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Dream, Create, Inspire!

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Empowerment
Dream, Create, Inspire!

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MIRACLE MOMENT®

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will.” George Bernard Shaw


A MESSAGE FROM FOUNDER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CYNTHIA BRIAN

Cynthia Brian- HappyA big part of our mission at Be the Star You Are!® is to help our volunteers and all those we connect with to realize their greatness. I am a firm believer that we can achieve anything when we are willing to work hard, be dedicated to learning, find a support person, go into action, and believe in ourselves and all the possibilities. Each of us will fail many times on our path towards living our destiny. Failure is fertilizer. It grows a new garden. No one has ever been created with your exact combination of gifts, talents, strengths, and dreams. Each of us is unique and that is our most treasured value. There is no reason to mimic another. Be yourself, your unapologetically authentic self!

This month we highlight a few of the 2022 five-star comments posted about Be the Star You Are!® at Great Non Profits. Visit the web site at  https://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc to read more.

Until then, enjoy spring and celebrate you!  Imagine and Create!

With gratitude,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504


EARTH GRATITUDE FESTIVAL SUCCESS

Three volunteers from Be the Star You Are!® were featured in the international Earth Gratitude Festival held the weekend of Earth Day. We are grateful to have been included in this very important celebration of our beautiful planet. Watch the short films and original poetry included.

Cynthia Brian: Nature is My Cathedral: https://youtu.be/ur4Ofo0P9EI

Ruhani Chhabra: Shall Grandma Tell You: https://youtu.be/7x0LUVjEofs

Sharanya Roy: A Token of Gratitude: https://youtu.be/EX7luxhWGnU 

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Helpig HandMAY POSSIBILITIES

by Karen Kitchel

“All things seem possible in May”
Edwin Way Teale

May is a month when the opportunities for random acts of kindness expand. Our walks in the park give us a chance to acknowledge everyone we pass by. With the return of many events, we see possibilities to volunteer for new causes or those we may have forgotten about.

Your simple message of appreciation might be what a stranger remembers about this month of May.

Karen Kitchel who penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, is the Kindness Coordinator volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. www.scatteringkindness.com


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OTHER NEWS

Sharanya Roy received the second prize for one of her poems in the Young Writers Contest – Mt. Diablo Chapter (https://cwcmtdiablo.org/2022-ywc-winners/) and she was selected to represent the Russian School of maths in Berkeley Mini Math Tournament for Middle Schoolers around the world (https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~bmt/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Bmmt22-results.pdf. Her dad wrote us “Being part of  “Be the Star you Are “has been an amazing experience since the moment we joined and Sharanya is lucky to be part of it. It is also motivating her to do more in all aspects of her life.”

Sharanya-STAR Simon ryan Magic Show

The free Virtual Wonders Magic Show with Irish magician, Simon Ryan, was a huge success. Simon’s magic was astounding and everyone was mesmerized. It was an interactive activity for all ages and a definite crowd pleaser. We are looking forward to having Simon do a return performance in late fall. Stay tuned for the info as you will want to gather your friends and participate.

Read our blog for the latest news! https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1


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2022-top-rated-awards-badge-embedPEOPLE ARE TALKING!

Visit Great Non Profits to read what volunteers, benefactors, and others are saying about Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity. https://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc 

“Joining BTSYA was one of the greatest decisions I made. In the past year, I have learned important life skills, gotten the opportunity to share my voice, and met so many amazing new people..” Diya

“Teen talk radio is a supportive environment that I feel safe to share my opinions in. Anyone who joins teen talk radio will have the ability to uncover their passion, learn valuable life skills, and make real connections.” Rose

“Volunteering for Be The Star You Are has been a highlight in my life. Any young person should volunteer…It’ll change your life!” Ruhani

“I just joined Be The Star You Are, and the first experience was amazing.” Kirpa

“ I cannot be more honored to have worked with Be The Star You Are these past two decades. There is no better-run, mission-first nonprofit in the literacy sphere than Be The Star You Are.” Terry

“Such a dedicated and passionate non-profit org run by Cynthia and the team. Cynthia has brought an amazing sense of empowerment and motivation to the young teens like my daughter.” Cipa

“BE THE STAR YOU ARE, is one of the most impactful and important non-profits! I have been volunteering with BTSYA for 20+ years. The community outreach and involvement they create is so impressive. If anyone is looking to get involved with an organization that will not only change your life, but positively influence the lives of others, join BE THE STAR YOU ARE!!!” Heather


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HELP CONTINUE THE POSITIVE WORKS! DONATE TODAY!BTSYA-Banner-Logo copy


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OUR INTERNATIONAL RADIO BROADCASTS!

Both Radio showsBe empowered, motivated, energized, informed and amused.

Truthful, heartfelt, and engaging topics and guests!
LIVE on Wednesdays from 4-5pm PT, be entertained, informed, amused, and educated on StarStyle-Be the Star You Are!. Then be inspired and motivated on

Sundays from 3-4pm PT, it’s Express Yourself! Teen Radio with our Be the Star You Are! star teen hosts and reporters.
 
VISIT https://www.StarStyleRadio.com for our line-up of topics and guests.


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SIMPLE WAYS TO HELP!

We have suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials.
1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

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2. Discounted books at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

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3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

4. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

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5. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks and books at StarStyle® Store: http://www.starstylestore.net/

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6. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4



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Create, inspire, make a difference!

Be Your Unapologetically Authentic Self! You already are a STAR!

 
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2022 candid-seal-platinum-pngSupport Be the Star You Are! with Confidence.

 
Be the Star You Are! ® 501 c3 charity
PO BOX 376
Moraga, Ca. 94556


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Digging Deep with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian in May

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Empowerment
Digging Deep with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian in May

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By Cynthia Brian 

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to live on this beautiful and astonishing Planet Earth. In the morning, I woke up with a sense of gratitude.” –Earl Nightingale

In California, May reigns as one of the most colorful months of the year. Mother Nature has fully awakened from lingering winter doldrums to burst into bloom. The radiant combination of lush green lawns against cheerful vignettes of glowing, flowing flowers, trees, and shrubs is mesmerizing. Beauty, fragrance, and food beckon from every direction.

With appreciation, I awake each morning and fall asleep each night to the lullabies from a multitude of songbirds. Pollinators are busy buzzing from nectar plants to other food sources signaling a healthy garden environment. The succession of blossoms changes daily from spring bulbs to robust roses; bright bearded iris to sprouted seeds scattered last fall. 

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May is the optimum time to plant annuals, vegetables, and herbs together in a potager garden. By combining a medley of edibles and florals, biological pest control is ignited providing plants to protect one another and be a shelter for beneficial insects. Nasturtium, calendula, and marigolds are the colorful workhorses attracting hungry caterpillars and blackflies away from brassicas and beans. Garlic planted between roses, lettuce, potatoes, or even fruit trees will keep the aphids, Japanese beetles, and ermine moths at bay. Parsley attracts pollinators and protectors of tomatoes. Mint deters ants and aphids but make sure to plant in a pot as mint can overtake an entire garden. Before planting, weed thoroughly, enrich the soil with compost or add new soil, and rotate crops to maintain vigor while producing greater yields.

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Jerusalem star, also known as go-to-bed early, vegetable oyster, or salsify is considered an invasive weed in some areas, but this dandelion-related plant is a forgotten beloved Victorian-era edible that tastes like an oyster and grows like a carrot. Its yellow-flowering relative is named goats beard. The taproot grows to twelve inches into the ground. Harvest with care to not break the root. In the kitchen, salsify is versatile and delicious in soups, stews, bisques, casseroles, or grated like beets in a salad for a fresh seafood/artichoke flavor. The entire plant has been used medicinally. 

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Be cautious of poisonous plants invading your vegetable garden. Poison hemlock is everywhere and is deadly if ingested. The pretty plant displays lacy and fernlike leaves with very delicate white flowers. A member of the carrot family, it is often mistaken for Queen Anne’s lace, a less- lethal specimen. The best way to identify poison hemlock is to look at the stems which have red or purple spots or streaks. Its most poisonous alkaloid is coniine which causes complete respiratory collapse. Only mechanical or artificial ventilation can save someone who has ingested poison hemlock. Wear gloves and a mask to dig out the root. Don’t weed whack it or burn it as small particles could be inhaled. Socrates drank hemlock tea as his preferred method of dying. 

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The yellow blooms of the elderberry tree signal spring’s arrival, and people need to be aware of the toxicity of this beautiful tree. The stems, seeds, leaves, bark, and roots are all poisonous to humans containing a cyanide-inducing glycoside. The blue-black berries are safe to eat only after boiling for at least twenty minutes. Elderberry jam and wine are popular and include major health benefits.

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Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, a spectacularly beautiful biennial plant, is extremely attractive to children and every part of it is lethal to humans. Compounds from this plant are used in heart medicines. Since they grow tall, five to seven feet tall, plant them at the back of a flower garden and keep them out of your kitchen garden.

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Besides getting my potager and vegetable garden installed, my latest fun spring project has been creating a living wall garden by using a decorative frame from Nature Hills Nursery that features a built-in watering tray and a reservoir for drainage. This instant wall planter is a step up from the DYI picture frame with chicken wire-filled moss that I designed several years ago. I added potting soil to the portrait garden, arranged a variety of succulents, attached a found turkey feather, watered, and hung it on the exterior of my house in the sunshine as a growing art piece. 

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Every day I am immersed in gratitude for the wonders of Mother Earth as I watch the procession and succession of nature’s bounty. Walk gently through your garden to enjoy the miraculous magic of May. 

The Goddess Gardener’s Gardening Guide for May

ü  FERTILIZE: If you haven’t already, fertilize trees, shrubs, rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, lawns, and ground covers while the days are warm, and the evenings are cool. 

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ü  FEED indoor plants

ü  BAIT for snails and slugs that will damage new seedlings with organic Sluggo. The active ingredient is iron phosphate. Corry’s Slug and Snail Killer contains 5% sodium ferric Exceda that is safe for pets and people and can be used on edibles. After eating the bait, these gastropods slink to their hiding places to die. Because both male and female mollusks lay eggs, one slug or snail can contribute to thousands of these pests terrorizing crops if not eradicated. 

ü  SPRAY roses, crape myrtle trees, and ground cover susceptible to aphids and fungal diseases.

ü  DEADHEAD roses as the petals fade to encourage continuous blooming.

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ü  PLANT annuals and perennials including zinnia, salvia, calibrachoa.

ü  ELIMINATE standing water from gutters, old tires, or saucers to reduce the breeding of mosquitoes.

ü  TRANSPLANT small trees, including fruit trees such as nectarine or avocado to the desired area. 

ü  MOW tall wild grass to three inches or less as a fire defensible space.

ü  COMBINE edibles and flowers in a kitchen garden with a variety of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beets, squash, garlic, parsley, borage, nasturtium, calendula, roses, and marigolds.

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Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. 

Photos and more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1606/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Spring-succession.html

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

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Buy copies of her books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD and special savings.

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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April Showers Bring May Flowers

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Empowerment
April Showers Bring May Flowers

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By Cynthia Brian

 

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” William Shakespeare

If experiencing rain in a dry season doesn’t put a spring in our step, what will? After months of no precipitation, finally, in April we experienced a few showers.  A critical ingredient of California’s water supply, the Sierra snowpack is less than 40% from its peak. The drought will be with us this summer and fall but these mid-spring storms will deliver May flowers. 

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Jasmine is the delightful scent permeating the air, especially after a rain shower. The intoxicating perfume is rejuvenating. I grow jasmine throughout my landscape, various vines twining up trees. Multiple colors of bearded iris tender their brilliance in the middle of my hillside, where, after the rainfall, new weeds sprout. Proliferating is Herb Robert geranium, a fragrant weed that is pretty when small yet suffocating to other plants when full-grown. The positive aspect of this weed is that it is very easy to pull out by the roots when the soil is moist. Weeds shooting up on my gravel paths demand attention. 

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Bulbs and rhizomes are the ultimate celebrities of my garden. Once planted, I forget about them until they burst into bloom, a welcome surprise especially when other plants are failing.  If you are a beginner gardener, I highly recommend indulging in bulbs for all seasons. Most require little maintenance or effort with minimal water while providing maximum results. Some of my perennial favorites that are available in hues of white, pink, purple, yellow, and mixed colors include calla lily, gladiolus, oriental lily, bearded iris, Asiatic lily, dahlia, anemone, and naked lady. 

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The April showers also brought a swath of wild onions or more accurately, A. triquetrum three- cornered leek. The invasive, yet edible wild field garlic and three-cornered leek boast delicate white bell-shaped flowers with a distinct onion aroma. If they are growing in your landscape, enjoy them as in culinary dishes as you would chives or green onions, albeit with a stronger flavor. If you are not a fan of garlic or onions and you have these growing in your garden, it can be almost impossible to eradicate an abundant population. Also, be aware that there are other toxic species of flowers that resemble the tree-cornered leek including death camas or death lily. All parts of that plant are poisonous. The best safety method in differentiation is to only eat a plant that looks and smells like garlic or onion.

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Another edible weed that I cultivate is mustard. Young mustard greens are delicious sautéed with onions, garlic, and olive oil or added to soups, salads, sandwiches, and stews. The flavor is snappy and hot. 

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Roses are already in glorious bloom. Rose petals can be added to baths as well as salads if they have not been treated with chemicals. With Mother’s Day around the corner, perhaps you’d like to present your mom with a gift of roses? 

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These young sprouts encourage us to embrace the spirit of youth as we march into May! A heartfelt shout out to every Mom! You are our nurturers, teachers, and consolers. Happy Mother’s Day! 

Goddess Gardener Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for May

 

COMPLY with Moraga Orinda Fire district mandates by creating a defensible space around your home. Requirements include:

·      trimming trees to maintain a six-foot vertical clearance from the roof line.

·      removing hazardous vegetation.

·      clearing debris from gutters and roofs.

·      maintaining a two-foot non-combustible space around structures.

·      remove fire laddering fuels by trimming trees to eight feet above the ground.

·      cut grass to three inches or less in height.

·      remove dead or dying trees and shrubs.

·      the compliance deadline is June 1st!

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SPRAY your barbecue grill with white vinegar then scrub with half an onion to clean the grates and get ready for outside dining.

BUFF your garden tools by plunging them in a five-gallon bucket of sand mixed with a cup of vegetable oil. The sand will keep them sharper and the oil wards off rust. Small hand tools can be stored in the sand bucket. 

PLANT frost tender plants as the weather warms towards the end of the month. Ground covers, citrus, bougainvillea, and summer annuals are available for purchase. 

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SOW seeds of scarlet runner bean, sweet peas, or morning glories to climb on fences and wire. 

CUT back the dying leaves of narcissi and daffodils if the fronds are dry and crunchy. If still green, wait another month.

SNIP a few tendrils of blooming jasmine. Add them to a vase for an enchanting fragrance that will permeate your house.

BAIT the snails and slugs, pick them off by hand, use copper barriers, or bowls of beer. These slimy crawlers will devour new seedlings.

BUY ladybugs from your nursery or garden center only if you see aphids or other pests on your plants. Remember ladybugs fly to infested gardens. 

WEED, weed, weed. Because of the spring rains, weeds are ubiquitous, yet easy to pull. If they don’t have seed heads, add pulled weeds to your compost pile.

FERTILIZE lawns, trees, shrubs, and ground cover plants.

TREAT roses organically to repel aphids and fungal diseases.

SPRAY evergreen pear trees and crape Myrtle trees to treat for and prevent fungal diseases including mildew and leaf spot.

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BUY a red rose to show your love for your mother or anyone’s mom on Mother’s Day. 

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Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

Photos and more:

https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1605/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-April-showers.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy copies of her books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD and special savings.

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Cynthia Brian books banner.jpg

Celebrate Earth Day with the Earth Gratitude Festival

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Empowerment
Celebrate Earth Day with the Earth Gratitude Festival

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EARTH GRATITUDE
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MIRACLE MOMENT®

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to live on this beautiful and astonishing Planet Earth. In the morning, I woke up with a sense of gratitude.” –Earl Nightingale



A MESSAGE FROM FOUNDER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CYNTHIA BRIAN

Cynthia Brian-Earth Gratitude 2Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22, 2022 and Be the Star You Are!® is thrilled to be contributing to the international Earth Gratitude Festival showcasing such illuminates as the Dalai Lama, Prince Charles, Jane Goodall, Elon Musk, Deepak Chopra, Ariana Huffington and many others.  Two of our teen volunteers and radio reporters, Ruhani Chhabra and Sharanya Roy have had their short films along with their original poetry selected to be part of the festival. My short film, Nature is our Cathedral, is also part of the line-up. Having been born and raised on a farm, and heralding from a long line of farmers and stewards of the earth, taking part in a festival that honors our beautiful planet resonates with my soul. On Friday and Saturday, April 22 and 23rd, you can participate for FREE in this wondrous virtual party celebrating Mother Earth. Sign up now for free gifts and empowerment messages at www.EarthGratitude.org.

On Saturday, April 23, 2022 at noon PT, Be the Star You Are!® hosts a FREE magical treat for the entire family with the Virtual Wonders Show with leading Irish magician Simon Ryan. Again, it is FREE, but you do need to register to participate. More information at www.BetheStarYou.org or sign up by emailing your name to thestarsworkshop@gmail.com. You will be sent a ZOOM link. The show will be about 40 minutes long allowing you time to go out into nature to play.

Everyone here at Be the Star You Are!® continues to support Ukraine and condemn Russia in this criminal and unjust war. All power and glory to Ukraine. Color us yellow and blue.

Happy spring and we hope to see you at the Earth Gratitude Festival and also the Virtual Wonders Magic Show.

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504


CELEBRATING MOTHER EARTH

This Earth Day, join the Earth Gratitude Festival and connect with a community of Planet-Conscious humans looking to survive and thrive in the days ahead! 

Inspiring messages from H.H. The Dalai Lama, SIA, Ed Begley Jr., a Kid’s Corner, Film Festival, free gifts & a few surprise special guests!

Don’t miss the panels of experts talking about the Future of Earth and the Future of Humanity where you’ll hear amazing inquiries about where we’re headed.

Register early to get your spot absolutely free! 


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FREE VIRTUAL WONDERS MAGIC SHOW on April 23, NOON PT 

Direct from the Emerald Isle, one of Ireland’s premiere professional magiciansSimon Ryan, will perform an interactive FREE virtual magic show for all ages. You’ll be entertained with card tricks, comedy, and mind reading fun.  FREE, virtually, on Zoom. Be part of the fun. Tell your friends and family to sign up now! One Day Only!

