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Cultivating Artful Gratefulness

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Empowerment
Cultivating Artful Gratefulness

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Cultivating Artful Gratefulness

By Cynthia Brian

“My garden is my most beautiful work of art” – Claude Monet

A vase filled with cascading jasmine sits on my nightstand just inches from my bed, its heady scent perfuming the entire room. Not only is it beautiful, but it is my sentinel alerting me when I awake that I still have my sense of smell. Since one of the symptoms of contracting Covid-19 is the loss of taste and smell, I appreciate the fact that I can smell the roses as well as all the marvelous fragrances breezing through my garden. I have always been filled with gratitude for the simple things in life, but now, more than ever, I am cultivating artful gratefulness with increased urgency.

I am so thankful for my lush landscape. I live in what I call my “private botanical garden” where every day I am greeted by surprising sprouts, sounds, and sights. It’s been eight weeks since I’ve worn any make-up. My daily wardrobe consists of my grubby garden garb, tool apron, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and boots. Splinters, scratches, bites, and itchy poison oak are a blight to my body, yet I am so joyful to spend my days weeding, seeding, and feeding as I witness the magnificence unfolding in this labyrinth of blossoms. Rose entwined arches, mustard growing fifteen feet into the trees, clematis bowered on trellises, a mosaic of colorful floral layers dazzling on the hillside, a parterre of bearded iris, cornflags, daylilies, and roses hemmed by clipped boxwood, butterflies flitting from flower to flower, bees humming in the citrus…nature is a living painting!

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My garden is my most spectacular artwork. Some of it is messy and wild, other parts are formal and civilized. As my camellias wane, my florescent pink rhododendrons take center stage. Azaleas in containers, as well as those planted in the ground, are on a continual blooming cycle.

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A variety of trees, both deciduous and evergreen, fruiting and flowering, screen and define the property. I’ve been pruning, thinning, and cutting deadwood in anticipation of fire season.

My goal during this coronavirus crisis is to keep our immune systems strong by eating as many fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits from my garden as possible. Artichokes are almost ready to be harvested. My citrus crop has been supplying my family and friends with daily doses of Vitamin C.  After delivering lemon limes to my neighbor, she offered me a goji berry plant which I am excited to grow as a living fence. Also called the matrimony vine, goji berry plants can be pruned and shaped to keep them small so that the red fruit which will ripen from July to October can be easily harvested. The berries contain more vitamin C than oranges, more potassium than a banana, and more iron than a steak. In addition, I learned that goji berries contain a high concentrate of vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E, and eighteen different amino acids and zinc. I am so thankful to grow this new specimen that will enhance our health.

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Gardening is not a hobby; it is an essential part of my creative being. Gardening is a survival skill and an art form. It is gratifying to sow a seed, water, fertilize, prune, and nurture that tiny seedling to full bloom. No matter how small a home is, we can always grow herbs in a pot on a windowsill or fill containers with vegetables and flowers displayed on a balcony or porch. With a garden, we bring beauty into our lives. Especially in troubling times, beauty is critical to grow our hopes and dreams. This lockdown has sparked an increased appreciation for the solitude and splendor of gardening.

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Let your garden be your most attractive work of art. Plant a painter’s palette of exquisite color. A garden is a refuge, a sanctuary, a quiet, safe place. Propagate positive possibilities and cultivate artful gratitude.

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Stay healthy. Stay safe. Stay home. Stay grateful. 

Cynthia Brian’s Mid-Month Gardening Guide for May

SCATTER snail and slug bait before they destroy all your sprouts.

PREPARE for fire season. Cut out the deadwood from bushes and trees, prune limbs, and clear brush.

CLEAN leaves from gutters.

CUT tall wild grass to the ground.

CHOP leaves and flowers from wild mustard for salads and sandwiches.

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WATER deeply and when needed.

PULL daffodil and other bulbs spears as they dry.

DEADHEAD roses, calla lilies, and calendulas as blossoms fade.

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CLEAN greener this spring by using friendlier ingredients found in your garden such as lemon juice to remove grease, mildew, and stains

WALK a nature trail for exercise, beauty, and curiosity satisfaction, keeping your distance from others, and bringing a mask.

