Dancing to the beat of your own drummer......
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If a man does not
keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because
he hears the beat
of a different drummer.”

Henry David Thoreau

Good morning, my dear <<Name>>!  How are you? To be honest, it's been a bit of a challenging week for me. Yet, in other ways, it has also been a really good week. Mainly because I've learned that challenges help me better figure out what's a "throwback" photo from 2002working for me - and what's not.

There are so many things I could write about today during my time with you today.

It's Mother's Day tomorrow here in the United States. A day of celebration for some - ways to dive into all the ways they love their mothers and grandmothers. And honor all the ways they love being a mother. (This photo is of me being a Mom back in 2002)

I also recognize it's a harder days for other folks. Whether it's because they are mourning the loss of their mom. Or struggle with having a good relationship with her. It can feel like a hard slap in the face when you see all the picture perfect Mother/Daughters (and Mother/Sons) in Hallmark Commercials. And it's also super hard for those who want to BE a Mom, but for some reason haven't been able to do so. Or ARE a mom, but don't love the mothering parts.

No matter where you are with THAT, please know I'm sending you lots of warmth and love and empathy for ALL the feels you may be having.  

When I was debating what to write about this week, I decided to focus most of this love note on this:

The Permission to Be You.

If you saw my email last week, I made the announcement about a brand new course I created.

In the last two (or is it three) years, I have been in a creative slump. And haven't written a new book or created a new course. Despite my plans do to at least one of those things per year. A long dry spell of writer's block, grieving my Dad,  and a challenge with putting together something of worth felt harder than it had been. Or as my inner critic shouted at me - harder than it SHOULD be.  (Hey, I feel very strongly about being honest with you here.)

So, to create something right now still feels like a big deal to me. First came the full course:  Finally Love Your Life. It's an 11-week course designed to help you shed all the toxic stuff that's weighing you down. And find the path to falling in love with yourself and your imperfect life.

I forced myself to think outside the box and do things I haven't done before. Like create videos to go with the course (even though I would like to lose a few pounds before appearing on camera). And commit to recording audio versions of the lessons. And to reach out to strong, powerful women to interview them so students had quality bonus input. And more women modeling what it means to live life on their own terms.

I also priced it well below the "going" rate for an online course with so much added value. And because I wanted folks an opportunity to connect and see if this is a good fit for where they are right now, I added an additional week of content, and separated it into a week long class that was 100% FREE. 

(It's called: Inspire Happiness in 7 Short Days - You can Sign Up Here - it begins tomorrow!)

I share this background to tell you that, according to the experts, I am doing a lot of this all wrong.

If I were doing things the "right" way, I would have already emailed you at least twice in the last week. And over the course of the next few weeks, you would be hearing from me - all about the course - multiple times.

(But. My commitment to you when you signed up for this list was to stick to the schedule of emailing you every other Saturday with a few occasional updates on an occasional basis)

If I were doing this the "right" way, I would be crafting sales copy designed to hit you in your soft spots. (Or paying big $$ to a copywriter to write it for me) To accentuate your pain, and remind you how your life "sucks" so to speak. That I have a miracle cure.

(That feels icky to me. I want to be a source of light and comfort. To remind you that even if you're having a crappy day or week or year, it can get better. A little better each day, no instant fix or magic pill)

In the days leading up to the class officially beginning on June 1st - I should increase the frequency, the emotional manipulation, and at the last minute offer you a big discount or super low payments. As if, at the very last minute, in such great RESPONSE from people who want to join but have financial hurdles has me softening my stance. And giving you generous options I "hadn't thought about before". As if, folks are "twisting my arm" into making it "more affordable".

(Again, that feels kinda crappy to me. It feels sneaky and manipulative. I'm offering the 11 week class to all my clients at no additional costs. If you aren't a client, I've giving you all the payment options up front and the ability to save 25% if you sign up by my birthday - CODE "LoveMeIn2019" - from the moment I told you about it.)

When I began planning for the launch of this course, I knew that following the "launch blueprint" would likely result in more sales. It's a proven launch process. It's why it works. And it's why so many creators of online courses follow it.

However, to be within my own integrity. And to be treated the way I prefer to be treated. It meant that I just couldn't do it that way.  I had to do this MY WAY.

To be honest, my decision to be ME during a launch for a new course has been one of the things stressing me out this week.

Big time.

As in waking in the middle of the night worrying if I made the right decision. As if deciding not to relentlessly email you was the wrong choice. As in hour spent feeling paralyzed on getting anything DONE. Because I know that following a process that feels authentic and loving and right to me WILL equal fewer sales.

I created both courses from a space of love with the desire truly being to help folks step away from toxicity and negativity and find the right path to loving their life. On their terms.

