  • Are you ready to let go the berating yourself for things that happened in your past?
  • Where are your success stories?
  • Where can you actively focus on who you desire to be?
  • What truths do you need to unearth so that you can begin to own your story?
  • What victories do you need to acknowledge?
  • What scars can you choose to love?
  • Where are you failing to give yourself credit?
  • Do you need to be reminded that you are worth the work to own your story?
  • Did you know that love is your birthright?
  • Is it time to stop fondling past events and putting your fears on a pedestal?
  • Are you clinging to roles you no longer need to play?
  • Is it time to claim new roles?
  • How can you more boldly step into the kind of life you desire?
  • Are you ready to commit to doing your work?
  • What kind of support do you need for your journey?

It’s a constant process to love who we are because each and every day, we get an opportunity to step into a life that feels more authentic than it did the day before. To step into the new roles we are discovering as we discard the ones that no longer fit.

I get this because not only do I have the honor of witnessing others do this work, I’m doing the work myself. I know from experience how easy it is to berate yourself over some of my actions in the past. I know how scary it is to seek the real truth around events from childhood.

I also know how it feels to come HOME to myself. To feel grateful for a piece of healing and find ways to forgive and love myself through the process.

Darling, owning and actively participating in our own healing is courageous and a privilege. Sometimes, we just need a reminder that we are worth the effort.

I was fascinated by the research that showed writing (and re-writing) our own story led to being happier about our life. But what if you don’t know quite where to begin? Well, there’s always this set of questions and a blank journal.

And if you need more help, consider Become Besotted as your jumping off point.

I'm a huge fan of beginning each meal with whole foods.  Though I've shared my favorite sauce recipes with you over time, I hope you'll indulge me in sharing another Italian slanted  recipe that uses (mostly) fresh ingredients. 

This is such a spectacular (and easy to make) sauce.

Dice 4 Roma tomatoes.  Heavily season with freshly ground pepper, 3 teaspoons of Italian Seasonings  and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.  Let the seasoned tomatoes sit in the spices for about 5 minutes.  (The salt will draw out the moisture from the tomatoes and will  help them better absorb the spices, helping your sauce develop more depth.) 

Dice ½ of a Spanish onion and sauté in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the diced and spiced tomatoes to the pan and stir well. Now add between six and twelve cloves of freshly pressed garlic.  (12 will make it super hot, but it’s magnificent….even if you need Listerine afterwards!).  

Let this mixture simmer on top of the stove, covered on low heat for about 30 minutes.

Now, of course, you can pair this with pasta. I prefer Barilla Plus Spaghetti.  Make according to package directions, drain, and then add 1 tablespoon of Basil Pesto.  Mix well and then toss in the tomato mixture and serve.

I served this one night as a side dish with baked salmon and put the salmon right on top of the pasta and it was amazing.  The second time we had it this week, I threw a handful of baby spinach on top of the tomatoes right before combining it with the pasta – just long enough for the spinach to begin to wilt. 

If you're looking for a bit more variety for this sauce, it's also great with just steamed asparagus tips, which are just now coming into season in Ohio. 

Volume 5 - Issue 22

May 27, 2015

Published Every Saturday
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About Debra

Debra Smouse is a writer, life coach, and Tarnished Southern Belle who is on a mission to help people fall in love with their lives.

An expert de-tangler, she believes in busting clutter as a path to greater clarity and that within every woman is vibrant, passionate, and sexy being just itching to make their inner sex kitten roar.

Alphabet soup wise, Debra holds a BS in Communications as well as a PMP. She's an ENTJ according to MBTI, according to Ennegram, and a 7-3-8-2 according to Kolbe.

A native Texan, she resides in Ohio with the Man of her Dreams. Get social with Debra on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Keen Listener

“Debra is a keen listener who manages to be truly empathetic while also helping clients to face reality, create a definitive plan of action, and move forward.

She applies her creativity to any dilemma and provides consistent accountability and encouragement”

Roxanne Ravenel

Explore Your Story

How do you explore your own story? How do you stay on track to bring your dreams into your reality?

How do you find the breadcrumbs that will lead you from unconscious existence to the understanding that your daily actions have the power to create a conscious life?

That’s why I created Become Besotted. 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.

Ready to Become Besotted with yourself and your life? Get the details (and a special subscriber offer) here.


Your continual patience and guidance have allowed me to move from being a man who didn’t believe he had anything in his glass to a man with a glass overflowing.

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

Summer Love

Do you remember summer break as a kid? Do you long to recapture the pure exhilaration of being a kid again?

How would you like to receive a splash of summer in your inbox every day?

How would it feel to open a daily gift to remind you that, even though you’re not a kid anymore, you can still embrace the essence of summer into your daily life?

Join me along with more than a dozen friends as we invite you to put your hair up and embrace the sights, sounds and feelings of summer.

Beginning June 16, 2015 and ending August 13, 2015, you’ll receive a short love note with an invitation to connect to your inner kid, a quote about the gloriousness of summer, summertime recipe or exquisite vistas inviting you to celebrate the art of living.

It’s a FREE Series. You can sign up here:


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

Sex as a Commodity

YourTango is doing a series on Intimacy and Sex - and I chose to explore why using SEX as a commodity in marriage is detrimental to your relationship.

Catch the article - Why Bribing Your Man With Sex Is The Absolute WORST Idea Ever!

Super-Person Sidekick

I’m no slouch in the confidence category but Deb has helped me face those teeny cracks of vulnerability that I sheltered, having helped me prosper mentally and physically at this stage of my life.  My creative aspirations are blooming with no end in sight - LOTS more growth ahead for me. 
I highly recommend a course with Deb or what she might call a non-course - that’s the arrangement we have now. Personal coaching on a regular basis - touching base on one’s own hiccups, one’s own dimension of daily life, whether it’s exercise, creative habits and/or reaching the next plateau or higher in all of the newness that still continues to unfold for me.

I highly recommend Deb’s methods and courses! You won’t be sorry you signed on with Deb as your super-person sidekick!


Are you looking to shift some things in your life and want a little support for the road? 

I have space for two new clients this summer.

Drop me a line if you think one of these spaces is yours.
Copyright © 2015 Debra Smouse - Create a Life You Love, All rights reserved.

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