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PLANT beans, squash, cucumbers, corn, gourds, melons, and pumpkins directly into the garden now. Because of their tender taproots, they do not transplant well.

BUY tomato seedlings to plant anytime.

COMPOST your coffee grinds, eggshells, vegetable peelings, and tea leaves.

BAG your lawn clippings only every other mow. It’s best to leave the clippings on the lawn as feed for the roots, but many people find the extra grass too messy.

TUCK edibles into your flowerbeds. Parsley and garlic chives look especially handsome as a border. 

REGROW scallions by sticking the root ends in water after snipping. You’ll get a fresh crop very quickly.

THIN apples and stone fruit to ensure a bigger, healthier harvest. Leave two to three fruit per cluster. 

HARVEST artichokes, arugula, and Swiss chard.

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Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. 

Photos and article: 

http://lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1406/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Cultivating-artful-gratefulness.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 best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

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Cynthia is available for virtual writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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Gratitude Improves Health and Resilience: A Time for Thanksgiving

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Business

We want to thank all our listeners, readers, radio guests, guest bloggers and the team of people who engage with the Innovative Leadership Institute! We are committed to elevating the quality of leadership around the world and your involvement makes that possible. Whether large or small, each of us acts daily and those acts ripple through the world to make an impact.

As a companion to this blog, we are happy to share an interview with Maryanna Klatt, Mindfulness: Manage Stress and Improve Performance.

As we enter the holiday season at the end of 2019, we are ending a decade and beginning the next. I invite everyone to consider what they have accomplished during this decade. Who and what are you most grateful for?

According to Psychology Today, we know that gratitude boosts our mental and physical health, boosts empathy, reduces aggression, improves sleep, improves self esteem and boosts mental health. The best part about gratitude is you can do it any place, any time, with no special training.

Beyond periodic moments of gratitude, I encourage my clients to develop a regular gratitude practice. This can take many forms ranging from setting a time to reflect, talking to others about what we are grateful for to writing a journal about what brings you joy, what you have overcome, or the small things you appreciate. The benefit of a practice is it becomes part of your routine or habit. It is the regular practice of gratitude that creates long lasting impact. Over time I have maintained a gratitude journal. It is a practice I have come to value greatly and with changing life circumstances, I ebb and flow in my commitment. With this post, I am recommitting to rekindle this practice starting the week of Thanksgiving 2019 by writing 1 journal entry per week. I am very fortunate to have a partner who has mastered the practice of gratitude and we communicate our gratitude for parts of our lives multiple times each day.

I subscribe to gratefulness.org. They send SHORT daily gratitude messages that take less than 30 seconds to read and for me, they serve as a nice reminder to reset. I am also building the mental habit of taking time to be grateful for what is working well when I run into challenges. It is easy to be grateful sitting at home while drinking a cup of hot coffee first thing in the morning. It can be much harder to be grateful after something goes wrong during the day. Yet, it is the difficult moments when we most benefit from shifting away from the problem to what is working. An important benefit of gratitude is that it releases hormones into the body that build resilience that serve as the antidote for the stress and anxiety that happen during the course of a normal day.

Tips for Keeping A Gratitude Journal from gratefulness.org.

Robert Emmons, arguably the world’s leading expert on the science of gratitude, and an author of some of the seminal studies of gratitude journals, shared these research-based tips for reaping the greatest psychological rewards from keeping a gratitude journal:

  • Don’t just go through the motions. Research by psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky and others suggests that journaling is more effective if you first make the conscious decision to become happier and more grateful. “Motivation to become happier plays a role in the efficacy of journaling,” says Emmons.
  • Go for depth over breadth. Elaborating in detail about a particular thing for which you’re grateful carries more benefits than a superficial list of many things.
  • Get personal. Focusing on people to whom you are grateful has more of an impact than focusing on things for which you are grateful.
  • Try subtraction, not just addition. One effective way of stimulating gratitude is to reflect on what your life would be like without certain blessings, rather than just tallying up all those good things.
  • Savor surprises. Try to record events that were unexpected or surprising, as these tend to elicit stronger levels of gratitude.
  • Don’t overdo it. Writing occasionally (once or twice per week) is more beneficial than daily journaling. In fact, one study by Lyubomirsky and her colleagues found that people who wrote in their gratitude journals once a week for six weeks reported boosts in happiness afterward; people who wrote three times per week didn’t. “We adapt to positive events quickly, especially if we constantly focus on them,” says Emmons. “It seems counterintuitive, but it is how the mind works.”

