Archive for the ‘Anne McCrady’ Category

You Are Living an InSpirational Story!

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Think for a moment about inspiring true stories you have read online, in magazines, in books like Chicken Soup for the Soul and best-selling biographies. You may have also been moved by TED Talks or famous people on TV or stories in a sermon or at the nail salon or the doctor’s office!

Why do we love true stories so much? What is it about overcoming poverty or a disability or a tragedy that captures our hearts? How is it that we feel emotionally connected (to the point of tears or laughter) with people we have never met?

I think it is because they remind us that sometimes what we think is just not humanly possible really is possible! We enjoy finding out that people who are a lot like us are capable of so much more than we thought!

Well, guess what? Your own life can be just that kind of story! And before you say to yourself, not me…not my ordinary life, here’s what I think leads to really great stories:

  • Imperfect People in Frightening Situations
  • Painful Places, Times, Feelings and Experiences
  • Problems, Desires, Struggles
  • Seemingly Insurmountable Odds
  • Difficult Choices that Have Huge Consequences
  • A Time in Your Life When Things Changed Forever
  • Wisdom Gained Through Surviving Those Experiences

Are you smiling–or wiping a tear–because several of these sound very familiar?

In fact, when we change our perspective from focusing on our problems to seeing our struggles as heroic narratives, those everyday experiences become chapters in an inspiring life story of courage, survival, love and faith. More importantly, when we honor our stories by telling them, we can encourage others to believe in themselves.

Take a look back over your life — pretty amazing, isn’t it? And all around you are people who need to hear it, so they can create their own inspiring futures!

Find more of Anne McCrady’s Ideas for InSpired Living at:

InSpiritry, FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Hear Anne’s stories, poems and podcasts at StoryPress and SoundCloud

Life is Good!

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

I am really something!

Anna Wilmot

 

Several years ago, I heard a story on an National Public Radio series about centenarians: folks who have lived past one hundred years of age.

One segment was about a woman who, at 106, was “still alive and kicking.”  During her upbeat interview, Anna Wilmot talked about the joy of sitting outside on her back porch facing the lake and how she enjoyed the beauty of the changing scenery each day.  Then just before the interview was over, Anna lowered her voice to confide in the reporter, Neenah Ellis:

“You know,” Anna giggled. “Sometimes in the morning when it’s foggy and there are no fishermen or passing boats, there is a wonderful place just down the path from my house where I can skinny dip!”

The reporter laughed and then, with great delight, Anna added, “I’m really something, don’t you think!?”

As I sat in my car listening, I giggled myself thinking of Anna’s delight with her life. I pictured her getting up early, her body ten decades along, her spirit that of a youngster, walking alone down to the shoreline, slipping out of her clothes and sliding into the caress of lake water at dawn. I loved imagining her — such physical pleasure and adventurous enjoyment. Anna Wilmot was calling me to enjoy my own life!

I was so taken by the idea that I came into the house, e-mailed reporter Neenah Ellis and asked to know more about Anna Wilmot.  Ms. Ellis wrote back and said that Anna was a wonder and didn’t look “a day over 80!”  In response, I wrote a poem about Anna and sent it to her. Her son wrote back to say how he was sure the two of us would be great friends. I agree!

People like Anna Wilmot have a message for all of us: Life is good!  Every day full of adventure! The world is inviting us to really live!

And we don’t have to wait until we are 106 to skinny dip! With all of our work worries and financial stresses and family dilemmas and health concerns, we sometimes forget the very exciting truth that every day is a choice about how to live. No matter what our challenges, we can be happier and healthier and holier starting right now!

What about you? What is keeping your from enjoying your one wild and glorious life? Maybe it’s time to walk down to the lake of something you love to do. Perhaps you need to slip out of the clothing of life’s heaviness to be yourself. You can step into the water and feel the joy of a renewed sense of being alive!

Life is good — and each one of us is really something, don’t you think?!

Find more of Anne McCrady’s Ideas for InSpired Living at:

InSpiritry, FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Hear Anne’s stories, poems and podcasts at StoryPress and SoundCloud

Letting Go – Reaching Forward

Friday, January 9th, 2015

   Dare to live an emptier, fuller life!