Info and Register for FREE
Email registration: thestarsworkshop@gmail.com 
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EARTH GRATITUDE FESTIVAL

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LISTEN TO OUR RADIO BROADCASTS CELEBRATING EARTH DAY!

Tune in to StarStyle® Radio with Cynthia Brian and Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio with both Ruhani and Sharanya as co-founder of the Earth Gratitude Festival, Natalie Pace, shares the inspiration to honor our Earth.


Thank you for supporting Be the Star You Are!®
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Celebrate Mother Earth with Gratitude!


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Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3

P.O. Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
 
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Seeds or Starts?

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Empowerment
Seeds or Starts?

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“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

No matter how many springs I’ve encountered, I am forever awed and amazed at the bursting of blossoms and the beauty of the lush landscapes. Every year I find myself reiterating how much I adore this wondrous season. A fever warms the air, one that encourages me to weed, seed, feed, plan, and plant. Are you feeling this same urge to indulge in outdoor projects?

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Before you go to your local nursery or garden center to shop, take photos of your yard and patio. Make a tentative plan of what projects you’d like to tackle. Peruse a catalog to find photos and descriptions of plants that you think will shine in your garden. Do you want to buy seed packets or are you planning on buying starts? It pays to know what plants grow best when seeds are scattered and what plants will do better when they are purchased either in six-packs, flats, gallons, or larger.

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SOWING SEEDS

It is possible to buy seeds for almost any plant, however, not all seeds will sprout successfully. Over the years, I have found the following flowers, herbs, and vegetables do well when planted by seed.

Flowers

Calendula

Hollyhock

Marigold

Nasturtium

Nigella

Zinnia

Sunflower

Cosmos

Bachelor’s Button       

Four O’clock

Columbine

California Poppy

Shasta Daisy

Coneflower

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Vegetables and Herbs

Beet

Radish

Arugula

Swiss Chard

Kale

Carrot

Bean

Pea

Lettuce

Spinach

Sorrel

Corn

Turnip

Mustard

Pumpkin

Chive

Parsley

Chervil

Chamomile

Dill

Fennel

Cilantro

Lemon Balm

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Other than cherry tomatoes, I have never had success growing tomatoes from seed. Cucumber and zucchini have done better in my potagers by sowing starts. Most weeds are spread by seeds including the pretty when small, Herb Robert geranium. The aroma of this lime green weed with the tiny pink petal flowers is pleasing, but it needs to be pulled as soon as possible as it is invasive. A cover crop that I seed in fall is vetch. Vetch fixes nitrogen in the soil and is good in both sunny and shady locations, however, if not managed properly, you’ll spend many hours untangling to dig it into the soil.

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Before you depart for the nursery, write a list of what you are seeking, and know that once you arrive, your shopping dreams may take a deep detour. You’ll be tempted by the magnificent selections the nursery offers. It’s up to you to know the conditions of your landscape…where it is sunny, shady, rocky, moist, dry, flat, or hilly. Will you be planting in containers or planting directly in the ground? Pay careful attention to the tags on the plants you are considering. They provide an enormous amount of useful information that can help you determine if this plant is correct for your garden. If there is a Q code, scan it to find out additional instructions. Buy only what you can put in the ground within two or three days. You don’t want your new purchases to remain in pots longer than necessary. I am very guilty of buying too much at one time instead of making multiple trips. 

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Another important tip is to determine the container size of each flower, herb, vegetable, shrub, or tree that you will purchase. If you are a person that demands instant gratification and you don’t want to wait for a specimen to grow to its full potential, or you don’t have the time to let the plant grow, buy the largest container. You will pay a premium, but perhaps this purchase could be worth the extra cost to you to have immediate coverage. On the other hand, if you are the patient type as I am and time is not of the essence, purchase the smallest container. It will be less expensive and with time, your plant will be as large or larger than ones available in larger sizes. With annuals, it may behoove you to buy larger sizes, although I am a big fan of buying six-packs and flats. When buying a shrub of any size, look for full and dense leaf formation. Plant health is important. The pot should not be root bound. Healthy roots are white, not gray, or mushy.

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I learned an important lesson in planting trees many years ago when I was designing my backyard. As my central focal point, I wanted a magnolia tree that boasts beautiful white blooms attractive to pollinators. I bought the biggest tree that I could find. It was approximately ten feet tall in a huge container that was so heavy it took three people to manage it.  I paid a fortune, but at the time, felt the cost assured me my desired outcome. That same week, my mother gave me a six-inch tall sapling in a quart pot. I planted it at the back of my garden, believing that it would never become a large tree. Within three years, both trees were the exact same size, and now, three decades later, my mother’s magnolia gift is double the size of my purchase. Both are beautiful, but the free sapling is dramatic!

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Easter and Passover arrive with spectacular spring showers of flowers highlighted by tulips, wisteria, bluebells, azaleas, flowering trees, and the fruity fragrances of lilac, hyacinth, and jasmine. Pick a bouquet from your garden to celebrate these sacred holidays.

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No matter whether you spring into spring with seeds or starts, just do it!

 

FREE APRIL EVENTS NOT TO BE MISSED

Honor Mother Earth on Friday, April 22 by tuning in to the Earth Gratitude Virtual Festival live-streamed at https://www.unify.org. Two of my Be the Star You Are!® volunteers who are reporters on Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio as well as myself have featured videos. Esteemed contributors include the Dalai Lama, Jane Goodall, Prince Charles, Elon Musk, Deepak Chopra, and others. Together we will celebrate our planet.

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On Saturday, April 23 at noon, enjoy a FREE Virtual Wonders Magic Show crafted for the entire family with a renowned Irish magician. Although the interactive show is FREE, you do have to register to receive the ZOOM link. More info at https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org. Or email thestarsworkshop@gmail.com 

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Wishing you a hippity hoppity Easter and a peaceful Passover. Enjoy an amazing April with your family.

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Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Stand in Solidarity with Ukraine.

Photos: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1604/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Spring-shopping-Seeds-or-starts.html

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

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Buy copies of her books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD and special savings.

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Spring into Solidarity

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Empowerment
Spring into Solidarity

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By Cynthia Brian 

“Lose yourself in nature and find peace.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Between the pandemic, the Russian-Ukrainian war, and, for me, a frightening family medical emergency, 2022 has been tumultuous and tough. Everyone is feeling the pain regardless of any city, county, or country residence. Anxiety and stress mount daily as news of the world become ever desperate, depressing, and diabolical.

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Increased research indicates that nature-based activities are an excellent therapeutic intervention to ease our mental and physical stress. Whether it is a walk in the park, forest-bathing, hugging a tree, smelling the jasmine, or weeding your garden, taking a break with the beauty of the natural environment is an essential element in keeping us well. Listening to bird songs, the croaking of frogs, the lapping of waves, or the trickling of a fountain all have positive effects on our health. We’ll lower our blood pressure and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol as we awaken our senses outdoors.

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Standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, I continue to embrace the colors of blue and yellow. Perhaps because I’m looking for those colors, they seem to be everywhere, and I am shooting photos. This week I’m enjoying the tiny, starred cerulean of Blue-Eyed grass as well as the ubiquitous buttery blooms on freesia. Marsh rosemary (Limonium, sea lavender), nasturtiums, and sedum carpet hillsides and paths reminding me of the courage of the Ukrainians. I hiked a trail around an Emeryville harbor to soak in the water views and inhale the fresh sea air, while marveling at the spectacular cobalt plumes of Pride of Madeira (echium fastuosom) and the sky blues of California lilac (ceanothus). My mood instantly improved. 

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Being in nature fosters resilience as well as encourages awe and wonder. Nature is restorative to body, mind, and spirit. Spring is here and the ground is bursting with new life. Trees unfurl luxuriant leaves, bulbs bloom in a kaleidoscope of colors, and fruit trees, including apple, pear, crabapple, and cherry are bursting with buds. This is the perfect season to plant peace.

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I’ve planted three avocado trees that have been nurtured from a pit. A dwarf navel orange has been added to my citrus grove which is buzzing with bees sucking on the sweet nectar. Since I added new nutrient soil last season to my garden, there are numerous weeds. Pulling those weeds is time-consuming, yet it allows me to let my mind wander, relaxing enough to assist in solving challenges. Once my hillside is free of unwanted plants, I will begin to sow seeds of “pretties”, flowering annuals that will bring me joy and tranquility.

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If you are looking for seeds that will grow in our region, visit the Moraga Library where the Moraga Garden Club has installed a FREE seed library. The public is invited to take up to five packs of seeds and if you want to donate seeds to this marvelous outreach project, you are invited to do so.

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It’s not too late to plant roses and since peace is what everyone wants and deserves, consider planting the beautiful Peace Rose. It will brighten your garden and your heart.

As I lose myself in nature to find peace, I recall the words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 

“One day the people of the world will want peace

so much that the governments will have to get out

of their way and give it to them.”

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I think that time is now! 

Peace be with you.

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for April

 

ü  EMPTY vessels of standing water as mosquitoes are already breeding. For fountains and birdbaths, clean the water regularly or add drops of bleach or mosquito dunks.

ü  REMOVE deep-rooted weeds such as dandelions from your garden by hand. 

ü  DECREASE the spread of crabgrass by applying a pre-emergent that keeps seeds from germinating.

ü  HARVEST the tender leaves of wild mustard, arugula, purslane, and dandelion. Add to salads and sandwiches for a surprising snap.

ü  AERATE your lawn to improve the absorption of moisture and fertilizer before reseeding.

ü  PICK UP dropped camellia blooms to deter petal blight.

ü  REFRAIN from cutting back daffodils until they are as crisp as a cracker. They need to replenish the nutrients to the bulb for next year’s floral explosion.

ü  CUT small branches of crabapple or redbud to bloom in a vase on your nightstand. 

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Research indicates that individuals with the brightest outlook and happiest attitudes keep blooms bedside. 

ü  FERTILIZE lawns and shrubs.

ü  SCATTER snail bait to protect new shoots from the crawlers. 

ü  VISIT your local nursery to buy intriguing plants that will increase the attractiveness of your landscape and improve your temperament.

ü  LOSE yourself in nature and find peace.

ü  SUPPORT Ukraine.

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Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy Spring!

Photos and more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1603/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Plant-for-Peace.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy copies of her books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD and special savings.

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Standing for Freedom and Support of Ukraine

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Empowerment
Standing for Freedom and Support of Ukraine

 

 

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SUPPORT FREEDOM! STAND WITH UKRAINE!
 
A MESSAGE FROM FOUNDER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CYNTHIA BRIAN

 

For several weeks now, we have witnessed a deranged madman targeting innocent civilians in their homes, schools, hospitals, and shelters in an effort to illegally and forcefully conquer the sovereign nation of Ukraine. All but a handful of countries have denounced the former KGB operative, Putin, in his mission to scorch the earth. Zelensky, the President of Ukraine is the hero leading his country to fight for freedom, never giving up and never giving in. The Russian people are being lied to while Ukraine is the shield of Europe.

Pre-1991, I spent two months in a study program designed to work with the artistic community behind “The Iron Curtain”. The trip turned out not to be a lesson in freedom of expression as I soon found out, but a study of manipulation and indoctrination. My fantasy of artists working in harmony and with a free spirit was quickly crushed. We went to the museums, circuses, theater, ballet, and gymnastic competitions, but the happy exchange of artistic ideas was nonexistent. The only beauty I witnessed was pre-1917. The cities were gray, the sky was gray, the clothing was gray, the sugary tea was gray. Life was dismal and gray. People cued in long lines for everything. Everyone appeared forlorn and beaten down. It appeared that anything pleasurable was forbidden to the common citizen. Gray seemed to be the national color in the USSR, with an occasional welcome flash of a fuchsia babushka.

After two months behind the “Iron Curtain,” I knew how appropriate the name was. It was impenetrable. Human emotions and ambitions were crushed in the name of an ideal. Life might have been egalitarian, but it was miserable, merely existence. Citizens performed the jobs they were assigned at preset wages and could not move around or leave the country.

America is not perfect – no country is. America is a work-in-progress, a country constantly struggling to balance rights with responsibilities and to maintain a level of freedom and justice for all. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to be born in a land that allows me the ability to travel the world, witnessing the cultures and lifestyles of other nations, and then to return to a country that welcomes my expression. Yes, I am proud to be an American!

And I am proud to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people . The world cannot allow the war criminal Putin to return any part of the world to the days of the Iron Curtain.  Freedom is never free. We must fight for it.

Support and STAND in Solidarity with Ukraine.

Sending strength to our friends flying yellow and blue.

Praying for peace,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

READ

Boots on the Ground with blooms for the brave.  Spring into solidarity with Ukraine by planting or arranging flowers in colors of yellow and blue. http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1602/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Boots-on-the-ground.html

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SPOTLIGHT ON NEW TEEN REPORTER, KEVIN CHOO

Kevin Choo is a sophomore at Amador Valley High School. His favorite subjects are Math, Computer Science, and Biology. In addition, he enjoys playing badminton and reading books. He speaks Korean, English, and French. He was taught the first two from birth since he is of Korean descent but was born in the U.S.A., while the last is from an elective class he is taking. He has lived in Pleasanton, California his entire life but has traveled to several places for summer vacations, with his personal favorite being Switzerland. He is relatively introverted and turtle-like, so unless he is contacted or prodded first, he tends to be holed up in the shell he calls his room. His favorite type of day is when it’s raining, and he is free for the entire day. That way, he can stay cozy in his room, reading a good book or watching YouTube while listening to the pattering of the rain. He is also fairly absent-minded or air-headed most of the time, but very efficient when he puts his mind to something.| His segment on Express Yourself is A.I. and Us, about the ramifications of artificial intelligence.

Listen to his first broadcast https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/136439/be-a-volunteer

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FREE VIRTUAL WONDERS MAGIC SHOW on April 23, NOON PT

Direct from the Emerald Isle, one of Ireland’s premiere professional magicians, Simon Ryan, will perform an interactive FREE virtual magic show for all ages. You’ll be entertained with card tricks, comedy, and mind reading fun.  FREE, virtually, on Zoom. Be part of the fun. Tell your friends and family to sign up now! One Day Only!

Info and Register for FREE

Email registration: thestarsworkshop@gmail.com 

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TEEN RADIO CREATOR/PRODUCER, CYNTHIA BRIAN, NAMED UNSUNG HERO

Producing a successful radio broadcast is time-intensive, challenging work. The editors of Podcast Magazine chose 22 podcast and radio professionals to honor as Unsung Heroes in its March 2022 issue and Voice American Network veteran producer and host, Cynthia Brian, is among those being celebrated. Read about the Unsung Heroeshttps://podcastmagazine.com/22-unsung-heroes-in-podcasting

See Press Pass for details: https://blog.voiceamerica.com/2022/03/07/teen-radio-creator-producer-cynthia-brian-named-unsung-hero-by-podcast-magazine/

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SIMPLE WAYS TO HELP!

We have suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials.

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

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2. Discounted books at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

4. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

5. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks and books at StarStyle® Store: http://www.starstylestore.net/

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6. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4

`DIRECT LINKS

Positive Results: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1

Events: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/events

Contact us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact

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MIRACLE MOMENT®

 

“I’m fed up with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”  George S. McGovern

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BTSYA HONORED AS TOP NONPROFIT

Congratulations! Be The Star You Are Inc has earned a spot on the 2022 Top-Rated Nonprofit List from Great Nonprofits and is one of the first charities to win this award this year.  The community has shared their inspiring stories about the work of Be the Star You Are!®. Thank you for this honor. https://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc

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FREE WRITING WORKSHOP

Writing With the Stars is a FREE online creative writing workshop for kids ages 9-14 hosted by Express Yourself! Teen Radio Host Ruhani Chhabra.

Registration and info
https://www.bethestaryouare.org/writing-with-the-stars-virtual-workshop

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FREEDOM FOR UKRAINE!

Be the Star You Are! ® 501 c3 charity

PO BOX 376

Moraga, Ca. 94556

www.BetheStarYouAre.org

www.BTSYA.org

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www.BetheStarYourAre.org

 

www.BTSYA.org

 

Blooms for the Brave

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Empowerment
Blooms for the Brave

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Digging Deep with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian

 

Boots on the Ground!

By Cynthia Brian

 

“I’m fed up with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”  George S. McGovern

 

“Lose yourself in nature and find peace.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

How much can a gardener accomplish without the proper boots? To be a successful gardener, we need the right tools.  Sturdy boots are an indispensable ingredient for keeping steady and safe on any terrain. Although my gardening wardrobe varies with the seasons, the one item that I’m never without is my garden boots. Over the years I’ve worn out numerous pairs of cowboy boots, rubber boots, and mud boots, but none were pretty or stylish. My Christmas gift this year from my daughter and her husband was two pairs of decorative, yet highly functional gardening boots. These boots are beautiful, comfortable, waterproof, and quick cleaning, as they must withstand all types of ground, but not battlegrounds.

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They are not combat boots.

Wearing my pretty and protective boots, I wonder about the boots of the brave people of Ukraine, both military and civilian, who are courageously fighting against the Russian aggressors. In unanimity with this valiant nation, I am dedicating this season to the colors of blue and yellow. Glory to the heroes!

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We can all spring into solidarity by planting blooms for the brave. Choose a combination of specimens from both color spectrums that best represent how you feel. Make sure to check compatibility with light, moisture, and growth habits.  Plant in a pot or create the Ukrainian flag in a grand gesture of unity with any of the varieties listed.

