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“ To exist is to change,
to change is to mature,
to mature is to go on
creating oneself endlessly ”

---Henri Bergson


Well, hello there <<Name>>. And Happy Saturday!  How have you been the last couple of weeks? As you may guess, since I last saw you here in your in-box, I finally got my new website up !! 

Go see it here!

I am super excited. The design work was done by Lorissa of Being Wicked and I couldn't be more thrilled with how she captured the essence of who I am at heart.  And, helping me into the "modern" age with layouts and looks.

There's still some tweaks to be done. Older blog posts need to be updated here and there. And to be honest, I'm not quite sure I will be leaving the background here on the newsletter this shade of pink.

It also helped that Lorissa and I have known each other since 2001. This long friendship helped us move through the process ore quickly. And for that, I am grateful!

The thing is, I've been writing on the web since 2000 and have been doing most of my own web design since around 2003. I know what I like and what works for me the way I prefer to work. And, honestly, I liked my old website. I liked the colors and the layout. It was like my favorite sweater and slippers. Comfortable.

Unfortunately, we can't always thrive when things are comfortable. By choosing to stay comfortable, we can begin feeling stale and stagnant.

When it came to my website, my old web theme was no longer being supported with updates. And, honestly, the design wasn't as responsive to the current web browsers. 
I could have just hung out there and not worried about those things.

However, if I want my business to grow and thrive, then it was necessary.

And the thing is, of course, I don't honestly like change. Sure, we get excited about the possibility of changes. However, going through the change isn't always that much fun.

Well, at least until you're on the other side.

The other piece that helped me with this process was getting some help. I could have created a nice new design. However, by reaching out to someone that does design AS their work, it meant I got a world-class design.

So tell me, darling: What about YOU?  What changes have you been resisting? Is there something that feels super comfortable, like an old worn out pair of slippers, that may need freshening up? What's something you could do well, however, getting some help would allow you to really take it to the next level?

What are your priorities as we inch towards the final quarter of 2018? What goals and intentions do you want to accomplish before January? What might compassionate discipline look like for you?

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...........

PS - I was so excited that my favorite sunflower field is looking awesome!

From the blog: Eight Reasons Why Decision Making Fails Even the Wisest and Smartest People

We are called to make dozens (and dozens) of decisions each day. Many of those decisions we make on autopilot because we make them so often: like what to wear or what to have for lunch. We find our best way to approach any challenge based on all of our previous experiences. And most of the time, we make pretty darned good ones. Most of the time at least. But sometimes, the need to make decisions trips us up. Especially when we are exhausted, overwhelmed, or burned out. You may be wondering why decision making fails when you’re feeling this way.

And the thing is this: I know you are a smart and wise person. So, you may be wondering why you sometimes made BAD decisions.

Well, there are a lot of factors in what causes us to make less than great decisions. And I find that when anyone is feeling overwhelmed or on the edges of burn out, it’s hard to make good decisions. And, of course, there’s also decision fatigue that affects us more and more in our modern times.

When one of the wisest folks I know confessed to making a terrible business decision, we dug into the whys behind it. Here’s eight factors I learned about when researching why decision making fails. This helped her make some changes to recover. And give her powerful knowledge to ensure she doesn’t make such a bad decision again.

One – Stress affects your brain, so that’s a main reason why decision making fails when you’re stressed.

It can begin with silly mistakes or forgetfulness. It also is the cause of emotional outbursts. These begin to add up and this is what leads us from feeling overwhelmed to full on burn out. Rеѕеаrсh ѕhоwѕ that ѕtrеѕѕ hаmmеrѕ the part of the brain responsible for executive function (the prefrontal cortex). Exесutіvе funсtіоn іmрасtѕ уоur memory, decision-making аbіlіtіеѕ, emotional соntrоl, аnd fосuѕ.

When you make decisions from a space of feeling stressed, it’s easier to make a bad decision.

Two – So called “first world problems” aren’t insignificant when it comes to decision making.

Telling yourself that a challenge you’re experiencing is a “first world problem” isn’t helping your stress levels.  Yes, it’s always helpful to get perspective on anything happening in our life.  No matter how much perspective you get, though, the body and mind reacts to stress no matter how someone else might judge the stressor.

Too often we blow off a stressor because of this view. Yet, let’s be honest here: so-called first world problems create real distress in real people. These problems are still causing stress and anxiety to the person experiencing them.No one’s humanity is less just because they have food on the table or a roof over their head.

Trying to shame someone (including yourself)  into a belief that a problem isn’t big or real compared leads to you seeing your problems as not important and that leads to making bad choices. So, over time, that can be another reason why decision making fails.