But despite the core intent and my inner drive to help people, I AM operating a business. I have invested a lot of real dollars in this course in addition to spending precious hours working on it. I have spent real soul currency. And have received hours of time from others in interviews and consults on making Finally Love Your Life (and the offshoot Inspire Happiness in 7 Short Days.)

So, my inner voices - the logical side of me and that oh so scared and present inner critic, are spending a lot of time poking me in MY soft spots. Trying to talk me into jumping on the tried-and-true method of "how to launch".

And when I listen to the still, softer voice of my inner wisdom, I know that I have made the RIGHT DECISION to be myself during this whole process.

Yes, I want folks to sign up for the free class. I long to help people find a path to being happy within their own imperfect lives. I really hope folks buy the 11 week course. Because I know the material is good and will lead to real change for people who are suffering.

And I have to do that without selling my soul.

I share all of this with you for two reasons.

To remind you that you have full permission to BE YOU. To do things on your terms. In your own way.

In order to be at peace within your own heart, you must follow the path that feels right to you. Even when other people are doing things differently, YOU have to look at YOU in the mirror each day.

And also to gently remind you that the choice to do things in your own way sometimes comes with consequences.

Those consequences may mean feeling uncomfortable. It may feel as if you've made some unwise decisions. Because aren't the experts so called experts for a reason? It may make you feel stupid. Or as if you're in this thing all alone. It may feel as if others are whispering behind your back, pointing out how different you are.

Those consequences may include fewer friends or followers or fans or customers. And it can feel a little lonely at times. Or as if all the good work you do in the world has no value.

The flip side of those consequences is that, once any panic has left. And once that inner critic understands everything is going to be OK. You will find a stronger sense of peace. You'll experience laughter and pleasures in ordinary living.

You will be reminded that staying on path - your path rather than following in the ways of others - is kinda the point of this thing called life. At least, if you want to live a life that feels nourishing.

And I want to reassure you that all the negative sides of choosing to be yourself and to do things your own way will be outweighed by the rewards of listening to your own soul.

Because the price of being YOU. That imperfect, amazing being? It will always be worth it.

And on that note, my dear, I hope you are finding your own way to be yourself. It's spring, the flowers are blooming, and there are ample opportunities to dive into finding those little pleasures that make life feel richer.

Remember 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 - the FREE Master Class - Inspire Happiness in 7 Short Days begins TOMORROW.  Please join me. And please, tell your friends about it. I would be so grateful.

From the blog: How to Stop Being Envious and Finally Love Your Imperfect Life

Do you scroll through social media wishing you had the perfect life that Instagram Influencer shows? Does dealing with the other PTA moms make you wish you had their great bodies? Or desire the ways in which their lives seem easier? What you’re dealing with is the so called green-eyed monster: envy. And it can be dangerous to your sense of well being if not dealt with in a constructive way. So let’s explore how to stop being envious so you can instead focus on loving your own imperfect life.

Learning how to stop being envious begins with one of my favorite tools for loving yourself and your life: awareness. And in order for awareness to really work for you, it’s important to talk about what envy is, how it compares to other not-so-pleasant emotions, and why you may experience envy.

Know, too, that despite a rise in consciousness around thanks to social media, it’s an emotion that has been around for millennia. In fact,  it’s one of the so called Seven Deadly Sins in Christian teachings. And the origin of the phrase goes back to Greco-Roman times  – Λύπη (lypē) – that translates into “sadness at another’s good fortune”.

No wonder envy feels icky, right?

What is the difference between envy and jealousy?

One of the first things to point out is that though related, envy and jealousy are two different emotions. Envy is when you desire what another person has. This can be about how they look, a talent or personality trait, or a material object they posses. It’s about coveting what that person has and wanting it for your own. Note that this can also be what you perceive the person to have that you find desirable. And wish you possessed.

Envy involves two people. An example may be you are envious of another PTA Mom. Not only is she beautiful and in great shape, she’s also funny. And she possesses these crazy-mad people skills. You yearn to get along with folks as easily as she does. Not to mention, you pray for your body to look more like hers. That’s envy.

Jealousy is when you are worried that someone may take what you currently have. It involves three folks. So, you may be envious of how she looks. And how she seems to be able to get along with everyone. But when think she’s getting super-chummy with your best friend, you may be jealous that she’s going to take your best friend for her own. And you’ll be left without a BFF.

While neither emotion feels good to experience, when it comes to awareness it’s important to know the difference.

Why do semantics matter when you want to learn how to stop being envious?

Jealousy and envy are often used interchangeably in our culture. You say you’re jealous of how someone looks. Or something another person has. But understanding that envy is about coveting or desiring something another person has and how that differs from the fear you have that you might lose something you already have can be an important distinction.

That’s because semantics can matter when you’re exploring personal growth.

