Archive for the ‘Celebration’ Category

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

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!

Leading Is Believing

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Bookstore shelves are full of books on leadership, organizational effectiveness and change management. You may have a few on your bookshelf or bedside table!

Many of these motivational offerings are full of great advice. When you read them, its is interesting to notice one thing: as each author shares his or her perspective on what makes a great leader, a successful business or a meaningful life, we can see what they value most. Some focus on the importance of business savvy or personal vision. Others make decisiveness or patience or strength important. Still others emphasize spirituality or personal integrity. A few suggest surprising novel ways of looking at the world. These differences of opinion are easily explainable.

What we value — that is, what we believe in– determines what we think and write and say. Our beliefs become our mission. This applies not only to leaders, but followers as well! All of us are most motivated by our personal convictions. That means our first step in leading and influencing others, whether our audience is our children, our employees, our group members or even voters, is to share our values with those we want to influence. In other words, before we ask people to change course, we must convince them to believe the things we believe. To accomplish that in an authentic and effective way, we must first fully embrace those concepts ourselves. On a practical level, that means looking into our hearts and lives to assess our deepest convictions. Warning: beliefs are more than the things to which we give lip service; they are best evidenced by our we live!

What are your deep beliefs? What do you value? Most importantly, do your actions, conversations, calendar, budget, relationships and choices reflect that?

Anne McCrady has considered those same questions in setting InSpiritry’s mission: Putting Words to Work for a Better World. The result is what she calls the InSpiritry’s 7 C’s:

  • Comm-Unity – Connecting our Spiritual Lives, our Personal Lives, our Relationships & the Natural World
  • Compassion – Our Essential Role in the World to Care for Everyone
  • Creativity – New Perspectives, New Ideas, New Responses & New Possibilities
  • Collaboration – Diversity, Communication, Connections & Synergy
  • Consilience – Seeking All Knowledge as Wisdom
  • Courage – Humane, Just and Positive Actions
  • Celebration – Humility, Gratitude and Optimism

You are meant to be a transformative presence in your world, leading and influencing others. Just Remember:

Leading is Believing!

Find out More about Anne McCrady and InSpiritry at:

www.InSpiritry.com

www.FaceBook.com/InSpiritry

www.linkedin.com/in/AnneMcCrady

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!

The Journey of Another Year

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Hanukkah has passed. Christmas is a few days away. Kwanzaa starts next week. New Year’s Day is after that, and the Solstice has turned us toward longer days. Yes, we are coming to the end of the journey of another year. Our travels for 2013 are almost done, and we are arriving home again to who we are, having adventured out into the world.

Now is a good time to consider where the year has taken you physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually:

  • How has life changed?
  • Who did you meet? Who did you lose?
  • What wisdom have you gained?
  • Where did you see Love? Feel Love?
  • How have you changed?

Here is a poem for your reminiscing:

 

Holiday Homecoming 

We have journeyed the distance of another year!

How comforting to find the lights of Christmas,

bright as a beacon, calling us home from our travels.

Older, wiser and full of stories to tell,

now we have the gift of time

to lean our backs against one another,

wrap our hands around cups of warmth,

look long into faces we have missed,

listen to adventures that somehow mirror our own.

Now we can open the lovely bundles of our hearts

letting tears and laughter spill out—

our assurance that no matter how far we go,

it is love, always love, that is our port, our shelter,

our humble, starlit stable.

 

During these final days of December, take some time to be thankful for the journey, to cherish the special moments of 2013, to tuck the stories you love most into your heart and let go of any darkness, so that your launch into 2014 will be a bright and beautiful beginning!

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

For More InSpiration from Anne McCrady, Visit her InSpiritry Website

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…)

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…)

World Peace Day 2010

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Let Peace begin with me – let this be the moment now!

A line from the song, Let There Be Peace on Earth

Tomorrow is World Peace Day!

Also known as the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21 is celebrated around the world as a time dedicated to global peace with prayer services, concerts, candlelight vigils, festivals, community events and conferences. (more…)