How to tend your soul
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“Find joy in
everything you choose to do.
Every job, relationship, home...
it's your responsibility
to love it, or change it.”
--Chuck Palahniuk

Good evening, my dear <<Name>>. I know that I am later than usual sending you this love note. To be coffeehonest, the closer we get to the election the more I am at a loss as what to share with you here.

I've followed every election since the Gerald Ford / Jimmy Carter election and I can't remember one that felt so contentious and divided people as much. I know I am not the only person disturbed by the state of politics these days. And with the election a mere nine days away, none of us will be getting a break from that in the coming days.

Almost from the time I began writing online (back in 2001), I made it a personal policy - as well as a professional one - to keep all discussions of politics private.

Since opening my coaching practice, especially, that's important. Because if I get involved in trying to ensure you know my opinions, so beautifulif you are a client - or potential client - it would keep me from being a neutral person that is on YOUR side. My job is to serve as a witness and invite you to figure out what YOU think and believe.

And also, my job here - whether you are a client or not - is to help you find a way to reduce your stress and anxiety levels. To assist you in figuring out what's in the way of loving yourself and your life so that you can take actions to fix it. Whatever "it" may be.

If you're a long-time subscriber, you probably know that I believe that we are always in choice. And despite that, it's something that I do have to remind myself of often. Sometimes, several times a day.

So, I'm going to ask you to do something for me - that's really for your own tender heart - and that's to seek something each and every day that brings you joy. Dive into your memories and remember good moments (like the last trip we made to Disney World).

Yes, I know that it's a tall order for many of you. Maybe for most of you. Because in many ways we've been last time I went to Disneyconditioned to feel guilty if we feel happiness or joy when the outside world is anything but joyful.

Maybe I should have said I challenge you - or if we were children I would dare you....NO! DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU to find something beautiful or joyful each and every day.

Because when we seek something and look for something - we are more likely to find it.

If you are partnered up or have a family, begin playing a game at the dinner table to talk about the best part of the day. And if you live alone, commit to sharing a moment of joy or silliness with a friend. Even if you have to do it via text or video chat.

Right now, we need the support of other souls to help us see the Disney's Cinderella...light in the world. And if you find that you are at a place where you feel centered and seeking joy has become a habit, then you can shine your light out towards others. 

You deserve to have moments of joy within the most challenging of days. Just because others are unhappy doesn't mean that YOU have to be unhappy, too. And even on crappy days,  finding a ray of light gives you the invitation to turn things around.

Seek the joy and beauty in the world. Find something humorous.  Turn a beautiful memory over and over again in  your mind.

As I did in my last love note, I am going to skip a blog post and go straight to a comforting recipe.

Please continue to take care of yourself.  Reach out  if you need me. And, as always, I am sending you love.

Butternut Squash Soup One of my favorite local goodies is butternut squash grown my favorite farmer, Jon Branstrator. It's so versatile and delicious. I throw it in with chicken or  dice it up for a hash. squashThis last week, I made a creamed butternut squash soup and it was superb - so I'm making it as part of the appetizer round for Thanksgiving.

I'm not giving you exact measurements: this recipe easily scales for the number of servings you want...and, it also freezes well.

Spray your crock-pot with non-stick spray. Toss in a diced butternut squash (if you don't want to cut it yourself, most groceries have it pre-chopped for you). Drizzle lightly with maple syrup and sprinkle on some cinnamon and allspice.

Add vegetable stock until the squash is barely covered. 

Cook on low for five hours or high for three hours.

When squash is tender, turn off the crock pot. Add a sprinkling of salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. If you want to serve it right away, carefully transfer squash and liquid in your blender and puree.  Add additional vegetable stock until you get the consistency you desire.

This will be hot, so I cover the top of my blender with a dishtowel.

You can also let it cool completely before you puree it - and then put it back in your crock pot to warm it up when you're ready to serve it (a good solution for Thanksgiving - especially if you have one of those little pureed Squash Soup"warmers")

If you are wanting a creamier taste, you can add a couple of tablespoons of good butter, but otherwise, you have a nice little warm soup that is an option for a vegan guest.

You can garnish it with a few toasted pepitas or sprigs of fresh thyme or sage.

You can also freeze it, and the containers are good in the freezer for up to three months.

Volume 10 
Issue 22

Oct. 24, 2020

Love Notes Published Every-Other-Saturday
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Hello from Debra

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:
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Intuitive Ear

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

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“No matter what age or stage we are, sometimes life just isn’t everything we want it to be. This course offers amazing insight into some of the many reasons why.

Deb Smouse has prepared an intensive program to help decipher the ways we can derail our own happiness, and, most importantly, lots of concrete tips and tricks for getting back on course to Finally Love Your Life.”

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Want to Be More Resilliant?

Each one of us has a deep well of inner strength in our souls, even when you don’t think you do. The secret is that like any habit: inner strength can be grown. See, just like exercise, sleep, and eating well can help us grow our physical strength, it’s possible to not just access, but develop our inner strength.

Read 11 Ways to Grown Your Inner Strength==>

Spot On

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

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