 

Learn more at “Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal,” by Jason Marsh, at the Greater Good Science Center. This excerpt is from an article which originally appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. For more, visit greatergood.berkeley.edu.

The Innovative Leadership Institute wishes you a happy and resilient Thanksgiving holiday and joyful end of 2019!

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Maureen Metcalf – Founder, CEO, and Board Chair of the Innovative Leadership Institute  is a highly sought-after expert in anticipating and leveraging future business trends to transform organizations.

Photo by jill111

Gratitude through the Flames

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Empowerment
Gratitude through the Flames

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Miracle Moment®

“The difference between a good life and a bad life is how well you walk through the fire.” Carl Jung, psychologist



MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

 

cynthia brian-India mustardOctober was a frightening and challenging month for residents of California. Rampant power black outs and raging fires throughout the state required thousands of people to evacuate their homes. After producing our radio broadcasts, I went to bed on a Wednesday night and  at 2:15 am, my husband and I were awoken by firefighters pounding on our door shouting “evacuate now!” We were given 60 seconds to leave as the fire was flaming near our fence less than 100 feet away. Feeling immense gratitude for surviving the inferno, I quickly penned what I had learned during that frantic flee: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1317/One-Minute-to-Evacuate-a-personal-perspective-from-the-Oct-10-fire.html .

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November is the month to express our thanks. First responders deserve major credit and gratitude for saving property and lives. Both fire and police personnel have been working tirelessly throughout California during these unprecedented times.

Climate change is rapidly fueling natural disasters. Be the Star You Are!® continues to spearhead Operation Disaster Relief and we encourage you to contribute. No longer can we start a campaign only when tragedy strikes. Disasters have become a part of daily life and Be the Star You Are!® must be ready to assist at a moments notice.  All donations are greatly appreciated to help us help those in need. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504.

Or send a check to BTSYA, PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556. Give to this favorite 501(c)(3) and receive a deduction on your 2019 taxes if you itemize.

The power black outs continued throughout the month and it may be wise to take the steps to be self-sufficient or off the grid as we are living in a new environment. I’ve published two important articles for the newspaper where I work to help others know how to prepare for an emergency. Make sure to read these as they may save your life and that of your family and friends. Send these links to those you love to help them prepare for whatever disaster lurks in our future.

Safety first: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1318/Safety-First-Emergency-Preparation-and-the-Go-Bag.html

Scary, scary night: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1318/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Scary-scary-night.html

As we prepare for the holiday season of gifts and giving, we want to introduce you to books that will inspire and thrill you. Make sure to check out our Spotlight book, I am Me, a powerful book by teens with original art and poetry expressing the importance of being your authentic self. Also, order copies of our three signature books in the Be the Star You Are!® series for true stories, adages, and exercises to help you live, laugh, learn, and love more fully with 100% of the profits benefiting this charity. Giving Tuesday is December 3rd this year, so please mark your calendar and ask your company to match your donation.

Thank you to everyone for your patience, understanding, checking in, and love. We are very appreciative. Be safe and sound. Let’s hope no one has to walk through the fire to have a great life,

“Communicate, Collaborate, Innovate!”  Join us! Thanksgiving is TODAY and EVERYDAY!

Blessings and 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

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RECOGNITION FOR 20 YEARS OF SERVICE:

20th Ca. legislature Honor for BTSYARecently, we received a lovely letter and Certificate of Recognition from the California Legislature congratulating Be the Star You Are!® on 20 years of service to the community. What an unexpected honor for which we are grateful to Assembly member, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan . We share this commendation with all of our dedicated volunteers and supporters. With your assistance, Be the Star You Are!® continues its imperative mission to empower women, families, and youth through increased literacy, positive media messages, and tools for living.

20th letter-Ca. legislature Honor for BTSYA


SPOTLIGHT on the teen book, I AM ME

spotlightI Am Me: Teen Artists and Writers Speak Out on Being Yourself 

This is a powerful book that helps young people believe that you don’t have to achieve “perfection” to be “perfect.”

“Edgy, powerful, insightful, and honest.” 

The pages in this book pairs award winning art and writing to empower teens to shake off negative influences to realize it is okay to be themselves. Each piece of art is skillfully matched with writing to reflect the attitude of a generation of teens who want to fit in but feel inadequate due to societal pressures.

www.i-am-me-teen.com or order on Amazon.

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Listen to Editor, Tom Worthen, Ph.d interviewed on Express Yourself! Teen Radio about this poignant message. https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/118745/optimism-with-i-am-me

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SUCCESS AT PEAR AND WINE FESTIVAL

Our Teen Event Director, Siri Phaneendra, did a fabulous job of putting on the BTSYA booth at the recent Pear and Wine Festival. Her mother and sister helped her with the new henna activity. Express Yourself!® radio hosts Kenneth Jeon and Jack Pawlakos were on hand to work in the booth. Thanks to Lamorinda Weekly newspaper for sponsorship and lending us the great canopy. What a fantastic family day of fun!

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BTSYA is a TOP NON PROFIT for 2019

2019-top-rated-awards-badge-embedWe have been honored with a Top-Rated Award for 2019 from GreatNonprofits! We appreciate all of your contributions! http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/


RADIO BROADCASTS TO INSPIRE

Dr Dravon James-EvdyPeaceCynthia Brian was thrilled and honored to be a guest on Dr. Davon James LIVE radio broadcast on Veteran’s Day focusing on passion. Cynthia and Dr. James share how everyone can create success by living and working with passion. You are enough! Listen now! https://www.unityonlineradio.org/everyday-peace/living-and-working-your-passion

Express Yourself!® Teen Radio host Henna Hundal (also host of syndicated The Henna Hundal Show) facilitated an impressive broadcast about the critical importance of mentorship and coaching. Nicholas Donzelli, a ten year veteran of volunteering coaching of an award winning water polo team shared his insights along with Be the Star You Are!® founder and StarStyle® coach, Cynthia Brian. Having a coach and/or mentor in your life can help you launch your dreams. Be authentic. Tune in https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/118595/mentoring-with-henna-hundal-nick-donzelli-and-cynthia-brian

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Bill Gates and Henna Hundal  Malala Yousafzai and Henna Hundal


GIVING TUESDAY IS DECEMBER 3, 2019 

2019-platinum-seal-guidestarGivingTuesday​ started as a day for anyone, anywhere to give, and it’s grown into the biggest giving movement in the world. Celebrated each year on the Tuesday following U.S. Thanksgiving, and fueled by the power of social media, GivingTuesday inspires millions of people across the globe to show up and give back to causes and issues that matter to them. The goal is to create a massive wave of generosity that lasts well beyond that day, and touches every person on the planet. GivingTuesday takes place on December 3, 2019 this year. Create a fundraiser and ask your employer to match donations. Be the Star You Are!® will use your contributions for our ongoing outreach programs, disaster relief, and positive message radio broadcasts. Donations can be made to Be the Star You Are! via PAYPAL GIVING FUND with no fees. https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504. You will receive an instant tax receipt.

Then, continue being kind and doing good all year round.


VISIT WITH SANTA IS DECEMBER 14th

2018 Xmas with Santa-5A 2Mark your calendars for a jolly journey to the north pole on December 14th.  Be the Star You Are!® volunteers once again collaborate with 5 A Rent a Space in Moraga to bring Santa and his elves to the neighborhood. Kids can write a letter to Mr. Claus, get a FREE photo sitting on his lap, get creative with festive art projects, and enjoy hot chocolate and special treats. Holiday cards and books will be available for sale as a donation to BTSYA. The event is FREE for the entire family. 11am-3pm. Come enjoy holiday cheer with all of us.


HOW DO YOU THANK SOMEONE?

By Karen Kitchel

You know the feeling deep within. Someone just came to your door with a basket of warm cookies because they know you’re having a tough day.  You narrowly escape your burning home while a firefighter goes back in to save your puppy. Or maybe it was a stranger who picked up all the spilled candy that your little darling scattered on the supermarket floor.

Sometimes we wish we had a word much stronger than “thanks” to convey our heartfelt appreciation.  Perhaps by adding a sincere look or a tap on the arm, we can transfer our feelings of gratitude.

What else can we do to say thanks?  I once gave a co-worker a post-it note with a word of thanks, and ten years later she told me it still could be seen on her refrigerator. Think back to a time when you really felt thanked for something you said or did.  Why do you still remember that feeling?

While we celebrate one special day of giving thanks this month, we can enjoy the power of thanking someone every day.

BTSYA volunteer Karen Kitchel serves meals to the homeless, is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. She wrote the chapter, The Gift of Adoption, in our book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World. www.scatteringkindness.com

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SHOPPING FOR THE HOLIDAYS?  ENJOY DISCOUNTS & MORE

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Other easy ways that assist our mission and don’t cost you a penny!

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

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

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

& buy from your favorite stores.

4. Search and Shop: Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too!http://www.goodsearch.com/goodto-go/be-the-star-you-are

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

6. BTSYA Logo Storehttp://btsya.rylees.net

7. Buy or Sell on EBAY:http://givingworks.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/be-the-star-you-are-501-c-3/1504/?favorite=link

8. Designer Clothes to Buy or Sell: https://www.unionandfifth.com/charities/be-the-star-you-are-moraga-ca/shop

9. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” T-shirts and tanks $19.99 at StarStyle® Store: https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store

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

We appreciate a direct donation most of all via PAYPAL GIVING FUND at https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Checks can be sent to PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556

Direct Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/

GUIDESTAR: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882

We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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If you’d like to advertise your service or product while supporting Be the Star You Are!®, we are now accepting approved ads that will benefit readers. Contact info@BetheStarYouAre.org for details.


A NOTE WE LOVED!

”I admire you because despite your fears you face destiny as a beast and manage to reverse the worst situation. You don’t believe in dramatic forecasts and wake up every morning wanting to give the world the best. Thank you!” Nico Ficarelli, Decendiente de Manuel Creador De Argentina

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

All donations are 100% Tax Deductible according to law. Thank you!

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

Happy Day of Thanksgiving! 

 
We Appreciate you!

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See all: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/fe82bef3f1/288055965/ac7221bc2f/

 

Aunt Caily: A Tribute to Mothers, Even those Who Aren’t

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Empowerment
Aunt Caily: A Tribute to Mothers, Even those Who Aren’t

Aunt Caily: A Tribute to Mothers, Even those Who Aren’t

Being Here...TooMy Great Aunt Caily was my grandmother’s younger sister. My Grandma and Grandpa eventually moved to Oregon to raise their family but Aunt Caily and her husband, Uncle Gil, lived and died in Orange City, Iowa.

Born in the early 1900’s, Caily came to adulthood in an era when her childless status labeled her as a lady who couldn’t have kids, rather than being regarded as a woman who simply didn’t have kids. I sometimes wonder about the details of her life, things that I will never know. Of course they were never my business anyway.

When I was young, I sometimes confided in Aunt Caily, but like most children, I was mainly concerned for myself. I had little room to be curious about her. I never knew the reason why she and Uncle Gil didn’t have a family of their own, but I did know that she was special and they were both very loved. It occurs to me that perhaps she, like many folks, didn’t have a clue as to the difference she made. Our paths didn’t cross often. It was a long train-ride from Iowa to Oregon (she refused to travel by air) and our family only visited her on occasion. However, there are bright moments that drift through my memory when I think of her.

Diminutive in stature, feisty in nature, Aunt Caily had a high voice and she was quick to laugh. When I was in those difficult teen years, she came to Grandma’s house and I recall sitting with her on the couch as she asked me about my day. I’m not sure how it happened, but I confided in her that a lot of kids at school were doing drugs, “speed” to be exact, the 70s version of meth. I found it disturbing and I didn’t know how to handle the situation. I don’t recall that she gave me advice or that we came up with a plan or solution, but it was a relief to unburden my load to an adult who would simply listen and who wouldn’t “freak out” and call the school or take unwanted, embarrassing actions.

BakingSodaI frequently think of my Great Aunt Caily when I’m cleaning up after cooking a meal. She once gave my mother advice that has been passed down as a bit of family wisdom. According to Mom, one time when she was visiting Caily, they had pot roast for dinner. Afterwards, my mom did the dishes and as she was scrubbing the pot that had been used to make the roast, Caily came into the kitchen.

