Awareness is freedom.
View this email in your browser

“ Awareness is all about
restoring your freedom
to choose what you want
instead of what
your past imposes on you. ”

--- Deepak Chopra


Happy, Happy Saturday, <<Name>>! How's the weather? It's been pretty glorious this week here in Ohio. The temperatures have ranged from the 60s to 80s with a nice breeze, encouraging lots of sitting-on-the-porch while relaxing, reading, dreaming and thinking.

On Tuesday evening, I wrapped a very full day of writing and coaching wonderful people, poured a glass of Rose, and wandered outside with my book. The 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 four and a half more 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 2018/2019 year is beginning to filter in. There are some lovely opportunities before 2018 officially rolls around, so during my morning porch time, I'm pondering what's on the horizon while savoring the goodness in my present.

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, there are going to be some small shifts here and there in the coming months. As I mentioned earlier this summer, I am setting a goal to write more blog posts. And, yes, I am doing that and hope to keep that momentum going.

I am also in the middle of a rebrand / redesign. Though I'm not always a big fan of change (who is?), it's time to change things up. My current web design has been in place since 2012 and as much as I still like it, the design isn't as responsive as it could be. Especially when you consider that so many folks are reading on phones and tablets!

I'm also pondering reworking my coaching packages a bit here and there and beginning to decide what IS that next book I need to write? Or should I create a new course next year? 

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 harder 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 brokenness, 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. I saw the first sunflower, standing out against a field of green. We're in the season for transitions and new beginnings.

And that, my dear, is a fabulous thing.

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?

Though I'm not visiting your in-box each week  know that I'm just an email away. 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: Seven Fabulous Benefits You Realize When You Love Your Life

I f there’s one thing I have learned, it’s this: when you love your life, it will love you right back. While I say with a light heart (and a bit tongue in cheek) I also know it to be true. The key to making it work for you lies in the power of your mind. Because your thoughts create your reality.

There is a mighty power in decision. Deciding to love your life allows you to love your life. Deciding to be happy helps you be happier.  The decision to do these things helps you build that inner strength. And momentum to continue loving yourself and your life. There is also power in the reminder that you are always in choice.

So, when you remind yourself that no matter what’s happening, you can choose to love your life? Talk about potent!

I am the first to admit that declaring you will love your life isn’t always easy to follow through with.

It can be hard to do that sometimes. I know this well. We are bombarded with stories of horror in the news. Our social media feeds are full of magic potions or life changing courses we must buy if we hope to love ourselves or be successful. The airbrushed models in magazines and Insta-Famous folks in our feed can make us feel inferior and pretty darned imperfect.

Even when you love your life. And see the beauty in it’s imperfection. You will experience moments of questioning yourself. Am I doing enough? Am I too imperfect? Does a tough season mean I will never love my life again? Questioning ourselves, our choices, and our own happiness is simply part of the human condition. 

Yet, the power of choice and decision will always bring you back to center. You decide to love your life. You choose to love your life. And that power allows you to reap the benefits of loving your life.

Here are seven amazing benefits you realize when you love your life

One – When you love your life, you let go of people-pleasing.

One of the greatest detriments to our happiness? Trying to please everyone. Whether it’s our partner, best friend, our parents, or even random stranger in the store, the tendency to please others is a hurdle.It prevents us from being our authentic selves, and we can’t love our life if we’re not also being authentic.

However, when you decide you will love your life, this tendency begins to soften. Loving your life opens the door to you choosing your own needs and desires over the wants of others. This doesn’t mean you don’t make others a priority, you just don’t sacrifice your needs for theirs.

Two – Your daily life feels more authentic when you love your life.

When you learn to make your own needs a priority, you begin living a more authentic daily life. Your life on your terms. Now, don’t confuse this with perfection. Not the Instagram-worthy way of looking at life, but the kind of life that makes you thrive. And find moments of happiness on the regular.

Authentic living allows you to channel that into pleasure, delight, and luxuries. All things which allow you to love your life even more.  Flowers in the bathroom. A cozy evening with a glass of wine and a great book. Finding the little things that bring everyday beauty to your life will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to bring your best self.

Three – When you love your life, you recognize that you are not broken.

When we hit a snag in life, it can be a huge temptation to throw in the towel. To go down the rabbit hole that we are unworthy of happiness, let alone loving ourselves. Those can be moments of questioning our ability to love our lives. It can be so easy to believe that we are broken, irreparably so.

Darling, you are not broken. And no matter how big of a setback or disappointment or heartbreak you experience, that is no reason to give up. The key to your resilience is to learn to love who you are, for all your glorious traits, and to extend that love to your life.

When you love your life, you finally understand that you don’t have to hustle for love. Love is your birthright. And that means that no matter how challenging life may be, you will also understand you are never broken.

Four – You become happy with your “right now” when you realize you love your life.

If you decide that the only way you can possibly love your life is if your life were different? That means you will never be happy.  This is that belief that the grass is greener on the other side. And I have a secret for you: if you are constantly circling with that attitude, you know what you’ll find on the other side of that fence? You’re going to find something else wrong with what you now have.

Instead, when you love your life now, you appreciate the present. As it is. Warts and all.  This is how you truly begin to life a full life. All in, every day. No more waiting. No more if-then waiting on your dreams. You get to be happy now.