Anne Voskamp from One Thousand Gifts

         

In this first week of the New Year, we hear so much about making resolutions and recommitments. While I know many people find that helps them, I want to suggest a way to celebrate New Year as a spiritual holy day, a time of contemplation, release and invitation rather than plan making. You can make the New Year the celebration of a spiritually enlivened New You!

You can begin by searching your heart for things you need to leave behind. The past twelve months were full of lovely experiences, but also challenges, heartaches, frustrations, blunders and distractions. Be thankful that you survived all that — and then let it go! One idea is to make a list of burdens you are carrying. Then celebrate a personal Good Riddance Day – tear up the list and leave those things behind. Keep from the past year only what will strengthen you and keep your heart open to what is to come.

Next, turn your attention to your future. I believe each of us is living an InSpirational life, and that we are our best selves when we claim our own InSpiring narrative. The coming year is a wonderful time for you to turn the page of your life story to the next chapter and the excitement of the fact that anything can happen! You might make a new What If list of the exciting and meaningful possibilities for the coming year and then add ideas for how you can invite those good things into your life.

As the months pass, remember that every day can be a New Year’s Day. When you seem to be dragged down by burdens, stop and observe a Good Riddance Day to empty your heart. Then make a new list of things you could do to have a life full of joy and inspiration.

Let go — reach forward — and celebrate every day as New You Day!

Find more of Anne McCrady’s Ideas for InSpired Living at:

InSpiritry, FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Hear Anne’s stories, poems and podcasts at StoryPress and SoundCloud

To Hear This Blogpost as a Podcast, go to:

 https://soundcloud.com/inspiritry/letting-go-reaching-forward-1-10-15?in=inspiritry/sets/inspiritry-blog-podcasts

 

 

Poet with a Press Pass – AirAsia Flight QZ8501

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

What are the odds?

We ask each other,

watching another plane

disappear from radar

into a veil of clouds,

broken into bits,

flown beneath the waves.

The sky is falling.

In a made for TV mystery,

three giant jetliners full

of families, couples, children

have vanished into thin air.

Imagining the final moments,

we grimace and remember

flying is always an act

of faith in science: to believe

the invisible vectors

of lift and flow and velocity

can fight the insistent force

of Earth’s jealous hold.

Sobered, we stop and say

our prayers, promise to be better,

hope to God and goodness

we are survivors.

Anne McCrady

Poet with a Press Pass is written by Anne McCrady and produced by InSpiritry in response to world news, current events and social justice topics.

More about Anne and InSpiritry is available at InSpiritry.com

The Holidays Are Here Again

Monday, December 8th, 2014

For many of us, the holiday season has arrived!

For those of us who are Jewish or Christian or American or maybe even a Westerner, no pages on the calendar marks the passing of time like the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.  For others, it is the season of celebrating light: Diwali and the Winter Solstice.

Whatever our traditions, we are likely to think, Another year has passed! or So much has happened this past year!  At this time, our days and nights are full of traditions to think about: religious celebrations, special meals, cards and letters, photographs, decorating our homes, shopping for gifts, holiday gatherings. Sometimes we feel like we don’t even have time to think at all, that our list of things-to-do is impossibly long. We know we should be having fun, but we may feel stressed or even inappropriately sad. Others of us are blessed by memories of past holiday seasons, as we remember the beloved people and places that have made those times special for us.

Whether or not you are ready to celebrate Hannukah or Christmas or the Solstice or New Year’s Eve–and despite your mood–the last few days of the year can be a blessing. In the hectic times and the quiet moments, try looking for the most important aspects of this solstice season. Set aside your to-do list and focus on three things that, once embraced, will be holiday gifts to yourself. I am suggesting peace, joy and love! In the Nativity story, the Wise Men might have done well to offer these three, since Jesus certainly embraced them — and the Hannukah story is full of them. Peace, Joy and Love. They are already in your life, waiting for you to find them amidst the bustling crowds, the wrapping paper and bows, the latkes and candy canes, the Yule fires and midnight noisemakers. Close you eyes and feel them — or open your eyes and see them. You will be blessed!

