New Beginnings

We planted crape myrtle trees in our yard recently. They were just little three gallon trees. I am so excited about how fast they are growing. We did not really expect to see any thing from them the first year. When I went out on my back patio this morning to enjoy my coffee I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by new blooms of bright red.

What that brought to mind is that every day presents us with a chance to start new. Each day is a new beginning. What are you going to do with that gift? Every morning when we wake up we have a chance to remake ourselves into a new and better version.

Our natural inclination is to pick up where we left off yesterday. We wake up worrying over finances, an argument with our partner or kids, or a troubling project at work. The problem with doing that is you are not going to create a new day and a new you. You will just recreate the same as the day before. Is that what you want repeating in your life?

I love that if I have a bad day, when I go to bed at night I can leave it behind. When I wake up I am sure to start on a positive note. I wake up refreshed and grateful for everything I have. I do not even let myself think on what was wrong yesterday. Thank God, that is in the past.

I come at each day with solutions and not problems. If we focus on the problem then we are going to be holding onto those bad feelings for so much longer. If they get rooted deep enough, it can be challenging to dig them out.

In my writing of “Joy Quest” I have really put a huge focus on living a life of how to find joy and satisfaction no matter what is going on around me. I know it may sound like living with my head in the clouds (or the sand) but it really is not. I am aware of what is happening in my family, my work, and the world. I just know am at a place where I consciously choose how I am going to react to events.

I choose my reactions and how I want to feel, I do not let others or the world impose a knee-jerk reactions.

This offers a greater day (life) of greater ease and clarity.

So, if yesterday was just okay, or it was really bad, what will you do today to remake yourself so you can glide through the day feeling better. What can put a smile on your face even if things are not perfect.

Remember, Life is meant to be fun, everything is temporary and we can choose how we feel.

Enjoy your brand new day and the brand new you.

Love and Blessings,
Ashley J Spurgeon

Unemployed During COVID-19

I had a great coaching call today, so I thought I would share a little. The situation is all too common right now. I spoke with a woman of 50 who lost her job recently. She graduated from high school and never sought higher education because she had a job and was married, focusing on raising her children. Her main function at her job was data entry. She is very worried about the lack of variety that many younger people bring to an employer on their resume. How employable is she when he has done the same thing for 30+ years? And how can she make what she was making at her last employer?

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Now, I know all of this sounds pretty depressing. When we talked, she was telling me how she cried through lunch with her daughter yesterday, because she does not know what to do.

Here is what we discussed, and I hope it can be motivating. I know many people are in the same situation and do not know where to begin.

Option one:

Take every bit of skill and everything you have learned from your previous job(s). Are you a team player, did you do any training or coaching? Did you learn another position to take over when someone was out sick or on vacation? Think outside the box and think of skills that were developed that may not fall 100% in the job title. Did you have any leadership roles or responsibilities? There are reasons why you have had that job for 30 years.

Option two:

Do you have any idea how many job skills you acquire as a parent? You are running a whole organization. You know inventory management, purchasing, time management, you have developed organization skills, leadership, and scheduling.

Option Three:

What community involvement have you had over the years that have taught you valuable skills that can transfer to the job marketplace? Did you volunteer anywhere? What did you do with the organization that taught you new and marketable skills? The organization, event planning, fundraising. How about your church or other affiliations?

I know this is a place that many never imagined they would be. Now is a time to not freeze in your fear. It is time to think outside the box and see what opportunities can open for you. Is there anything you ever dreamed of doing but did not have the time to investigate it before?

It seems to be human nature to argue for our limitations and not think about all the gifts we have acquired over the years that can open new doors for us now. When you can approach employers feeling confident in your years of acquiring skills, you already have something going for you. Take a personal inventory. Not all at once, but keep a list and jot down things that occur to you as they pop into your mind. You have accomplished a lot more over the years than you give yourself credit. You can take all of these and work them to your advantage.