“What are you doing?” Caily asked abruptly, startling my mother.

“The dishes,” Mom replied.

“But why are you scrubbing that pot? Don’t be silly. Use baking soda.”

“Baking soda?”

“Yes, of course. Sprinkle some on the pot and let it soak a bit. It will lift the baked-on grease and leavings.”

This was a lesson my mother taught me – a little family legacy from my Great Aunt Caily. Baking soda really does lift the baked-on grease and pan leavings. I rarely have to scrub hard after I use my pots and pans. When Caily gave my mom that nugget of kitchen magic, I’m sure she had no clue that decades after her death, her wisdom would live on in me…and now you.

Most of us underestimate what we have to offer, worrying about what we want to accomplish in our lifetime. We focus on the “big” things, thinking that’s what matters, when sometimes it is the little, unexpected things that matter the most.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, podcast/radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here podcast or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, is available on Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com and everywhere books are sold.

Books by Ariel & Shya Kane

Wedding Season

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Empowerment
Wedding Season

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Wedding season is in full swing as brides and grooms prepare for their BIG day. Heather Brittany joins the conversation to offer tips on everything from choosing a venue to planning the menu while keeping your budget intact. 

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Listen at Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/106660/wealthy-attitude-mother-knows-best-wedding-season

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PressPass Goddess Gardener Book: https://blog.voiceamerica.com/2018/01/30/cynthia-brians-new-book-growing-goddess-gardener-published/

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Buy Tickets to our June 15th A’s versus Angels Baseball Game at: 

BUY DISCOUNTED TICKETS:  https://groupmatics.events/event/Bestar

More information: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/events

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Car Wash

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Car Wash

We have two car washes in our little town. One has a couple of wash-it-yourself bays as well as a side where you stay in your car as it is processed through the suds and foam. The other is a full service operation where you step out of the vehicle and employees vacuum the interior before it is pulled along the automated wash and then a whole other crew cleans the windows and buffs and dries it on the other end.

Not too long ago, I realized that our car was due for the more extensive service. There was the grime from rainy streets, of course, but also my wife Ariel and I had partaken of late night snacks of sunflower and pumpkin seeds on the way home from some of our Monday Night seminars and the floor mats looked as if we had been invaded by a pack of messy squirrels. So one bright, sunny morning, while running errands, I stopped to get it cleaned.

As I pulled around the building to order from the service menu, I was surprised to see that I had pulled up behind a State Trooper, his distinctive cruiser festooned with a red and blue light bar. My pale green Prius appeared to be a lightweight distant cousin as it stood behind it. After I placed my order, I received a receipt, which I took into the building to the cashier for payment. Since it was a beautiful day, I then stepped outside to wait. The trooper was there, too, talking on his cellphone.

I had plenty of time to observe him without his noticing. He was about my height, 5’8 with short-cropped dark brown hair. He looked to be in his mid-30s and although we were approximately the same build, he was clearly weighted down. Bulletproof vest, belt with handcuffs, pepper spray and gun, sturdy boots – the extra load must have been at least 20 pounds, a lot of extra weight to be carrying through life each day.

“OK Hon, love you,” he said, as he concluded his call. Slipping his phone in his pocket he turned and I caught sight of a surprising weariness on his face. I realized that the equipment was not the only heavy load that he was carrying. Perhaps it was something happening at home. Perhaps it was the vestiges of dealing with his day-to-day duties: break-ins, accidents, traffic stops, domestic violence, crime in all its forms. Perhaps it was the fact that in general many people are unhappy to see him as he stops them on the road, lights flashing. In that moment I recognized that his must be oft times a thankless job.

Stepping up next to him as we watched the men with towels deftly buff our cars I said, “Officer, thank you for all you do to keep us and our communities safe. Thank you for your service.” I had a fleeting thought to tell him to be safe, but I simply concluded with, “Hope you have a nice day.”

“You’re welcome. Have a nice day, too,” he replied as he donned his hat and stepped forward to his shiny car.

As he climbed into his driver’s seat and went about his day, it seemed to me that perhaps his load was a bit lighter and that his car was not the only thing to have been shined and cleaned. And as I stepped into my Prius, I also was feeling lighter for having recognized another human being who works on my behalf, even though we had never been formally introduced and with any luck, we would not have any need for personal interactions in the future.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UKGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books.  Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

Giving Gratitude for Food: Today and Beyond!

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Giving Gratitude for Food: Today and Beyond!

 

Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to express our gratitude for food, even if to say ‘Yum!’ or give kudos to the cook. But do we do that every day? Or each time we eat? I invite you to begin a practice of giving gratitude for food no matter where you are now. That’s where I’m at, too. 😉

It’s hard to give gratitude for something that we don’t appreciate. In modern society, food comes too easily to us to really honor its origin. We can grab it off a supermarket shelf or from the deli counter, we can dine in our cars – even purchasing our meal from a drive through, we can grab a bite from a vending machine, we can place an order online and have it delivered to our door. The list seems to go on and on. I appreciate convenience. But as a society, it’s time to re-educate ourselves about what it takes to bring food to the table. With all the fast food, processed food, and modified food of the last 5o years, or so, convenience has caused us to lose our perspective and appreciation for what is real in regard to food. 

Another reason we may overlook giving gratitude for food is that we lose sight of the obvious: that is, we don’t fully acknowledge how important food is in our lives. That beyond the fundamental aspect of supporting our existence, our relationship with food is, arguably, our most intimate relationship of all. We all have relationships – with our partners, our children, our co-workers, our neighbors, our phones, and so on, but have you ever really considered that you are in a relationship with food? Unlike our relationships with people, food is something that we interact with each and every day of our entire life. There are few, if any, people with whom we do that. Children grow and leave the house, we move to another state or country, and we change jobs, thus changing the landscape of whom we interact with on a daily basis. But food is something that is constantly with us, throughout the journey of our lives. Further, food is something that we literally take into ourselves and that literally becomes a part of us. Now, that’s intimate! We all have a relationship with food. It’s a question of how much we are to understand that relationship and to honor it. I think it’s fair to say that many people have a broken relationship with food, leading to the consequence of addiction and obsession, epidemics of chronic disease like overweight, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, autoimmune disorders, and so on. Even our good intentions around making homemade food can dissolve into a series of complaint and resentment, huffs and gruff, leaving us with little energy to express sincere gratitude, let alone enjoy our food. It’s time to explore more in regard to the sacredness of food and giving gratitude for it. 

In order to give gratitude for food, we must first recognize the reason(s) for which we are grateful for food. The reason(s) behind our gratitude may change from one eating episode to another.

Reasons to be Grateful for Food

  • It tastes good.
  • It nourishes our body.
  • It’s beautiful.
  • It’s fun to grow.
  • It helps us to heal.
  • It gives us energy to do our work.
  • It delights us.
  • It warms me up on a cold winter’s day.
  • It’s fun to prepare.
  • It provides a way for us to connect with our family and friends.

Ways to Express Gratitude for Food

There are many ways to give thanks for our food. Any sincere expression of gratitude will serve the same purpose, which is to slow us down enough to connect with the sacred. This alone brings tremendous benefits to our body, mind, and spirit. Given that most of us eat several times or are each day, food can serve as one of the most powerful reminders to connect with the divine.

Most cultures and religions have a way to express thanks for what is about to be eaten. Holding a deep connection to the earth, Native Americans honor the exchange of life in regard to food. They ask the Spirit that dwells in the living food – whether animal or plant – for permission to take its life. They then give thanks to the Spirit for its willingness to sacrifice its own life for their benefit and sometimes make an offering of corn or tobacco, for example, in compensation for this sacrifice. Such an act acknowledges that something has been given and received on both sides.

One of the most common ways to express gratitude is by saying grace, which is a specific form of ritual. One may choose to speak freely from the heart – even when dining alone – or n behalf of a group. One may also recite or read a specific prayer from a spiritual tradition or from literature, such as Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. If you are not comfortable saying a prayer out loud, you can practice gratitude through silence. If the expressions sincere, the offering will be effective. Silence doesn’t just happen; it has to be allowed. It requires us to make a conscious decision not only to refrain from speech, but also to withdraw from activities that fill our minds with noise, such as watching television, listening to the radio, or reading a book. Even in prayer, which people most often do silently, we can be so busy voicing our praise and requests to the divine that we often don’t allow for the space to receive the gifts and messages that the universe intends for us. As with saying grace, a moment of silence can be shared by a group of people or practiced alone. The important thing is that this moment be used to consciously appreciate the food about to be eaten.

