We are always changing....
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We do not remember days, we remember moments."
--Cesare Pavese

It's been a bit of a challenging week here, <<Name>>.  My next door neighbor passed away late last week and though we've only been neighbors for a few short years, her daughter and I have become friends and she reached out to me for support.

I did the things that we humans do when others are grieving:  I was present. I listened.I sat with the family and celebrated with folks as they told me their favorite stories. I let delivery people in the house so that none of the family had to break away from other responsibilities. I was a witness.

It's an honor to be a part of the lives of others in any way that we are called to.

The incredibly lovely Franciscan Priest who conducted the Funeral Mass reminded me why I have always connected to the Franciscans. He told a beautiful story about my neighbor and illustrated it with a family photo (since he's actually a cousin of her late husband's and knew her for 65 years).

He reminded all of those present that every person we come in contact with leaves us changed.

That whether we know a person our entire lives, a few years, or even have a chance encounter with someone, each of us leaves that encounter different from who we were before. Sometimes those changes are so tiny that we don't notice them. Other times, we hear (or read) the words of someone or have an interaction and know that we are shifting.

He went on to say that one of the purposes of life IS to keep changing and growing. That we are changed after attending mass and when we wake each morning. That it's why it's important to populate our lives with good people. That's why it's important to populate our worlds with good literature, stimulating words, fascinating entertainment and loving actions.

We can't change the pure fact that over time, our bodies replenish all of our cells. We are always changing physically, so why not be reminded that we are always growing mentally and spiritually?

Though this is something I know deeply as a core truth, it was was something I always need to being reminded of.

As we go about our daily lives, how can we remind ourselves that not only are we changed by others, but we are are also changing others? How can we be reminded that the words we read affect us as do the words we write (or say) affects others?

What kinds of media can we choose to consume that fuel us? What books can we read for inspiration (or just pleasure)? What movies or television shows can we watch? What music can we fill our rooms with? And, how can we recommend wonderful books, movies, websites and more to others?

And let's not forget about connection. All of these words and interactions and books and movies connect us. They allow us to connect with others on all kinds of levels - the surface levels of grocery store conversations with strangers and deep, intimate conversations with those that we love. They also connect us with the deepest parts of who we are.

For those of us that celebrate Easter, we are approaching Holy Week. There are all kinds of reminders out in the world to remind us about these core concepts - change, transformation, connection.

As we approach the final days of March and the coming of Easter, what can you do to cultivate your own life? How can you choose to fuel your life with interactions that are going to act like fertilizers for your growth? How can you be of loving service to others in your world?

What are you ready to stop doing so that when you fuel your growth, it's with good things rather than sub-par stuff? How can you be a witness to others?

What can I do to help?

With so much love,

PS - I have have space for ONE new client this March and will not be accepting new clients  again until May. If you are contemplating hiring a coach to support you this year, please reach out to me and we can chat. If we aren't a good fit, I have lots of fabulous coach friends I can refer you to as well.

PSS - Clearing Soul Clutter (Creating Your Vision) begins SUNDAY!

This week in the blog you'll find The Power Getting Clear On Your Core Values.  What are your core values? The first time I really understood that question, it gave me pause.

Sure, I knew my values! I had inherited them, right along with my love of reading and my deep appreciation for fried okra. Hadn’t I?

Of course, that was during the years that I played the constant part of the Good Little Southern Girl. I kept my mouth shut and my opinions to myself. I dressed properly, including panty hose, slips, and girdles. I didn’t laugh too loudly in public, and I did as I was told. And when I moved out to my own three-bedroom house, I kept up the appearances of a perfect life behind the white picket fence.

I spent a lot of that time living like a chameleon. I changed my viewpoints and values based on those of the people who could punish me for not being Good – people like my parents and my (now ex) husband.

But the truth is, darling, our core values are as individual to us as our personality traits and the uniqueness of our fingerprints. Sure, we have some commonalities with others, but we are still unique.

When I finally realized that I was responsible for my own happiness, I stopped being a chameleon and got clear about a heck of a lot in my life. Including my values.

The word values is tossed around by lots of folks. We all have them ingrained within us, but can you actually name yours? Better yet, can you define what they mean to you?

Values are who YOU are. Not who you think you should be in order to fit in. And values aren’t the same as morals, which are defined by society.

When you get clear about your values, not only do you get to be true to the deepest, soul-level core of yourself, you also get to align your actions with those values. That means that you will live a life that feels more peaceful and nourishing, because you are living within your own integrity.

One of my core values is freedom. It’s one of the major influences on how I structure my business life (and why I’ve been self-employed since 2003). But freedom goes beyond just work. It touches how I live my daily life, my belief that no one should have to follow cookie cutter rules that don’t fit, and even is reflected in my political views.

Since one of my other core values is connection, you can see with even more clarity why I’ve made the choices I’ve made – from keeping my client base small so that I can go deep to choosing to travel with JB when he goes on a business trip to finding the commonality in our stories.

If we don’t know what’s important to us, we spend a lot of time wandering and wondering what we should be doing.

There is tremendous power in discovering and living according to our highest values, and the inner peace we experience is the natural result. When actions and values are aligned, life feels content, in harmony with your purpose – you have peace of mind, even in challenging times.

I know that it can feel overcomplicated. Why can’t you just go with the flow? Well, you can choose to just go with the flow and see where life takes you, but if you want to live a life that is nourishing, loving, and rewarding, then, baby, you need to live life on purpose.

If you aren’t quite sure what your core values are, invest a little time in yourself to gain that clarity.

Values act as our compass to put us back on course every single day, so that day after day, we’re moving in the direction that takes us closer and closer to our definition of the “best” life we could possibly live.

Because, if you aren’t clear on your personal values, then how the heck can you figure out what you want really want?

Not sure how to get clear on your core values? Let me help guide you.Snag my new eBook: Become the Custodian of Your Time. Not only will it help you name and claim your personal core values, but will help you make your actions congruent with them!

(Note: Subscribers received an email on Thursday (March 26th) with your link for the new eBook)
When I walked into the grocery store and saw the fresh, beautiful display of mangoes, I knew that one of the dishes on the menu the coming week would be some sort of FISH topped with an avocado-mango salsa. A visit to the seafood counter saw me leaving with fresh, wild salmon.

But this fresh salsa is good with chicken, pork or almost any fish.  Here's the Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa

Preheat oven to 400.

Dice: one small red onion, ½ of a habanero chili (seeds removed), one avocado and one ripe mango (peeled) in a small bowl. Add ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro and ½ teaspoon of coarse salt. Drizzle with the juice of one lime and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

Gently combine and set aside (covered) in the fridge.

Generously spray a pan with Pam. Take a piece of mahi mahi, cod, salmon or other similar fish and place it skin side down. In the dish. Generously sprinkle the fish with garlic powder, cumin, chili powder and freshly ground pepper. Roast for approximately 20 minutes, or until fish easily flakes.

Plate fish atop brown rice or couscous and top with the mango salsa. OR serve fish in corn tortilla's to make fish tacos.

Volume 5 - Issue 13

March 28, 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.

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!

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

A Vision & A Plan

It's time to dive into what your heart and soul is longing for: a life designed around what you need to thrive.

It’s practically impossible to create a life you love if you don’t have a clear vision for how you want that life to be.

Clearing Soul Clutter: Creating Your Vision will gently help you pull the mask away from what you “should” want to creating a vision for how you truly desire your life to be.  Not only that, we’ll break down pieces of your vision into manageable steps.

The next course begins March 29, 2015 - Register today.   Or. Upgrade to a Clarity Season's Pass.


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

This Love Note

If you have thoughts, comments or suggestions around this weekly Love Note, don't hesitate to reach out to me.  Just hit reply!
“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 | Writer / Freelance Journalist / Social Media Management

Copyright © 2015 Debra Smouse - Create a Life You Love, All rights reserved.

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