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Instead of thinking, “I have only done one thing my whole life,” expound on all that you have done. Now is a great time for a change. In some ways, we have all been forced into it. Instead of settling for the only thing, you think you can do, look at how you can create something new and amazing for yourself and your family. Let inspiration flow. If you are feeling overly worried and distraught you may miss the clues. I know this is a hard time. Even though, still try to find joy and satisfaction in everyday with what is going well or seems good. This will leave you more open to feeling the inspiration and impulses that can land you at the right place at the right time. Do not count limitations look for numerous opportunities.

A Spirit Lead Life

Many of us say we want to be the best version of ourselves, but then we let the world or life get in the way, and we just do not do what we should to be that. We spend to much time caring about everyone and everything else and not how we can be at peace, at ease with ourselves. We seem to trudge through day after day, living unconscious, just letting life happen around and to us.

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Being the best you is being authentic and caring enough about yourself not to let life throw you off track. People often think that to have a better life, they need to have something different, to do something, change or alter their way of doing things.

“I need to quit my job and become a motivational speaker, coach, master…”

To be the best of you, all you need is to be complete in who you are.

In my writing, speaking, and coaching, I take a spiritual approach because, in reality, we are more spiritual than physical. We have shut down listening and hearing the guidance of the larger part of who we are. Being your authentic self is easy if you allow it. Wearing the mask we show the world, trying to fit into the image of what we think others expect of us, is what is hard. There are so many “others” that it is defeating, frustrating, and we can never get it right.

We work hard to be, do or have to make others happy, which is impossible because they do not know either, and we are always changing in our effort to keep up with their changing expectations.

Instead of turning your focus outward, turn it inward instead. Your divine spirit, the larger part of who you are, knows you intimately. It knows your wants and desires. By taking the time to turn inward, you tap in and tune in to who you are—allowing yourself to be complete with your whole self. Let yourself be the best of yourself.

Spirit is unconditional love and infinite intelligence. It is wisdom and patience. It is kind and consistent. It is steady and unwavering. It is in this world but not of this world, not swayed by it. When you are familiar with who you are spiritually, you can easily present the best of yourself.

Masters throughout the ages have taught how to be who you are meant to be. One thing they all teach is you can do what they have done. You can live a life of ease and peace. We all have access to the same knowledge and wisdom. We are all extensions of God.

People go to seminar after seminar, church service after church service, watch YouTube videos until their batteries die, looking for one more or one last spark of wisdom to help them transcend. They want someone outside of themselves to lead them to the awareness they already hold inside. We seem to think that someone else holds the answers. Words do not teach, experience teaches, words just guide.

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If you truly want to be the best you, then by developing a relationship and opening a channel of communication with your divine spirit will lead you where you wish to be. Your spirit knows your desire to lead, teach, and motivate others. As your connection grows stronger, you will find the opportunities show up for you. You have inspirations at the right time. No matter where you are, what job you have, where you live. The opportunity to shine your light will be there. You will have a life of being a guiding light for others instead of the practiced, trying to live up to the expectations of others.

Life still happens around you, yet when you are more who you are meant to be, it flows around you smoother. You have greater ease about things that happen around you. When you live connected to your divine spirit, opportunities and inspiration abound.

Desires Do Come True when You Line Up with Them

I am excited now in my life because a long-time desire to leave my day job and work full-time on my business is fully manifesting. I got a sample of what it will be like as I took a vacation week off. I will get one more in about two weeks. We must use them up before our law firm closes and by boss retires at the end of June.

Now, I will get to do more of where my passion resides. I will be completing my book, writing more articles for my website, and I will finally be able to work on the videos and podcasts. So, out comes the schedule to break days down to their most productive. Along with this, I will now have more hours to conveniently schedule my coaching clients and expand the Joy quest group to twice a week.

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As you can tell, everything I do with and for people is in alignment with the Joy Quest. Even though the bulk of my thoughts and ideas are in my upcoming book, I share excerpts and my thoughts almost daily. It will be more regular after July 1. My videos and podcasts, I am planning to release twice a week. One day will be my sharing ideas, principles and practices on Joy Quest and the other. The second part of the week will be my speaking with other people that have ideas, questions, or relevant stories to share.

I do this because it is what I love to do—my coaching, whether individual or group, is how I make my living. Everything else, there is no charge. I do not write, make videos, and podcasts to try to hook people into signing up for something or buying my latest webinar or class. I am not one of the many internet people looking for passive income. (Let’s set up a course, you can sign up, and it runs itself, while I sit on a beach sipping a margarita, and make millions.) That is not me. You can sign up for the blog announcements, but that is for you, I do not receive a list of emails or anything like that. The only time I ask for contact information is if you are inquiring about coaching, or if you want to be a video or podcast guest. Then I need a way to contact you and discuss how we can work together.

I just share from the heart because that is what I love to do. I want to encourage and uplift people, and this is the greatest outlet I have right now.

If you would like to be a guest in my new endeavors, I would be thrilled to speak with you about it. Just go to the contact page and send me a note letting me know which format you like. Video or podcast, and what the topic of discussion might be. I am so glad that so many people enjoy what I share. I appreciate the nice comments and kind encouragement.

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I wanted to share today about how, if you line up with your desires, they really can come true. I have been lining up with this new phase of my life for a while now. Pre-paving and growing in the excitement of what this can become.

I am looking forward to the interesting people I will meet and the new friendships formed.

Thank you, everyone, for joining me in this Joy Quest. A journey that never ends, you can never get wrong, and it just keeps getter better and better.

Love & Blessings,
Ashley J Spurgeon

You Don’t Have to be Happy Everyday

Joy Quest is about finding more experiences of joy and satisfaction in your life. But let us be honest, we are human. To try to maintain those good feelings all the time is not realistic or even healthy. Some days you just feel like being grouchy, or you want a good cry, or you want to be angry at the injustices of the world. That is ok also. We have a full range of emotions, and they can all be cleansing, releasing, or give us a different perspective.

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You can feel however you want, just do not get stuck there and do not inflict this on others. When faced with a day like this, I just let those around me know upfront how I am feeling, and I reassure them it has nothing to do with them, it is just how I am feeling. People usually want to help or fix it. There really is nothing to fix. You most likely are not looking for answers. I just say, ”I just want to feel this way for a little while.” Having these emotions does not necessarily mean something is wrong; they are just feelings.

Living a life of joy feels great. Situations, desires, and people flow in and out easier. Finding satisfaction feels good. But honestly, when my Dad died, though I could still find the joy I wanted to be selfish. I wanted to grieve and cry for a couple of days. Feelings are healthy. Expressing emotions, any emotion in a healthy way is good for you.

We all have events in our lives that leave us feeling less than perfect. Permit yourself to feel them. It is all part of the human experience. If you lost your job, it is ok to feel depressed and even worried. Just leave a window open for inspiration. If you lost a loved one, it is ok to be sad and grieve. Just leave a door cracked open for laughter.

Just do not allow yourself to get stuck. Everything is life is temporary, the relationships, the jobs, opportunities. Without change, we would never see something new. If you feel stuck, talk to a friend, a minister, a counselor. Connect with your divine spirit.

Feel your feelings. Even what we have labeled as negative can be satisfying. I know when I feel angry, I do an incredible job cleaning and organizing. When I was depressed, I would put on my headphones, favorite music, and mow the heck out of my one-acre yard. When I wanted to cry, I would watch a movie that I knew would make me sob, and I just kept the tissues handy.

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When it was all said and done, everything felt so much better for not bottling it up and letting it fester. when it is out of your system, you can once again seek joy, satisfaction, and love of life. Permit yourself to feel. Find a healthy outlet and expression for your feelings. Who knows, you may write the next hit song, best selling novel or paint a masterpiece. Or if you are like me, you have a spotless house, a freshly mowed yard, or a new favorite movie.

Love & Blessings,
Ashley J Spurgeon

Life is Meant to be Fun

People have accused me from time to time of being too serious. That is just when I get in my thinking, contemplative mode. I like to think of myself as a light, fun person. It is sometimes easier to just let the weight and responsibilities of life rest on your shoulders. As a working professional, a partner, parent, friend, sibling, etc. it is easy to be so busy making sure that you have handled everything that you do not leave yourself the time just to let loose and have fun. It is also exhausting and takes the joy out of life.

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Being constantly responsible, it can take some convincing to lay down the duties you see yourself as needing to accomplish, and for others to take care of matters for a while. But, if you are so busy all the time, that is just what passes you by, TIME. You lose the joy in living, and then what is the point of all of this. Life is meant to be fun, experienced, and enjoyed.

When was the last time you just stopped? At my last job, we were allowed two personal days a year. These were the days I decided to call in stupid. (That is what I called it). I was not sick, and everyone else in my life was busy doing what they do, work and school, I just wanted a ME day. One where I was not calling out of work because I felt too bad to get out of bed. That is what sick days are.

So, give yourself a day off. Do not make the bed! Do not rush to the store. Just take a day and decide you are not doing any of the usual or expected things today. Give it a try. You will see that your world will not implode or explode for that matter.

When was the last time you played in the rain, tried a hula-hoop, bought an ice cream cone and enjoyed it, played on a playground (without your kids), threw a frisbee, or watched a funny movie that you would love though your partner wouldn’t?

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There is a lot of stress and worry in the world right now. There always is; one situation is followed by another, then another. If you are waiting for things to settle down before you take some personal time, you will be waiting for a long time. Life is meant to be fun. What are you waiting for, permission? What are you doing that is fun and maybe a little unexpected? Anything?

 Take a day off and just let loose a little. Take a nothing day. Let everyone else take care of themselves for a little while and give yourself a break.

Also, do not watch the news and turn off your electronic devices. Just get out and play.

When you take a day to relax, you are giving yourself a chance to reset. Give yourself a new perspective. Stop taking life so seriously that you are cutting yourself off from enjoying what is all around you.

Love & Blessings,
Ashley J Spurgeon

Feeling Stuck? Find Inspiration

Do you know those days when you just feel blah? Nothing of interest crosses your mind. You know in your thinking mind that everything is going alright, you just do not feel inspired to do much. We all have those days.

As a writer working on a book, I wish to be inspired every day. Inspiration does not come from the thinking mind. The mind can have good ideas, maybe some response to a blog post. But true inspiration comes from the spirit. Your divine spirit is part of all else, the universe, everything, and spirit knows what will uplift others. Why? Because spirit does not just reside only in you. It is so much larger and has a connection to all else.

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In our perspective of space and time, we as humans see everything with boundaries. Spirit does not reside within those boundaries.

If you are seeking inspiration, instead of looking for it, quiet the mind and just seek clarity. When you meditate, do not start with a plan to ask for anything or make something happen. Just take a few minutes to quiet and reside in the love of the spirit, connect to the all-consuming love of God. Feel it and merge with it. If you must do something because your brain works that way, see yourself in a boat on a river and pull in the oars. Just let the current take you downstream towards tranquility. Just watch it, do not evaluate it, just flow to calmness. Meditation will raise your energy vibration to align with your divine spirit. Still, do not try to do anything or ask for anything. If images or thoughts come to mind, just sit with those and enjoy them.

After ten, fifteen, or twenty minutes meditation is over. Spend a few minutes enjoying the peaceful feeling of connection. Think of one simple thing you enjoy. Peacefulness, Fun, or clarity, for example. Now you are clearer.

Inspiration has a clearer path to flow to you. Your energy is higher, the blah feeling is gone, and you just feel good.

When we try to accomplish everything on our own, it can get frustrating, stagnant, and tiring. When we tune into our divine selves, the ease and flow feel so satisfying. By aligning, you do not feel you are going through your day alone. You now feel what is always there. Now you are tapped in and know it.  

You may feel inspired to take a different path to work and find you missed a traffic pile-up. You may have an inspiration to stop at a certain store just to find something you have been wanting. You may feel an inspired pull to have lunch somewhere new and have a great, unexpected conversation. Finding inspiration is not something we do; it is something we allow in.

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How do you know inspiration from your divine spirit? You feel it in your gut, your solar plexus. You feel it with your emotions. Spirit will always guide you to a higher emotion or feeling. If you do not feel good about something, a thought, or idea, turn the other way. If you are following the spirit’s prompting, there will be an ease about the direction you should take. Going with the flow is called, “Taking the path of least resistance.”

Meditation to get into the right alignment is a daily practice. Just like getting dressed, brushing your teeth and hair, take a few minutes to connect with who you are as spirit before you grab your phone and connect with the world. Your days will go much smoother, enjoyment will present itself much more often, and clarity of ideas and inspiration will be there for you.

Have a Blessed Day

Love & Blessings,
Ashley J Spurgeon

Anger is Your Own Worst Enemy

If you watch the news, or even listen to conversations around you, watch how people drive in traffic, you see and hear a lot of anger and frustration. You may ask, “why, what purpose does it serve?” Anger is a more powerful emotion than depression, despair, and hopelessness. I would prefer it because, in anger, you are not shutting down. Anger creates hormones and chemicals such as adrenalin that make you feel alive. Maybe you just desire to be heard. It is hard to ignore an angry person

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But you do not want to get stuck in the feelings of anger. With all those hormones and chemicals raging, you are blocking yourself from being effective and clear in what you want to express.

Anger is a terrible trap to get stuck in. Yes, it provides a little relief from depression, but in the quiet moments of your life, you think, “I don’t want to be angry.” When you become a slave to anger, you are allowing situations outside of yourself dictate how you react, which is often unkind, rash, and not well thought out.

Some of the greatest game-changers in the world were not angry people. They acted and lived their lives by the passion of love, not the passion of hate and anger. Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King Jr. were great examples of people who initiated a great change in love and peace. All made historical changes to politics, culture, and society by living as an example of what love can do. They showed lives of creating a new reality based on what they envisioned as possible instead of being angry at what is.

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By Tapping and connecting to something greater, they changed the tide. Because these leaders did not live through the emotions of anger, they had a clarity of thought and action.

We can be our own worst enemy by letting anger rule our lives. Anger shuts down relationships, our health, and our well-being.

Lashing out at others or having knee-jerk reactions to situations around you steals your power to make a difference. Life is now controlling you instead of you shaping your future. If you wish for a better life, your desires fulfilled, or people to hear what you want to share, to share your passion then speak of hopeful solutions instead of spouting angry problems.

People reject anger, but they look towards hope, renewed faith, and belief. Which do you wish to be? The angry person all alone or the encourager surrounding by others who want to create a positive difference?

Love & Blessings,

Ashley J Spurgeon

Living in the Present (Or Future)

The hardest part of making a change is leaving the known, familiar past behind and choosing a new future. When you keep rehearsing what has happened, you remain stuck in what has been. We make decisions based on what is familiar or what we think the expectations of people have about us; how we act, think, and behave.

If you want your present and future to be different, then you need to make a bold move to think, act, and behave differently. A wealthy person does not talk of lack, a healthy person does not focus on illness, and a satisfied, joyful person does not dwell on sadness.

It can be scary because you are stepping into the unknown. You need to initiate change, and your guide is your emotions. Your emotions will show you what your “normal” reactions are, how you have trained your self to think and feel- the victim, guilty, unhappy. As you start to see common threads, you can begin changing what you want to be.

I spent years in a terrifying and abusive relationship. I finally escaped and began rebuilding the life I wanted. I wanted peace, contentment, and no drama. Each day as old memories and feelings of unworthiness arose, the old feelings, I would seek out peaceful and content experiences, and over time by repeating these new behaviors and feelings, I saw a shift. I noticed, though, that each time I met a new friend, I told the same story of my broken past. It was how I described myself, yet it was not who I wanted to be. I was wearing my trauma as my identity. I finally realized that is something that happened TO ME; it was not who I am. It is not my identity.

That is not who I wanted people to identify me as either. Telling that story had become a habit I had to break. I needed to write a new story to get unstuck from the past and decide what I wanted my future to be.

