The Advent Series: 2018

I’m running my Advent Series again this year. It’s a community project, meaning, it’s being offered at no charge and with no strings. That means that anyone who signs up will not be auto-added to any newsletter list.

And, with the bonus of essays from 8 amazing authors and we dive into the tenets of Advent: Hope, Preparation, Joy, and Love.

Guest authors include: Andi Cumbo-Floyd, Becca Rowan, Jenn McRobbie, Karen Milito, Kayce Hughlett, Melissa Bartell, Molly Totoro, and Theresa Reed

You can sign up at:

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Close 2018. Prepare for 2019. Nourish Your Spirit.  The Advent Series begins Sunday, December 2nd (It’s #Free)

Say goodbye to 2018. Prepare for 2019. Nourish Your Spirit. The FREE Advent Series begins Sunday, 12/02 #free #Advent

Do something special for YOU this holiday season. The Advent Series begins Sunday, 12/02 #Free #Advent

The holidays don’t have to be stressful – Nourish Your Spirit. The Advent Series begins Sunday, 12/02

Let’s journey through the season together. The Advent Series begins Sunday, 12/02

Explore Hope, Love, Joy, and Preparation. The Advent Series begins Sunday, 12/02


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The Weekly Round-Up: The Bookstore Edition

Last weekend, a new bookstore opened up near us…. The Booksellers at Austin Landing. I can’t express how excited I bookstorecafeam to be able to walk in and be surrounded by books, magazines, bookish gifts, and people who are dedicated to the reading experience.  Their cafe, Pages, serves pastries, coffee and tea, of course, but also makes sandwiches, salads and soups. And, as a morning person, I was beyond delighted that the store opens at 7 AM during the week.

I took all my letter writing gear with me Wednesday morning, lingered over a latte, and basked in the environment as I wrote.

Right now, they don’t have WiFi available, which I see as a blessing, because it also means they don’t have the “campers” yet like every other coffee spot and bookstore in the area.  Hooray! It was such a peaceful experience, unlike the last few times I’ve tried to duck into a coffee shop or bookstore to get a little bit of writing done.

I know that sounds judgmental, but my experience is that when people become daily campers at a coffee shop, they seem to lose any sense of polite behavior. They spread out all their stuff and stay for hours and hours. They watch their videos without headsets and talk to their fellow campers across the way. They talk on their phones – loudly. They smoke outside the entrance despite the “no smoking” signs.

But I digress.

Bookstores have always been a happy place for me. And a bookstore that is minutes away (and even a bike-able distance) feels like a gift.

What I’m Writing

It was frankly a week of indulging in all of my bad writing habits: no morning writing, avoiding my desk, and writing in the living room.  I know these are bad habits, yet because so much of my writing time has been devoted to the copy-paste-format-edit process of converting classes to book formats, my office has felt stifling.

I did write a fresh piece for the work blog describing my Annual Review Process.  And does THIS count as writing?

What’s Happening with Work

This entire week has been focused on getting those courses that used to be delivered via email into book format. sexkitten_101215While on the surface it sounds easy, it hasn’t been simple. A thirty-day course morphs into a 90 page book and the year-long course is upwards of 450 pages.

Thank God for good (and honest) friends. Editing, I think, is harder than creating sometimes.

I’ve got, what I believe, is the “final” version for 30 Days to Clarity: Clearing Brain Clutter now. I’m going to begin soft sales next month through Gumroad for the eBook version….and a push to have it available on Amazon as a printed book by Christmas.

30 Days to Clarity: Clearing Soul Clutter is about 80% completed as a compiled book. The email courses actually ran 31 days + a Post Class Reminder instead of 30 Days and I’m editing it to a pure 30 days with any bonus material in the front.

Make Your Inner Sex Kitten Roar is in it’s second draft as a book.  I’m did a major editing on the order of the lessons and all the worksheets that accompany each lesson… It still needs three new lessons written, a shift to take all the assignments from the end of the lesson to being segregated with the worksheets, and then a final “fine-tooth-comb” edit.  Oh, and another round of formatting to ensure the Table of Contents only contains titles. I’ll also be creating a Workbook to accompany the book, but that will be about and then the fine-tooth-comb edit.