Where are you in the process of giving gratitude for food? In what ways are you beginning to offer gratitude for food? Let us know! Let’s keep the conversation growing. We’re in this relationship for life, after all!

“If the only prayer you say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” Meister Eckhart

—–

A Registered Dietitian with degrees in Public Health Nutrition and Culture & Creation Spirituality, Lisa is uniquely qualified to help us understand, heal, and nourish our relationship with food.

To explore more about giving gratitude for food, listen to this episode of SacredExplorationhttps://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/103760/nourishing-healthy-attitudes-about-food

To purchase The Sacred Art of Eating: Healing Our Relationship with Food: https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Art-Eating-Healing-Relationship/dp/0988726602/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511457125&sr=8-1&keywords=sacred+art+of+eating

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Walk a Mile…or Two or Ten…in Their Shoes By Ariel & Shya Kane

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Walk a Mile…or Two or Ten…in Their Shoes By Ariel & Shya Kane

May 3: Walk a Mile… or Two or Ten… in Their Shoes

It’s so easy to judge how your parents raised you and how they live their lives, but only if you lack compassion for all that it means to be human. Take a chance. Set down your story and your need to be right and walk a mile… or two or ten… in their shoes. You just might end up being grateful instead. Callers welcome at Tel# 1-888-346-9141!

Listen Live this Wednesday, May 3rd at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel 

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 500 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.

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Smile Secrets, Giving Thanks, Tragedy Talks for Kids By Cynthia Brian

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Smile Secrets, Giving Thanks, Tragedy Talks for Kids By Cynthia Brian

If you are looking for upbeat, life-changing, and mind stretching information, you’ve come to the right place. Host Cynthia Brian takes you on a journey of exploration that will encourage, inspire, and motivate you to make positive changes that offer life enhancing results. It’s party time on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®. And YOU are invited! Join us LIVE 4-5pm Pt on Wednesdays or tune in to the archives at your leisure. Come play in StarStyle Country.

Want to look great, feel awesome, and be more attractive? Want to brighten the day of strangers, help people feel better, and be happier yourself? Trying smiling more.  Find the power that smiling offers and show your pearly whites!

When you affirm that the world is good and you recognize the sources of goodness are outside yourself, you’ll feel happier, healthier, and grateful. Set your intention to give thanks for everything you are and have. Cynthia Brian will help you appreciate the little things that matter.

When tragedies happen in the world or closer to home with family or friends, how do you explain the circumstances to your children? How many details are healthy to share and what needs to be left unsaid? We’ll explore this difficult topic while being an empathetic parent.

Listen at Voice America Network 

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Dreamworking with Dr. Christopher Sowton, Living Longer Gratefully! By Cynthia Brian

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Dreamworking with Dr. Christopher Sowton, Living Longer Gratefully! By Cynthia Brian

Genetics account for only 25% of a person’s longevity. The rest is how you live your life. Learn tips from centenarians for a new model for aging.

Join Christopher Sowton as he shares five steps to receiving the inner guidance of our dreams: Catch, Clarify, Orient, Connect, Respond . With hands-on techniques, examples from the author’s psychotherapy practice, and guidance for working with fourteen common dream motifs, his book, Dreamworking–How to Listen to the Inner Guidance of Your Dreams, shows how to facilitate dreamwork for psychological and spiritual transformation.

When you affirm that the world is good and you recognize the sources of goodness are outside yourself, you’ll feel happier, healthier, and grateful. Set your intention to give thanks for everything you are and have. Cynthia Brian will help you appreciate the little things that matter.

Guest Bio: Dr. Christopher Sowton
Dr. Christopher Sowton ND RP is a naturopath and a psychotherapist. Based in Toronto, his practice focuses on dreamwork. Since 2003 Christopher has been training health care practitioners of all  kinds to integrate dreamwork into their practices. He is a member of  the IASD (International Association for the Study of Dreams) and has recently published a book—Dreamworking–How to Listen to the Inner Guidance of Your Dreams. http://www.christophersowton.com/

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