Archive for the ‘Spiritual’ 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

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!

Iva Fattorini – Healing Arts

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Dr. Iva Fattorini

 The Arts bring the Spiritual back into Medicine

That is the message 2014 Aspen Ideas Fest Spotlight: Health audiences heard last month from physician Iva Fattorini, a proponent of treating disease as well as the whole person by inviting the arts into healthcare settings. Passionate about her work, Dr. Fattorini called on health professionals and public health organizations to rethink the traditional approach to the patient’s environment, especially in in-patient hospitals. Dr. Fattorini contends that healing is not just a physical or even psychological phenomenon; it is also a spiritual process that involves everything that impacts the heart and soul.

The idea of a holistic approach is not new. For many years, research has proven that there are many factors that contribute to the outcomes of illness and injury. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines holistic health as: “viewing man in his totality within a wide ecological spectrum, and … emphasizing the view that ill health or disease is brought about by an imbalance, or disequilibrium, of man in his total ecological system and not only by the causative agent and pathogenic evolution.”

Born in Croatia and trained as a dermatologist, Dr. Fattorini is opening minds to her ideas. As ‎Chair of the Global Arts and Medicine Institute – ‎Department at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Fattorini has scheduled live performances and participatory sessions of pianists, artists, poets, musicians, sculptors for in-patient families as a way to facilitate the healing process. What she finds is that when patients experience beauty, there are measurable improvements in their conditions. Not only do their illnesses improve, they are more optimistic about their recovery, are inspired to express themselves in creative ways, are distracted from unpleasant procedures and pain, and view their hospital stay as a positive life experience.

Dr. Fattorini’s passion for changing the healthcare paradigm is contagious. At her presentation in Aspen, dozens of inspired audience members shared their own enthusiasm for using the arts therapeutically, many with anecdotes of others in healthcare who are connecting art and artists with traditional medicine around the globe. Dr. Fattorini’s newest endeavor is called Artocene, an organization will bring to a global scale her work at the Cleveland Clinic as a paradigm that can be shared with other healthcare organizations.

As the world contends with the challenge of providing effective healthcare, it seems the best answers can often be found in taking care of one another in ways that are anything but pharmaceutical. It turns out that experiencing beauty may be one of the best medicines we have!

INSPIRITRY ACTION: How might you use the power of the arts for your own health and the health of those you love?!

Read more about Iva Fattorini, a great example of InSpiritry at work at Deepak Chopra’s blog about Dr. Fattorini on the Huffington Post web site and at Artocene.

When We Open Our Hearts and Minds, We Can InSpire Health!

Read More of Anne McCrady’s Ideas for InSpired Living

 

Haunted Places

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

“I’m in a haunted place, and every day is a new one.”

Ed Madden

This quote is from a FaceBook post by my friend, Ed Madden, whose evocative poetry finds its way into his everyday conversations.  In this instance, he was describing his stay with his aging parents in rural Arkansas, where he grew up. It is a recognition of how the past waits for us to rediscover it, as we make geographical or emotional journeys to visit where we have been. (more…)

Fast, Pray, Love

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

This weekend I went to see the new movie based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s New York Times best-selling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love. It follows a young woman’s classic New Age search for personal fulfillment, as she leaves her angst-ridden marriage, takes-then-leaves a lover and travels alone to Italy, India and Bali. Along the way, she re-examines her ideas about the pleasure of food, the way to enlightenment and the difficulties of relationships.  

While enjoying the story, I left the movie theater struck the character’s self absorption and by our general American sense of dissatisfaction, including about religion. (more…)

Summer Renewal

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Last Day of School by edenpictures.

School’s Out for Summer!

If you have young people in your life, you know what makes the last week of May special: it is the end of the school year. University students have finished their exams, high school students are handing in final projects and elementary students are enjoying relay days and field trips. In classrooms everywhere, there is excitement in the air: for the next twelve weeks, no homework!

And it’s not just the kids who are excited. Parents are happy too. (more…)

Earth Day!

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Celebrate the Earth!

 

 

   Forty years ago today, millions of Americans gathered in huge and glorious celebrations across the country to say: We Care about the Earth.  It was a monumental event that by year’s end led to the establishment of the EPA, and ultimately the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the wise notion that, as stewards of our natural world, we can’t let profit come before the precious blessing of the Earth.

 

   This week as I watched the PBS special, The History of Earth Day, I was reminded of one very special early Earth Day celebration— (more…)

Celebrate December

Monday, December 21st, 2009

“Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving,

make every day a holiday and celebrate just living. “

 Amanda Bradley

On this clear cold day with the sun’s glow waking my winter world, December is a perfect time to enjoy a spiritual lift. The cloudless sky seems to open to heaven itself, and outside my wind chimes are ching-chinging a cheerful song. With sunshine glossing the frost, the trees and birds and rocks and water are rejoicing along with me!

I think about how the month of December is a gift for the spirit, full of holiday cheer and family gatherings. Around the world, it is a time of spiritual celebration: Jewish Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, Christmas, the Muslim New Year, and the African American days of Kwanzaa, among others.  I like to think about how, in places far and near, the world is affirming that God is good, people are worth loving and life is a gift. (more…)

National Day of Listening

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

“I love that simple story that ends on a grace note,

and you go, ‘Wow, I’m just happy to be alive right now.'”

Cameron Crowe

We all love a story; here’s a chance to hear one! 

As much as the economy needs a boost, the Friday after Thanksgiving can be more than a shopping frenzy (who thought up the frightening title Black Friday for a day people are buying gifts anyway!?). Friday, November 27, 2009, is the second annual National Day of Listening, a day to spend time in conversation with someone you care about! Sponsor National Public Radio and the event’s founder suggest we use the day to each become autobiographers, interviewing people in our lives to document their stories. (more…)