What I’m Reading

I haven’t been reading much this week. I abandoned my morning read so that I could edit.

I finished reading the Death of Santini .  It was beautifully written in a painful sort of way if that makes sense? Exquisite pain? Thoroughly enjoyed our book club discussion about it.

This weekend I read Catherine Coulter’s The End Game. It’s written with her new writing partner  JT Ellison. Fast paced, totally enjoyable, still one of my favorite authors when it comes to romance and thrills and intrigue.

On tap for this coming week are Blue: a Novel by Kayce Stevens Hughlett and Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

What We’re Eating

In an attempt to up my protein and veggie intake and step away from the bread, I’m finding I’m eating lots of eggs breakfastscrambled together with veggies, drinking tomato or V8 juice, and wrapping lunch meat with lettuce leaves. Making a salad for lunch feels like too much work, so I made a small batch of Creamed Cauliflower Soup this week to have with my little lettuce wraps and that’s been pretty wonderful.

I’m finding I’m not missing the pasta or rices at dinner, though I am happily making a single batch to serve with JB’s portion of dinner. Again, salads are feeling like a lot of work to not make, but EAT. So I’ve been tossing veggies into the pan along with the chicken or sauteing spinach to go with fish.

Tonight, I’m making my first batch of chili of the season!

What’s I’m Shaking My Head At

I attended a “Going Away” party for one of JB’s co-workers this Friday.  We’ve traveled together and he’s one of the guys that I’ve gotten a chance to know and just LIKE him. So I wanted an opportunity to say Goodbye before he left.

I am so grateful for the ability to travel with JB and meet his co-workers. I like to get a sense of the folks he spends so many hours with on a daily basis. I was grateful to meet folks I hadn’t met before and reacquaint myself with folks I’ve met but haven’t seen in ages.  To put faces with names.

What I didn’t like, though, was “THAT Group of Women”.  Not a single one of the ladies smiled at me nor spoke to me, even when I smiled and said hello. They looked me over head-to-toe, whispered with each other, and one poor gal about had whiplash from all her subversive glances as me. I could feel the waves of hostility and dislike.

What is it about some women that they have to be….judgmental, unfriendly, and hostile towards other women? Especially in this situation when I am a co-worker’s significant other…and am in no competition for good assignments or for the attention of any co-workers?

What the hell is that about? And who wants to put that kind of energy into the world??

What I Am Obsessing Over

Fall Television. I am so happy that there is new fall television to enjoy. The best tongue-in-cheek new show I’ve watched is Scream Queens on Fox and the best new Intrigue is NBC’s “Blindspot”.

What’s Really Floating My Boat

Writing letters is still a beautiful experience. I can’t wait to GET a letter and read it several times before I write writingincafeback…and the writing process is intimate and thoughtful. Like a conversation over drinks.

Book club was just delightful. Great discussion, delicious snacks, perfect fall evening (we sat outside on the patio) and so much laughter. A small group of us stayed until after 10:30.

The weather. After the goodbye party, we stopped for dinner on the way home and at al fresco at Brio. What a treat it is to sit outside and enjoy a nice meal. Good food, perfect company and great people watching.

And you know how I feel about JB, but it was nice to hear some of my thoughts reflected back to me by one of his coworkers. He told me how BRILLIANT JB is…and, I agree 😉

This week, I am determined to finish Make Your Inner Sex Kitten Roar, write some fresh content for my book, and get a solid beginning of a draft for the book.

We also have tickets to a fancy dinner Friday night, so I’m looking forward to getting all dressed up

What’s on tap for your week? What light can you shed on the “haters”? What IS up with some women? What are you eating?

The Weekly Round-Up

It’s been an intense week here for a lot of reasons. Don’t get me wrong and think that I’m complaining or calling it “bad”, it was a week full of multiple balls in the air for each of us. JB traveled back home on Saturday and it feels as if Coffee in The Netherlands, October 2014we barely had a weekend before it was full speed ahead into the week.

There was a management shift at his office recently, which has led to more meetings than normal and the new guy’s attitude that he must “fix everything – even if it isn’t broken”. That meant a mentally tired and sometimes frustrated JB at the end of the day and more than once, we were in bed before 8:30 rolled around.

As for my world, I blocked off writing and editing time almost every day last week. And not just “writing time” but appointments on my calendar for two hours on this project or two hours on that project. I made significant progress on each of my projects, but to be honest, I have created some mighty big deadlines for myself. Those deadlines have me feeling a little on edge and a little afraid and a lot empowered.

My What I’m Writing

I just wrapped a three-week series based on my personal history of keeping a journal: why keeping a journal is good, how I recovered from the betrayal of having my teenage journals not only read, but destroyed, and how to take care of yourself when you create new truths about yourself.  Though all of those pieces were written earlier in the month, I did a fairly heavy edit on this week’s piece, 10 Tips to Hasten Post Fire Recovery to the point that in some places, it felt as if I was writing it fresh again.

I got four drafts written this week. Two drafts for future articles for  YourTango, which I owe edits to my editor tomorrow.  One piece is about marriage and the other piece is about parenting a child with mental illness. The other  pieces – one about Being Busy (SO Busy) and another about being true to your own soul – are for my work blog.

I dusted off the outline for my memoir this week and begin laying out the structure of that book in Scrivener. I also create a draft of part of the forward.

I set a publication deadline for my other Work in Progress that’s a bit on the aggressive side, but logically makes a hell of a lot of sense. I spent most of my time organizing this, again in Scrivener. This project needs significant attention in the coming week.

What’s Happening with Work

One of the decisions I made in regards to my business in 2016 is to restructure how I offer my current courses.

ClearingBrainClutter_AdI am converting Make Your Inner Sex Kitten Roar to a fully downloadable, do-it-yourself course available beginning October 12, 2015, which means I need to get to editing, don’t I? Previously, I offered the material delivered via a weekly email.  Right now, I have all of the course material in Word just waiting to be combined and edited into one giant document.

Most of the courses in the 30 Days to Clarity family are also being moved from the email format to a downloadable workbook that can be purchased at any time. I committed to delivering the first version to current participants of the Fall courses as a bonus, so the first deadline is the Clearing Brain Clutter: Discovering Your Heart’s Desires to be delivered on September 8th. I have a rough version of the book completed and now it needs to be edited.

What I’m Reading

I’m still reading An Altar in the World, mostly in the mornings, though on occasion, I’ll read a bit from it before bed.  I go for a tiny dose each day, until I’m “full up”.

Fiction wise, I’m finishing NYPD Red 3. Taking the Master Class with James Patterson has shown me a whole ‘nother side of taking ideas and getting them in a publishable format, so to read what comes from that process always fascinates. Besides, Patterson and the writers he works with (Marshall Karp on this one) shows me how collaboration can be successful and a way to develop characters that are real.

This week, I skimmed Delicious!  I read it in June but refreshed my memory a bit before my book club meeting on Tuesday.

And last night, I finished reading A Vision in Velvet, pure cozy mind candy with lovable characters and little doses of humor. I enjoy Juliet Blackwell and am looking forward to her first “non-cozy” book coming in September, The Paris Key, which I’ve already pre-ordered.

What We’re Eating

I’m “off” cooking anything new, elaborate, or super involved right now, yet I’m desperately missing creating in the IMG_20150616_194211kitchen.  One of the simple facts of living is that I can’t do everything even when I want to, so I have to be honest with myself and admit that just to much of my creative energy being spent in the office that I just don’t have IT when dinnertime rolls around.

What that means is we’re having old standby meals that I ensure are healthy by choosing quality ingredients. Typical dinners this week have been oven roasted Wild Salmon or Wild Halibut served with grains and spinach, Dorothy Lane Market Salmon Patties on whole wheat buns with oven fries, or chicken sauteed in a pot with veggies – corn, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, spinach and onions.

I have to confess, though, that I’m hoping some new cookbooks come out this fall to inspire me to experiment.

What’s I’m Shaking My Head At

The new wave or Guru Preaching that routines mean you are doomed to be a boring individual. I love variety of life, but I know that taking the attitude of “just taking life as it comes” equals not “getting shit done”. Things like a healthy lifestyle, writing a book, creating change in your daily living all require solid and supportive routines. Yes, we gotta shake things up, but anyone that accomplishes true transformation does so with solid habits. Just sayin.

Because years of being a coach has shown me that most folks need help to establish new habits and they can’t create new ways of living, because frankly, how can you master anything if you don’t approach it with regularity and respect? That’s why I keep reminding myself that compassionate self-discipline is the key to really moving forward towards goals.   Yes, we need to shake things up and evaluate what’s not working, but to preach that the new gospel is no routines will make you happier just isn’t logical to me in any form.

Most people that transform their life do so through structure and a steadfast approach. They take small, but consistent action.

What happens when these glamorous and seemingly-have-it-all-together gurus preach this is that people believe that their answer to happiness lies in emulating their Guru’s life and then find they don’t get any lasting results.

Maybe my life – and my approach to life – is “boring” or seems mundane. But I can tell you I’ll take this loving, nourishing approach over the years of worshiping busy and having no foundational routines to help make move things from “idea” stage to real.

What’s Really Floating My Boat

I’ve begun a letter writing project with a friend. Sure, we could (and do) email, however, there is a different kind of intimacy in putting pen to paper and sharing what’s happening in my inner landscape. It’s helping me to get clear around a portion of my desires and goals, too.

The process of going from Writer to Author. It’s a mindset shift and has changed how I am approaching writing that isn’t immediately consumed.

Getting my eyebrows dyed. My hair is dark brown (and grey). My eyebrows? Blonde. Making my eyebrows the same color as my hair? Priceless!

My relationship with JB. It’s always floated my boat, so to speak, but in recent months I’ve been more San Diego 2014 (5)transparent with him around what I want long term when it comes to career and lifestyle. He’s getting more verbal around the same and has taken to remind me, often, because I need to hear it out loud, that no matter what I choose, he’s behind me 100%.

Having a partner that has my back, that’s willing to listen as I talk about what I want in five years and ten years and what needs to change in order for that to happen is completely new to me in my life experience.  I always dreamed about a love like that, but never really thought I would have it.

Happy Sunday.

Do you like reading this kind of weekly round up?

A Week from August Break 2015

Days 13 through 20

I have been knee deep in work this past week and my time at the keyboard has been spent either writing for work or hydrageas_fadingediting. Lots and lots of editing. I have gotten most of one of the projects into Scrivener and am happy with how that feels when it comes to organization.

On Wednesday, I spent way too long sitting. It was productive, but I got up from the desk feeling hunched up and tight in the shoulders and my back. I may need to start setting a timer to remind me to get up and STRETCH or move.

I wrote in the newsletter (which goes out tomorrow) about how hard this week has felt when it comes to the new morning routines. How easily I could have skipped my morning reading  (because I’m too busy) or skipped the 750 words (because it isn’t real words on paper).

I know the resistance is really about fear. What is going to happen when I do what I set out to do?

So, I get real with myself. I get compassionate. And I show up and do the work. There was a reason I shifted the mornings to include reading and morning pages. Because I need the structure and feel it gives.

Today will mean less time at the desk than usual. I have a haircut appointment and lunch scheduled with a friend afterwards. Oh, and groceries. We need groceries to survive the weekend ahead.

My goal for this weekend is a bit of a round-up kind of post here to share what I’ve been working on for the long-term for my business, those changes I am making as we make our way from 2015 to 2016.

In the meantime, my collection of August Break 2015 images for days 13 through 20.  (And Happy Friday)

Day 13 – Last Year

Day 14 – Favorite Smell

I wasn’t sure how to photograph this one, because I have so many favorite smells.

There is the smell of JB, fresh from the shower. The combination of his Coast soap and Old Spice Deodorant with the faint scent of fresh laundry and starch when I hug him goodbye in the mornings. And then, his end of the day scent, when the traces of Coast and Old Spice have faded a bit, the starch is a bit wilted, and there is the faint scent of Man Working.

I love the scent of cinnamon in the air. It’s warm and crunchy cinnamon toast or pumpkin bread baking.

And roses. Though old fashioned, I love rose scented talc or a lightly fragrant lotion with undertones of rose and bergamot in all it’s yumminess.

