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Gift of Learning by Cynthia Brian

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Gift of Learning by Cynthia Brian

Every week, Express Yourself!™ will bring you a stimulating program based on a chapter from our award winning book Be the Star You Are!® for Teens.

Asya Gonzalez-stinking feet - 4Brigitte Jia - Version 2 (1)
Nature photographer, Carol Freeman, joins Asya Gonzalez and Brigitte Jia for a fascinating program on the passion of learning.  Carol reveals how she never set out to be a photographer and how she learned to love the craft as she is happiest when she is outdoors, investigating prairies, wetlands, nature preserves, examining endangered species, and discovering new ways to make a difference.  Her Walk in Beauty series educate, enlighten, and inspires people to connect with and learn to appreciate nature. the Asya shares the differences in learning applications that happen from high school to college. In Art Attack, Brigitte discusses the value that illustrators bring to visual learners. Immerse yourself in learning for life. and you’ll live your dreams.
Carol Freeman head shot
About Carol: Carol Freeman’s true passion is photographing nature. Her images reflect her philosophy of finding beauty in everything. Her art is an extension of her affinity for the serene, healing aspects of the world around her. She sees with an artist’s eye and feels with a naturalist’s heart. Her respect of nature has led her to create beautiful, light-filled images with low-impact techniques that leave the habitat just as she found it. Her shots are all achieved without the use of flash, fill, or tripod. www.carolfreemanphotography.com

Listen at Voice America Kids
Listen, View Photos, Descriptions, & More at Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio
Carol Freeman-nature shot
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Carol Freeman
Express Yourself! Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are! charity. To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences. Dare to care!
Be the Star You Are! charity. It’s the Season of Giving Make a donation today. Buy books and shirts. If you are buying gifts on line, check out Amazon donates a % back to BTSYA with every purchase.Thanks for helping us help others.

Starstyle, Be the Star You Are, and Miracle Moments are registered trademarks of Cynthia Brian

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Cynthia Brian’s October Gardening Guide

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Empowerment
Cynthia Brian’s October Gardening Guide

cynthia brian-pelagoniaums, dahlias

“Go forth under the open sky, and listen to Nature’s teachings.”
~ William Cullen Bryant
cosmos, bachelor buttons 4'oclocks
Autumn is with us. The sun is still scorching our soils with heat during the days while the nights offer chilly dew. October is the best month of the fall season to take care of garden chores before winter arrives. With the drought a forever threat, we are all seeking ideas for a low-maintenance garden that will thrive with little care and less water. It is clear that we need to stand under the open sky to listen and look at what Mother Nature is telling us about our future in the outdoors.
waterfall
Visit your favorite nursery or garden center and talk to the professionals. Choose plants appropriate for your soil and sun requirements. Determine whether you have a shade or sun garden, how much moisture your area needs, then pick the plants that will flourish in those conditions. For example sun-loving specimens such as canna, lamb’s ears, sweet alyssum, geraniums, salvia’s, fountain grass, and boxwood planted densely will out-compete weeds while providing you with an elegant, low maintenance area. Plant the clump forming fountain grass and the evergreen shrub, boxwood, towards the back, with the fragrant sweet alyssum as a border in colors of pink, cream, purple, and white in the front. The wooly silver evergreen lambs-ear with its spikes of purple looks great with the salvia and tall spikes of the robust perennial canna in red, yellow, or orange. Geraniums are available in color clusters of red, pink, white, purple offering continuous blooms above bright green leaves spring through mid winter, when it’s time to prune them to the ground.
red bachelor button queen anne's lace
Other low maintenance plants for full sun include Russian sage, rosa rugosa, daylily, and rudbeckia. For a shade garden, consider hosta, Lenten Rose, and ferns. If your soil is extremely dry, succulents including hen-and-chicks, lavender, sedum, and St. John’s Wort are easy choices while astilbe and Japanese iris will prosper in wet soil. A re-circulating water feature, waterfall, or pond will keep the pollinators around while adding a calming resonance in your environment.
purple veined sorrel
Halloween will be upon us soon. Allow your sunflowers, cornstalks, and pumpkins to continue in the garden until it’s time to decorate.
pumpkins on vine
⎫ MOVE baskets and pots to a shady area when Indian summer is hottest.
⎫ PRUNE your berry vines hard after you have harvested the fruit for easier picking next season.
⎫ ORDER spring bulbs from catalogs now for planting in November
⎫ PICK sorrel to add to salad, sauces, and soups.
⎫ DEADHEAD spent annuals.
⎫ PROPAGATE geranium and pelargonium by cutting back no-blooming stems and planting in damp soil.
⎫ DESTROY invasive star thistle that may have taken root in your garden. Animals and birds will not eat it and it must not be added to the compost pile.
⎫ BUY trees boasting autumn colors now.
⎫ VISIT nurseries to check out the fall selection of plants and bulbs. Suggestions in the tulip category include Greigii, single or double early blooming, triumph, Giant Darwin hybrid, lily flowering, parrot, peony, heirloom, viridiflora, fringed, crispa, single or double late blooming. Amazing how many varieties there are.  Make sure to cool them in the refrigerator for six to 10 weeks before planting. Other bulbs to buy include narcissi (and there is an equal amount of varieties, sizes, shapes, and colors), amaryllis, paperwhites, crocus, galanthus, scilla, iris, freesia, hyacinths, muscari, anemone, fritillaria, Dutch iris, allium, peonies, and Asiatic lilies….for starters.
⎫ CHECK around your house for fire hazards and flammable materials. October is the height of fire season.
⎫ FERTILIZE begonias and roses for more blooms.
⎫ GATHER seeds from bachelor buttons, cosmos, 4 o’clocks to dry and save for spring planting.
⎫ FEED your citrus.
⎫ TRANSPLANT calendulas, Iceland poppies, dianthus, forget-me-nots, primroses, Shasta daisies, agapanthus, and daylilies.
⎫ FREEZE or can your extra harvest of fruit and vegetables for winter health.
⎫ EAT the flowers of chives, garlic, basil, mint, dill, and other flowering herbs. Delicious and pretty in salads, sandwiches, and soups.
⎫ HARVEST the last of your grapes. Add the colorful leaves and twine the vines to form a spectacular autumnal arrangement.
⎫ RAKE your leaves into a compost pile. Add lawn clippings, eggshells, food scraps (no meat), and coffee grounds. Stupendous soil will be ready to use before the holidays.
⎫ Re-seed tired lawns using low-water loving clover for less maintenance, and fast, healthy growth.
⎫ DECORATE your front porch with sunflowers and cornstalks from your garden at the end of the month.
⎫ SAVE sunflower seeds to feed the birds as well as to sow for next season.
⎫ PICK your pumpkins at the end of the month and make a family day of carving Jack O’Lanterns.
⎫ SEE you at the Pear and Wine Festival on September 26th at Moraga Commons. Visit the Be the Star You Are!® booth to receive a FREE brand new book as part of the literacy outreach project, “Read, Lead, Succeed!”  Thanks to our sponsors, Children’s Success Unlimited, Michael Verbrugge Constructions, and The Lamorinda Weekly for making this giveaway possible. Pick up FREE seeds, bookmarks, and potpourri for all of our garden readers.
sunflowers
Happy Gardening and Happy Growing.

READ MORE
nook with geraniums
Cynthia Brian is a New York Times best selling author, speaker, coach, and host of the radio show, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasting live every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT on the Voice America Network.. She also is the creator and producer of Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501c3 charity.
black eyed susan-lilies
©2015
Cynthia Brian
The Goddess Gardener
Starstyle® Productions, llc
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com
925-377-STAR
I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show at www.StarStyleRadio.net

star thistle

Cynthia Brian’s May Gardening Guide

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Empowerment
Cynthia Brian’s May Gardening Guide

Cyn-lily pond

“MAY the sun bring you new energy by day.
MAY the moon softly restore you by night
MAY the rain wash away your worries
MAY the breeze blow new strength into your being
MAY you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.”  An Apache Blessing

