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Can you slow down and savor your own life?
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“Maybe every once in a while
we can take a break
from doing everything
faster and quicker
to reflect on who we are
and where we are going.”

---Joe Plumeri

 

Each fall is different and this year is no different, <<Name>>. We’ve had moments where it feels as if it’s here, then warmer days prevailed once again. Now, though, I think we’ve finally passed the point of no return to summer. And hooray! Because, now the leaves are not just shifting, they are brilliant. Combining that with crisp breezes, and oh, I am reminding myself time and again to just SLOW DOWN.

For most of my life, I have moved at an intense pace. What I’ve been working on for my own growth – and sheer enjoyment of life - is how to move with the intensity that comes naturally to me while slowing down to notice what is before more.

This is something I’ve worked on for ages. I become really accomplished at noticing the beauty around me. Stopping to see the dew drops on the miniature rose bush my daughter gave me for mother’s day a few years ago. And how the rising sun turns the sky and the houses across the golf course a rosy pink for a mere three minutes tops.

But then, like any one of you, my plate is suddenly not just full, but overflowing. And I feel that intense energy of mine clash with all the urgency to clear some space on my plate. And I hear that call of my inner perfectionist to do more by hurrying up.

And, sometimes, I have a day where I channel all of that. And sure, I get things done. And then I suffer from it. Because I’m in too much of a hurry to notice the dew drops  on the roses or the way a few drops of cream in a cup of coffee causes a beautiful bloom in my cup.

Look, I am all about productivity and efficiency. I know that doing my make-up takes 8 minutes tops. And that cooking both the pork loin and the chicken breast as I make dinner on Sunday means that Monday’s dinner will be both easier and quicker to pull together.

But I am realizing that when I slip from being productive to being a little too busy to trying to rush things? It’s time to re-calibrate.

You may wonder what that has to do with fall’s arrival. Well, Mother Nature calls to me to slow down and savor. To stand for ten minutes and photograph the shifting leaves and the first frost across the grass.

To take a break after I go about errands, pull into the park by the library, and go for a walk to witness the glory of nature, clear my mind with a walk, and tend the need for my body to MOVE.

Yet, the calendar shifts towards the holidays: Halloween followed by Thanksgiving followed by Christmas and New Years. And that siren’s call of “you better hurry up” conflicts with what I know to be the best way to savor my life.

Like anything, it takes compassionate discipline to choose mindfulness and my own sanity over the urge to hurry up and do more. And that compassionate discipline reminds me the value of beauty which can motivate me to stop rushing. To take a breath. To remind myself that I am a finite resource.

That when I rush around, I go against my core values of living a nourishing life. I reach the end of the day, and honestly, wonder what I truly accomplished.

The rewards to my soul are more numerous when I take that pause. To notice the strangers around me when I shop or traipse through the airport. To watch the sky change or observe the antics of my neighborhood squirrels.

I deserve more. And you, darling? So do you.

So, I ask as we are on the edges of November: how can you remind yourself that there is beauty in ordinary moments? What ways can you tune out the call of “hurry up” and “do more”? Can you extend kindness to the strangers you meet in a chance encounter?

What would it take to remember that rushing through anything rarely gives you good results?

How can you slow down and savor your life? And what would it take to tune out the siren’s call of rushing? How might taking a big deep breath allow you to love your life just a little bit more? What if slowing down would allow you to get a better view on who we desire to be?

That’s my goal in the coming weeks. To each day be present. Why don’t you join me? Let's make an effort to all slow down, stop, contemplate the world around us...


Though I'm not visiting your in-box each week - and I may not be on Facebook as often as I used to be -  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 am taking two  new clients this fall. Reach out if you're ready to dig into making your life feel more nourishing and loving.

From the blog: Honestly Declare “I Will Love My Life!” by Ending the Comparison Game

When it comes to social media, I have a love/hate relationship with it. I dearly love how it allows us to connect to folks. And I hate how viewing the lives of others makes some folks feel less than. More than one client has said this to me: “I will love my life when I do X, Y, and Z….like SHE does.”

And the thing is: what we see on social media is rarely a reflection of real life. Yes, these folks we follow share all the ways they are “living their best life!” That is, if anyone’s “best life” was lived based on Photoshop, filters, and hundreds of takes for a perfect photo. Oh, honey, they work hard to make it seem effortless.