Day 15 – Art

Day 16 – Fire

Day 17 – Reading

Day 18 – Look Up

Day 19 – Sweet Delights

Day 20 – Two

in closing

Talismans, Love and Our Edges

My August Break Entries for Days 8 to 12

Some of these photos and their little descriptions stand on their own…..others have more of a story behind them.

Day Eight – Smooth

Day Nine – Earth


Day 10 – Talisman

The bookshelves in my office serve as my altar space. The books I love and/or refer to regularly rest alongside my journals (and a longish story on my professional blog about going back to writing on paper). And mixed in among the beloved words are sacred items.

If it has space for a candle, I use it. Each candle has a specific meaning to it, based on what the talisman or totem represents. Coming from a Catholic tradition, lighting candles is a prayer for me.

Before I begin working or meditation, I light one or more of the candles and focus in on that moment the match sparks and the wick catches the flame. I may say a few words, sending up an intention, a prayer, a gratitude.  I may light one candle or four or more or less depending on what’s to be done that day.

I don’t have a talisman that I wear around my neck or keep folded in my wallet. But I do have sacred objects that serve to remind me of different aspects of myself and the soul work I am called to do. The bookshelves in my office is my altar and each item placed there holds a sacred meaning or particular intention. The photo of JB and I watches over my #love and #partnership. A rose quartz, a butterfly from Valentine roses…and all the books that shifted and shaped how I came to understand simulates and lovers. The lantern – that I am tasked with and have a responsibility to shine a light into the darkness for others. The Buddha and a heart shaped stone – the reminder to tend my own soul and shine my inner light The stained glass mosaic – in honor of my guide…the constant reminder that I am never “alone” The day 10 prompt for #augustbreak2015 : #talisman

A photo posted by Debra Smouse (@debrasmouse) on

  Day 11 – Edge

There’s a very long story here about the sail and this boat and the ocean off the coast of Martinique. I have a lifelong fear of getting my head underwater. I don’t like water in my face and never have. Though I didn’t know it until I was in my teens, sometime during the first two weeks of my life I was dropped into the tub by accident. Our bodies remember those kinds of things even if our minds don’t hold real memories.

So, JB and I had signed up for this snorkeling and sailing excursion during our vacation ( a cruise) and when we got off the boat to swim over to the area to snorkel, I had a full-blown panic attack. JB got me calm, got me centered, and swam alongside me as I managed the panic and the fear and finally gave over to the pleasure of the sea….

Day 12 – Yellow

There are signs of autumn falling from my little Birch tree…. I share more about it in the final Summer Love Note tomorrow morning….

on Being a Better Custodian

I promised myself that 2015 would be the year that I focused on being a better custodian of myself and my life; it’s a word that feels more challenging than the hardest word of the past, the year I chose faith. It would be so easy to IMG_20140627_164705ignore (or pretend) that I am doing a bang-up job at becoming devoted to the myriad of ways I can nurture the areas of my life that need to be nurtured, yet to say so would be a lie.

I am a good lie detector when it comes to others, so there’s no sense in trying to lie to myself and say that I’ve done an awesome job so far. It’s been a daily struggle because the trio of Inner Furies (Critic, Fear and Doubt) have built a fortress in head.

What I know for fact, however, is that by choosing to write about it, I can better process and build my courage for battle, I thought taking electronic pen to paper would be more useful than even journaling. So, here’s a midyear update on some of the ways being a Custodian is surfacing this week.

When it comes to my body…

When JB got his blood work back from his physical, he was told his cholesterol is too high. We eat a fairly healthy diet and his good cholesterol was great (due to all the Olive Oil and Fish in our diet) but he still needed to lower the bad cholesterol. I’ve struggled with cholesterol myself and my next round of blood work isn’t until September. So, it would be good for both of us for me to get a little more serious about it.

I prepare every meal we consume so it was time to take a deeper look at what we’ve been eating and sure enough, there’s a lot of foods that can be cut out (goodbye bread every night) and I need to pay closer attention to the amount of fiber in our diet (hello oatmeal and more fruits and veggies).

And let’s be honest, being more aware of the meals I create for us as a family only lends to me putting healthier foods into my own body.