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BLUE

Dutch iris

Bearded iris

Hyacinth

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Delphinium

Phlox

Lavandula

Lavender

Clematis

Campanula

Liriope

Nepeta

Agastache

Periwinkle

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Lupin

Aquilegia

Aster

Brunnera

Crocus

Geranium Rosanne

Echinops

Freesia

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Hydrangea

Pansy

Petunia

Blue-Eyed Star Grass

Salvia

Angelonia

Agapanthus

Heliotrope

Sweet pea

Lobelia

Verbena

Buddleia

Hibiscus

Lilac

Anchusa

Baptisia

Gentiana

Plumbago

Ajuga

Scabiosa

Veronica

Forget-Me-Not

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YELLOW

Crocus

Lantana

Bearded Iris

Dutch Iris

Shamrock

Daffodil

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Tulip

Roses

Margarite

Shasta Daisy

Calibrachoa

Gladiolus

Pansy

Calendula

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Petunia

Tithonia

Yarrow

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Rudbeckia

Marigold

Zinnia

Dahlia

Forsythia

Hibiscus

Echinacea

Aquilegia

Baptisia

Ligularia

Chrysanthemum

Coreopsis

Gaillardia

Golden Star

Hellebore

Daylily

Sunflower

Hollyhock

Lupine

Primrose

Sedum

Mustard

Although I don’t know of any weeds other than the dayflower that boast the blue color, many unwanted plants have yellow flowers. Keep in mind, what some people consider a weed, others enjoy as a medicinal herb, wildflower, or pretty plant. Weeds are plants growing where they are not wanted. Some species that many gardeners consider weeds are sold as garden favorites in garden centers. You decide what you want to allow to thrive in your garden. Seeds from weeds are spread by wind, water, and birds, quickly and effectively. If you have weeds, it is best to pull them out by hand by the root as soon as possible and before they go to seed as they can take over a huge area in a very minimal amount of time. Many of these weeds are considered invasive and noxious as they are difficult to control, and they displace welcome plants. Also, be aware that any plant could be poisonous if ingested. Never take a taste sample of a plant unless you are certain that it is safe. 

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WEEDS with Yellow Flowers

Dandelion

Spiny Sowthistle. 

Yellow Hawkweed

Woolly mullein

Golden clover

Creeping buttercup

Butterweed

Goldenrod

Loosestrife

Ragwort

Cinquefoil

Creeping Jenny
Yellow burr weed

Spanish broom            

St. John’s Wort

Skeletonweed

Flat-top goldenrod

Yellow Toadflax

Velvetleaf

Black Medic 

Goat head wee

I am saddened and outraged by the aggression and devastation Russian forces have and continue to inflict on this independent nation, specifically targeting innocent civilian populations, hospitals, and schools. In addition to prayers, positive thoughts, and donations to relief organizations, spring into solidarity with Ukraine and exhibit blue and yellow now and until this unjustified war is resolved.

Our boots are made for walking and while my boots are on my grounds, as I garden, I stand for Ukraine.

Cynthia Brian’s Mid-Month Garden Reminders

ü  PLANT early blooming pollinators including California poppy, chives, larkspur dianthus, lupine, pea, viola, and sweet alyssum.

ü  GOPHERS are breeding. Be on the alert to eradicate these destroyers. 

ü  START your spring gardening by improving the soil. Gardens are often missing the microorganisms and nutrients needed for a thriving crop.

ü  RE-SEED or plant a new lawn during this spring weather. Commence weekly mowing for sturdier growing. For best results, do not use a leaf bag but instead, allow the clippings to compost on the grass naturally.

ü  FERTILIZE fruit trees and flowering shrubs with a high nitrogen solution.

ü  DIVIDE perennials such as daylilies and agapanthus.

ü  CLUMP flowers together in areas measuring four feet diameter or more to attract bees, butterflies, and birds.

ü  CLEAN fountains, ponds, birdbaths, and other water features to welcome our flying friends home for the warmer weather.

ü  CELEBRATE spring on March 20th, the vernal equinox. The day and nighttime hours equal exactly twelve each.

ü  SET a bowl of yellow and blue fruits such as lemons, grapefruits, bananas, grapes, and blueberries to remind us that freedom isn’t free, we fight for it. 

ü  FIND peace in nature. 

ü  SHOW solidarity with Ukraine and democracy by embracing a garden filled with blue and yellow flowering plants. 

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy Spring. Triumph for Ukraine and the world.!

Photos and More: http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1602/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Boots-on-the-ground.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy copies of her books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD and special savings.

https://www.cynthiabrian.com/online-storeCynthia Brian books banner.jpg

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Drought Design

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Empowerment
Drought Design

succulent-fountain grass.jpegby Cynthia Brian

“That which surrounds you is within you.”

 

~ Karl Schmidt

Days of heat followed by days of near-freezing cold! Out of nowhere, a beautiful hailstorm covers the ground in white pebbles. The weather forecasts sunshine or cloud cover, but no rain in future days. According to the New York Times, the seven hottest years on record globally were experienced in the last seven years. The atmospheric river of December provided a respite and a hopeful prospect for drought relief. January, February, and March are traditionally the wettest months here in California, but this year, January and February were the driest in years and March isn’t looking much better. Maybe the Irish leprechauns will exert their magical powers to make it rain on St. Patrick’s Day!

DESIGNING FOR DROUGHT:

As I gaze upon my peach tree blossoms intermingled with crabapple buds blooming much too early, I admit that I am basking in this early spring. Although I am an eternal optimist that imagines positive outcomes, if we want our gardens to survive and thrive, we need to design for the drought. Here’s how to get started now to be ready for whatever transpires as the months warm.

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CHECK FOR LEAKS

Make sure that your outside pipes are insulated against freezing. Water expands when it freezes causing pipes to burst. Even a tiny 1/8 crack could spew 250 gallons of water per day. If you witness wet spots, water running along driveways, or puddles, investigate for a leak. Check hose bibs for drips, replace washers, and routinely inspect automatic sprinklers and connections.

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AMEND THE SOIL

The foundation of every garden is the soil. The ideal soil drains quickly while storing water. For drought toleration, add several inches of rich, organic compost to encourage deep root formation while trapping moisture. Make your compost by adding kitchen scraps, eggshells, coffee grinds, tea leaves, shredded newspaper, leaves, lawn clippings, fish bones, aged manure, non-diseased weeds, and other organic matter to a bin or pile. Do not use human, dog, or cat feces. Don’t disturb the lower levels of the ground to allow worms and micro-bacteria to do their jobs of aerating and feeding the earth. In a drought, double and triple digging techniques are not recommended.

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WATER WELL

            To stay healthy, most plants need at least one inch of moisture per week. The best way to save your plants as well as conserve water is to water deeply and infrequently.