Before creating a new future, I had to decide on my present. I created a practice that works so well; I have shared it with hundreds of people. Each time the understanding settles in, I see a new light in their eyes. It offers a moment of relief, and a chance to reset which direction the thoughts and emotions are heading.

I step into this exact moment. I am not thinking about anything more than right now. Seeing all that I can observe right now, that is good and alright. I do not think about five minutes ago, and I let go of anxiety based on an imagined five minutes from now. I focus only on this exact moment.

  • Right now, I do not have to think about bills
  • Right now, I have a place to live
  • Right now, my family is healthy and happy.
  • We have food in the fridge.
  • There is gas in the car.
  • I am comfortable.
  • The sun is shining.
  • The world is peaceful now.
  • The birds are singing.
  • Right now, I am at peace.
  • Right at this moment, I do not need to worry about anything.
  • At this moment everything is alright.
  • Right now, I can slow down and just enjoy drinking my coffee.
  • No one expects anything of me at this very moment.

I used this practice for years. I have been able to pull myself from fear, the pain of my past, worry, and anxiety about an unknown future.  It allows me a chance to reset the direction of where I want to go and who I wish to be.

I call it living in the present moment. The practice can halt the momentum of fear and worry. It brings me closer to appreciation and gratitude. It helps reset my feeling of greater ease, hope, and faith in a brighter unseen future. It reminds me that I want my future to be joyful, clear-minded, and not living as a victim of my past.

Have a blessed day full of unexpected moments of joy and appreciation.

Love & Blessings,
Ashley J Spurgeon

Faith Renewed

Over the last few years, I had the opportunity to work for one of Houston’s top Bankruptcy law firms. As the Director of Marketing, I was often the first point of contact for people who had hit rock bottom financially. These are not people who come in because they were financially irresponsible. These people, these families, had experienced other life tragedies that led to financial ruin. A death in the family, life-threatening illnesses, divorce, and the list goes on. By the time people called us and asked for help, they had already tried everything they knew to do to regain their footing, to climb out of financial despair, and just could not do it on their own.

I spoke with the brokenhearted, devastated, and sometimes almost suicidal. We, the clients and I, have had many tearful conversations. I loved my job because of these conversations, phone calls, and face to face meetings over the last seven years. Years of building relationships with people as they rebuilt their lives, regained their hope and faith in the future.

The most beautiful aspect I got to witness was seeing people’s faith grow. Faith is a belief in something unseen, a belief in a dream not yet manifested. There is no separation or difference in race, religion, culture, or social standing. Faith is for everyone, faith brings hope, and hope leads to joy. I got to encourage and uplift people daily. I witnessed too many people, whether it was a Ch. 7 that takes a few months, or a Ch. 13 that lasts a few years, regain their faith in a new, fresh future.

Just like so many out there, COVID-19 hit strong, hard, and fast. The impact has touched everyone. A year ago, June 2019, I told my family and friends that I would only be working at the law firm until June of 2020. As May rolled in, I was starting to think I was wrong, and I could not see how to separate from the position. Until my boss announced his retirement starting in July 2020. It was a good time for him to make this transition. I am happy for him after his 40+ years of service to our community.

I am also happy because what I desired and had faith in coming about happened. Not of my own doing, but because I had faith. Faith to be able to follow my heart and desire to do something much bigger. Soon the world will reopen and speaking opportunities will come back. I will have full-time hours to complete my book. I can coach more convenient hours in the day.

One of my mantras is, “Everything is temporary.” We live in a dynamic, ever-changing world. Knowing this is wonderful because even if we cannot see it yet, this gives us something to look forward to something to bring hope.

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When we connect to our divinity, our spirit, our eternal connection to God, source, the universe; Our desires line up for us. We do not have to do anything more than follow the inspiration and intuitions. Believing “everything is temporary,” and “this too shall pass” can lead to faith and hope in the future.

Find a spark of hope and hold onto that. Fan those flames into growth. Have faith in an unseen future. When you have faith and let go of trying to control everything is where inspiration leads, you will see much better than what you can do on your own.

Love and Blessings,
Ashley J Spurgeon