Archive for the ‘Wisdom’ Category

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:

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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!

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…)

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…)

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…)

A Minute of InSpiritry – The End

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

All lovely things will have an ending – Carl Aiken

As a storyteller, I know that at the close of a story, listeners expect to hear some version of “The End.” Movie watchers are the same way; we wait to leave the theater, until those words scroll across the screen.

Endings happen in our real lives too: a day comes when it is time to move on, to make a change, to leave the theater of a place, a job or even a relationship. But change isn’t easy! It takes courage to end a chapter in our personal story!

What about you  — in some area of your life, do you need to say to yourself: The End?

When We Have Courage, Endings Can Be a Blessing!

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Join the InSpiritry Conversation about this post!  When have you said – THE END?

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Wisdom – In Politics of All Places

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

“Two monologues do not make a dialogue.”

Jeff Daly 

 

There were two notable events in American politics this week. As with most things, if we are mindful, there is wisdom to be gained in each. The first news item was President Obama’s much anticipated State of the Union Address. In it, the President affirmed America’s strengths and issued a call to our best intentions.  With calm resolve, he reminded us of how progressive economic policies have avoided the second Great Depression imminent just a year and a half ago; he also encouraged us to have the courage and conviction to continue our progress. Most commentators agree: it was a good speech with a timely and encouraging message. Those of us who deeply believe Barak Obama is uniquely-suited to lead America forward were re-inspired; for their part, the President’s detractors also seem to feel positively about his intentions, if still somewhat skeptical about his ideas.

The second newsworthy political event of the week, though much less publicized and prognosticated, was just as significant. It was the invitation of the President to –and his appearance at — a meeting of the Republican caucus. While fewer Americans watched this drama unfold, those who did witnessed a powerful example of peace in action. With humor and candor, the President framed the current political crisis as a bitter squabble between old friends.  He disdained name-calling, suggested dialogue and promised an open ear. Republicans responded by speaking their concerns and asking tough questions. Even from the distance of a television screen, the lessening of tensions was discernable. People began to remember we all want things to be better. (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…)

The Best Way

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

He was a Mahatma (Great Soul) and India’s Bapu (Father of the Nation).

October 2 is the birthday of Mohandras Gandhi, political leader, spiritual advisor, social activist and wise elder. Educated and of means, but having experienced the sting of racism while in South Africa, the domination of India by Britain and the brutal violence between Hindus and Muslims, Gandhi turned his life to what he called non-cooperation – just saying “no” to injustice. A student of Jesus’s teaching as well as other world religions, he practiced kindness and forgiveness in a sacred endeavor towards the Greater Good. Because of his leadership, people around the world were inspired. In tribute to Gandhi, the date of his birth was designated several years ago as the annual International Day of Non-violence. (more…)