Three – Excessive brain clutter leads to a lack of clarity. That’s another reason why decision making fails.

It’s hard to make decisions, let alone good decisions when you have thoughts swirling in your head. Honestly? How can anyone make a good decision when they are worried about a sick kid, an aging parent, ensuring all the bills are paid on time? That, my dear, is brain clutter. When you are constantly worrying and your mind is full, it will be challenging to make any decision, let alone a good one.

This is one of those times when good old pen and paper can come to the rescue. Make a list. Do a brain dump. Clear your head! This also allows you to find and іdеntіfу the dеереѕt rооt оf whatever рrоblеm is plaguing you. And аddrеѕѕ it.

Four – Obsessing over work can contribute to the failure in decision making.

When уоu can’t ѕtор thinking аbоut wоrk when you’re аt hоmе, іt’ѕ a ѕtrоng sign you don’t have a good balance between work life and home life. It’s also a sign that you’re on the edge of feeling burned out. Life іѕ a соnѕtаnt ѕtrugglе аgаіnѕt things that feel good (or logical) in the moment (like checking work email). But, in the long run, it isn’t. See, when уоu еxреrіеnсе burnout, your ѕеlf-соntrоl wаnеѕ and уоu fіnd уоurѕеlf succumbing tо tеmрtаtіоnѕ mоrе еаѕіlу.

Temptations? Yes. Like scrolling social media. Or having just one more glass of wine. Those temptations, obsession with work, and ways you, frankly, numb, соmрrоmіѕе уоur decision-making muscles.

Five – And speaking of work? If you are feeling burnt out by your work, that can be another reason why decision making fails.

Whether you love or hate your job, in our overly connected modern times, it’s hard to get away from work. And even the bеѕt jоbѕ саn lеаd tо burnоut. Thе stronger your motivation is to succeed? Unfortunately, my dear, the easier it iѕ tо gеt in оvеr your hеаd. Burnоut with work оftеn results frоm a mіѕаlіgnmеnt оf іnрut аnd оutрut. Yоu gеt burnt оut when уоu’rе рuttіng mоrе іntо уоur wоrk than уоu’rе gеttіng оut оf іt.

Sоmеtіmеѕ  this hарреnѕ if a jоb іѕn’t rеwаrdіng, but mоrе оftеn than nоt іt’ѕ bесаuѕе уоu аrеn’t tаkіng саrе оf уоurѕеlf. Burnоut hаѕ a mаѕѕіvе, nеgаtіvе іmрасt upon уоur рhуѕісаl and mеntаl health. Being burnout could lead you making  bad decisions or ones destined to fail because good decision making comes from a sound mind.

Six – If you aren’t clear on your іntrіnѕіс vаluе, then that’s a reason why decision making fails.

Nо dесіѕіоn саn bе a gооd оnе, іf іn mаkіng іt, уоu’rе gоіng аgаіnѕt what уоu value аnd rеѕресt. See, the thing is, even if you haven’t identified your core values, deep down your intuition knows what our values are.Yet, sometimes, we make a decision based on what we believe others might judge us for. We go against our better judgement and our core values. Then, of course, we find that that decision we made doesn’t ring true.

When уоu mаkе a dесіѕіоn that gоеѕ аgаіnѕt your vаluеѕ, іt аlmоѕt nеvеr comes to a gооd еnd. Bесаuѕе еіthеr уоu саn’t lіvе wіth уоurѕеlf fоr mаkіng failed decisions, оr уоu еnd uр ѕаbоtаgіng the dіrесtіоn bесаuѕе іt’ѕ ѕо оut оf аlіgnmеnt аnd уоu саn’t ѕuѕtаіn іt. Wіthоut еxсерtіоn, get clear on our core values. Then, аlіgn уоur dесіѕіоnѕ with those vаluеѕ so you can honor what уоu hоld dеаr. This allows you to be true to yourself and be within the hіghеѕt ѕtаndаrdѕ оf your own іntеgrіtу. 

Seven – A lack of boundaries can be another factor in why decision making fails.

If you want to live life on your terms, you need strong boundaries. And solid standards for living your life. Otherwise, it’s easy to be a chameleon. Which means being whoever someone else wants you to be. Without boundaries, you can make bad decisions for your own life. Because you are focused on other people. Who, frankly, don’t have to look in the mirror and see the person staring back at them.

My darling, to ensure that you don’t make bad decisions, you need to have solid boundaries. And standards for living life will help support those beautiful boundaries.

Eight – Excessive consumption of information and social media is another reason why decision making fails.

My darling, one of the big reasons why decision making fails in our modern times? The access to the 24-7-365 news cycle. And, honestly, social media. Yes, I know you want to be informed. And yes, I do know you want to know what’s happening in the lives of your friends.

But let me ask you this: do you realize that every time you like a a post or click on a link, you are making a decision?  Do you understand that every story you read – often rehashing of stories you’ve already read – is input for your brain to process? This leads to decision fatigue.

The taking in of media, information, and social media is using up all your decision making abilities. So, when it comes time to make decisions about your life that really matter? You are overwhelmed and burned out. The only way to combat this is to choose to consume less information. Spend less time reading the news. Stop scrolling on Facebook. Listen, instead, to the voice of your inner wisdom.

My dear, these are just eight examples of why decision making fails in our modern times.

If we were to be crystal clear, understand that dесіѕіоnѕ аrе a fundаmеntаl tооl. A tool that helps you fасе lіfе’ѕ сhаllеngеѕ, uncertainties, аnd орроrtunіtіеѕ. The core thing to understand is that decisions are powerful. Understanding that the ԛuаlіtу аnd еffісасу оf уоur dесіѕіоnѕ can  determine hоw ѕuссеѕѕful, fulfilled аnd рrоduсtіvе уоu’ll bе.  Decisions allow you to love your life, no matter what is happening.

Just like knowing your go-to decision making process, understanding why decision making fails allows you to recognize when you may need to take a step back. And slow down (or even delay a decision).

You deserve to live a live you love. And experience what you most deeply desire. By understanding how you can make better decisions, it allows you to create a life that hоnоrs who уоu are at your core.

PS - Are you wanting to make better decisions so you can love your life? Often, the reason why decision making fails is because our brain is overloaded. Don't forget about my book: Clearing Brain Clutter: Discovering Your Heart's Desire
Despite the fact that I'm trying to stay away from Gluten, this past weekend I couldn't resist making my kitchen smell AMAZING by baking a favorite recipe: PUMPKIN BREAD.  See, I'm on the "Welcoming Committee" for our HOA and wanted to drop off something with the new neighbors. (Besides the HOA packet of paperwork!)

The recipe makes TWO small loaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for convection).  Cream 1 ½ cup of sugar with 1 cup of softened butter.  Add 3 eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups (one small can) of pumpkin.  In a separate bowl, mix together 1½ tsp baking powder, 1 ½ tsp baking soda, 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice, ½ tsp salt, and  2 ¼ cup of flour  (I use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose) and slowly add to wet ingredients. 

Divide mixture in half and put into greased and floured loaf pans. Mix together  ½ cup pecans mixed with 1 tablespoon of flour and dash of cinnamon Top raw batter with nuts.  Take a spatula and gently press the nuts into the batter. (Flouring the nuts will help them retain their oils during baking)

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

If you prefer muffins over bread, this makes 18 regular sized muffins based for 22 minutes or 12 jumbo muffins baked for 26 minutes.

This is also the time of the year that I begin thinking about baking ahead for holiday gatherings (and holiday gifts), and this pumpkin bread freezes beautifully!  After the bread has cooled, wrap in waxed paper and then put in a ziplock bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to six months.  You can slice it frozen or let it thaw at room temperature. 

PS -I have yet to make a Gluten Free version of this bread yet. If I do, I'll be sure and share it here!

Volume 8 -Issue 19

September 15, 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 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:
Instagram | Facebook Twitter.

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

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...

Purchase 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

Also in the Blog

Sometimes, you need a little inspiration to declutter, tidy up, and organize your home.

Click here to read==>
Forty-Two Inspiring Decluttering, Housekeeping, and Organization Quotes

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

Clear Clutter

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that you cannot welcome new things into your life if you don’t release some of the old stuff. You need to begin to purge things from your life.

Join me for 30 Days of Fall Cleaning and Clearing Clutter beginning Sunday, October 14, 2018

Just in time to get your home in order before the holidays!


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

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 Email me for a complimentary chat to see if we are a good fit.

Over at YourTango

If your internal critic is holding you back when it comes to dating, love and relationships, learning how to get rid of anxiety and calm the paralyzing self-doubts that are keeping you from finding happiness in your love life starts with healing your inner child.

Read How To Stop Anxiety From Crippling You In Relationships over at YourTango


Also from the Blog

It's so easy to compare ourselves to others. However, when I allow myself the space to pause and really see this amazing life I have built for myself, those little details of everyday life bloom before me. And I find myself with dozens of reasons to love my life all year round.

Read ==> Fifty Delicious Reasons to Love Your Life All Year Round
Copyright © 2018 Debra Smouse - Create a Life You Love, All rights reserved.

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