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Ready, Set, Grow!

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Empowerment
Ready, Set, Grow!

Cynthia Brian'Growing with the Goddess Gardener book.jpg

“All through the long winter I dream of my garden. On the first warm day of Spring I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.” Helen Hayes

Spring is finally here and with it comes the best little gift book to fill Easter baskets and give as Passover presents for anyone who loves nature.

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Whether you consider yourself a brown thumb or a green thumb, Growing with The Goddess Gardener, will enchant, inspire, and motivate you to get up off the couch, power down your gadgets, and go outside to smell the roses. This book is a brilliant bouquet of twelve months of heartfelt true short stories celebrating living, loving, laughing, and learning in the garden. A calendar years worth of tips, tricks, and to-do lists guides you in your quest of mindfully cultivating your own fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers in following chapters. Filled with gorgeous photos of plants, gardens, and accessories, you’ll be inspired to start digging. In your hands is the power to make this world a more beautiful place while you connect and collaborate with Mother Nature on your terms. Back cover-Growiung 6 x 6 – Version 3.jpgThe Goddess Gardener invites you to a personalized garden party. Get going and start sowing with Growing!

 

Ready, Set, Grow!

Buy autographed copies at discounted prices with lots of extras included.

Available with color or black and white interiors.

Published by Waterside Press

http://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store

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ISBN 13: 978-1-945949-59-3 (black and white interior)

ISBN 13: 978-1-945949968 (color interior)

25% of each sale benefits the literacy charity Be the Star You Are!® www.BetheStarYouAre.org

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Check out Cynthia Brian’s other great books, including the New York Time best seller, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul!

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For bulk or premium sales, contact Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

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Read More:
http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/7dea0ebbfe/288055965/bbd34d3431/

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Sow Spring

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Empowerment
Sow Spring

 

freezias succulents.jpgBy Cynthia Brian

“All through the long winter I dream of my garden. On the first warm day of Spring I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.” Helen Hayes

My cell rang as I juggled to open the front door, arms filled with books. I pressed the speaker button and in the few seconds it took me to say “hello” my daughter’s excited voice chimed, “Mom, I hear the frogs singing. It’s springtime!”

As winter bids farewell, the male troubadours “de printemps”, fill the early evening mist with their mating croaks to entice the females. Their call is joyous, raucous, and a welcome harbinger of new life. My garden has erupted in a cavalcade of color as one blossom after another unfurls its beauty. Cherries, chestnut, plum, crabapple, Asian pear, Western red bud, and tulip magnolia are magnificent with their new wardrobes of rose, white, pink, and purple. The feathery fronds of fennel glisten in the sunlight. The fragrance of freesia, narcissi, and stock perfume the atmosphere. Periwinkle, also known as vinca, enhances garden beds with its tiny blue flowers. Even my roses are blooming earlier than normal. Hellebores, more commonly called Lenten roses, inject the earthy colors of browns and grays into the landscape. As their spring sepals emerge, vibrant hues of purple, green, blue, lavender, red, and pink brighten shady gardens, eventually fading in color variation. It seems that all of nature has been holding its breath until the frogs returned cueing the melodic symphony of nature.

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On the first seventy-degree weather day, I was outside in my bikini and shorts digging in the dirt.  Thickets of weeds sprouted after the recent rains. The good news is that they are easy to pull with the dampness of the soil.  If you planted cover crops, it is time to turn them under. Once weeds are eradicated, rake the ground before scattering seeds. I’m a fan of California poppies, not only for their shimmering range of sherbet colors, but also because they tolerate extremes in weather, are resistant to deer munchies, and reseed easily. Even the recent hailstorm won’t adversely affect poppies. As soon as you can work the ground, sow seeds directly into well-drained beds and plant in full sun. Even if the weather is cool, poppies can handle light frost, so sow now!  If you haven’t amended your soil with compost, you may need to fertilize.  Keep the soil moist then thin seedlings to about six inches apart to allow for the plants to flourish.

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Sow Spring Seeds

For a succession of blooms, scatter seeds from any of your favorite annuals. These plants are pollinator attractors, enjoy plentiful sunshine, and most are excellent as cut flowers.

Alyssum

Aster

Baby Blue Eyes

Baby’s Breath

Bachelor Buttons

Black Eyed Susan

Bluebell

Calendula

Candytuft

Cornflower

Clarkia

Coreopsis

Cosmos

Forget-Me-Not

Gaillardia

Hollyhock

Lavatara

Marigold

Poppy

Stock

Strawflower

Sunflower

Zinnia

My preferred time to spread seeds is right before a shower. Keep an eye on the forthcoming weather and plan accordingly. The rain will give your seeds a deep drink and you won’t have to water immediately.

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Grab your hat, gloves, a spade, and packets of seeds to enjoy the renaissance of nature. Dig your fingers into the soft earth and watch your spirits soar. As the renowned horticulturist, author, artist, and garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll wrote, “The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies.”  Be reborn this spring.

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for March

  • PLANT rhubarb for a pretty perennial that will supply you with plenty of ruby red stalks for pies and tarts this summer. Cut off and discard all rhubarb leaves as they contain poisonous oxalic acid.
  • INVEST in roots of asparagus. Asparagus can take up to five years to produce spears but will continue to offer a bountiful harvest for twenty years. Experiment with Purple Passion (purple is the color of the year!) for a sweet, tender, and mild flavor.
  • PULL weeds as soon as you see them sprout while the ground is still moist.
  • CHOP down cover crops and hoe into the soil.
  • FERTILIZE lawns to give them a good boost of nitrogen and nutrients for the forthcoming season.
  • PICK established kale and other greens before they go to seed.
  • CHECK irrigation system for breaks or leaks.
  • BUILD raised beds for your vegetables and herbs. Your back will thank you throughout the year,.
  • ADD fresh compost to all garden beds.
  • SEED or re-seed lawns. I recommend Pearl’s Premium for its durability, deep roots, and need for minimal water. http://www.PearlsPremium.com.
  • PRUNE privets into hedges and bushes unless you want tall trees.
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  • LOOSEN compacted soil by turning amendments into the soil with a garden fork.
  • CLIP boxwoods and shape as needed.
  • HARVEST beets that were planted in fall.
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  • BUY discounted tickets to the June 15th Oakland A’s versus Los Angeles Angeles Baseball Game with a portion of proceeds benefitting the 501 c3 charity, Be the Star You Are® http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org
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  • START seeds of tomatoes indoors or a in a greenhouse.
  • CONTINUE to pick up all fallen camellia blossoms until there are none left on your bush or tree. My tree had thousands of blooms this year. My daily regimen includes collecting at least 100 or more spent blooms.
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  • CHECK the weather forecasts to know when it’s going to sprinkle or rain. It’s best to sow and fertilize at this time.
  • SUPPORT eco-therapy and walk in the woods. Forest bathing or shinrin-yoku has been scientifically proven to improve our immune systems.
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  • FOR more spring landscaping tips, buy Growing with the Goddess Gardener, www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store.

Read more at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1202/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Sow-spring.html

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Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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 Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Available for hire.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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March On and Spring Forward

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Empowerment
March On and Spring Forward

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“Truth is rarely written in ink. It lives in nature.” Martin H. Fischer

It all started with a box of toothpicks.

My siblings and I finally had the heart and the stamina to begin cleaning out our Mother’s farmhouse that was built before 1900. We made the mandatory four piles––garbage, donation, share, and keep as we meticulously emptied and cleaned each drawer and cabinet. When we came upon several brand new boxes of toothpicks, we kept a few and shared the rest.

When I returned home, I opened my drawer where I kept my toothpicks to discover that I already had six boxes of 500 picks. Horrified, I emptied that drawer; created four piles, and what began as a simple task of putting away a small box of toothpicks resulted in a full day of purging and organizing.

Which gets me to our garden marching orders for the month. It is time to clean out the potting shack, clear the storage sheds, organize the garage, and tidy up our cluttered gardens. Prune the hedges, edge the lawn, sharpen tools, wash the lawn mower blades, and pull the sprouting weeds.

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Spring forward by cleaning our houses and removing the debris from our gardens.

There is something about the pre-spring season that revs up our systems and begs us to dust off the old to make way for the new. We yearn to get rid of the mess that has been gathering. My storage area was filled with odd pieces of wire, broken light fixtures, string lights, patio pads, tiki torches, oil, glass, lawn seed, fertilizer, soil mixes, Christmas tree stands, old toys from kids long gone, punctured hoses, and a multitude of under utilized machines and gadgets geared to make gardening simpler but in reality were just too burdensome. It took me a full seven days to bring order to the chaos.

As overwhelming as this project sounds, the best way to start is to just start!

Don’t be paralyzed by the enormity of the task. Do it bit by bit but take everything out of the spaces you are going to clean. Don’t try to “wipe” around anything. Everything out! Once the space is empty, sweep it, mop it, brush out the cobwebs, and disinfect it. Next, designate four areas for de-cluttering: Keep, Donate, Trash, Recycle/Sell. You will be amazed at how much junk you have. Anything you are keeping, donating, giving away, or selling must be cleaned. Dump the trash unless you have chemicals, insecticides, pesticides, paints, or contaminates. Take those items to a special facility for disposal. Contact your garbage collection agency for drop off locations. Box your donations and donate immediately lest you be tempted to reclaim items. Do the same with your recyclables or sale items. Organize what’s left to store in a manner that is easily and safely accessible.

Walk around your garden and really look at your landscape. What needs a tune up? Are the hinges on your gate squeaking?  Do you have broken fence slats? Do your hedges need a haircut? When was the last time you painted or stained your deck? Is it time for a patio power wash?

Pick up the dog bones, clean out the litter boxes, and get a storage container for all of the unused children’s or pet toys. Check your irrigation system. Turn on the sprinklers to determine if you have any broken heads or pipes. What about your nightscaping? Do you have bulbs that are burned out? Are the batteries run down on your solar lights?

Your front entrance and sidewalk are the first greeting areas for yourself and guests. Give your porch a thorough cleaning and sweeping. Add a blooming plant in a pretty container. Buy a new “Welcome” mat. Polish the hardware on your door.

After weeding your flowerbeds, add a fresh layer of mulch not only to beautify your landscape, but also to retain moisture and keep the soil temperatures constant while deterring erosion. Turn the compost pile.

As you march around your yard you’ll discover a plethora of chores that are begging for your attention. Make a list, check it twice or three times, and get to the most important items first.

Garden Happenings

The bare branches of the trees tell us that it is still winter, but the buzzing of the bees coupled with the sweet melodies of songbirds indicate that spring is right around the corner.

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My garden seems to have awakened from its slumber a full month early. Until the last few days of the month, February had been bone dry and exceptionally sunny forcing numerous plants to bloom early. Daffodils and narcissi have been blooming for two months and will continue for another two. The Italian white peach that normally forecasts a St. Patrick’s Day celebration burst into full bloom on Valentine’s Day. My shamrocks, also known as oxalis, are in their cheery yellow glory. Colorful freesias, tulips, Dutch iris, calla lilies, and hyacinths announce the stirrings of spring.

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The precipitation was welcome news, but the cold front that accompanied the rain dropping temperatures into the twenties caused tender plants to freeze. The morning after the first frigid night, the shriveled shapes of lamium, sage, and nasturtium greeted me on my daily meditation walk. Part of tidying the garden is to understand what to prune back and what to leave until all danger of frost has past. The sage and lamium are best cut immediately, while the pruning of the nasturtium will wait until later in the month.

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Viburnum, with its tiny white flowers, does well in cold weather and accentuates the beauty of a four-season garden.

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If you properly pruned your roses towards the end of January or beginning of February, you will see that they are now sprouting leaves. Within a month, buds will open. A few of my David Austen roses are already blooming.

David austin -Olivia Rose Austin (Ausmixture) 15A3982.jpgI am still planting bare root roses. World renowned rosarian, Michael Marriott joined me on my radio broadcast on March 7th . Get more information at https://www.starstyleradio.com/starstyle-radio. Michael discussed the latest trends and techniques in cultivating a beautiful rose garden.  Tune in at https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/105598/david-austin-roses-with-michael-marriott-and-jungle-jauntMicahel Marriott-cynthia brian, David Austin Roses 2.jpg My Mother used to instruct us with the words “cleanliness is next to Godliness”.  That truth wasn’t written in ink, but it did help me toss that extra box of toothpicks. I know for certain that everything looks so much better and more attractive when it’s clean and clutter-free.

Live in truth. Live in nature.

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for March

  • BRING branches of forsythia or quince inside to allow the blooms to open in a vase.
  • PICK up fallen camellias.
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  • FERTILIZE the entire garden, if possible right before it rains.
  • BUY discounted tickets to the A’s versus Angels baseball game for June 15 with proceeds benefitting local charity, Be the Star You Are!®. www.BetheStarYouAre.org/events
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  • HARVEST wild mustard for salads and soups. Delicious and nutritious.
  • DIG up beets and make sure to eat the tops.
  • COME to LaGaelrinda event at St. Mary’s College between 9-1pm on March 17th  to visit the Be the Star You Are!® booth where I’ll be selling and autographing my newest book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener. Buy it online at www.CynthiaBrian.com/on-line store and get FREE seeds, potpourri and other goodies.
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  • WANT an instant privacy screen in your yard? For immediate large hedges, a new product will ship this spring from a company called Instant Hedge offering thirteen varieties of ready-to-plant hedges that have been growing for five years with heights up to six feet. Inspired by plantscapes in Holland, the panel of four trees with dense foliage will ship in a biodegradable cardboard box. Visit http://instanthedge.com.
  • POT a clump of oxalis shamrocks for your St Patrick’s Day dinner.

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Read more at : https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1201/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-March.html

Wishing you the luck of the Irish and the wind at your back. March on and spring forward!

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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 Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Her new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, is available at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

Available for hire.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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The Magic of May By Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
The Magic of May By Cynthia Brian

The Magic of May

By Cynthia Brian

“Harmony makes small things grow.
Lack of it makes big things decay.” Sallust

By mid May Mother Nature has waved her magical wand sprinkling glitter and glory among her growing children. No matter where you look, shrubs, trees, and landscapes showcase a beauty and harmony that set this month apart from the remaining eleven. Herbaceous peonies are budding and will bloom for weeks offering outstanding companionship to mixed perennial gardens. Glorious bouquets of roses decorate pathways and arbors. Fields of bearded iris brighten the most mundane areas with their multitude of colors, gentle fragrance, and graceful arches. Horse chestnut, buckeye, and locust trees are overflowing with grape-like bunches of blooms. Get up close to examine the intricacies of their flowers.

The warmer weather has sped up the blooming season while only a month earlier the cooler weather slowed it down. My waves of bright blue forget-me-nots have settled into a sea of seeds that attach to any clothing that ventures near easily spreading the flowers to places unplanned. Along the creek beds, even the poisonous hemlock weeds sprouted several feet taller than in previous years with attractive clusters of flowers resembling Queen Anne’s lace. Tiny Alpine strawberries are red, ripe, and delicious as snacks or in salads. Better to eat these than any store-bought strawberry. Thanks to the unparalleled Pearl’s Premium grass seeds, my lawn has never looked so lush and lovely. If you want turf that is tough, drought resistant, low maintenance, and beautiful, start thinking now about preparing your ground for an autumn seeding of Pearl’s Premium. (www.PearlsPremium.com)

The Old Farmer’s Almanac recently contacted a colleague garden writer asking about what tools, products, and plants gardeners sought most this year. She posted a request for suggestions on our member community site and I reveled in the answers that I believe resonate with you, my garden guide readers. Here’s my abbreviated version of what we gardeners want.
1. We crave information that we can use on a daily basis.
2. We want to grow our own food for better nutrition and first-rate freshness.
3. We want to save money.
4. We want to bring pollinators into our gardens for an organically friendly habitat. We are putting out the welcome mat for birds, bees, butterflies, and bats.
5. We want to reduce waste by composting more.
6. We want tools that are sturdy, long lasting, yet not exorbitantly expensive.
7. We want to explore simpler to use, more environmentally friendly power tools that are battery powered and strong.
8. We want space saving ideas including container and vertical gardening techniques.
9. We want to learn to prune properly.
10. We want low maintenance, native alternatives, and drought resistant plants.
11. We want to ENJOY our garden rooms!

The wants of the national garden community echo locally as well. My promise to you is to continue to bring you the latest tools, tips, and tricks that will make your garden experience extraordinary.

CLEAN and DIRTY PRODUCE

In my opinion, one of the main reasons to grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs is to know what is in your soil and on your plants. The USDA discovered 178 different pesticides on sample produce this year with the residue persisting even after the produce was thoroughly washed. Strawberries topped the list with over 20 different pesticides, one of the main reasons I grow my own strawberries and Alpine berries.

The cleanest and therefore the healthiest produce included:
1. Corn,
2. Avocadoes
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbage
5. Onions
6. Peas
7. Papaya
8. Asparagus
9. Mangoes
10. Eggplant
11. Honeydew Melons
12. Kiwis
13. Cantaloupe
14. Cauliflower
15. Grapefruit

Pesticide residues are extremely rare on “The Clean Fifteen” so these are items that we can buy and serve without worry.

Known as “the Dirty Dozen” here’s a list of the worst produce culprits you can purchase:
1. Strawberries
2. Spinach
3. Nectarines
4. Apples
5. Peaches
6. Celery
7. Grapes
8. Pears
9. Cherries
10. Tomatoes
11. Bell Peppers
12. Potatoes

Sadly, all of these fruits and vegetables are family favorites and generally considered to be healthy. Luckily we can easily grow all of these and if you don’t want to grow your own, make sure to buy organic.

Speaking of dirty, let’s get really dirty! In a year when we are finally out of a drought, reservoirs are filled to capacity and overflowing, EBMUD wants to raise our rates for both water and wastewater services! If you received a notice of a public hearing from the East Bay Municipal Utility District, read it carefully. Write a protest letter to let EBMUD know that you do not want higher rates. Send to EBMUD, MS218, PO Box 24055, Oakland, Ca. 94623-1055 or you can protest in person on Tuesday, June 13 at 1:15pm at 375 11th Street, Oakland, Ca. 94607.

I am vehemently opposed to another water hike when we have all been so diligent in saving and conserving water for the past several years. Our water rates are already untenable. Let EBMUD know you are against all rate increases. Give us a break, EBMUD!

Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Gardening Tips

⎫ TUNE UP your irrigation system. Check for sprinklers that aren’t working, bushes or fences that are blocking sprinkler heads, broken pipes, clogged nozzles, leaky hoses and valves, and sprinklers that are spraying driveways and walkways.

⎫ MULCH for water retention and weed prevention. Three inches is recommended. Your soil will improve over time as well.

⎫ TAKE breaks while gardening to protect your back and knees.

⎫ PLANT summer blooming bulbs and seeds. There are over one hundred different choices of bulbs and two hundred perennials.

⎫ IMPROVE memory, lower cancer risk, and promote your heart health by planting a container of blueberries. Easy to grow as a patio plant, one serving provides 25% of your daily Vitamin C requirement.

⎫ WIN $50,000 for your Garden:  As a judge in America’s Best Gardener Contest. I encourage you to enter your best garden photo. The top prize is $50,000.  http://www.americasbestgardener.com

Avoid decay and continue the harmony every day. Enjoy the magic of May. Have a magnificent Memorial Day weekend, too!

Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1106/Digging-Deep-The-Magic-of-May.html

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, 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 Are1® 501 c3.
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show at www.StarStyleRadio.com
Available for hire for any project.
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com
925-377-STAR

April Beauty By Cynthia Brian

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April Beauty By Cynthia Brian

“We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.” Aristotle

A Message from our Founder, Cynthia Brian

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, and Happy Spring!
This is a time of rebirth, resurrection, and redemption. The vernal equinox provides the impetus for us to become the person we want to be.  While cleaning our closets, we clean our minds and refresh our souls. I love this time of year when all of nature is singing the praises of renewal.
The Moraga Faire is our big event on Saturday, May 13 from 11-4pm. Thanks to Michael VerBrugge for once again sponsoring our event and Brooks Olbrys and Diana Zimmerman for donating books to be given to children and teens. Read Chelsea Pelchat’s, our event coordinator’s note below. We hope to see you there. If you’d like to sponsor or volunteer, email me Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org Make sure to visit www.BetheStarYouAre.org to find out more about our events and projects.
The volunteers and I are working on the third book in the Be the Star You Are!® series titled Be the Star You Are!® for Millennials. We are excited about this outreach project and hope to have it published by the end of this year.

With the April 15 tax day nearing, remember you can still make tax deductible donations to Be the Star You Are!® Donate by check to PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556 or directly on-line through PAYPAL where 100% benefits the charity with no fees attached. https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

Our greatest pride are our two positive message outreach radio broadcasts. Tune into our two radio shows for positive, upbeat information and entertainment. Our YA show, Express Yourself! airs Tuesdays at NOON PT on the Voice America Kids Network. http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself with descriptions at www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com . If you are a young person interested in becoming a radio personality, email me for details. Every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT LIVE, our radio broadcast StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® brings you the information and inspiration you need to thrive on Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel. http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are  . Check out more at www.BetheStarYouAreRadio.com  .

We were very honored to receive a letter of recognition of California Assemblywoman, Catherine Baker. You can read it by clicking here.
Read a book this week. Buy a copy of our Be the Star You Are!® 99 Gifts for Living, Loving, Laughing, and Learning to Make a Difference from our store at www.StarStyleRadio.com/store.

Our motto is “Read, lead, succeed. To be a leader, you must be a reader!”
Have a beautiful rejuvenating April.
Cynthia Brian
Founder/Executive Director
Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

Moraga Faire News

The annual Moraga Faire is coming up in about a month. Every year, Be the Star You looks forward to running a booth at this event, as it’s always been a great success and experience for all volunteers. For the most part, our volunteers will be helping out at our booth and offered a variety of tasks to choose from (e.g. face painting, photography, “scouting” for donations and bringing people to our booth) Although I will be providing the volunteers with some snacks and water, you can also bring money to buy from food trucks at the festival. And of course, we won’t keep you confined to the booth at all times- you can take a break from time to time and walk around the park (it’s held at the Moraga Commons Park) to take a look at the other booths. Last year I collected a bunch of pens, notebooks, flashlights, and first aid kits.
The shifts are from 8:30-12:30 and 12:30-4:30. If you choose to stay for the entirety of the event, you will get 8 hours of community service. Each shift counts as four hours. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via email or text (9252866338). I will be sending out a reminder in a couple of weeks, as well as a few days before the event. Once again, we greatly appreciate your help 🙂  See you there! Chelsea Pelchat

Spotlight on Volunteer, Joven Hundal
“Be the Star You Are is one of those unique nonprofits that helps its volunteers just as much as it helps the community. I can personally attest to the many different benefits and opportunities that it provides. Whether it’s empowering young people through various forms of media or sending books to relieve victims of natural disasters, Cynthia Brian and Be the Star You Are truly care to help. On a weekly basis, teens are able to share their viewpoint on important issues that affect them and others. Our thoughts get broadcast for the entire world to hear. At its core, Be the Star You Are fosters the next crop of world-shakers to develop into their full potential and express themselves!”
Tune in to Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio where Joven is a reporter: www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com

INTERESTED IN BECOMING A RADIO REPORTER
Express Yourself Teen Radio is looking for talented and dedicated individuals to join our radio family of reporters. Young adults ages 13-30 are encouraged to apply. Email Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org for information.

The Power of a Smile!

By Karen Kitchel

The power of a smile has been documented by activists, singers, and authors since time immemorial. When we feel great, a smile comes naturally. It’s an outward sign of joy, happiness, appreciation, amusement, excitement, or contentment. Scientists have found that smiling on purpose can help people feel better. Smiling on purpose changes brain chemistry. So it can be a big help to people who are dealing with depression and anxiety. In one study, researchers discovered that people who intentionally smiled, ended up feeling happy.
There was an interesting article in Forbes magazine called “The Untapped Power Of Smiling” written by Ron Gutman, CEO of Health Tap. A study examined the smiles of students in an old yearbook, and measured their well-being and success throughout their lives. By measuring the smiles in the photographs, the researchers were able to predict how fulfilling and long lasting their marriages would be, how highly they would score on standardized tests of well-being and general happiness, and how inspiring they would be to others. The widest smilers consistently ranked highest in all of the above.

3-D ultrasound technology now shows that developing babies appear to smile even in the womb. After they’re born, babies continue to smile, mostly in their sleep, and even blind babies smile in response to the sound of the human voice.
A smile is one of the most basic uniform expressions of all humans. Smiles have the same meaning in all cultures. More than 30% of us smile more than 20 times a day and less than 14% of us smile less than 5 times a day. Children are said to smile as many as 400 times per day!  Have you ever wondered why being around children who smile frequently makes you smile more often?  Two studies at Uppsala University in Sweden confirmed that other people’s smiles actually suppress the control we usually have over our facial muscles, compelling us to smile. They also showed that it’s very difficult to frown when looking at someone who is smiling. This occurs even among strangers.
In a study conducted in the UK, British researchers found that one smile can provide the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 chocolate bars.  And unlike lots of chocolate, lots of smiling can actually make you healthier. Smiling has documented therapeutic effects and has been associated with reduced stress and lowered blood pressure. If that’s not enough, smiling also makes us look good in the eyes of others. A Penn State University study confirmed that when we smile, we not only appear more likeable, but we’re actually perceived to be more competent.
So now, whenever you want to look great and competent,  reduce your stress, or whenever you want to feel as good as when you’ve enjoyed a stack of chocolate bars, or if you want to help yourself and others live longer, healthier happier lives, just SMILE!

Karen Kitchel is a Community Volunteer who is passionate about helping those who are homeless or disadvantaged.

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If you would like to make a direct donation to our giving fund, please visit our Paypal page!
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April Newsletter: Read our BTSYA April Newsletter

No Good Card for This! By Cynthia Brian

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No Good Card for This! By Cynthia Brian

Teens talk and the world listens every Tuesday NOON PT on the Voice America Kids Network. Produced by StarStyle® Productions, LLC and Cynthia Brian, these young adults know how to rock and express their unique views. Join the fun!

Spring has sprung and a time to celebrate the re-birth of nature is upon us. Host Asya Gonzalez reads producer, Cynthia Brian’s article aptly titled Flower Fever that sets the tone for this program celebrating spring, empathy, and Easter. (http://www.cynthiabrian.com/gardening-articles) Author of There is No good Card for This, Kelsey Crowe adds to the conversation discussing her illustrated guide to effective compassion that takes you, step by step by step, past the paralysis of thinking about someone in a difficult time to actually doing something (or nothing) with good judgment instead of fear. Her empathy menu offers support with confidence, no matter the situation. In the final segment, Asya talks about her family traditions for spring including fun activities for an Easter or spring break filled with joy, adventure, and playfulness.

BIO: Kelsey Crowe, Ph.D. is the founder of Help Each Other Out. Crowe earned her doctorate in social welfare at the University of California, Berkley and teaches social work at California State University. Crowe’s first book, There Is No Good Card for This: What To Say and Do When Life Gets Scary, Awful, and Unfair To People You Love), coauthored with Emily McDowell.  Written in a how-to, relatable, we’ve-all-been-that-deer-in-the-headlights kind of way, There Is No Good Card for This isn’t a spiritual treatise on how to make you a better person or a scientific argument about why compassion matters. It is a helpful illustrated guide to effective compassion that takes you, step by step by step, past the paralysis of thinking about someone in a difficult time to actually doing something (or nothing) with good judgment instead of fear.
Crowe’s organization Help Each Other Out is a growing collective of people embracing the idea that being there for others is often easier than we think, it can be learned, and that it matters. Taking the principles found in There Is No Good Card for This along with her many years of experience in the field and organization, a presentation with Crowe is not one to miss. From universities to health care organizations, every audience member will walk away feeling inspired.
Currently, Crowe resides in San Francisco, California with her husband and daughter. She hopes for a day when no one has to suffer a personal trial alone because the people around them just didn’t know what to do or say. http://www.helpeachotherout.com

Listen at Voice America Kids Network

#StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 and Amazon donates to Be The Star You Are, Inc..

Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES!

Read our BTSYA March Newsletter

Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 1800+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA: https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

Listen to all broadcasts at ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/express-yourself!/id481894121?mt=2

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, visit http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm. Dare to care!

For all the latest news on what teens are talking about on Express Yourself! Teen Radio embed this code into your blogs and web sites <Iframe src=”http://www.voiceamerica.com/jwplayer/HostPlayer.html?showid=2014″frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”auto” width=”420″ height=”380″></Iframe>

Be the Star You Are! charity. It’s ALWAYS the Season of Giving.  Make a donation today. http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm. Buy books and shirts at http://starstyleradio.net/Store.html .

Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®
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What’s happening? Want to party? Visit our Event page: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/#!events/kgh2e

Talk 2: http://www.btsya.com/talk_2.html?r=20160628121151

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

Allergy Alert, Fast Fixes to Live Healthy, End of Life Decisions By Cynthia Brian

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Allergy Alert, Fast Fixes to Live Healthy, End of Life Decisions 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.


It’s spring and that means the beautiful flowers and blooming trees also bring pollen. Allergy sufferers react with headaches, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and noses. There are a few solutions that will alleviate your symptoms.

Our lives are busier and busier but that doesn’t mean we can forgo our health for our hectic schedules. If you only have a few minutes, you’ll be surprised by how much you can achieve. Tune in to Health Matters for fast fixes.