Darling, you can declare “I love my life” by accepting who you are right now. In this moment. Yet, in order to do that? You’re going to have to shift your relationship with social media. And that means, darling, that you have to stop comparing your messy, every day life to the curated lives of strangers (or frenemies) on the internet.

This is especially important on the days when you’re feeling overwhelmed and burned out.

Playing the comparison game means it will be hard to declare “I will love my life.” Let alone actually love it.

Unfortunately, scrolling through social media has become a favorite way to unwind from the day.

Picture this: you’re unwinding from your day with your favorite mindless activity – scrolling through Instagram. You like to follow accounts who have pretty images by people with exciting lives. More exciting than yours, at least.

And then, you see her. The one that hashtags every post “I love my life”. Or should I say #LoveMyLife. And though you don’t really love your life, you sure believe she loves her (enviable) life!

We all have someone like her on our feeds.

She’s gorgeous, she’s funny, she always eats perfect Paleo (or Keto) meals. She has green smoothies, drinks green tea, and declares her love for the #PSL! (Pumpkin Spice Latte). She prepares perfect lunches for her kiddos, goes to hot yoga in the morning, and lunches with her BFF every day!

Her clothes are always perfectly coordinated with her surroundings – how does anyone ever manage that? She goes to cool parties and gatherings. She is insanely happy in her marriage as she hints she and her hubby hump like bunnies. In a classy way, of course.

As you pine over her enviable pictures, you tell yourself that if you can start living like this woman, then you will can finally say I love my life. And mean it.

You are convinced that when your life is as glamorous and exciting you can’t help but love your life.

Sure, maybe deep down inside you know you ought to find something a little less numbing to do. Like start reading one of those new books you bought recently. For now, though, you just want to scroll through your social media for a little bit until you think of something else you’d like to do.

It can feel easier to sit on the sidelines and watch how others live their lives. Rather than get up off the coach and work on your own goals. Especially when you’re so exhausted you can’t even decide what you want.

I bet as I was describing this nebulous, fictional social media influencer, your mind immediately went to a very real person who comes up on your own feed.

So, darling, let’s get real. When you scroll through her pictures and swipe through her stories how do you feel? Does she leave you feeling positive and empowered to love your own life? Or do you end up feeling pretty lousy about yourself in comparison?

If you’re feeling the latter, then, darling, put the phone down.

It’s all well and good to fill your social media feeds with positive and encouraging images. However, my dear, when you’re left feeling like having a whole and happy life is beyond your reach? All because you’re busy comparing your ordinary, daily life to the curated lives of total strangers on the Internet?

That’s when you begin to tread in dangerous territory.

And it’s not just the people we follow whom we do not know in real life. We can also find ourselves prey to comparing our lives to people we DO know – maybe even people we genuinely do like in our offline lives.

And, dare I say it? of course, it’s tempting to act as if and tag everything #lovemylife. Even when you don’t. There is power in acting “as if” when you want to grow your confidence. But it’s another thing when you know you’re lying to yourself, isn’t it?

In order to honestly say “I will love my life” you must stop comparing yourself to others.

Those influencers make loving their lives look easy. Yet, they rarely show the behind the scenes reality of those perfect feeds. Yes, they may jet off to beautiful places. However, they also work from the moment they wake up until they fall into bed. They often have a team: make-up artists, photographers, editors, and stylists.

You want to live a life you love and you want it to be easy. Unfortunately, the glamorous life of ease those influencers on social media show are the result of long hours and lots of hustle.

Almost everywhere you turn these days, there is a post implying that if you don’t love your life, then all you need is particular magic fix.  Meditate! Drink Green Juice! Go to Paris!  And yes, I know that there are some coaches or gurus that have slick sales pages for programs “guaranteed” to make you happy.

Darling, there is no magic fix. The only path to happiness is for you to decide to be happy. The way to love your life is to decide that you are going to love it as it is. Right now. And in order to continue to be happy, love your life, and have the kind of life you desire?

I hate to break it to you, sugarplum, you have to do the work to love your life.

Look. I don’t discount that life can be challenging. We all have ups and downs. I do know, though, that our thoughts create our reality. That’s why it’s so important to be super mindful about what you take in.

If anything makes you feel like crap, be it a book, television, a person online, or a person in real life, then they, my darling, are toxic.