But the number one thing the Mayo Clinic says you can do to lower your cholesterol is exercise. So, it was time to put more effort into moving our bodies. When he lived in DC, he rode his bike about 20 miles several times a week, but our lifestyle here has gotten a bit more sedentary. We’re riding at least once over the weekend and trying to get to the pool to swim laps as well.

11038987_1069106339795790_7745881067331900848_nThough I can’t force him to exercise, I can certainly make sure that I get my own butt in gear. I’ve been out on the bike twice this week and out for a long walk twice. I’m learning that if I don’t get out of the house by 9 AM (on average) for some exercise then it just isn’t going to happen.

I felt my best when I was running a couple of days a week, meditating regularly, doing basic body-weight exercises (like push-ups)  and I need to work back up to that.

I’m not noticing a different number on the scale, however I feel better and am better able to manage my stress and my emotions when I exercise.

When it comes to my mind and soul…

I’ve been reading a lot this year. I hadn’t really bothered to keep track in the past of how many books I was actually reading, but I can tell you the the pace of reading has increased. I set an initial Goodreads Goal of 52 books this year and at present I am at 83, so this week I reset my goal for 2015 to be 147 books.  I am reading a lot of “cozy mysteries” because they are like comforting mind candy – a grown up Trixie Belden – and I’m enjoying them as balm for my mind and soul. I’m still reading a fair number of “Best Sellers” and books that feed my mind so that I am a better coach.

I’m also diving into well written TV. I’ve long been a fan of Major Crimes (a spinoff of TNT’s The Closer) as well Rizzoli and Isles. I’m also enjoying a new TNT Series, Proof, as well as a summer series on CBS, Zoo, which is based on one of James Patterson’s novels.

When it comes to my talents…and time…

Writing has been a challenge this year, yet all signs continue to point to the fact that I need to write. I’m feeling a lot of internal pressure to Write Something beyond my regular consumables for work, yet by the end of the week, I’m planningcalendar1exhausted creatively.

This is one of those weeks.

We are traveling tomorrow for ten days and I don’t want to spend all my time in the hotel working while JB is teaching; I want to get out and explore. I want to stand in Louisa May Alcott’s bedroom and walk to Walden Pond.I want to visit Curly Girl’s little shop and revel in her creativity.

That feels like a better use of my time than sitting in the hotel doing work. Or worse yet, distracting myself from working by scrolling through Facebook.

So, I doubled up my writing for work this week and, in addition to this week’s blog post  and newsletter, I have solid drafts for next week’s that just need to be edited. I also have two drafts in the hands of my YourTango editor that will publish in the next ten days.

To be honest, I’ve missed writing HERE. Well, not specifically here at “DebraLoves.Com, but writing in my own personal space without regard for needing to stay “on brand” or running my work through the software that penalizes me for using a passive voice. I’ve missed writing about the big and little things that create our lives.

In recent years, I’ve denied myself this regular space for writing, even when I most needed it. But like the blank pages of the sketch pads I use for journaling, I also need the blank canvas of the web and a personal space to write. To make it more inviting, I need to do a bit of design work here to go beyond the initial basics of the theme I installed.

When it comes to my business…and relationships

That my business needs to shift and evolve isn’t anything new. My business has always been an integrative part of my Fridayworkdaylife as well, whether I am coaching or writing. So that means it has to feed my satisfaction with my daily life just as much as my nourishing daily life inspires and feeds my business life.

I’ve been mulling over how to best manage the different facets of my business and how I want to bring forward each of my programs. I had a long talk with JB about how I am feeling and what I am desiring and where I’m frustrated. Having is support on Whatever I Decide To Do humbles me and sends me to my knees with prayers of gratitude as I’ve never had that kind of support until this relationship.

I had a great session with Theresa Reed yesterday, who is not just a wise woman, but wicked smart when it comes to managing an intimate business. It helped to walk through every piece of my business with someone else. I am an extrovert and that means that sometimes, I have to talk in order to think.

I’m not ready to announce my plans yet, but I will be soon. It will be necessary soon.

And on that note, it’s time to close the computer, hop in the shower and dive into the necessary pieces of my day. I have a hair appointment and need to make one last run to the grocery store before we leave. I have a book to finish so that I can return it to the library before we leave (Nemesis by Catherine Coulter).