So,if you want to learn how to stop having an emotion that feels rotten, identifying the exact emotion you’re experiencing is critical. It’s important if you want to learn how to stop being envious or jealous. Because dissecting those so called bad emotions for exactly what they are can be a fabulous tool to getting on the path to loving your own life.

Why do you experience envy?

You experience envy because you’re a human being. It’s so easy to look at the outside lives of others and long for what they have. It’s practically effortless to compare your life to the lives of others folks.  You may discover that you assume that the other person is luckier, smarter, or more attractive than you. When you constantly look at the “after” pictures of someone, of course you have a flicker of feeling as if they are better or more disciplined than you.

Envy’s exasperated thanks to the constant scroll of social media. And how the lives of celebrities and splashed across magazines, newspapers, and the internet.  You experience envy, because you, too, have big dreams and desires. And you crave to experience everything life can offer. And others seem to have a handle on. Especially when you perceive that person is experiencing lots of “good” emotions.

At heart, envy is about wishing  you were as happy and satisfied in life as another person seems to be.

And actually, that can be the key on how to stop being envious. Because on the flip side, it can be just the motivation you need to get off the couch and do something about your life, right?

How can envy become destructive to your sense of well being?

Envy – and jealousy – both become destructive when you focus on what you are coveting rather than what you have. It becomes destructive when you realize that, rather than spend time working on making your own life better, you instead, obsess over the life of someone else. It can be come a compulsion or obsession to constantly check someone’s social media feed.

Obsession over he life of someone else takes precious time and attention away from tending your own life.

Envy also can lend itself to finding pleasure in another person’s misfortune. And wishing others to fail is certainly a path feeling as if the goodness in the world is something scarce. And hard to obtain.

While envy happens to all of us, the reason it’s listed as one of the seven deadly sins is that it weighs down the soul in such a way that it can feel impossible to find happiness.

So, if you want to know how to stop being envious, you need to understand it’s destructive nature.

You will experience envy at sometime in your life. Simply allow yourself to feel that flicker of envy. And then dig into what it really means. And how you can channel it for your own life.

You may be wondering if FOMO (the Fear of Missing Out) is related to envy.

Fear of Missing Out (aka FOMO)  is when feel as if other folks are having awesome and exciting experiences in their lives. And therefore, your life feels lackluster or boring. So, FOMO is related to envy because you, too, want to have those same exciting experiences. You want to travel, go to rock concerts, and eat at fancy restaurants.

Thanks to FOMO, you may also experience jealousy. When you a post on social media of all your friends at a party or event without you? Of course you feel jealous and left out. Why weren’t you invited, too? It can make you feel depressed and insecure, too.

This is how FOMO, envy, and jealousy are intertwined.

Here’s what you really want to know: how to stop being envious.

One of the things I’ve learned on the path to curating a life that is loving and nourishing is the understanding that all of our emotions are meant to be felt. When you allow yourself to feel them. And move forward in your own life.

The first key on learning how to stop being envious or experiencing any so called emotion is to do just that. Stop, identify it, feel it, and then choose not to wallow in it. With practice, this can happen in a matter of minutes. When you have the ability to stop yourself. And not wallow in envy. You stop yourself before you tumble down the rabbit hole of obsessing over what someone else has.

Once you’ve stopped yourself from wallowing and obsessing, next dig into what the root cause of feeling envious was. I like to begin this with compasion and a gentle inquiry. Ask yourself:

  • what does she have that you want?
  • why do you want that?
  • and what would that give you?
  • how would I feel if I had that?
  • what ways can I experience that same emotion?
  • examine all the ways you have traces of what you want in your life right now.
  • how can I work towards getting what it is I want?

Use a mix of curiosity and honesty to discover your answer. Dig into the deeper reasons envy or jealousy may have surfaced. If you’re struggling with that, one of my favorite ways to do this is what I call the “Five Shades of Why”. A way to find both your surface answers. And the deeper ones.

When you get to the truth of what caused the green-eyed monster to surface, you have the key of how to stop being envious.

Once you know why you’re experiencing envy, you can take action from a place of empowerment. And trust me, acting from a place of empowerment trumps reacting out of sheer emotion.

Here’s where you can make magic in your own life. If you want to know how to stop being envious. And use the knowledge as a path to loving your life more. Then you must know this secret way to transform envy into a life you love more:

  • own the truths you discover and acknowledge what you really crave
  • create a plan to get what you want
  • take the first baby step towards getting what you desire

This is effective for everything you may envy. And allows you to use an emotion that feels icky and can be destructive as a force of good in your life.

I want you to notice that I didn’t bring up counting your blessings as how to stop being envious.

That’s because despite knowing that gratitude is a great way to love your life more, when you’re feeling a rotten emotion like envy, it’s easy to slip into shaming yourself.