Dahlias and delphinium

May! What a glorious month, perhaps the most fragrant feast for our senses of the entire year. With only one evening of April rain, nature blossomed into May magnificence lavishing the landscape with color, texture, birdsong, and a painter’s palette of picturesque pleasures. Elegant and dainty bearded iris spread their alluring colors and intoxicating scents along driveways and paths. Azaleas and rhododendrons sparkle in the moonlight. This is the time to experiment with new plants to lift our zapped spirits to new heights.  If you like azaleas as I do, this is the time to get them in the ground, after they have completed their spring flowering. I planted a sampling of new azalea releases from J Berry Nursery including Fuchsia Parasol, Orchid Showers, Pink Ribbons, and Pink Jewel. These re-bloomers are set to offer a big show in late summer or early fall.

Oregon Grape with berries

In the 2015 Garden Trends Report, a new phenomenon in gardening was reported that I found intriguing. It’s called the “bed-head” garden.  President of Garden Media Group, Susan McCoy commented, “Purposefully un-styled outdoor spaces are the result of intentionally working within the natural landscape. This casual landscape style expresses an effortless personality with an ‘anything goes’ attitude.” The wild look of this new garden fashion will definitely be of interest to those of us who are harried, hurried, or interested in embracing a more natural, environmentally sustainable garden. Colors are whatever thrives, plantings are in drifts, maintenance is low, hardscapes are minimal, earthy-born or recycled elements, and the result is lush, overgrown, messy, yet beautiful. Seems like a great fit for these crazy, hectic times.

clivia-orange-yello - 1

Grab your gloves, shears, shovel, and a bucket. We have work to do outside before the play days begin. And we all look forward to the amusements of the season!
petunias and succulents
CUT BACK your daffodils. The foliage should be very dry and crispy now, meaning that plenty of nutrients have gone to next years’ blossoms. Time to clean up.

DEADHEAD all spring blooming flowers such as pansies and primroses. Petunias planted amongst your succulents will be especially beautiful in a rock garden.

CLEAN ponds, fountains, and bird feeders with non-toxic detergents for a fresh start. Make sure your re-circulating pump is working effectively.

ELIMINATE any standing water from gutters, pot saucers, old tires, or puddles to reduce breeding of mosquitoes.

MOW the top portion of leggy ground covers including Vinca Major and ivy.

ADD dandelions, calendula, and lemons to your daily food intake for a boost of vitamins A and C. Colds and flu are still rampant amongst us.

SEED for summer blooming annuals-cosmos, marigolds, sunflowers, and zinnias,

COMPOST all of your green trimmings.  Add raked leaves as well as eggshells, shredded newspaper, vegetable peels, and wood ashes. Turn your compost pile or bin often and keep moist.

FEED azaleas, rhododendrons, and camellias with a fertilizer for acid lovers after they have finished blooming. Continue to pour your coffee grinds mixed with water around the plants for an extra boost of energy.

PLANT tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, beets, carrots, peas, and cabbage.
Also get summer blooming bulbs including gladiolas, lilies, and dahlias into the ground now.

DEADHEAD roses as blooms fade for continuous flowers throughout the year. Make sure to cut a few stems to cheer up your indoor spaces.

PLAN to include more drought tolerant species to your landscape, including succulents.

PICK UP the petals of fallen camellias as the season comes to an end. Leaving the flowers on the ground leads to diseased plants.

GROW South African clivia as a houseplant in indirect sunlight or a shade garden attraction.  Their shiny deep green foliage and bright orange, yellow, and white lily-like flowers encourage gazing.

PLANT an Oregon Grape as a deer proof perennial shrub. The blue berries are prominent in May and the leaves turn amber in the fall.

PRUNE spring-flowering clematis after the blooms are spent.

SPRUCE up your decks and patios by growing herbs and flowers in one container.

PICK mulberries as they turn from red to deep purple. You’ll have to work fast or the birds will do the picking for you.

RAKE lawns to help with de-thatching.  Aerate with a garden fork to help the penetration of water.

VISIT me at the Be the Star You Are!® booth at the Moraga Faire on May 9th to pick up your free hollyhock seeds and potpourri.  Make a $95 tax-deductible donation in the name of your Mom or Grandmother to have a case of brand new books valued at $720 donated in her honor to the library or school of her choice! She’s worth it!

BUY six packs of annual color for both sun and shade gardens. Most retailers are featuring big sales at the moment and these small packs add a big punch to your growing garden.

DESIGN a “bed head” garden area and give yourself a labor break.

TRANSPLANT any small trees or shrubs into desired areas before the end of the month.

KEEP doors closed on garages and sheds, or you may invite a slithery serpent to snoop.

LAVISH mom with a pot of pretties, perhaps dahlias, and delphiniums on Mother’s Day and thank her for being the wonderful woman she is.

MAY you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life! May Blessings!

clematis, brick

Happy Gardening, Happy Growing.
Read more HERE

mulberries ripening
©2015
Cynthia Brian
The Goddess Gardener
Starstyle® Productions, llc
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com
925-377-STAR
I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.

camellia red

Cynthia Brian is a New York Times best selling author, speaker, coach, and host of the radio show, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasting live every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT on the Voice America Network.. She also is the creator and producer of Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501c3 charity.

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for April

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Empowerment
Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for April

“Nothing is so beautiful as spring-when weeds, in wheels, shoot long, and lovely, and lush…” Gerard Manley Hopkins

cover crop - 1

Poppies and lupines dot the green hillsides and roadways. The skies are azure blue, the weather is wickedly warm, turkeys hobble and gobble in neighborhoods. Spring is in full swing.

As it always is every April, my orchards and hills are carpeted with weeds. This year I sprinkled seeds of mustard throughout my landscape as a cover crop to heighten the nitrogen levels in the soil. A sea of yellow waves in the wind greeting me on my morning walks. Large black crows call my casa their casa. The “Birds” are back splashing in the fountain outside my office alongside the occasional red-tail hawk popping in for a drink. A covey of quail with their baby chicks darting behind them, munch insects and dandelions around my lawn. The re-birth of nature recharges my energy and makes me grateful to be alive in our bucolic rural locale.

lantana, purple

This week I received my EBMUD home water report with my water score and this congratulatory note: “Way to go, WaterSaver! You ranked in the top 20%”! While the American average usage according to the Environmental Protection Agency is 400 gallons per day, we used only 147 gallons per day versus the average EBMUD household of 362 gallons per day. Households in the top 20% used an average of 213 gallons per day. I’m using 29% less water than the previous 12 months, perhaps putting me in the top 10% of water savers. But I’m scared of what will happen when summer comes. The drought is real and it will affect each of us. I plan on watering by hand with a hose as much as possible as this will save approximately 33% more than turning on the sprinklers. Soaker hoses will be great assets for water conservation in my vegetable and herb gardens. I will only be planting a smattering of color spots with specimens I am certain can withstand less moisture. Any extra water used for washing or rinsing dishes and bodies is collected and used in my patio pots. What are your plans to keep your garden alive through the forthcoming hot weather while conserving H20?

65 year old pink peony - 5

CHECK your irrigation system and consider investing in newer drip or weather based controllers.

START seeds in any recycled container from plastic cups to coconut hulls. Drill a hole in the bottom, add good potting soil, and you are ready to roll. If you plant in orange rind halves, you can plant the entire “container” in the ground.

SAVE water by placing a bowl under your colander when washing greens and vegetables in the sink. Dump the water in the garden.

SCRUB your outdoor furniture and organize your patio. Spring is here and it’s time to start the party planning.

FRESHEN your curb appeal with fragrant flowering plants such as star jasmine that will welcome guests with their heady spring perfume.

EMPTY any standing water in saucers, old tires, buckets, gutters, or barrels. Mosquitoes are already on the prey. If you have a pond and want free mosquito fish, contact Vector Control at 925-685-9301. Vector Control is also your resource for problems with skunks or yellow jackets.

WATCH for holes of voles in your lawn and garden. Voles are extremely destructive and non-discriminating when it comes to eating everything and anything growing. For major infestations, call in the professional eradicators.

BRIGHTEN your garden with drought tolerant succulents. With so many shapes, sizes, textures, and colors, you’ll be able to create a palette of striking performance that require minimal moisture.

CUT and turn into the soil any cover crops you planted last fall to add nitrogen and nutrients. Clover, mustard, fava beans are ready to be tilled.

CASCADE lantana from retaining walls and containers for long lasting color that attracts beneficial bees and butterflies.

TRELLIS thornless lady banksia roses or purple wisteria for a glorious spring mix that will continue to delight year after year.

VISIT the Moraga Gardens plant sale Saturdays and Sundays through April 19 for a wide variety of home grown from seed vegetables, herbs, and other plants. Each four-inch pot is only $3. Address is 1370 Moraga Way, Moraga from 9am-4pm.

SHEAR and shape conifers and junipers, removing any dead or diseased branches.

FERTILIZE roses, lawns, and all perennials.

DIVIDE, transplant or share with friends iris, delphinium, daylily, and chrysanthemum.

RE-SEED lawns with clover or high quality grass seed for a thicker, lush mat.

TAKE any moveable houseplants outdoors to give them a good shower and thorough drink. Put them on your lawn when you wash and water them, giving your grass a bath as well.
THANKS for all the wonderful comments about my last Digging Deep column, Paradise Found. Special thanks to Lamorinda Weekly reader, Sydney, who shares this tip about growing her 65-year-old spectacular peony: When winters are mild, put ice cubes around the base of your peonies. Prune stems low to a bud in January. Fertilize with fish emulsion and deadhead after blooms are spent in April.

COME to the Be the Star You Are!® charity Book Bash Blow Out on April 25th at 5 A Rent A Space in Moraga to buy brand new books at discount prices. Pick up your FREE seed packets and complimentary potpourri when you say you read The Lamorinda Weekly!

PRAY for April showers!

Enjoy the beauty and scents of springtime. May all your weeds be flowers. Continue being water savvy and garden smart.

Happy Gardening, Happy Growing.

Read Garden Guide

Read about Paradise Found

Suuculent flower
Mark your calendars for the BTSYA BOOK BASH BLOW OUT on Sat. April 25th from 11-4pm at 5 A Rent a Space in Moraga.
Meet authors and get autographed copies. Get FREE Potpourri.

©2015
Cynthia Brian
The Goddess Gardener
Starstyle® Productions, llc
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com
925-377-STAR
I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.

Cynthia Brian is a New York Times best selling author, speaker, coach, and host of the radio show, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasting live every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT on the Voice America Network.. She also is the creator and producer of Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501c3 charity.

Tap into Your Inner Stillness to Achieve Happiness

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Empowerment
Tap into Your Inner Stillness to Achieve Happiness

Eoin_Finn-Headshot_SantaCruz_Nov2014_AliKaukas

This show will explore tapping into our inner stillness to find a connection with our mind and body, community and nature. By doing so we can achieve a life of peace, love and bliss! I am excited to welcome yogi, surfer and Blissologist, Eoin Finn, to the broadcast! Join us as we discuss the concept behind blissology and how we can cultivate a relationship with our inner stillness to guide us in our relationships and connectedness. There will be a call-in Q&A session where you can ask Eoin or me any questions by calling, 1-888-346-9141, 4/5/15 @ 12pm PT

Is Humanity Worth Saving? Are We a Blessing or a Curse?

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Variety
Is Humanity Worth Saving? Are We a Blessing or a Curse?

Rusty wheelbarrow at low tide

On today’s InsideOut Forum Discussion Call we explored this provocative issue about whether humanity is worth saving. What do you believe? Are you of the mind that we should “Save the planet! Kill yourself!” or do you believe that God made us as a blessing and we deserve another chance? Let us know on our blog at http://bethgreen.org/insideout-forum-discussion-call-humanity-worth-saving-blessing-curse/

 

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The Climate Opportunity: Helping the Planet While Improving Our Lives

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7th Wave
The Climate Opportunity: Helping the Planet While Improving Our Lives

beth hand on face shrunk

From drought to floods, climate change has come home. But the solutions are coming home, too. In this video, Beth Green, host of InsideOut radio, gives you a sneak preview of her two-hour climate change special which airs for the first time November 11, 2014, 2-4 pm Pacific time on VoiceAmerica.com. After that, you can listen to the podcast any time. In this video, Beth share her enthusiasm about her co-host and panel of experts, each of whom has a unique voice in helping us understand climate change and the incredible opportunity it presents to us to actually improve our lives while helping our planet. To listen to this show, go to VoiceAmerica.com and look for InsideOut with host Beth Green.

