July 22, 2016

Ten Little Pieces of Inspiration

One of my little places of inspiration, Grand Traverse Bay

Lately, I find myself seeking out little pieces of inspiration.

I don't know if it's the state of my mental and emotional well-being at the moment, or if it's the state of our world today. But I'm seeking. In the books I'm reading, in the Pinterest memes I come across, in thoughts shared on Instagram, in the words of friends...I'm hungry for bits of wisdom that might correct the course of my day, or week...or, life.

I find these little motivational nibbles remind me to do better and be better. And I am always striving. (Sometimes maybe a little too much.) I am trying not to strive so much in the way of the perfectionist, but more in the way of the Frankie. (see Netflix: Frankie & Grace; reference also Phoebe Buffet, Friends) Not seeking perfection, but goodness...or maybe grace.

So I thought I'd share ten of these little pieces of inspiration with you today. Maybe one of them will change the course of your week or day, or even just the tiniest moment...for even if the sun shines only for a moment, the flower still grows toward it. And that can only be good. To lean toward the sun.

Even better, to be the sun.

With all the negativity and hate and fear thrumming through our world today, I think we can all stand little more warmth, a little more light...and maybe to be the light.

Be a lamp or a lifeboat or a ladder. -Rumi  This makes me dream of doing great things. Until I suddenly feel totally incapable of doing great things. But then I remember that this can be a small gesture. A phone call to a friend at just the right moment. A kind word. A chat or a snuggle with your kid. A smile at a stranger. It is a great thing to be a lifeboat. But can be equally great to be a simple bedside lamp.

She designed a life she loved.  This reminds me that my life is what I make it. When you get caught up in the daily stuff of life, it can be really easy to feel like you're caught in the current on a fast-moving river. It's important to remember that that river is shallower than it looks, and if you just put your feet down you can stand up and wade to shore. You can take a break there or decide to walk in the woods instead or go find a different river to ride. Even when it doesn't feel like it, you can design a life you love.

She took a deep breath and let it go.  The thing I need to do every day, multiple times a day. Just take a deep breath and let it go. Sometimes we carry the weight of things with us, these heavy, heavy burdens of shame or anger or guilt. We need to remember to let them go. Shrug them off like a heavy wool coat. The walking on is easier that way.

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. -Pablo Picasso  Whether your enjoying it or creating it, art is a balm for the soul. It truly is. Make it a part of your everyday. Read. Write. Draw. Color. Paint. Stare at beautiful art. Listen to music. Sing. Dance. Compose. Create. It will always do you good. It always does me good.

Expectation is the root of all heartache.  When I used to work in market research (a lifetime ago)  everyone always thought that the most important measure of a new product was what we called purchase intent (how likely consumers said they were to buy it). I always thought that the other most important measure was "performance vs. expectations" (how well did the product perform against how you expected it to). And I think this is true of most things in life. If you expect everything in life to be perfect, and it's not, then you will be heartbroken. But I think it's less about lower your expectations than it is about not having expectations and just letting things happen as they will.

Do for one what you wish you could do for all. -Andy Stanley  Here's an example: When I look at all of the dogs and cats out there in need of "forever homes", all those who have been mistreated and abandoned, it breaks my heart. And it feels so overwhelming. How can we ever fix this? I get a surge of emotion and desire to adopt them all, which, of course, I can't do. But I can adopt one dog and give him a great, loving home. And I can change the world just a little by raising two amazing kids who will one day go out into that world and be little rays of light. I can be kind to the person right in front of me, and, like the beating wings of the butterfly, hope that the current of that kindness goes out into the world in waves of goodness that grace it all.

This is the beginning of anything you want. -Boy  Anything. Truly. You can start anything right now. Right. Now. Anything you want. Just do it.

Be a warrior not a worrier.  Some days this can be so hard. But the truth is that worry never accomplished anything. It never saved anyone. It never got anything done. It never helped. Ever. Instead of worrying about things, power through and make things happen like the warrior you are.

No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anyone but oneself. -Virginia Woolf  Oh my, how often am I trying to hurry and sparkle?  Just be you, without the fancy wrapping paper and big, bright bow. Just you. You're enough. 

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again. Only this time more wisely. -Henry Ford (variation)  I almost never am able to remember this in the moment of failure. It's only later, when I've calmed down and gained a little perspective that I can see this. I'm hoping to get better at seeing it in the moment. Someday.

And a bonus tidbit, from one of the great philosophers of our time...

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. -Ferris Bueller Remember that. It really is true. It. Goes. Fast.


Until next time, friends, be inspired...better yet, be an inspiration.




4 comments:

  1. I'm not sure how I first ran across your blog, but thank you. Second, How are your books coming along? Third, was that photo taken from Petersen Park in Northport? And finally Fourth, you do sparkle...because you have shared and touched my heart tonight when I needed it. Thank you.

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    1. Linda, That might be one of the nicest comments anyone has ever left here. Thank you. The books are coming...wonderfully and slowly. (Such is writing in a world with small children home for the summer.) :-) And yes, it was taken from the top of the stairs that lead to the rock beach...one of my favorite places. How lovely that you know it.
      All good things,
      Amy

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  2. I've been to Petersen Park many times. In fact, it is my love of Leelanau County that has compelled me to move back home. I grew up in TC and Leelanau County, moved to Phoenix area 25 years ago, and recently decided that I've had enough of...well a lot...and I packed up and moved back. I find my heart and soul at ease when I am near the water, in the woods, and closer to small towns.

    Keep writing...you do it so well.

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