Archive for the ‘Best Self’ 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

 

 

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!

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!

Independent Opinion

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion;

it is easy in solitude to live after our own;

but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd

keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

At a time when there are so many diverse opinions being proffered in the world and those opinions are causing so much trouble (terrorism, American politics, religious conflicts), I am drawn to Emerson’s quote.

We, humans, are an opinionated bunch! On most topics, there are as many ideas as there are people. As we live in neighborhoods, communities, nations and organizations, we confront the collision of those differing ideas every day. At work, in coffee shops, at church, even at the dinner table — people disagree with us.

So what should we do? (more…)

Negative Thoughts

Friday, March 4th, 2011

“This is where I get most of my negative thinking done.”

New Yorker cartoon of a woman showing buyers her home office

Economically and environmentally, for Americans the past three years have been difficult, at best. Even those whose jobs were secure and finances healthy have felt the impact: government cuts to essential programs, neighbors who had to sell their homes, friends who were unemployed, new carcinogens and ever worsening global warming. Worst of all, the nightly news reminds us how bad things are. All that in addition to our personal  challenges.

In times like these, optimism is hard to summon. The cartoon I quoted above is not far from the truth — we often get so trapped in worrying that we can’t do Good Work! (more…)

On Your Own

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

“My world began on the way to school.”

As small children, our first experiences of the world beyond our families were at school – and even before that, on the way to school. Carrying our lunch box or our book bag, some of us walked through our neighborhood with our parents or friends. Others rode their bikes. Many of us boarded a big yellow school bus. A few of us were driven to school in cars.

What do you remember about walking or riding to school? (more…)

InSpiritry Question-for-the-Day: What are You Working On?

Friday, February 25th, 2011

“Don’t discourage anyone who is making progress, no matter how slow.”   Plato

This has been one of those weeks when I have been busy all week, but the stack of unfinished projects on my desk suggests otherwise. While I had every intention of completing the items on my to-do list, I set many of them aside to do other things. I took on new commitments and attended important events. Mostly, I gave time to relationships and met several new friends, so it has been a good week. (more…)

InSpiritry Question for the Day: Who Do You Call?

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

 

 Two heads are better than one.

You buy new software and are trying to install it, and the screen says there is a problem with your computer.

It’s time to finally get your insurance and finances in order…again.

A family member is having trouble coping and needs assistance.

Situations like these are part of everyday life for most of us. We know the problem, but the answer is much more complicated. In fact, we’re not even sure where to start!

The good news is that we don’t have to come up with a solution all by ourselves. (more…)