 

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Equinoxes, Eclipses and Portals For Change

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7th Wave
Equinoxes, Eclipses and Portals For Change

Equinoxes, Eclipses, and Portals for Change ©2014 Joan M. Newcomb

We’ve just come through the Equinox, which is a shift in seasons and a new cycle for Nature. And this month we’ve got two eclipses which bring sudden endings and sudden beginnings. They all happen every six months and launch us to a new level of growth, which lasts six months, two years, or more.

This occurs whether we’re aware of it or not, but if we’re operating from Consciousness we can take full advantage of them to accelerate our growth.

Eclipse Anular

Nature’s cycle begins with the Equinox after harvest time. It’s Nature’s New Year. You can align your cycle with Nature and call in a new phase of growth. Be amused to see what unfolds when you do! For the first three months there is ‘soil prep’. View your life as a garden, this is when you are tilling, removing rocks, and adding fertilizer.

Winter Solstice is when things seem to go dormant, but in actuality there’s a lot of activity happening on an unseen level. It may seem that you are daydreaming, but really there are seeds that are overwintering, waiting for the perfect time to sprout.

I find that my life speeds up after the Spring equinox. This is when the unseen architects bring their plans to nature, it’s when you can actually order seeds and start planting. In your life you can begin to move forward, giving roots to your dreams.

It culminates in the Summer, harvest time, you see the fruits of whatever you called in back last Fall.

Eclipses have similar cycles, they’re every six months, coinciding with the Full Moon and New Moon, and about every two years they shift to a different pair of signs. Full moon Eclipses bring sudden endings, it feels like the scaffolding of my life gives way and things collapse, to reveal how strong (or weak) my foundation actually is.

New Moon Eclipses bring beginnings. Opportunities will present themselves, and doors will open. It can seem traumatic. I find that things will suddenly occur, the last straw to ‘break the camel’s back’ and force me in a new direction.

Manifestation sometimes seems to take two years. “Stuck” or static energy held within for two years will show up with physical symptoms. Fantasies will show up in real life two years after they were first dreamt. It seems like one year is rebuilding, the next is deconstruction.

Everything is a creation of Consciousness, and it actually emanated from within. However, you can consciously work with these forces to set your intentions and bring things into form.

You can think of astrology like energy weather. If you want to build a house, you’d probably aim to do so during the dry season in your geographic area. If you’re sailing around the world, you’d choose to go with the wind and ocean currents (and avoid hurricane season)!

Realize that if something sudden or shocking ends or begins, you called it in from your highest Consciousness. Find a way to be in agreement with it, or in the least amount of resistance to it happening. See that behind everything is an opportunity to grow, expand, emotionally deepen, and gain greater awareness. Keep this in mind for the rest of the month and see what happens!

Listen to our show, Conscious Conversations with Joan and Janet, for more in-depth discussion on this topic!

Suffering From Burnout? Love Is The Cure! by Deborah Jane Wells (Part 3 of 3)

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Suffering From Burnout? Love Is The Cure! by Deborah Jane Wells (Part 3 of 3)

deborah wellsPicking up where we left off at the end of part 2 of this article, becoming conscious and claiming your personal power to neutralize the judge will yield immeasurable benefits. You will literally be able to redefine your world, because there is no absolute reality, only the story you tell yourself about what is happening and what it means. Every being, encounter, and experience that comes my way is filtered through a conglomeration of lenses that results in my unique perceptions.

These lenses cause me to see my world in a certain way. They are influenced by my unique and complex mix of myriad factors: the family, cultural, and societal norms I was taught; my physical and mental abilities; my personality and natural talents; my birth order; the patterns I deduced from all my past experiences; and the assumptions I’ve presumed concerning what’s likely and possible in the future. For example, the game of golf can be perceived as any or all of the following, depending on your lenses:

  • a delightful afternoon immersed in nature
  • an exhilarating and rewarding competitive event
  • a fun way to exercise with friends
  • an endless day of humiliation and torture

Let’s look at my own experience with golf to access this insight more deeply. When we lived on the East Coast, my husband and I owned a vacation home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. When my son, Matt, was eleven years old, we enrolled him in kids’ camp to help him enjoy his time there even more by spending it being active outdoors with his peers. One weekend in August, he signed up for a daylong sports camp that provided tennis instruction in the morning and golf in the afternoon. He returned home at the end of the day utterly smitten with golf.

We were so thrilled by Matt’s enthusiasm that we enrolled in a family golf clinic so the three of us could learn and play together. We were all beginners, out there to have fun and enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We passed many a delightful afternoon playing nine holes. With a tee time late in the day and no one behind us on the course, we could take our time, observing the privilege of unlimited mulligans (do-overs) and stopping to harvest lost golf balls in the woods. Advancing the little white ball down the fairway to the little white cup was always secondary to having a good time.

Until I switched to a consulting firm where golf was not a hobby but a responsibility. One of the benefits—nay, expectations—of being a partner in this firm was that I would play golf with my colleagues and clients. In fact, I would be expected to woo prospective clients on the golf course. To do that, I was expected to be a moderately good golfer, not an embarrassment to my firm and myself.

Gone were the leisurely afternoons on my beloved Blue Ridge golf course. Now my games with family became practice for the performance my partners expected me to deliver. While swearing was not the norm for me, now when I missed the first two shots off the tee, I swore. Now when I hit a shot into a sand trap, I threw my club down the fairway while swearing. When this happened, I’d explain to my companions that my father had been in the merchant marines. They’d say, “Did he swear a lot?” “No,” I’d reply, “evidently it skipped a generation.”

Because children don’t do what we say but rather do what they see us do, it’s unsurprising that, in short order, my eleven-year-old was also throwing his clubs and swearing like a sailor. That’s when I finally got a grip. Matt and I agreed that when either of us behaved badly on the course, we had to take a time-out together in the golf cart until both of us had returned to civility. As a result, Matt and I went through a period where we spent more time in the golf cart than on the course. This may have been just as well, because we were living proof that anger is not necessarily a performance enhancer.

One day, weary of swearing, throwing clubs, and spending time in the cart, the two of us sat there, arms crossed, scowling. After a few minutes of reflection, I said, “Babe, this has got to stop. Neither of us is having any fun anymore. I think I’ve figured out my problem. I’m imagining the potentially angry, ridiculing voices of my partners in my head, and I can’t relax and have fun when I’ve put them in there to beat me up. What’s going on in your head?” He looked at me with all the disgust of a kid who believes his parent has gone ’round the bend and said, “I have no idea. I don’t even know your new partners!”

However unconscious the process may feel at the time, you are always manifesting the world you choose to see. You create your reality in each moment by choosing what you will think, believe, feel, and do based on what your lenses allow. You can choose to look through the lens of fear and remain weighed down and self-imprisoned, or you can choose the lens of love and embrace a life of freedom and flow. No outside event or situation, no other person can dictate my attitude. Newsflash: in your life, you are the great decider.

The only person controlling your life is you. Turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities by harnessing the transformative power of love to step into your greatness. Choose your energy and change your life!

© Copyright 2013 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

What’s love got to do with minimizing stress and getting unstuck? Everything, according to empowerment coach and inspirational speaker Deborah Jane Wells, author of Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! During her 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, Deborah served as a senior partner in four of the world’s largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, she took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. Her recovery from burnout, including a sustained 80-pound weight loss and freedom from 10 years of debilitating depression, led to finding her purpose guiding others on their journeys. Through healing and self-exploration, she discovered that loving yourself unconditionally is the key to transforming your personal life, your work, and the world. Deborah’s books, blog, radio show, and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness that same transformative power of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. Learn more at Deborah Jane Wells.

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