Studies have shown  that spending too much time on social media reading other people’s status updates can lead to us feeling worse about ourselves. Is this really how we want to live our lives? Like we can’t be happy unless we meet certain imaginary standards? You, darling, have the power to create your own standards for living life.

If you are feeling less than because you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people? Then feeling like you can honestly declare, “I will love my life” is going to seem like an insurmountable feat. However, if you can just get some perspective about social media? And step away from the comparison game?

Then you will be able to find ways to love your life. On your own terms.

Yes, allow yourself to be inspired by those influencers. Do they model how self-care is a part of their daily routine? Then emulate it! Make yourself go to the gym if you want to get in shape. Clean out that messy closet. Learn to cook beautiful and healthy meals. Take good care of your skin by getting a facial and wearing sunscreen.

By all means, if an influencer can show you the path to ways to fall in love with your very own life? Yes, yes. A thousand times yes.

Yes, buy flowers like that Instagram star you obsess over. But not because you want a life like theirs. Because they have reminded you that you are deserving of small luxuries and a beautiful life. This also means that you need to take some risks. Maybe you need to allow yourself to fail at something you’ve always wanted to try. And then take that failure and learn how to model recovering from a mistake.

I can promise you that you do not want someone else’s life. Because, darling, everyone has their own share of challenges and heartbreak. Remember that you are seeing the highly curated highlight reels of people on social media. Not the tough days.

When you stop the comparison game, it opens to door to discovering your own path to happiness.You can honestly say “I will love my life”. And you do this with integrity by choosing to embrace what’s beautiful in your imperfectly perfect world.

My dearest heart, you are deserving of the kind of life you desire.

When you end the comparison, you can find the path to happiness now. You can make the decision to love your life right this moment. And from that space? You can make the changes you desire to love your life more.

The true key to loving your life needs to be based not on what social media shows is popular, but what you experience.

Then, my dear, you pursue those goals and dreams of yours from a space of love. Not lack.

When you approach your life from a space of love, acceptance, and pursuit of desire? Then, darling, the life you build will be one that you can’t help but love. Never forget that you can create a life that feels loving and nourishing. No matter what life tosses at you. And, darling, no matter what the popular kids say you “should” be doing or experiencing.

Though I can eat a salad for lunch most days, when the weather begins to get cooler, I want something warm and satisfying. Of course, there's always scrambled eggs. Sometimes, though, I want more.

In comes the handy-dandy crock-pot and stocked pantry.  I threw together what I had on hand it it was utterly amazing: Savory Chicken and Sweet Potatoes.

Spray your crock-pot with PAM. Take a couple of sweet potatoes. Mine were tiny things I had picked up at a farmer's market recently, so I used about four.  SCRUB THEM WELL and dice them. (Peel them only if you don't like to eat the peel) and place them in the bottom of the crock-pot.
Add a diced onion (Spanish Yellow Onions) on top of the sweet potatoes. Then lay a boneless, skinless chicken breast on top of the veggies and heavily season it: kosher salt, fresh pepper, Italian Seasonings.... Add 6 cloves of freshly pressed garlic on top of the chicken. CAREFULLY add chicken or vegetable stock (I use Kitchen Basics) to your crock-pot by pouring on one side, so that you don't disturb all that wonderful garlic.  You should pour in enough to hit almost the top of the chicken breast. 

Put on low for 8 hours or high for four hours. NO muss or fuss. I loved the use of local and in season produce. You could add other root vegetables like golden beets, turnips, parsnips or even some acorn squash. 

The results are this balanced blend of autumn flavors that are nothing short of delicious, nutritious, and easy. What a treat for a weekday meal on a cold day!

Volume 8 -Issue 22

October 27, 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


Does your work load have feeling stressed and overwhelmed?

Click here to read==>
Are You Overwhelmed with Work? Eleven Ways to Relieve the Stress

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

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.

Gratitude


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

Also from the Blog

Decision making is an important part of loving your life. So, when is it challenging for YOU?

I've broken things down for each Myers-Briggs Type

Read ==> Dissecting When Decision Making is Difficult for Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type

 

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

From the Archives


What if I told you the key to overall happiness and satisfaction with your life was simply to decide that you are going to be happy? It hurts my heart to read the news though I won’t dive into politics or world events in detail here. It’s enough to say: yes, my darling, I know that the world is kind of a scary place right now.

Read: The Secret to Happiness: Decide to BE Happy.

Supportive


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

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
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