From this place, you get to experience more of what makes life sweet (or exciting).   You can love your life and make changes. You can love your life and want more.Being in love with your “right now” life is not a call for stagnation.  No more settling for you, my dear.

Five – You can better manage the fear around unexpected changes when you love your life.

The one constant in life is that it will always be changing. Sure, most of us need some stability in our life, but change is inevitable. You and I have been around the sun enough times to know this explicitly. Even when we know that, just the possibility of change causes us to be fearful.

Embracing change as part of the “right now” of life will give you the strength and courage to meet those changes with gusto, even if they are life-altering or heartbreaking. Your capacity to be happy is not dependent on how little your life changes, but your ability to love it even when everything changes.

This means that when you love your life, you manage changes with more grace. And that, my darling, is an amazing benefit.

Six – When you decide to love your life, you learn to stop striving for perfection.

Let me remind you, my dear: none of us are perfect and we will never be perfect. Take a deep breath, and let it out slowly.Isn’t it time to give up the pursuit of perfection? When you stop striving for perfection, you also stop comparing yourself to others. I mean, sure, your neighbor who always looks so polished and dresses in the latest clothes. But she struggles just as much as you do.

When you love your life, you finally understand that we will always make mistakes. Mistakes and imperfect moments then get to be moments of growth. Rather than something you obsess over for years. You are free from the chains of perfection and you can now live your life in your beautiful, sometimes messy, always special life.

Talk about a benefit: freedom, my dear, is pretty wonderful, isn’t it?

Seven – Goals and dreams feel like an invitation for expansion in your life when you love your life.

I’ve never been a fan of “resolutions”. At least from a space of forcing yourself to do better and be more disciplined. That’s because coming from that approach comes from the belief that you must be broken and in need of fixing. When you love your life, you set goals that make your heart flutter. Not goals based on what you think you should do, but what you deeply desire to experience and create.

When you choose to love your life, you approach the call for expansion as an invitation for expansion. And my dear, isn’t that a beautiful way to approach creating – and living – the life of your dreams?

Loving your life means meeting the challenges of everyday life and seeing it as a journey rather than a set state of being.

When you love your life, you will begin reaping these benefits. And more. You will be open to kind of transformation within yourself that continue to call forth the best version of yourself. Because you have this kind of self-love,  you have the resilience to face whatever comes your way. After all, having a good day, every day, is not what loving your life is all about. Loving your life means more good days, leaving you with an overall feeling of happiness. And, darling, isn’t that what we all want?


It seems as if the month of August is the hottest no matter what part of the US you live in. I try to shy away from using the oven and cook more in the crock pot. When you cook chicken in the crock pot, there's no need to marinade the meat overnight.  Here's one of my "I-might-bake-this-in-the-winter" dishes altered for keeping the kitchen cooler: Avocado-Mango Chicken.

Mix ¼ cup tequila, 1 tablespoon tamari (a lower sodium soy sauce) OR 1 tablespoon of coconut aminios is you are avoiding soy,  1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 4 minced garlic cloves with the zest and juice of one lime together in a bowl.  Spray the bottom of your crock pot with PAM.  Add 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts to crock pot, cover in marinade mixture and cook on low for 8 hours.

Combine 1 large mango, coarsely chopped, 1 large avocado, coarsely chopped , 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt  in a bowl and mix well.  Add the juice of one lime and lightly toss then store in fridge until ready for dinner.

Remove chicken crock pot, place each breast on a plate and top with 1/4 of mango-avocado mixture. Serve with  tortilla chips, tortillas, or over rice and beans.

This is great over salad greens if there are leftovers.

Volume 8 -Issue 17

August 18, 2018

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.

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.

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

Also from the blog

The truth is you are feeling burnt out and depressed. And you hate feeling this way. You’re so sick and tired of feeling overwhelmed. You are just worn out. And you have never had any patience with yourself when you feel sad. Let alone feeling depressed. So, what can you do about it?

Read ==> Twenty-One Things to Do When You’re Feeling Burnt Out and Depressed

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

Home Office Edition

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 10th (and as a bonus, repeat the course for free twice in 2019)

Sign Up Here

You Won't Be Sorry

But the rest, the rest being with Deb’s counsel, has been an interesting, innovating, expanding chapter in my life as a woman, a spouse, a creative artist. My spouse and I have always had what I considered an excellent life together – I did not anticipate an even better and the more intimate relationship that we now find ourselves living into every day.

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!

Dianna Woolley, Artist

Love Yourself
More & Monitor
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...

Purchase here.

Muse & Cheerleader

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

30 Traits of a
Sex Kitten

As part of my new blog project, I'm revising some old blog posts to update them.  This one is an old topic, but all new ;-)

Here are 30 personality traits of women who consider themselves to be "sex kittens":


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

Create Your Vision

Tired of feeling as if you’re just surviving your own life? Take charge of your existence and thrive!

In Clearing Soul Clutter: Creating Your Vision, you'll find a series of 30 intuitive lessons, you’ll learn how to envision a nourishing life and make your dreams come true. It’s time to stop letting life happen to you and start doing something about it.

If you like challenging new ideas, actionable teaching, and caring guidance, then you’ll love this life-changing book.

Order via Amazon
Copyright © 2018 Debra Smouse - Create a Life You Love, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp