According to Deepak Chopra, "Cynthia Brian's advice in Be the Star You Are! 99 Gifts for Living, Loving, Laughing, and Learning to Make a Difference will make a big difference in your life, so you can have more fulfillment and fun every day!"
Be the Star You Are!
There are no dress rehearsals in life and you only get one shot at a scene-why not make it as good as it can be? In Be the Star You Are!, Cynthia Brian proves that you already possess everything you need to be the producer, writer, director, and star of your own life. By recognizing your individual gifts and tapping into your creative energies you can learn to sparkle and soar. Drawn from personal stories of growing up one of five hardworking children on the family farm, Cynthia shares 99 lessons (or “gifts”) that teach you to cherish your past, focus on your assets, dream of the future, and celebrate each moment. From appreciation to devotion, leadership to perseverance, and serendipity to wisdom-each gift will open your heart, inspire you to embrace all experiences, and help you make the most of your life.
*Foreword by Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of Love, Medicine, and Miracles
*Each lesson includes a personal story, a positive message, and a simple exercise that encourages readers to discover their own unique gifts.
*”Cynthia Brian balances style with substance to help you make the journey from success to significance.” Nido Qubein, author of How to Be a Great Communicator and How to Get Anything You Want
Cynthia Brian has shown millions of people how to achieve their dreams through her motivational TV series Starstyle®-Live Your Dreams and her internationally syndicated radio program Starstyle®-Be the Star You Are!®. She has worked in the entertainment industry for the past 25 years as an actor, producer, writer, and set designer. She is the Founder of Be the Star You Are! charity which works to empower families and youth at risk through literacy and positive media. A wife and mother of two and co-author of the New York Times Best Seller, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Cynthia lives in Northern California.
Be the Star You Are! 99 Gifts for Living, Loving, Laughing,and Learning to Make a Difference
by Cynthia Brian
$15.95 soft cover with flaps* 336 pages, 6 x 9 inches * ISBN 1-58761-008-6
Proceeds benefit the charity, Be the Star You Are!® a 501 c3 empowering women, families, and youth at risk through improved literacy and positive media.
The Gift of Abundance
:I grew up on a farm, the eldest of five children. Our parents taught us certain values: hard work, loyalty to family and friends, responsibility, and keeping your word. We learned to be independent and self-sufficient. Although we had few possessions and even less money, we were content in our simple, natural surroundings. I can’t imagine a better upbringing for a child.
Our playground was vineyards, hills, and dales. Our companions were horses, cows, sheep, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs, and cats. As we hiked the mountains and paddled the creeks, we pretended we were explorers discovering new worlds. We had caves to hide in. The mustard fields were our doll houses. We drove tractors, plowed fields, and picked fruit until our hands were raw. The nearest neighbor children lived two miles away, so our life was mostly within our family.
Every season brought new adventures and excitement—preparing the vegetable garden in spring, going on camping trips in the summer, hay rides and harvest festivals in the fall, and enjoying the warming fires and holiday magic of winter. Life on the farm was fun, challenging, hard work, and full of promise.
We didn’t have fancy clothes…a pair of Levis, a pair of boots, a couple of shirts, a school uniform, and a good Sunday church outfit. Twice a year, at Christmas and Easter, our Auntie Cleo would take us shopping and buy us a new outfit. These were thrilling excursions. I learned to sew in high school so I could have a bigger wardrobe and, since I was the oldest, my sisters inherited my hand-me-downs. We always felt a sense of abundance, surrounded by delicious, homegrown food, a close-knit family, plenty of trees, and land to roam. We were truly rich in spirit if not in money.
From my first awareness, I knew I was important. I grew up believing that I had the power to achieve anything I ever wanted, as long as I was willing to work diligently to get it. It never occurred to me that I could or should be handed something free simply because I wanted it.
Yes, I am definitely an optimist. My glass is always half full, even when it’s filled with bitter medicine. My life has been a rose garden, albeit with lots of thorns and tragedies. As a child, I almost died of encephalitis. Many people I have loved died at early ages from accidents or illness.
Because of these experiences and many more, I have learned that our greatest failing is not to take action, not to sing our song. I admit that living expansively and exuberantly isn’t always easy. Sorrow and pain make us want to contract and withdraw, not expand and excel. We live well only when we embrace this paradox—the very fragility, pathos, and unpredictability of life make every moment precious.
My aim is to persuade, push, and compel you to live every minute fully and consciously. We never know how many chances we’ll have to “get it right.” Life is finite. If I am driven in my mission, it’s because of my own agony in dealing with loss. What I have learned is that pain, suffering, emptiness, and loneliness are an important part of the human experience. Everyone—rich or poor, weak or powerful—endures these emotions. We are here on earth to learn, to laugh, to cry, to feel love and pain, to be. Most important, we are here to live and make a difference. Part of getting it right is getting it wrong. We are not the same, but we are all one.
Abundance is not about acquiring a luxury house, a fancy car, expensive clothes, and a jet-set lifestyle. Abundance is about feeling that there is enough in life for everyone. My early years taught me that a sense of abundance goes far beyond material things. It spans our spiritual life, emotional stability, intellectual stimulation, and physical closeness to the earth. Having abundance means having fresh air to breathe, clean water to drink, food in our stomachs, a roof overhead, somewhere to walk and feel the beauty of nature, someone to love and someone who loves you in return, laughter, learning, and the wealth of health. As children we were taught to be happy for another’s success, and to believe that there is abundance in all things. If someone else can achieve greatness, so can I. So can you.
We are rarely lacking in abundance, just the ability to understand the meaning of simple abundance. The world is a place of emotional and spiritual plenty. Abbondanza, as my mother always said in Italian. Notice and be grateful for everything you have. Abundance is everyone, everywhere, everything.
:• Shut your eyes. Imagine in vivid detail everything you feel you really need to have a fulfilled life. Your list will be unique to you, but it may include loving relationships, children, animals, a home to live in, food on the table, clothing, a car, enjoyable work, and so forth. Once you see yourself surrounded by everything you need, add some of the things you want.
• Open your eyes, get out your pen, and make three columns: “What I need,” “What I want,” and “What I have.”
• Then every day, write down the things that you give thanks for: sunrises, beautiful gardens, a pillow to lay your head on. Recognize the abundance around you. Tell yourself frequently, “I have abundance in all things. There is enough to go around.”
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Work hard, dream hard, laugh hard, live abundantly.