To help in your search, here’s a holiday poem as my gift to you. Happy Holidays!

 

Peace! Joy! Love!

In Candle Glow and Choir Song,

In Places You Know You Belong,

When Frantic Preparations Cease,

Oh, Friend, May You Find Peace!

In Laughter and in Life’s Embrace,

In Smiles that Light Up Every Face,

In the Hopes of Little Girls and Boys,

Oh, Friend, May You Find Joy!

As You Open Gifts and Give Them Too,

As the Season Brings Its Best to You,

Like the Sweet Descent of a Sacred Dove,

Oh, Friend, May You Find Love!

 

Share Your Thoughts on the Holiday Season post on FaceBook and Twitter

Learn More about Anne McCrady and InSpiritry at www.InSpiritry.com

Contact Anne about Bringing Her InSpiration to Your Group

The End of Summer

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

…and then all that ends and we begin again. 

For many families this week, everything suddenly feels different!

Summer is ending. School supplies aisles in stores are hectic. Morning kitchens are busy with eating breakfast and packing lunches. Youngsters are headed off to be with their friends all day. Six-year-olds are starting elementary school for the first time. Teachers are welcoming new classrooms of students. Teenagers-turned-young-adults are heading off to college. Bedrooms are empty. Dreams are coming true. Tears are welling up. Another school year is beginning, and life is making one of those transitions we never forget!

There are a few moments for each of us when the light bulb of recognition goes on, and we think, “This— change— is what life is all about!”  The end of summer with its Empty Nest Moments is one of those times. We realize that with the changing of the seasons of our lives, things are never going to be the same. We feel ourselves having to let go of the past. Our calendars tell us we are about to experience a new routine.

This month and any time you are facing change, as you feel alternatively terrified and exhilarated, it is a good time to pause and reflect. We need to honor our transitions. It is a good time to consider the past and the future, write in your journal, look call old friends, through old photos, remember other changes we have experienced, say what we have been meaning to say, remind our hearts of what matters, see the incredible story of our lives unfolding into the future. Life’s transitions are sacred ones to be kept precious!

InSpiritry always calls us to feel the poetry of each moment, to see our lives as inspirational stories and to use the awesome power of change. When life takes off at breakneck speed with you hurrying after it, celebrate the changes – nothing is more exciting than moving forward. And this week say a blessing for all transitioning families, for big kids leaving home and for new-school-year children and Empty Nest adults everywhere!

When We Celebrate Transitions, Life Can Be a Blessing!

For more of Anne McCrady‘s Ideas for InSpired Living, visit the InSpiritry web site and follow her posts on FaceBookTwitter and LinkedIn!

 

Your Life Can Be a Light – Shine!

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let It Shine! 

Many of us remember singing these joyful lyrics as children at church or camp or school, holding up one finger as a candle. Just remembering the sound of that happy chorus makes me smile even now!

The song offers a message worth making a part of our adult lives as well: Each of us can be a light in the world, and we don’t have to be famous or even unusual to do it.

The words to the song remind us that even our normal, everyday lives can be a beacon, an inspiration, an affirmation to others. As we do our work and care for others and overcome challenges and grow into better people year after year, we are writing an inspirational story of what it means to live a meaningful life. For those around us whose faith in themselves or the world or even God is wavering, that story can offer hope and encouragement. People all around you are watching, needing the lessons of your life! Not only that, but sharing the many chapters of your story in conversations can be an unexpected gift for someone whose heart needs to hear that they are not alone in their past experiences or their worries about the future.

Think about all you have been through, your joys and sorrows, your epiphanies and hard choices, your struggles and victories, your loves and losses. It is nothing less than miraculous that you are here, now, so wise, so blessed, so generous, so compassionate, so capable, so amazing. What an inspiration!

Celebrate Your Life – Let It Shine, Let It Shine, Let It Shine!

Find more of Anne McCrady’s Poetry, Stories and Ideas for InSpired Living at InSpiritry.com,

as well as on FaceBook and Twitter!