It’s not easy to have an end of life conversation, but it’s important to make decisions before it’s too late. Cynthia Brian will discuss options for advance care planning with choices for medical directives.

Listen at Voice America, Empowerment Channel

#StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 . Amazon donates to Be The Star You Are, Inc..

Read our BTSYA March Newsletter

What’s happening? Want to party? Visit our Event page: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/#!events/kgh2e

Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND:  https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

Catch up with all broadcasts on ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/starstyle-be-the-star-you-are!/id669630180?mt=2

Buy books by Cynthia Brian at http://starstyleradio.net/Store.html

For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit http://www.StarStyleRadio.com.
Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®
Lend us Your Ears!!!

Make a donation today to Be the Star You Are!® charity http://www.bethestaryouare.org

Cynthia Brian talks about the empowering outreach programs offered by Be the Star You Are!® charity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHglz05pBvI&feature=youtu.be

Embed StarStyle® Be the Star You Are!® Radio
If you are a fan of the authors, experts, celebrities, and guests that appear regularly on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® radio, you can now be sure to never miss an episode. Embed this code into your WordPress site or any site and you’ll always have Cynthia Brian, Heather Brittany, and all of your favorite pioneers on the planet at your fingertips.  Upbeat, positive, life-changing talk radio broadcasting live each week since 1998. Lend us Your Ears. We are Starstyle®-Be the Star You Are!®
http://www.voiceamerica.com/jwplayer/HostPlayer.html?showid=2206

Be the Star You Are!® charity. Every Season is for Giving Make a donation today. http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm

Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®
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Grow Grass! By Cynthia Brian

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Grow Grass! By Cynthia Brian

“Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.” ~Virgil


Yes, California passed Proposition 64 last November, however, this column is not about cultivating marijuana, although I am writing about the glories of grass.

Spring is spectacular with its wardrobe of rainbow blooms. Trees are covered with blossoms, the fragrance of freesia engages our nostrils, and the ubiquitous beauty surrounding us is awe-inspiring. We are so blessed that Mother Nature celebrates the re-birth of the seasons with a grand April entrance.

Because of the warmer soil, fall is the best time to plant or re-seed a lawn, yet spring runs a close second in popularity. If you haven’t torn out your swath of grass in the past few years during our dreadful drought, no doubt you are now looking at a runway of green in your yard thanks to the months of rain. To manage your efforts maintaining the health, beauty, and benefits of your lawn for the remainder of the year, get started this month with simple best practices.

Tips to Growing a Lush, Green, Sustainable Turf

⎫ Decide if you want to seed, sod, or re-seed. Seeding for the first time is best done in autumn when the soil is warm as germination is swifter. You can successfully re-seed, over-seed, and sod in spring, including those irksome bare patches.

⎫ Whichever you choose, your first consideration is to properly prepare your soil.  Check the PH level. Ideally lawns should be in the 6-7 range. If lower than six, add lime, if higher than seven, add sulfur to bring the PH down.

⎫ Pull the weeds. If you have lots of weeds, keep in mind that weeds mean that the soil conditions are imbalanced. Weeds provide homes and food for microbes but your soil must be improved before your new sod or grass seeds will thrive. Many “weeds” are actually gourmet dinner or tea ingredients including plantain, dandelion, creeping Charlie, mint, mustard, lambs quarter, and more.

⎫ Order several yards of enriched soil and compost to be delivered.  Ask the yard experts what is their best soil for improving your lawn. Soil is the foundation.

⎫ Add organic fertilizer to accelerate deeper rooting.

⎫ Aerate to loosen the soil. A core aerator will punch holes in the ground to bring air and water to the roots.  The finger plugs are to be left on the surface to naturally decompose.  Less compaction equals better drainage and absorption.

⎫ Consult your favorite nursery professional for a recommendation on the best seed combinations for you. I’m a huge fan of mixed growth lawns for year around enjoyment. I re-seed with Pearl’s Premium (www.PearlsPremium.com) interspersed with plugs of isotoma (blue star creeper) and white and red clover. Together they make a very attractive natural rug and the clover is a natural nitrogen supplier. Some people enjoy lawns laced with wild strawberry, violets, mint, or even planted with bulbs.

⎫ You may have to cover re-seeded areas with netting to keep the birds away. For small areas, discarded window or door screens work well.

⎫ Let the rainfall do the watering to get your grass established. If it’s later in the season when the rain has stopped, water deeply in the morning twice a week or as needed.

⎫ Mow your lawns with a sharp blade on a high setting without the bag allowing the cut grass to remain on the lawn. This is called grasscycling and is the most beneficial component of cultivating a lush, deep green, thick healthy lawn. If you are buying a new mower, buy a mulch mower, which will chop the grass. Grasscycling allows the clippings to be the fertilizer that provides nutrients to your grass. Scientific research indicates that the content of typical grass clippings by weight is Nitrogen (N) 4%, Potassium (P) 2%, and Phosphorous (K) .5%.  By recycling your grass clippings back to your lawn, you use 25% less additional fertilizer.

⎫ Mulch the re-seeded areas to create a strong turf.

⎫ Stay off the grass while it’s growing!

⎫ For those of you who are “Ex Lawn Rangers”, you can create an inviting mosaic with massed groundcovers and low growers including dicondra, ajuga, creeping thyme, golden creeping Jenny, dwarf cinquefoil, or even sedum.  You’ll need to clip, snip, and maintain.  Most groundcovers are not foot-traffic friendly.

Benefits of Maintaining a Lawn

Although many people tend to discourage lawns in landscapes as a water conservation method, I am a firm believer that the humble grass shoot offers benefits to our health and wellbeing.  Besides the fact that children and animals enjoy a safe, comfortable place to tumble and toss, lawns contribute to better air quality by trapping dust and smoke particles while cooling the air from the ground up. Our environments are made more habitable by the generation of oxygen absorbing the pollutants of carbon and sulfur dioxide. Lawns clean the air we breathe. Erosion is controlled because water can’t carve deep recesses in a thickly planted lawn. Water filters through turf grass making our ground waters safer and cleaner for the environment. A patch of green soothes the eye when viewing a landscape, offering a resting space between the color explosions of flowers and shrubs. Lawns offer a buffer zone in fire prevention. Several years ago when one of the biggest wild fires in our national history hit the forests of Northern California, our family cabin’s grassy meadow became the safe zone for dozens of firefighters from around the country. That lawn literally saved lives and the forest from the raging blaze.

Prepare your grass for healthy growing this spring, and get ready for the fun-filled days of croquet, ball games, picnics, sprinkler baths, or just staring up at the clouds.

Remember that maintaining your lawn enhances the environment, improves your health, and optimizes your enjoyment of the great outdoors. And that’s great grass!

Cynthia Brian’s Goddess Gardener Tips for April

BEWARE of ticks.  Check your body, hair, and clothing after gardening. On a rainy day in mid March when I was covered head to toe in clothing, a tick bit me on my neck. The golf ball size lump is still painful.

TURN houseplants a quarter round every week to give adequate amount of sunlight to all parts.

BAIT for snails and slugs.

VISIT the Wagner Ranch Wildlife Festival on Sunday, April 23 for FREE family fun. Honeybees, goats, turtles, birds, garden activities, food, music, nature tours, arts, and crafts.  350 Camino Pablo Rd at Bear Creek Road in Orinda.  https://fwrna.org/wildlifefest/

Peruse Flower Photography: Award winning photographer Anne Morrison Rabe’s Spring Flowers exhibit is showcased now at Homemade Kitchen, 337 Rheem Boulevard, in Moraga.  Almost all of Anne’s photographs were shot with an iphone. Eat, drink, and enjoy the art.www.Amr-Photogrpahy.com

PRE-ORDER my forthcoming garden book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, Book I in the Garden Shorts Series. All pre-orders will receive extra goodies such as heirloom seeds, bookmarks, and more. Email me for details, Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com. 25% of the proceeds benefit the 501c3 Be the Star You Are!® charity.

Win $50,000 for your Garden:  As a judge in America’s Best Gardener Contest. I encourage you to enter to win $50,000.  Show the world that your thumb is the greenest by showing the world pictures of your garden today! http://www.americasbestgardener.com

Happy Gardening! Happy Growing!

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©2017
Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, 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 Are1® 501 c3.
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show at www.StarStyleRadio.com
Available for hire for any project.
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com
925-377-STAR

Creating Your Space, Chanda Hahn with Lost Girl, Spring Sprung By Cynthia Brian

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Creating Your Space, Chanda Hahn with Lost Girl, Spring Sprung 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.

Do you feel cramped in your relationship because you don’t have a space or place of your own? To be at peace and enjoy harmony everyone needs personal space, emotionally and physically. Find out how to carve that niche for yourself.

If you loved Peter Pan, you’ll love New York Times best selling author Chanda Hahn’s novel, Lost Girl. Wendy doesn’t remember anything about Neverland and Peter just wants to forget. A fun read from the first book of the Neverwood Chronicles will have you anxious to know more with the following novel, Lost Boy.

Spring has sprung and with it the trees, shrubs, bulbs, and perennials are in full bloom. You may be suffering from allergies from the pollen, yet the beauty of the season is enchanting. What chores can you do in your garden? The Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian, shovels the dirt.


Guest Bio:
Chanda Hahn is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of Reign An Unfortunate Fairy Tale. She uses her experience as a children’s pastor, children’s librarian and bookseller to write compelling and popular fiction for teens. She was born in Seattle, WA, grew up in Nebraska and currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their twin children. www.Chandahahn.com

Listen at Voice America, Empowerment Channel 

#StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 . Amazon donates to Be The Star You Are, Inc..

Read our BTSYA March Newsletter

What’s happening? Want to party? Visit our Event page 

Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND

Catch up with all broadcasts on ITunes

Buy books by Cynthia Brian at http://starstyleradio.net/Store.html

For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit http://www.StarStyleRadio.com.
Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®
Lend us Your Ears!!!

Make a donation today to Be the Star You Are!® charity http://www.bethestaryouare.org

Cynthia Brian talks about the empowering outreach programs offered by Be the Star You Are!® charity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHglz05pBvI&feature=youtu.be

Embed StarStyle® Be the Star You Are!® Radio
If you are a fan of the authors, experts, celebrities, and guests that appear regularly on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® radio, you can now be sure to never miss an episode. Embed this code into your WordPress site or any site and you’ll always have Cynthia Brian, Heather Brittany, and all of your favorite pioneers on the planet at your fingertips.  Upbeat, positive, life-changing talk radio broadcasting live each week since 1998. Lend us Your Ears. We are Starstyle®-Be the Star You Are!®
http://www.voiceamerica.com/jwplayer/HostPlayer.html?showid=2206

Be the Star You Are!® charity. Every Season is for Giving Make a donation today. http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm

Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®
Positive Results
About Us 
Programs 
How to Help 
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Contact us

Spring Forward By Cynthia Brian

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Spring Forward By Cynthia Brian

A Message from our Founder, Cynthia Brian
“Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”
― Ray Bradbury


Spring Fling
Congratulations to all of the volunteers and supporters of Be the Star You Are!® as the charity has once again been honored as a TOP NON PROFIT by Guidestar and Great Non Profits, an accolade that Be the Star You Are!® has received every year since the awards have been given. Be the Star You Are® has been offering services to our communities, country, and world since 1999. We are small yet mighty! Thank you to everyone who believes in our mission of empowering women, families, and youth through increased literacy, positive media messages, and tools for living.  Read more here .


On May 13th, Be the Star You Are!® will be participating in the 11th Annual Moraga Community Faire. Thank you to Michael Verbrugge who is once again sponsoring our booth. Make sure to visit his web site for your remodeling needs. Gratitude to our two best selling authors, Diana Zimmerman and Brooks Olbrys who have donated books that BTSYA will give to kids and young adults. Additional sponsorships are available. Please email me for details, Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org
Our volunteers are our greatest asset so we have decided to profile a couple of our stars each month as they write in their own words how volunteering with Be the Star You Are!® has impacted their lives.
With the April 15 tax day nearing, remember you can still make tax deductible donations to Be the Star You Are!® I much prefer to donate to this charity where I know the money is making a difference to increase literacy and provide positive media and message entertainment than to give my extra dollars to Uncle Sam. Donate by check to PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556 or directly on-line through PAYPAL where 100% benefits the charity with no fees attached.
Make sure to visit our website to find out more about our events and projects. Join my power party every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT LIVE on our radio broadcast StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® bringing you the information and inspiration to thrive. Check out more at our site.  

Read a book this week. Visit a library or bookstore. Our motto is “Read, lead, succeed. To be a leader, you must be a reader!”
Wishing you a beautiful vernal equinox. Spring has sprung and nature is reborn in all its glory!

Cynthia Brian
Founder/Executive Director
Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3
http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org
Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556

Communicating Across Generations
by Karen Kitchel
Communication is a simple process of using words, sounds or behaviors to exchange information.  This process, however, can be challenging when those words and behaviors mean different things to different people.
Age differences don’t need to translate into more difficult communication.  Bridging age gaps does  often involve a bit more effort and investment in the relationship—at least at the beginning. Why? People are products of their history, their environment and all of their experiences, so people from different generations often have very different life experiences that shape how they think, what they value, and what drives them.
However, we shouldn’t assume that because people are a certain age, they will act a certain way. Think about the 70 year old computer whiz who designs websites and blogs, the 25 year old who is not computer literate or the 55 year old who regularly runs marathons.  What’s important is to be open to various communication styles and make a real effort to get to know individuals.  To do that, try asking what challenges they are facing, since we all have challenges!  You may be surprised by some of the things you have in common and want to know more about each other’s different experiences.
Some Tips:
1. Recognize  that  individuals each have their own personality, experiences, beliefs and goals.    Labeling everyone as the same doesn’t work.
2. The stories you can tell. Genuine interest in another’s life unlocks conversation like no other key.  Sharing tales creates common ground.  Sharing lessons learned from past mistakes  can connect  the older generations with the younger generations.
3.  Social media can help or hurt.  Today’s constant technological advances can cause struggles. However, social media can also present the perfect opportunity for the younger generation to mentor its elders on using technologies and understanding social media.  Likewise, the older generations can mentor younger generations on the importance of face-to-face interaction and interpersonal skills critical to success.  In-person meetings benefit everyone.
4.  Ask questions.  Open-ended questions (those which can’t be answered with a yes or no) allow for more information to flow and result in more productive conversations.  Everyone needs to feel safe to question and know he’s being heard.
Remember that generational differences can inspire greatness.  And in the words of someone who invented a character that hopefully will be remembered by many generations:
“If I were given the opportunity to present a gift to the next generation, it would be the ability for each individual to learn to laugh at himself.”- Charles Schulz
About the author:
Karen Kitchel is a Community Volunteer who is passionate about helping those who are homeless or disadvantaged. Previously she served as President of Cheerful Givers, a nonprofit organization, and Director of BI University at BI Worldwide. She can be reached at karenkitchel@comcast.net

Spotlight on Volunteer Brigitte Jia
Radio Host and Reporter, In her own Words
“I love BTSYA! I joined in 9th grade and the organization has become a big part of my life. I’m proud to be part of Be The Star! You Are and I personally think that this organization is unique in its message and goal of literacy and positive media. BTSYA has brought me so many opportunities. I’ve interviewed best-selling authors, TV show stars, anime voice actors, artists, and even a numerologist, a cryptologist and video game creator on Express Yourself, our teen outreach service radio. I talk with other teens every week on the radio, discussing our views on current events and societal values. Through BTSYA I get to host and volunteer at local events and see how books and positive media impact the citizens in my town, and I’ve been able to give back to my community in an innovative way that really matters.
BTSYA is made up of purely positive energy. Being part of it has helped me pull negativity away from my life so well that I’ve even been able to see my political views from another light; I am rather more liberal in terms of beliefs and views and when I am on Express Yourself! I interact with people who identify as conservative and they have helped me realize that at the end of the day, we all hold the same human-ness inside and we all wish to make the world a better place no matter what our political views are. I think with America’s recent political climate that this is the kind of thing that is important—positive media that reinforces the good within us and pulls us away from squabbling over who’s on what side. And I think BTSYA really accomplishes just that.
In the three years that I’ve been part of Be The Star! You Are, I feel that I’ve really grown as a person and as a volunteer. With the help of the support network BTSYA provides and under the guidance of Cynthia Brian I’ve been able to learn and find a path to the good in my everyday life. Right now, I’m improving my communication skills by finding and helping to coordinate guests for the radio show! I’ll close this review by letting everyone know that honestly Cynthia Brian is the positive force behind this positive media charity—she is absolutely wonderful and she is key to our efforts and improvement. Working under her guidance for these past three years has been incredible and she is so positive even when times are tough; I can’t claim Cynthia as my specific role model because honestly she’s so inspiring that she’s everybody’s role model!”
Tune in to Express Yourself! every Tuesday at NOON PT on The Voice America Kids Network.  
Shop, Give, and Get Connected
If you would like to make a direct donation to our giving fund, please visit our Paypal page!
https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3
Ways to Help

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases http://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882
2. Discounted books at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity
3. Buy or Sell on EBAY:http://givingworks.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/be-the-star-you-are-501-c-3/1504/?favorite=link
4. Use GoodSearch to search the web & buy from your favorite stores,. 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 Store: http://btsya.rylees.net
7. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 1800+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA: https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

If you would like to make a direct donation to our giving fund, please visit our Paypal page! https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®
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Please join us on Star-Style Radio and Express Yourself! Teen Radio. Please also visit our calendar to find local events. www.BetheStarYouAreRadio.com

Care to see what other people are saying about us? See our reviews at Great Non-Profits!
GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/ 

Thanks for supporting BTSYA!
Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
www.BetheStarYouAre.org

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