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Hop to it!

Posted by Cynthia Brian on
Hop to it!


 Miracle Moment®

“I have a rabbit’s foot, a four-leaf clover, and a lucky charm. The only problem is, none of them become effective until I do.”


A Message from Founder/Executive Director, Cynthia Brian

As we welcome in the Year of the Rabbit, it’s a perfect time to focus on empowerment and encouragement.  I have adopted and raised bunnies since I was a little girl and find them to be smart, sweet, strong, affectionate, and fast. Rabbits are one of my favorite creatures. People born in the year of the Rabbit are believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious. Does this describe you?

Empowerment is about giving people the tools and resources they need to take control of their lives, to make their own decisions, and to create the future they want. Encouragement is about providing support and motivation to help people achieve their goals. Together, empowerment and encouragement can help us all to lead happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.

In the coming year, let us all make a commitment to empowering and encouraging those around us. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, a colleague, or a stranger, we can all make a difference by offering a helping hand, a kind word, or a listening ear.

One way to empower others is by giving them a voice. This can be done by being an active listener and providing an opportunity for them to express themselves and have their opinions heard. Encourage them to share their ideas, thoughts, and feelings, and create an environment where they feel safe and respected.

Another way to empower others is by providing them with the resources they need to succeed. This can be done by sharing knowledge, providing access to education, or offering financial assistance. Encourage them to take risks, to learn from their mistakes and to strive for their goals.

Finally, let us all endeavor to be a positive influence in the lives of others. Encourage others to be their best selves, to believe in themselves and to be resilient in the face of challenges. Let us be a light in the darkness, a beacon of hope, and an inspiration to all those around us.

As we hop into the Year of the Rabbit, aspire to assist, support, and motivate those around us, while being empowered and encouraged in return. When you are your unapologetically authentic self, service to others is easy. Every one is unique and everyone counts.


No matter how many lucky charms you have, until you go into action to be affective, nothing will be effective.

For 2023, I pledge to welcome, support, listen, value, and encourage our constellation of stars through kindness, inclusivity, generosity, and gratitude.

Will you join me?

Together, we can create a brighter future for ourselves and for the world.

Happy New Year!

With gratitude,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556




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

Words To Remember

by Karen Kitchel

I asked many people this important question: “What was something said to you that you will never forget?”

Here’s a sampling of the responses:

“When I grow up, I want to be you.”

 “Your mental health is more important than maintaining a toxic friendship.”

  “I do believe in fairies. And Santa Claus. And leprechauns. Don’t let the magic go away.”

“If you don’t believe in miracles, miracles won’t happen.”

“Life’s most difficult issue, which causes so much pain, is learning to say goodbye.”

“Don’t say ‘good-bye’. Say ‘farewell, until we meet again.’”

“Never say never.”

“Everything is possible when you are willing to work to achieve it.”

“Be brave.”

“Take measured risks.”

“Be the Star You Are!”

What words will you speak today that may empower someone to remember?

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

Do You Want to Help? Here are lots of ways to make a difference.

  • Shop online at thousands of stores by using one of these sites that give back:


Amazon Books


                Giving Assistant


Humble Bundle Digital Content

  • #Giving Tuesday PayPal adds 1%, Donate at https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504
  • Volunteer time
  • Become a Benefactor
  • Establish A Charitable Giving Account with an Investment Firm in the name of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3
  • Donate rent money for our storage space

Please join our Galaxy of Stars and support BE THE STAR YOU ARE!® with your contributions and/or ask your company to be on our team. Visit our creative community at http://www.BTSYA.org for book reviews, news items, newsletters, and press pass clips.



Small DONATIONS Make a Big Difference to Others:

Decrease Violence. Increase Literacy.

$25 provides 5 new books.

$50 provides 12 new books.

$100 provides 28 new books.

Donate via Paypal Giving Fund


or Visit www.BTSYA.org




PO Box 376,

Moraga, California 94556

Make a donation via Paypal Giving Fund

View a partial list of beneficiaries we have served.

All donations are tax-deductible according to law. A tax receipt will be emailed to you for all donations over $25.00

Be a Honey Bunny! Welcome, support, listen, value, and encourage others!

Happy Hopping!

With gratitude and encouragement to make 2023 a great year!

Share StarStyle® Empowerment

A New Garden Year

Posted by rstapholz on
A New Garden Year

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“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”

– William Blake

The rainy days and nights have been a welcome respite to our dry, drought-driven California. What a delight to witness hills of green and listen to the rushing waters in our creeks. In the past few weeks, seeds and weeds have germinated providing a lush look to every landscape. Green is the color of life, renewal, and most of all, nature. How fortunate we are to behold green spaces and places as the new year kicks off. 

After the recent atmospheric river, I went to check on the Brussel sprouts and sugar snap peas previously planted. To my surprise and delight, the gravel path was covered with sprouted arugula and nasturtium, a most delicious unplanned encounter. The seeds must have blown in from the vegetable garden bestowing a ready-made salad corridor.

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In another area, chamomile has covered the ground like a lavish lime carpet. Weeds, appearing as ground covers have made their appearance as well.

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The common cutleaf geranium, a wild weed also known as cut-leaved cranesbill, blankets my hillside. It is beautiful at this stage of its prostrate growth; however, it will prevent other plants from developing. By spring, it will sport tiny pink florets. The recommendation is to control its spread early as each plant will produce 150 seeds or more that will remain viable for 5 to 10 years! I have work to do.

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In winter, wisteria is a tangle of bare branches. My purple wisteria has twined its way into my flowering pear which makes for an artistic tableau with the pear blossoms peeking out from the brambles.

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Fresh leaves have emerged on the loquat tree and the magnolia leaves are a shining brilliant green.

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Society garlic, bergenia, narcissus, and roses offer additional color to the emerald landscape.

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Naked lady bulbs have sprouted their gorgeous green leaves which are commonly mistaken for agapanthus fronds. I write about Naked ladies often as they are a foundation of my late summer garden with their long naked necks and pretty, pink faces. This week I’ve been shooting photos of their green leaves which enhance the beauty of barren earth. 

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My garden has entered the new year in decent enough shape that I will be able to enjoy the winter. If you haven’t gardened before, 2022 will be the time to personalize and customize your outdoor experience to reduce stress, smell the roses, and eat what you grow. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a survey that found 42% of Americans experienced anxiety or depression in 2021 compared to just 11% pre-pandemic. Growing, giving, and receiving flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruits trigger the feel-good hormones that heal. Most seeds that are being sold this year will be for edibles as more and more people realize that growing what we want to consume is easy, nutritious, and better for the planet. The Garden Media Group reported that in 2021, 18.3 million people took up gardening, with interest levels equal between men and women. 80% of the younger generation consider gardening a worthwhile and “cool” endeavor as the concern with climate change, plant and wildlife extinction, and food equity escalates. People with children are especially interested in growing organic and natural foods.


Purchasing grow-your-own kits that include the container, seeds, plants, fertilizer, and supports as well as raised beds are expected to be in high demand. Adding native plants to increase biodiversity and forage for the birds and wildlife will also be a critical ingredient. The National Wildlife Federation launched a Guide for Wildlife collection of keystone native plants that will attract insects that will feed 95% of backyard bird species. Getting to know our neighborhood birds has already become a popular pastime. Make sure to provide forage for them as you enjoy their symphonic tunes. (See my article, A Berry, Merry Christmas…Mostly for the Birds https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1522/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-A-berry-merry-Christmas-mostly-for-the-birds.html)


You don’t need a large landscape to have a garden. You can buy planter boxes or containers that will fit on your porch, balcony, patio, or even a windowsill. Start planning a mixture of flowers, ornamental, and edibles. Many flowers are both beautiful and edible including violets, nasturtium, pansies, tulip petals, day lilies, bee balm, calendula, roses, hostas, and herb flowers. By making 2022 the year to embrace organic methods, adding more plants to our dining menus, and composting the leftovers, we can each do our part to reduce our carbon footprint.

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As you write your goals and resolutions for 2022, I encourage you to keep a green journal and add gardening to the top of your list. You will be rewarded with a more peaceful mind, a soulful spirit, a kinder heart, and a body that is nourished. Cultivate green and together we will dig deeper to sustain and nurture our environment for ourselves and future generations. 

Photos and more: 


Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy Green New Year!

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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.




Posted by rstapholz on

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It’s Not Too Late To Donate!

Happy New Year

“Shatter the limits, blow up the barriers, multiply the possibilities! Hurray, a brand new year begins soon.” 

Still Time to Make a Difference

Since the pandemic halted so many activities, nonprofits have had to do more with less money. Be the Star You Are!® is one of those small, grassroots 501c3 that continued to support those in need throughout these troubling times.

If you are able, make a donation now to continue our outreach efforts on behalf of women, families, and youth.  Don’t forget that expanded charitable giving tax deductions were included in the CARES ACT and are applicable through December 31, 2021.


Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Or you can choose to make the donation using many different payment methods which may have fees via by GiveButter at https://givebutter.com/be-the-star-you-are-charity.


MOLLY REQDING TO ALESANA$25 provides 5 new books.

$50 provides 12 new books.

$100 provides 28 new books.

“Read, lead, succeed. To be a leader, you must be a reader.” 

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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/


BTSYA 3 book series

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


BTSYA High Res Logo CCI. 2Thank you to everyone who has supported Be the Star You Are!® through volunteering and donating. We look forward to enjoying a healthy and happy relationship today, tomorrow, and always.

May your best days of 2021 be your worst days of 2022!

Happy New Year from Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556

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2021 Rainbows, STARS, and Sparkles

Posted by presspass on
2021 Rainbows, STARS, and Sparkles



“The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

One of the profound pearls of wisdom that my daughter taught me is that we have to endure the rain if we want to witness the rainbows. 2020 has been a cataclysmic year like no other we have witnessed. Over 1% of the population of the United States have died from the Covid-19 pandemic and millions are sick. Our hearts are heavy with grief over those we lost too soon. Social unrest, political tensions, racial violence, rising unemployment. shuttered businesses, shelter-in-place orders, isolation, online-schooling, and other challenges have afflicted our nation in a devastating manner.

Yet, we are resilient. We are hopeful. And with a vaccine available in the near future, we can look forward to enjoying rainbows. It has been a difficult ten months for everyone and we all share in the sorrow and the pain.

Chin up.

Remain optimistic.
Be kind.

Help others.

Be happy.

Be grateful.

As we come to the end of 2020, I personally thank you for your support of Be the Star You Are!® as we struggled to continue our outreach programs. Like everything this year, it hasn’t been easy, especially without in-person events and fundraisers. But BTSYA has continued to increase literacy and positive media messages without a delay in production.

Our volunteers have read hundreds of books and written excellent reviews to help parents, teachers, students, guardians, and kids find relief through the pages of a book. Make sure to check out the reviews at http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html and also visit our literacy partner’s site at The Reading Tub: https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/

Our two radio shows, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® and Express Yourself! Teen radio never missed a week of broadcasting while showcasing authors, actors, activists, artists, musicians, poets, entrepreneurs, medical professionals and other creatives who could help listeners get through these tough times with joy and positivity. (https://www.BethestarYouAreRadio.com)

Operation Disaster Relief continues year-round.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation before December 31. Thanks to a temporary provision in the CARES Act, in 2020, you can elect to use charitable donations to deduct up to 100% of your AGI. If you have the means and you want a tax deduction, this is the time to do it.  (Naturally consult with your tax advisor).

Two easy ways to donate: 

By check to Be the Star You Are!

PO Box 376

Moraga, Ca. 94556 


through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504.

If you donate via check, a tax receipt will be sent to you via email or mail. If you donate via Paypal, you will get an instant receipt. If you send us a copy of your Paypal donation receipt via email, I can personally acknowledge your contribution and send you a receipt from BTSYA as well. Send your Paypal receipt to cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org.

Another way to donate is by purchasing any of our books and other items.

May rainbows fill your days in 2021 showering you with stars and sparkles.

Wishing you healthier, happier, holistic New Year! Celebrate being alive.

With gratitude,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556




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

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Links to Help You During Difficult Times

Jillian Day of 508assist.org, generously provided these links to help everyone and especially those with any disabilities now and in the future.

What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws: This article explains workers’ rights as they apply to the coronavirus.

How to Best Seek Medical Treatment During the Pandemic: This is a great resource for anyone who needs to seek medical treatment now and in the coming months.

How to Ease Social Isolation During the Pandemic: This article offers coping strategies to those feeling isolated.

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When you are seeking a great book for young readers, check out the thousands of book reviews at our literacy partner, The Reading Tub.  Be the Star You Are! volunteers read and write honest, first person reviews with recommendations for similar books. The amazing Executive Director, Terry Doherty, double-checks every submission for accuracy and authenticity. https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/

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To avoid exposure to coronavirus in stores, shop on-line. We have a dozen suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe while supporting Be the Star You Are!. Most are offering major discounts or sales. for all of your shopping essentials.

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

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

4Stock up on autographed, first edition books from our StarStyle® store and we will include extra goodies with your order. Plus, through the holidays we are including a complimentary CD of beautiful, relaxing music to help you decompress. https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store.

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

6. Modern Nursery: https://bit.ly/2WQv7lJ

High-end furniture and decor for the new baby in the house!

7. Abba Patio: https://bit.ly/3eXTJPV

Quality gardening products including umbrellas canopies, gazebos, hammocks, furniture, and more.

8. Botanical Interests: https://bit.ly/39spMXe 

Seeds and botanical art. Free garden coloring book and other downloads.

9.Fifth Room: https://bit.ly/2D4ymPL 

Beautiful structures and furniture for

outdoor and indoor living including gazebos, pergolasbridges, sunrooms, pool houses, and more.

10.Nature Hills: https://bit.ly/301ZgAV 

Extensive selection of plants, seeds, bulbs, and garden accessories plus trees, shrubs, and perennials.

11.Sunnydaze: https://bit.ly/3bpr1rb

Fountains, fire pits, hammocks, outdoor furniture, garden gnomesand accessories with FREE shipping.

12. SunBasket: https://bit.ly/2DipPsT

Healthy meal service delivery with fresh, organic ingredients. Eat clean. . Feel Great!

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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

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

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GUIDESTAR/CANDID: 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:


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Sending you rainbows and sparkles for a healthy, healthy, healthy

New Year. Health is wealth. The rest will follow.

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Be the Star You Are!

PO Box 376

Moraga, Ca. 94556



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