Sure, you may know you have a lot of great things in your life. But that doesn’t mean you don’t desire – and deserve – more. Yes, feeling envious is rotten. And your inner critic may try to shame you for falling prey to such a crappy and destructive emotion.

Please don’t do that, my dear. You are simply being human. And none of us can escape that.

If for any reason you find yourself back to coveting or obsessing over any one person in particular, stop and breathe. Remind yourself that everyone. And I mean everyone. Posts more of the highlights from their lives rather than the crappy middle of trying to get there.

Once you get through the emotional roller-coaster that envy can cause, channel this into loving your own, imperfect life. Because you, my darling, deserve to live a life that is loving, nourishing, and full of all kinds of goodness.

If you want to learn other life hacks in addition to how to stop being envious, love your life, and just be happy? Join me for Inspire Happiness in 7 Short Days

One of the number one standby's in my fridge is boneless, skinless chicken breasts. But, of course, the biggest challenge with a standby ingredient is that we can get stuck in a rut of the same way of cooking it over and over again.
But you don't have to go with the same thing over and over again. You have options! I love the spring-ish feel to this Lemon Chicken with Thyme and Tomatoes!

In a zip lock bag, combine 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons garlic, and 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, add several grins of fresh pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Add a boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite sized pieces, seal the bag and put in the fridge from three hours to overnight to marinade.

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a diced shallot, one tablespoon of garlic and sauté for two minutes.  Remove chicken from marinade and sauté about ten minutes, or until thoroughly cooked.  Add 1 ½ cups of grape tomatoes, halved to the skillet and saute until another three minutes or until tomatoes begin to wilt.

Serve this over rice, with a wilted spinach, a baked potato, and/or a side salad.

Volume 9-Issue 10

May 11, 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.

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.  
If happiness, ease, consistency, and grace are what you long for, I’m here to tell you that it’s nowhere near as hard as it seems.

Where you are on this journey is a part of the universal experience you must go through to find your own version of happily ever after. No one can do it for you, AND if you want to be happy, you must do it for yourself.

I know what it takes to walk this path, because I’ve done it. To help the women in my life, I pulled together my best tips, tricks, and life hacks that took me from barely hanging on to thriving in my own life.

Join me for 11-weeks to walk this transformational journey from who you are TODAY and who you really desire to be. We begin June 1st.

Use code LoveMeIn2019 before May 18th to save 25%.

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

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.

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

Get Stuff Done

Want to know the real secret of getting stuff done? It's all about the Art of Compassionate Discipline.

Read More Here: ==> The Art of Compassionate Discipline: The Secret to Living a Happier Life

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

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.

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

Also in the Blog

Isn't it time you stopped playing the "what's for dinner" game?

Meal planning helps you reduce stress.

Click here to read==> Meal Planning Reduces Stress and Helps You Achieve Your Goals


Debra.  Your blogs and columns and coaching advice always seem supportive and like they’re coming from a place of love.

~Melissa Bartell, Word Ninja.  Bathtub Mermaid

Also from the Blog

Have you taken a little tumble down the Rabbit Hole of "shoulds" and "coulds" and "Woulds"?

Read ==> If You’ve Fallen Down the Rabbit Hole: 17 Ways to Climb Out


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

Over at YourTango

Feeling Burned Out?

First up, darling, you need to know that there is nothing wrong with you.

Read the article at YourTango and Learn 5 ways to reduce burnout and 7 habits to keep you from getting burned out again

So Much Love

Enlisting Deb's coaching services has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. She is truly an expert de-tangler. I started out with a "Declutter" course at the recommendation of a fellow writer, and as soon as she began offering Make Your Inner Sex Kitten Roar, I was intrigued. I appreciate her honesty, encouragement and her openness. She has a way of seeing things that you can't see for yourself and is a whiz at breaking bigger dreams into manageable chunks that will get you to where you want to be faster than you thought possible.
I had a very tough few years and have been wanting to get my "oomph" back. Well, with Deb's help, I've found it again! My husband agrees with my assessment and has seen a noticeable change in me since working with Deb. To quote him, "I don't care how much it costs, keep working with her, because it's working!"

Rachel B. Kain, Writer & So Much More

Also in the Blog

What can you do when you begin feeling overwhelmed?

Read ==> Six Action Steps to Take When You Begin Feeling Overwhelmed

Renewed Sense of Purpose

She has helped me to get and stay focused, hold me accountable in a manner that was effective and beneficial to me and my life. In addition, she gave me great insights into how I can get much more balanced as well as how I can handle delicate situations in my life. I walk away from our sessions with a renewed sense of purpose and focus in all aspects of my life. She is tough when I need her to be tough, yet supportive at the same time. She instinctively knows what I need.

~Michael Ehrler, Business Coach

Copyright © 2019 Debra Smouse - Create a Life You Love, All rights reserved.

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