I also need to finish the business pieces I want to set in place before this trip and will do so while JB is off working on a new venture for him. And, there’s that half empty suitcase waiting to be filled.

Here’s to a happy and loving rest of the weekend.


I was having lunch with  a girlfriend yesterday and the conversation, of course shifted to businesses. I am at that Flickr Creative Commons alysinwonderland baublesNext Step as I mentioned earlier and I’m not quite sure what direction to go.

In the past, that would have meant that I didn’t quite believe there was a NEXT step, just that I needed something to be different. I knew that I had the answers somewhere within my heart and soul, but there was zero clarity to unlock it.

These days, though, that isn’t my mindset.

I see a plethora of possibilities in my path forward.The sabbatical I took in April was a huge eye-opener for me that I am needing something MORE along with something LESS.   Sometimes, too many choices is more challenging than only a couple of choices.

This is where it gets tricky, because for creatives it’s so easy to choose the shiniest bauble.Often, we choose the shiniest bauble in a basket because it looks the prettiest. Then we discover that the shiny bauble isn’t real silver or gold; it gets its shine from cheap glue and glitter.

What I need in the next step is something that is beautiful, lovely and nourishing. Because the number one priority (ah, back to that word again, PRIORITY) is the quality of my daily life.  Shiny Bauble choices are for New Year’s Eve and One Time Events, because they don’t need to last and aren’t meant to be for the long run.

The shiniest bauble doesn’t produce the best quality of living day after day because it’s not something that’s sustainable, and frankly, it isn’t something I desire to sustain.

It’s taken a lot of years to come face to face with the fact that though I am passionate and excitable, I love peace.

I used to believe that life could only be fulfilling if there was drama and excitement, until I got a taste of a life that had a different kind of excitement. And that excitement is finding the peace and perfection in ordinary, every day moments.

Life is truly a grand adventure, I just hadn’t understood that adventure was to be discovered in sharing coffee with JB while the birds serenaded us. And that we could ALSO have the OTHER kind of adventure of experiencing beaches and sail boats and ancient ruins and historic homes. I thought it had to be and either / or situation.

I have created the kind of personal life that rewards me with those moments in my daily life, but to allow it’s growth and sustain it, my business world is going to have to shift.

I wish I could say that this little ramble has allowed me to discover exactly what IT is, but the possibilities lay before me still.Well, except that super glittery possibility. It’s definitely lost it’s shine.

Glittery Bauble Image by Alys Perry via Flckr Creative Commons

100 Days of Fiction: I Stopped at Day 30

The acknowledgement that yes, I stopped working on the 100 Days Project after Day 30 is hard to ‘fess up to. I’d love white-pento share the reasons why it stopped, but anything I say about it would be excuses.

The truth of the matter is: I began to judge my results. Writing a fictional sentence on a sheet of paper and photographing it became a boring series of photos with no “artistic” value. I looked at all the other 100 Day projects and saw how, frankly, boring mine was.

Comparison is a tricky thing for all of us.

I know…life coaches are expected to show how perfectly we do things while we express and share how all out fabulous  our life is so that people will want to work with us.

The thing is, I am human. Yes, I am an amazing coach, but that doesn’t mean I am perfect. My view on being a coach, though, it that just like I share all the ways that my life is nourishing and loving, I need to also occasionally express a bit of the vulnerable underbelly of living, too.

To share only the sunny side of living would be outside of my personal integrity and authenticity.

Though the daily writing of fictional sentences stopped feeling motivational to me, it doesn’t mean that my desire for creating fiction tales has left me. I have stories within me waiting to make their way into the light, but for now, they are hiding in the recesses of my brain awaiting their turn to become a priority.

Ah, priorities. A bit of a topic change, and yet, not.

I am at the year five mark of my full time coaching practice and all signs are pointing to the need for me to restructure things a bit. I am not yet sure what that will look like, but it’s time to take a step back, take stock, and make some decisions about where I want to put my time and energy.

Like the stories in my head, different ways of approaching my business world are twirling around in my brain. Unlike the stories, though, these ideas are begging to be put into action in the near future. Because of everything that eats away at this precious time, the priority is still on a well lived, loving and nourishing daily life.