The penetration of the water encourages deeper roots that are more resistant to drought conditions. A good rule of thumb is to water until the dirt has a hint of shine. Lawns and bedding plants require a drink to a depth of six inches while perennials, trees, and shrubs need closer to twelve. Plan to irrigate either early in the morning or evening when absorption will be maximized, and evaporation minimized. Just as humans rejuvenate from a good night’s rest, plants do most of their growing at night. Traditional overhead sprinklers can lose half of their effectiveness to evaporation, run-off, and overspray. Drip and soaker hoses are the best bets for deep soaking to the root zone. Soaker hoses may be covered with mulch making them invisible. When water is restricted prioritize rationing by watering: 

  1. Newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials.
  2. Newly seeded or repaired lawns.
  3. Plants with exposure on windy sites or in sandy soils.
  4. Flowering vegetables. 

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MULCH

            Three inches of much will insulate your plants from the heat, cold, and elements. Mulch keeps the ground cooler, maximizes water retention, reduces evaporation, and improves the appearance of your landscape. Mulch includes pine needles, straw, leaves, wood chips, bark, and even gravel. As it decomposes it becomes compost and enriches the soil. When that happens, it is time for a new top layer of the mulch of your choice.

 

WEED

            Weeds steal moisture and nutrition from neighboring plants. Pull or cut down unwanted weeds.

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STOP FERTILIZING

            If you plan to fertilize this season, do it now while the weather is still cool, and dew is apparent. Feeding while it is raining is the best prescription for plant wellness. If you fertilize without sufficient water, the roots will burn, and the plants will die. Fertilizing encourages new growth and new growth will stress your already stressed specimens. As the weather warms, refrain from fertilizing again until rain is forthcoming.

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PLANT FOR DROUGHT

I’m a big believer in bulbs. In our temperate climate, you dig a hole, plant, forget, then be awed when bulbs pop up and bloom. Daffodils, calla lilies, freesia, hyacinths, Dutch iris, and many others are all excellent spring-blooming bulbs that require minimal care and reap huge bloom benefits. For summer flowering, plant gladiolus, Naked ladies, agapanthus, Asian lilies, tuberous begonias, dahlias, iris, and canna. Succulents offer a magnificent maintenance-free drought investment.  Succulents come in many shapes, sizes, and colors with beautiful blooms and little water requirements. Sedums are spectacular as groundcovers or upright attracting bees and butterflies. Jade, echeveria, Senecio, haworthias, aconitum, and ice plant all have varied textures and attractive flowers. Unlike cactus, succulents don’t have thorns, making them a favorite for rock gardens.

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Don’t forget to plant edibles. A small four-foot by eight-foot bed can be planted with plenty of nutritious vegetables and herbs to feed a family of four. Decide what you enjoy eating and plant only those to avoid watering vegetables that you won’t consume. 

 

Surrounding me now is plenty of sunshine and within I feel sunny and bright. Yet, I’m counting on the luck of the Irish to bring a bit of Emerald Isle precipitation to the shores of California this St. Paddy’s Day! In case there isn’t that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I’m designing for drought. 

yellow sedumsucculent.jpeghttps://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1601/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Designing-for-drought.html

Goddess Gardener Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for March

ü  FERTILIZE hungry lawns to strengthen roots, resist cold, heat, and high traffic when weather is wet. This feeding will help combat the stress of drought.

ü  AERATE your lawn. The soil is compacted from winter rains and foot traffic.  Leave the plugs to add nutrients back into the grass.

ü  CONTINUE to protect frost tender plants

ü  POUR chamomile tea around the base of newly planted seedlings to eliminate fungus growth.

ü  CUT boughs of camellias to use in a bowl or arrangement. 

ü  PAMPER yourself with an exfoliating and moisturizing facial from your garden. Squeeze lemon juice from your Meyer lemon tree into a bowl and mix with lavender petals and ¼ cup olive oil.  Home brewed spa experience in 20 minutes.

ü  CONTINUE to compost, compost, and compost. This is the single most important ingredient of growing a great garden. Buy an inexpensive compost bin from your local waste service.

ü  SPADE six inches of rich compost into your vegetable garden in preparation for the next season’s plantings.

ü  SCATTER a canister of California poppy seeds for a carefree, drought-tolerant golden showstopper.

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Photos: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1601/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Designing-for-drought.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy copies of her books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD and special savings.

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Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Teen Radio Creator/Producer, Cynthia Brian, Named UnSung Hero by Podcast Magazine

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Empowerment
Teen Radio Creator/Producer, Cynthia Brian, Named UnSung Hero by Podcast Magazine

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Producing a successful radio broadcast is time-intensive, challenging work. The editors of Podcast Magazine chose 22 podcast and radio professionals to honor as Unsung Heroes in its March 2022 issue and Voice American Network veteran producer and host, Cynthia Brian, is among those being celebrated. Read about the Unsung Heroes: https://podcastmagazine.com/22-unsung-heroes-in-podcasting

Besides producing and hosting her weekly LIVE lifestyle broadcast, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®, in 2011, through her company, StarStyle® Productions, LLC, Cynthia Brian launched a broadcast, Express Yourself!™ for teens, by teens, and with teens, completely unedited and uncensored under the auspices of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity. She began by coaching five teens to be reporters and has now coached over fifty adolescents between the ages of 12-19 to be communicators and journalists. Cynthia produces every show, books the guests, coaches the teens to improve their performances, does the publicity, and she does it all without a salary…for FREE!

Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio is now in its eleventh year and has broadcast 620 podcasts. Cynthia believes in the voices and opinions of young people as the future of our world. Her hosts and reporters are asked to make a list of the subjects that interest them, then she finds the guests that will inspire and motivate the teens and listeners. Guests include a global roster of artists, authors, actors, celebrities, sports figures, Olympians, teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs, scientists, innovators, teens, and others making a difference. Her goal is to find permanent sponsorship and grants to keep this empowering, positive message program on the air.

Cynthia credits her team of professionals at the Voice America Network for making both programs sound and look first-rate. “After almost two decades broadcasting on the Voice America Network, we are one happy, dedicated family and I share this accolade with them,” exclaims Cynthia. With Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio, Cynthia’s goal is to give teens a voice so that they can speak up, speak out, and express themselves.

 

Express Yourself! airs every Sunday from 3-4pm PT on the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel. https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself

 

StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® airs LIVE every Wednesday 4-5pm PT on the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel. https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are

For more information about both broadcasts, visit https://www.StarStyleRadio.com

For information about Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity, visit https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

cynthia teen radio - 2.jpeghttps://www.CynthiaBrian.com

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