The Changing Landscape of Self

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

 

As lifelong learners, the hardest lesson is the changing landscape of ourselves.

Dozens of TED talks, hundreds of business books and thousands of web sites offer advice about how to respond to our changing world–social change, economic change, technological change, political change, climate change. It’s impossible not to get the message that change is a never-ending part of our lives. The thing we often miss is that not all change is external. Each of us is changing inside too. Creatively responding to that kind of change in a positive way may be the most difficult task of all!

Think about the changes that have happened in your life. As the years have gone by, you have gradually — and sometimes not so gradually – evolved into who you are today. Sometimes that was in response to events like leaving home, marrying, taking a job, dealing with an illness or moving to a new place. Other times, your own intentional choices, both good and bad ones, led to the need for you to be someone new. You found you had different routines, preferences and acquaintances, as well as desires, plans, needs, even beliefs!

Wherever you are in life, it is good to occasionally check to see if you are keeping up in the lifelong class of Who You Are and Where You Are Going. So I suggest you do some homework:

  • Consider your present situation. Are old ways of behaving holding you hostage?
  • Take an honest look at your relationships. Is it time to be a better version of You?
  • Think about what you really want. Are outdated fears keeping you from a happy future?

You are an expert on yourself, and every expert knows how important it is to stay informed. Take some time to catch up on your studies. Keep abreast of the latest trends in your feelings and the changing truth about your one, amazing life. Put your expertise to work for You – and then watch what else changes!

When You are Your Best Self, You Can Be a Blessing!

For More of Anne McCrady’s Ideas for InSpired Living, visit the InSpiritry web site and follow her daily posts on FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

Five Reasons to Write

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

“I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.” – Isaac Asimov

Whether you are a journaler, poet, a novelist, a blogger, a FaceBook/Twitter enthusiast or a thank you note advocate, seeing thoughts turned into words that hold meaning is a great joy and perhaps your saving grace! That said, some days, even with your love of  language, meaningful words seem locked away from expression. One way to invite your mind back to writing can be to remind yourself of how important writing is to your life, your happiness, your sense of purpose and your world.

When I face my own writer’s block, here are my five reasons to keep writing. I hope they speak to you!

1) When I write, I feel life more deeply.

2) When I write, I connect with other people in a meaningful way.

3) When I write, I surprise myself with thoughts I didn’t know I had.

4) When I write, the rest of my life makes sense.

5) When I write, I am giving the creative gift of my truest self to the world.

In addition, here are some other blog posts to encourage you!

The Write Practice – Seventeen Reasons to Write

The Write Practice – Why We Write

Squidoo – Top Ten Reasons to Write

And a book recommendation – 365 Reasons to Write

We don’t need to be published or awarded or even read widely to be writers. It is what we do to be alive. Keep writing — the world needs your words!

Every Moment is Poetic — And Every Life is an InSpirational Story!

For More InSpiration from Anne McCrady, Visit her InSpiritry Website

You can also find Anne’s Daily InSpiritries on FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

The Blessing of a Break

Friday, February 21st, 2014

“And, out of the blue, when I had about decided nothing more could be done, things changed…

and I knew I could make it.”

 

We are busy people!

We try to stay balanced, but inevitably we fall back into the trap of too-much-to-do-and-not-enough-time-or-energy-to-do-it. Between our work commitments, our social engagements, our family events, our spiritual needs and our personal routines, time seems to fly out from under us! Some days, the rush is overwhelming: one minute we are waking up in the morning and the next we are climbing into bed.

Isn’t it nice that sometimes Life offers you a reprieve, just when you need it most?!  A problem is solved. A person offers help. A deadline is cancelled. An idea comes to us. Love steps in.

You are doing so much Good in the World — it’s no wonder you often feel the strain of your amazing work.

Life does offer us reprieves – unexpected time for ourselves. Be mindful of that gift of grace when it comes. Before you dive back into your busy-ness, feel blessed!

 

Every Moment is Poetic — And Every Life is an InSpirational Story!

For More InSpiration from Anne McCrady, Visit her InSpiritry Website

You can also find Anne’s Daily InSpiritries on FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn!