The MAGIC is all around us!
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“Each solstice is
a domain of experience unto itself.
At the Summer Solstice,
all is green and growing,
potential coming into being,
the miracle of manifestation
painted large
on the canvas of awareness.

Henry Miller

Though culturally we shift into summer mode here in the US Memorial Day weekend, the Summer Solstice (and official first day of summer) was this past Thursday. Now, I’ve always loved holidays <<Name>>. The big ones like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter.

There is always magic in the air when you take time to stop and celebrate.

As a kid, the odd-calendar type celebrations like solstices and equinoxes transported me to a magical space and time because they marked the official shift of the season. Still today, that excited me. But the Winter and Summer Solstice points mark something more primal than simply a date on the calendar. 

The Summer Solstice marks the beginning of Summer and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and we are presented with the longest day of the year. Despite it being the 1st day of summer, from now until Winter Solstice, the days will begin to shorten. Little by little.

Ancient - and some modern - cultures believed that the day was sacred and full of magic. Yes, despite my deep, core need for things to be logical I, of course, want to believe that no matter our beliefs, we can capture the magic of that as well.

What I believe in most deeply is that there is magic to be discovered in the everyday living, especially if we actively make space for it, seek it, and make every day magic a priority.

Yes, I'm talking about attending to the details of our lives. To carefully plate your dinner so it’s pleasing to the eyes as it nourishes your body. To use a special mug for your morning coffee. Especially over the use of throwaway paper cups. To take an additional five minutes to sit at the table and eat your breakfast rather than eat it at your desk.

I’ve learned that doing these things creates a sense of magic. I can begin the moment feeling frustrated, irritable, or cranky and end it feeling more centered.  The choice to be mindful and the extra minute or two that it takes to do so captures a bit of magic.

As children, we were often able to see the magic in everyday living. We laughed, found pleasure in sitting in someone's lap, let the grass tickle between our toes, and sought play in any environment.We seen a fascinating piece of art and use your imagination to create stories about it or dig into our curiosity. We sat for long moments and just watched the insects. ..

Am I tuning into that inner voice often enough?

Magic also equals deeper joy. To access that, I must listen to the call of my soul. And honestly, my soul reaches out to me through the traits of my childhood: an insatiable curiosity, a desire to explore, and the want to experience what the world has to offer.

So tell me, darling, what about you? Are you excited about the change in the seasons? Do you believe in magic?  How can you immerse yourself in moments of everyday magic?

In what way can you deepen your sense of joy by approaching life from a sense of curiosity and play? What if that was the key to really finding a deeper sense of joy? What would you do if you listened to the call of your soul? 

What activities did you enjoy doing as a child that you think you just don't have time for? What if just once in the coming week, you did something your ten-year-old-self would have done in a heartbeat?

What if, in the midst of your average day, you chose to do an activity with full mindfulness whilst attending to the details?  What would that feel like? What would it look like? What would it taste like? What would that smell like?

As always, I am ever grateful of this time with you and this space in your in-box. If there's anything I can do - or you want to share how you responded to my dare - don't hesitate to reach out to me.

With so much love...........


PS - Over the next few weeks, I will be increasing the number of blog posts I write. I will not, however, be increasing the frequency of this love note. If you have a preference on me choosing a single blog post out of two to four I write to share, including excerpts from all the posts I write, or sharing a simple bulleted list, feel free to reply to this love note. 

My number one goal is to serve you to the best of my ability without overwhelming your inbox with too much. I am always open to hearing how I can better do that!

From the blog: 30 Incredible Benefits of Gaining Clarity in Your Life  I’m a big believer in the value of gaining clarity in your life. Here in the blog you’ll find tips and strategies to help you do that. Like clearing physical clutter in your world to help you gain mental clarity.  What I realized I hadn’t shared with you, though, was why gaining clarity is important.

Curious? Here are 30 benefits of gaining clarity in your life.

  1. When you work on gaining clarity in your life, your priorities become crystal clear. That allows you to dig deeper into what you want to do with your life.
  2. Clarity around what you want to do allow you to pursue what’s deeply important.
  3. Purpose and passion rise to the top like cream when you have clarity.
  4. Your thoughts create your reality. Clarity in your life lead to better thoughts. Better thoughts help you create a better reality.
  5. True clarity allows you to create a vision for your life. A vision for your life helps you marry your mind and soul.
  6. Having a vision for your life helps you create better goals.
  7. The bonus of better goals means you’re more likely to achieve them. Yes, my dear, clarity helps you find a better path to completing your goals.
  8. Gaining clarity in your life empowers you to say no to things that don’t really matter.
  9. Know what happens when you more readily say no to what doesn’t really matter? You spend your precious time on activities that make a difference to the overall quality of your life.
  10. When you have clarity in your life, you save money. Rather than spending money foolishly, you invest wisely. You also recognize when you are investing in luxuries that matter to YOU.
  11. Clarity allows you to create non-negotiable standards for your life. And, honestly, darling, your life on your terms is what’s important.
  12. Clarity also encourages you to say YES to your heart’s desires. That helps move you towards goals that really matter.
  13. Gaining clarity in your life helps you hone your intuition. That means that inner voice of yours? It is better able to tune out external factors, like money or fame.
  14. If your inner voice has been whispering that you’re missing something in your life, you can establish what it is by gaining clarity in y our life.
  15. It’s impossible to be happy all the time. However, clarity helps you access moments of joy more easily.
  16. Part of the human condition is challenges. We all have doubts and dilemmas. However, a benefit of gaining clarity in your life is that when challenges arise, you manage them more easily. That’s because you know what matters to you.
  17. When you are clear around your values, it’s easier to make better decisions.
  18. Better decisions help you curate the kind of life and experiences you desire.
  19. Better decisions allow you to take better risks. Risks don’t always equal success. However, when you are clear on what you really want, even if you fail, you know you are heading in the right direction.
  20. Gaining clarity in your life reduces decision fatigue. That helps reduce those feelings of being overwhelmed.
  21. You’re less likely to feel overwhelmed in all areas of your life when you work on gaining clarity in your life.
  22. As a result of feeling less overwhelmed, you manage stress more easily.
  23. Managing stress means you move further away from burnout instead of towards it.
  24. When you work on gaining clarity in your life, it allows you to set better boundaries. This opens the door to a better quality of life.
  25. As a result of better boundaries, you are able to create solid ground rules for all your relationships.
  26. That means healthier relationships. Yep, when you work towards gaining clarity in your life, your relationships will be healthier. And higher quality. And more rewarding.
  27. Clear thoughts create clear responses. That means that a benefit of gaining clarity in your life is that you respond to the challenges of your life with more grace. At least most of the time.
  28. Sometimes, we don’t respond in the best of ways no matter how much clarity we have. However, another benefit of gaining clarity in your life comes in handy here, too. It enables you to figure out why you react (or overreact) to uncomfortable situations.
  29. When you have clarity around your needs and desires, you are more compassionate to yourself. And others.
  30. And, darling, aren’t we all in need of more compassion and kindness? Clarity can help you with that!

I know that sometimes, gaining clarity in your life feels super hard. Or scary. I know that awareness isn’t always fun. If you want a life that feels nourishing, though, clarity is a must. Darling, you deserve to live a life that feels loving. You deserve to spend your precious resources on what matters most to you.

Gaining clarity in your life means you will know what you want, what you need, and what makes life feel extra sweet.

PS  if you need help gaining clarity in YOUR life, reach out to me about coaching. And don't forget about my courses and books designed just for that purpose!
One of the number one standby's in my fridge is boneless, skinless chicken breasts so how do I parlay that to summer dinners?. Summer equals cooking out on the grill! But if your tired of slathering BBQ sauce over your chicken, try this Margarita Chicken instead.

First, make your marinade. In a large measuring cup, mix the juice of two limes and ½ cup of orange juice. Add ½ cup tequila, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 3 cloves of freshly minced garlic, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, and two dozen grinds of fresh pepper.  Whisk together.  Gradually add your ½ cup of olive oil, and whisk as you go.

For us, this makes enough of a marinade for two or three meals.  I use about 1/2 a cup to a cup right away, and the put the rest of the marinade in a bottle and refrigerate.  It will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Marinade chicken.  Put two to four chicken breasts or tenders in a shallow Tupperware (or large ziplock bag) and pour 1 cup of marinade over chicken, seal, and refrigerate at least 4 hours but preferably overnight. 

When it's time to grill, take a large sheet of "non-stick" aluminum foil and put just the chicken in the center (Discard marinade) and SEAL the foil in an envelope.  Place the foil packet on a heated grill for about 20 minutes.  The packet will keep your chicken moist.

At the end of the time, pull your foil packet off the grill and CAREFULLY open it. With tongs, lay the chicken back on the grill for about 2 minutes per side to get a final sear (and those beautiful grill marks!). 

IF you don't have a grill, you can toss this in a hot pan that has a drizzle of olive oil in the bottom.

Serve with fresh limes (and drinkable Margaritas!).

It can also be served with black beans and brown rice. Atop salad greens with generous slices of avocado. Or as a delightful taco - with shredded cabbage and tortillas or salsa and lettuce leaves as the shells.

Leftovers can be warmed in a skillet and served in tortillas for easy chicken tacos. (In fact, you can double this recipe to ensure you have leftovers for an easy meal another night!)

Volume 8 -Issue 13

June 23, 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 fall in love with their lives.

A native Texan, she resides in Ohio with the Man of her Dreams. Get social with Debra on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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

Asking for Help is a Sign of Confidence

None of us has all the answer to every one of life’s challenges. Seeking assistance from someone with more knowledge or experience is always better than struggling. It means we are wise enough to recognize our personal limitations, as well as our personal strength.

Read Why It's Okay To Ask For Help When You Need It (And 13 Subtle Ways To Do It) at YourTango

Keen Listener

“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 (aka Reese Ryan) | Romance Novelist/ Freelance Journalist

Fall in Love with Yourself & Monitor 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.

Best Decisions

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

Create Your Vision

Tired of feeling as if you’re just surviving your own life? Take charge of your existence and thrive!

In Clearing Soul Clutter: Creating Your Vision, you'll find a series of 30 intuitive lessons, you’ll learn how to envision a nourishing life and make your dreams come true. It’s time to stop letting life happen to you and start doing something about it.

If you like challenging new ideas, actionable teaching, and caring guidance, then you’ll love this life-changing book.

Order via Amazon or if you are in the US, you can order directly from me.

(I'm also offering a special combo of Clearing Soul Clutter & Clearing Brain Clutter)

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

Your Heart's Desire

Are you ready to finally know what you want out of life? Discover the unique path to your own heart and soul.

By taking 30 days to dive into your heart’s desires, you can learn how to overcome your highly-stressed life to connect to your deepest wants and needs. Clearing Brain Clutter: Discovering Your Heart's Desire is perfect for people who truly want to reclaim their lives for purpose and passion.

If you like actionable advice, effective workbooks, and crystal-clear guidance on what’s holding you back, then you’ll love this book.

Order via Amazon or if you are in the US, you can order directly from me.

(I'm also offering a special combo of Clearing Soul Clutter & Clearing Brain Clutter)

Copyright © 2018 Debra Smouse - Create a Life You Love, All rights reserved.

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