Being Seen
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“Is it not to the mercies
of the eyes of others
that we commit ourselves on our
journey through the world?”
Angela Carter

How are you on this gorgeous October day, <<Name>>?  It's been wonderfully cool in Ohio this week and we've swapped the air conditioner setting to "auto" to switch over to heat when we need it. That said - the brunch!heat doesn't come on until it gets below 62, so  I've opted for sweaters and sweatshirts during the day. 

There's something really delicious about needing a sweater or tossing a knit throw over my legs to ward off the chill.
We spent a long weekend in Chicago last week - going in on Thursday and returning home on Sunday. Though we'd gone in for a birthday party, we also had the opportunity to spend additional time with different family members.

I love the opportunity to stay downtown - there are so many great places to EAT and the ability to go shopping in stores I don't get to go into around here.

We did eat some amazing meals - the best of which was brunch at Frontera Grill.  It was definatley a meal that we lingered over!

On Friday, I stayed downtown to meet JB's middle sister for lunch and he drove out to the suburbs to take his mom to lunch.

After I had lunch with John's sister, I went into Nordstroms - which is five amazing floors of beautiful things. shoes - but they were $950 !Like the SHOES - so many beautiful shoes I'd never buy but I sure did enjoy looking at them.
It wasn't long into my shopping before I heard a little voice saying  "HI!" it cheerily called....about every three minutes. Though I heard that little voice over and over again, she never got frustrated. Each "Hi" was bright, cherry and very optimistic.
AS I pulled myself away from the super-expensive and beautiful shoes towards the make-up counter. And, sure enough, there he was: a bright and shiny little redheaded girl about three in a double stroller. Her baby brother was in the other part of the stroller and she was cheerily greeting every person she saw, almost willing them to smile back and have a good day.
When she told me "HI", I stopped to make sure he knew I was really seeing her, looked into her little blue eyes told her hello back and asked if she was having a good morning. Her mother gratefully smiled at me and she BEAMED and told me it was almost Halloween and after shopping with her mommy, they were going to look at costumes.

She waved goodbye to me (with a cheery "BYE!") and I finished my shopping, certainly in a peppier mood than when I entered the store.
I thought about her optimistic greeting all day.
Because I realized how often we as humans travel through our daily lives as if we're invisible. We rush in and out of stores. We hurry into Starbucks for a coffee and barely greet anyone. We do our work with our heads down. We may send a dozen emails (or texts) but for most of the day, we don't look another directly wine hour in the hotel lobbyinto the eyes and say "hi" and acknowledge that we can SEE them.  That we see them as living, breathing creatures traversing through their life.
When JB got home back from visiting his mom, we went to "wine hour" in the hotel lobby. We also shared real conversation about life and work and family and stresses and love.  Sometimes, we get too busy to give our partners, spouses, or other loved ones the kind of deep attention the relationship deserves. It's time to do that: that deep attention and acknowledgement...
And we can be reminded that we need to be seen. That we are flesh and bone and though we love the digital connections we have, we still need to be seen in the flesh.

And I mean really SEEN. Acknowledged. Greeted. Welcomed. Like the grocery store clerk and the barista at Starbucks. And the people in your every day life.
Though I may not see that little girl again, her optimistic view of living: that everyone needs to be acknowledged and seen will stick with me. It was a very good reminder on a busy Friday afternoon that I need to make sure I connect with others, no matter how busy I am. And that each of us has the desire and prepping for workthe need to not be invisible.

So, tell me, darling, what about you? Are you wandering through your days under a cloak of invisibility? What can you do in the course of daily living to actually SEE others around you?

How can you remind yourself that humans need connection? That, even if we are lost in our world, that we deserve to be acknowledged and seen? How can you better connect to loved ones?
And I have to ask: What are you just dying to do before 2020 rolls around?
What seeds do you need to plant in your life so that next year blossoms? What can I do to help you round out your 2019 and prepare for the year to come?

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...........

PSS - I am taking ONE or Two new clients this fall  If you want to chat to see if we're a good fit, book a Discovery Session.  

From the blog:  Six Ways to Maintain Confidence During a Career Change  One of the most glorious things about being human is that you can reinvent yourself at any time. In fact, reinvention can be a way to boost your confidence. I mean, think about it.

With a few hours of your time (and a swipe of your credit card), you can go from blonde to brunette thanks to a stylist. You can move across the country — or even across town — and shift the rhythm of your daily life. Or you can change careers.

Yes, I said it. Not just change jobs, but make a career change.

For a lot of folks, they’d rather chop off all their hair or make a big move than change careers. That’s because, on the surface, it seems both scary and stressful. Especially if you extended your educational years beyond a bachelors and got your Masters or Doctorate.

What would it be like to walk away from all those years of commitment and do something else?

I’m here to tell you, though, my dear, that if changing your careers is something you’ve thought about, even in passing, then it may be worth the leap of faith.

That said, doing anything you haven’t done before will feel uncomfortable. And you can manage the all the uncomfortable emotions by channeling the most powerful and confident version of yourself.

Here’s Six Ways to Maintain Your Confidence When Changing Careers

maintain confidence during a career change

One — Get Clear on Why You Want a Career Change

Everyone you talk to about your career change will want to know why. While you don’t owe an explanation to anyone for your choices, it’s important for your own confidence to get crystal clear around why you want to change careers.

I love to play a game called “Five Shades of Why”.

Grab a piece of paper (or your journal) and a pen. And write down the first reason why you want to change careers. Then, follow that with “And what would that give you?”. Once you do this about five times (Why + What Would That Give You), you’ll discover your answer.

Usually, the answer to your first round is sufficient for most folks you may talk with, like your sister in law. The third why can give you just the right thing to explain your decision to change careers in job interview. And that fifth why is usually JUST for you (and maybe your spouse).

Then, when anyone asks, you can answer with confidence no matter what level of answer is required.

Two — Brainstorm a List of All Your Skills

While you have pen and paper out, brainstorm a list of all your skills. This will serve two purposes.

First of all, it helps you remind yourself that you are smart and talented individual. This can go a long way into building your self-confidence.

Secondly, this allows you to take note of transferable skills. What I mean by this is to look beyond your current job title and look for those softer skills that are incredibly valuable. For example: presenting to high-level executives, speaking to large groups, training new employees, and negotiating with suppliers are skills that straddle most industries.

This will help you not only feel confident, but also present yourself on your resume and Linked In profile as being more assured in your skills. That will go a long way during the career change process.

Three — Dress Yourself for Both Success and Confidence

Have you ever noticed how much spring in your step you have when you’re wearing a new outfit that you feel great in? Clothing may not make the woman (or man), but it can go a long way in boosting your self- assurance.

Though I’d love to say that no one judges a book by its cover, we all know that how we dress, style our hair, and do our make-up does give folks an impression of how confident we are.

It’s doubtful you need to do any kind of extreme makeover. Yet, any career change will go a little smoother when you’re certain you’re putting your best foot forward.

Begin with a little research, especially focusing on how executives in the industry you want to change to dress for the office. Compare that with your current wardrobe and see if you need to freshen it up.

Yes, I know that more than your looks matter. However, there’s a direct correlation between what we wear and what we think of our potential according to a study published in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

It isn’t just about clothes, either. Don’t be afraid of updating your hairstyle or make-up. Though, in part, this is prep for presenting yourself well, it’s also about boosting your own morale. A study by Harvard found that women who wore lipstick performed better on tests.

It’s not anti-feminist or narcissistic to want to look your best! Because looking your best will boost your confidence as you embark upon a career change.

Four — Practice Speaking with a Period at the End of Your Sentences

Have you ever noticed how ending what’s meant to be a statement with the up-tilt of asking a question makes you wonder if the speaker is confident? The same applies to you. If you sound tentative about a subject, you’re not going to seem like you are coming from a space of inner power.

If you find that you don’t naturally speak this way, practice this with a trusted friend. Don’t forget to do this with written correspondence as well. Write in clear statements rather than as if you’re constantly asking for assurance or permission.

Using language, tone, and inflection that convey the fact that you’re a confident leader — even if you haven’t changed careers yet — will make you seem more poised. And that, my dear, will boost your confidence. Especially during a career change.

Five — Don’t Forget to Stand Up Straight

Your grandmother was right: stand up straight! Practice standing up tall with your shoulders back, chin up, and feet slightly apart. Good posture goes a long way in conveying assurance in who you are.

When you do this on a regular basis, it becomes habit. And you’ll begin to feel not just relaxed with positive body language, but more comfortable and confident in your own skin.

Your body language speaks loud and clear long before you open your mouth to say a word. The way you carry yourself sends strong messages about who you are and how you feel about yourself. Your presence and demeanor communicate your level of self-confidence.

Six — Create a Celebration and Compliment File

When someone tells you that you’re doing a great job, it’s easier to walk a little taller, isn’t it? While confidence in any endeavor is an inside job, it can boost your sense of self to be reminded that other folks think you’re fabulous.

While it can be risky to rely solely on external validation, when you’re questioning your decision to make a career change, a file of celebrations and compliments can give your ego just the boost you need.

If you don’t have a compliment file, create one with two sources of entry. First, collect any thank you notes or positive evaluations.

If you don’t have them in writing from others, brainstorm a list on note-cards for yourself. Then, create a big long list of your own accomplishments. This can range from all the goals you achieved to events that happened during your childhood.

Remember that a career change doesn’t have to challenge your very sense of self. In fact, by channeling these six ways to build confidence, you’ll go a long way into making the transition with more determination and ease.

Because when we are confident, we are able to access the smallest things that help us be happy. And feeling confident in who we are helps us be brave. Because a career change demands we channel that inner courage and take some risks. Risks that, in the long run, lead to us unearthing an even better life.

Though I'm a big lover of chili made with beef, we tend to lean more towards chicken for our meals. So, I searched for a chicken based chili recipe. After several experiments, this has become my favorite White Chicken Crock Pot Chili because it's chunky and soupy and a little spicy.  And, it's easy, nutritious and delicious.

Spray your crock-pot with PAM. Dice two onions and place in the bottom of the crock pot. Dice 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts and toss on top of onions. Add 4 cloves of pressed garlic, a seven ounce can of green chilies, and 2 cups of unsalted vegetable stock (I love Kitchen Basics Unsalted stocks).  Then add 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and a dozen grinds of fresh ground pepper.  Cook on low for eight hours or on high for 4 hours.

About a half hour before eating, stir chili well and add either three cans of rinsed and drained cannellini beans (white kidney beans)  OR two cans of rinsed and drained cannellini beans and one can of garbanzo beans.

You can top it with a variety of yummy things: sliced avocado (for some good fats), tortilla chips, shredded cheddar, or some crumbled Cotija  cheese.


Volume 9-Issue 22

October 26, 2019

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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“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.”

Becca Rowan, Author

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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.

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Gotten More Courageous 

Finally Love Your Life is an authentic and deep yet practical and fun program all wrapped up into one.  Debra’s extensive knowledge coupled with her emotive writing and ginormous heart provide the tools, support and space to explore and discover, evaluate and play. 

As a result of class, I was able to dig in and shift some major challenges that were keeping me stuck in annoying and frustrating patterns.

I also realized how little time I was devoting to having FUN and making time for simple pleasures.  With these insights and some easy changes, I have grown, gotten more courageous and have way more delight and joy in my life.

Michelle Reinhardt

Also in the Blog

Did you know that you emotions are like an internal GPS?

Click here to read==> Allowing Yourself to Feel All Your Emotions is Key to Loving Your Life


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

Love Yourself & Track Your Goals

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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.

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

Also from the Blog

Gratitude isn't just for Thanksgiving.

Read ==> A Gratitude Practice for Lent (or Any Time) 

Finally Love Your Life

I thought this was an extremely beneficial and well thought out class. The information was delivered in such a manner that there was no way I could “cheat” myself out of delving into the subject matter.

 Some days I was in the mood to listen to the audio, others, I enjoyed reading and rereading. The worksheets were key as they helped me transition what I was reading into personalized knowledge of myself and an action plan.

I appreciated the real guidance and suggestions that were given. For example, Debra didn’t just say it is important to rest, she gave real examples of what rest looked like to her, and in turn, helped me think of ways I could put it into practice. It is a very interactive class and in each module I experienced at least one aha moment.

We are all in different phases of life, so certain modules will appeal more or less depending upon where you are at.

I would highly recommend this course.

Years ago someone told me, “You would never drive a car without putting in gas, getting the oil changed, replacing the fluids, why on earth would you go through life without mental and physical checkups.”

This class is a great way to get the mental oil changed. I feel ready to go another 50,000 miles.

Jeanette McGurk
Writer & Artist
Refresh Your Home

in the Blog

A tidy, clean home can have a real effect on your mindset, helping you to feel lighter and with a clearer mind. You can create a much better atmosphere at home with some deep cleaning or a good clear out. Changing up your home a little can help to change your mindset. Especially before the holiday season arrives

Read Six Ways to Refresh Your Home Before the Holiday Season Arrives


I would just like to state for the record that Debra Smouse is a genius and an awesome listener, to boot.

In one phone conversation with her, I was able to verbalize, and thus realize, something that had been on the tip of my brain for weeks.  Her simple way of listening and asking led to a proverbial light bulb moment that has stayed with me for days and has helped open up new, clearer avenues of thought and feeling.

~Brandi Lee, Photographer, Small Business Owner

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