Archive for the ‘InSpiration’ 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

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

 

 

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!

2014 Aspen Ideas Fest – Spotlight: Health

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

“There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love, once you heard their story.”

“Great programs don’t change the world; great people do.”

“Girls are not property. They aren’t pure. They are real, and they are our future.”

“Be present and receive the gift of amazing stories.”

“Once you see what great design can do, you can’t unsee it. It becomes a part of what is possible.”

“People – whatever their circumstances – just want to live.”

“Ten years from now, we will have a powerful story to tell!”

These are just some of the inspiring comments I heard last week, when I had the joy and privilege of attending the 2014 Aspen Ideas Fest – Spotlight: Health at the Aspen Institute campus in beautiful Aspen, Colorado. What an amazing experience!

Each day was a feast of surprising, provocative conversations with world-changing people, all of it aimed at transforming global public health. From young architects building culturally relevant hospitals to robotic engineers creating exoskeletons, from international scientists to local activists, from courageous African men and women working to expand family planning to American politicians working to expand access to healthy food, from musicians who awaken dementia patients to physicians who are alert to new therapies and from young students to retired professors, everyone involved was united in a shared vision of making health, not just healthcare, a reality for all people.

I was reminded over and over that when creative change-makers come together to share ideas and listen to one another, miracles can happen. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of the inspiring stories I heard and some of the astounding people I met during my week in Aspen. For now, know that the world is full of heroes — and we are called to be heroes too!

Find more of Anne’s McCrady’s Ideas for InSpired Living at InSpiritry.com!

You can also connect with InSpiritry through Facebook and Twitter!

 

 

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…)

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: Organizations

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

“We Want This Organization to Make a Difference

in the Lives of …”

Our generation has seen a blossoming of groups of people coming together to make the world a better place – so many of us want our lives to matter! (more…)