Who inspires you?

Meurer girls

Meurer girls

November invites us to celebrate National Inspirational Role Models Month. 

Who inspires you? 

Inspiration comes to us with new ideas we are exposed to, the things we see in the media, concepts and plot twists from our favorite authors. Perhaps we are inspired when we watch larger than life heroines take on challenges and save the day. Or, when we worship…logic and life intersect when spirit and faith combined. And if we are lucky, the people who inspire us are also the people we love…our family.

They are our link to our past, our present, and our future. Our roadmap of how to be strong and compassionate.

Grandmothers who survived losing husbands and the deaths of children. Great Aunts who succeeded in carving out lives for themselves despite the fact society frowned on women invading men’s business sanctuary. Sisters and cousins who maintained a deep strong bond of not only kinship but also friendship.

When I was growing up we lived with my Grandma Emma. She seldom traveled farther than the several hundred yards to the church for Mass and the backyard to hang up laundry. But she did venture out for one specific activity that I can picture so clearly. I can even smell the bacon lingering in the air for the old-fashioned German Potato Salad she prepared for the occasion.

Grandma, her sisters (the Meurer girls in the picture above:  Lena, Emma, Gertie, Madie, and Martha), their daughters (our mothers), and their daughters (my generation of cousins) got together for what they called Cousin’s Club. It was a ladies lunch with the best china, followed by card games with lots of lively conversation, ending up with caramel colored coffee and lovely sweet confections (did I mention these ladies loved to bake?…and bake they did!).

I attribute my affection for my cousins to the time we spent observing our elders having fun with each other.

Do you have an inspirational story? Care to share? Hop over to my Facebook page and introduce me to who inspires you!

 

Inspirational role models…

Meurer girls

Meurer girls

November invites us to celebrate National Inspirational Role Models Month. 

Who inspires you? 

Inspiration comes to us in new ideas we are exposed to, the things we see in the media, concepts and plot twists from our favorite authors. Perhaps we are inspired when we watch larger than life heroines take on challenges and save the day. Or, when we worship…logic and life intersect when spirit and faith combine. And if we are lucky, the people who inspire us are also the people we love…our family.

They are our link to our past, our present, and our future. Our road map of how to be strong and compassionate.

Grandmothers who survived losing husbands and the deaths of children. Great Aunts who succeeded in carving out lives for themselves despite the fact society frowned on women invading men’s business sanctuary. Sisters and cousins who maintained a deep strong bond of not only kinship, but also friendship.

When I was growing up we lived with my Grandma Emma. She seldom travelled farther than the several hundred yards to the church for Mass and the backyard to hang up laundry. But she did venture out for one specific activity that I can picture so clearly, I can smell the bacon lingering in the air for the old-fashioned German Potato Salad she prepared for the occasion.

Grandma, her sisters (the Meurer girls in the picture above), their daughters (our mothers), and their daughters (my generation of cousins) got together for what they called Cousin’s Club. It was a ladies lunch with the best china, followed by card games with lots of lively conversation, ending up with carmel colored coffee and lovely sweet confections (did I mention these ladies loved to bake?…and bake they did!).

I attribute my affection for my cousins to the time we spent observing our elders having fun with each other.

Do you have an inspirational story? Care to share?

 

Are you an optimist?

The little girl in the picture could be excited to be on her way to Grandma’s house, or she could just be happy to see a funny cow painted on the side of a truck passing by. She’s living in the moment the way children do.

How are you doing with that living in the moment thing? Are you struggling to keep your balance with all that life is throwing at you…work…family…health…leaving little time for a single moment to yourself?

Optimism is looking on the bright side…an attitude of cheerfulness, buoyancy, enthusiasm, radiance, hope, faith, trust, certainty, and conviction.

March is National Optimism Month! Let’s celebrate that “Can Do” attitude! What’s your biggest challenge right now? How can you see the possibility in your future and learn from past disappointments to improve your current situation?

Consider these stories:

  •  140 rejections stating “Anthologies don’t sell” until the Chicken Soup for the Soul series by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen sells 125 million copies.
  • We feel that we don’t know the central character well enough.” The author does a rewrite and his protagonist becomes an icon for a generation as The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger sells 65 million. 
  • Louis L’Amour received 200 rejections before Bantam took a chance on him. He is now their best ever selling author with 330 million sales.
  • A new venture which began in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage in the 1970s became the groundwork for a revolutionary innovation in technology. Apple’s secret to success is the ability to understand what the consumer wants before the consumer even knows what they want along with making it user friendly and affordable. 
  • Blake Mycoskie traveled to Argentina in 2006 to take some time off from his fourth startup and explore the culture of another country. What he found was a great need among children’s charities for shoes and the idea for TOMS shoes was born. 
  • Barbara Corcoran, of ABC’s Shark Tank, held 22 jobs by the age of 23. Job number 23 at a small real estate company lead her to founding the Corcoran Group, a $6 billion dollar company. 

What are you excited about right now? Hop over to my Facebook page and share it.

What do you have faith in…a goal that you keep working towards despite many setbacks?

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Celebrate your role models…

Meurer girls

Meurer girls

November invites us to celebrate National Inspirational Role Models Month. 

Who inspires you? 

Inspiration comes to us in new ideas we are exposed to, the things we see in the media, concepts and plot twists from our favorite authors. Perhaps we are inspired when we watch larger than life heroines take on challenges and save the day. Or, when we worship…logic and life intersect when spirit and faith combine. And if we are lucky, the people who inspire us are also the people we love…our family.

They are our link to our past, our present, and our future. Our road map of how to be strong and compassionate.

Grandmothers who survived losing husbands and the deaths of children. Great Aunts who succeeded in carving out lives for themselves despite the fact society frowned on women invading men’s business sanctuary. Sisters and cousins who maintained a deep strong bond of not only kinship, but also friendship.

When I was growing up we lived with my Grandma Emma. She seldom travelled farther than the several hundred yards to the church for Mass and the backyard to hang up laundry. But she did venture out for one specific activity that I can picture so clearly, I can smell the bacon lingering in the air for the old-fashioned German Potato Salad she prepared for the occasion.

Grandma, her sisters (the Meurer girls in the picture above), their daughters (our mothers), and their daughters (my generation of cousins) got together for what they called Cousin’s Club. It was a ladies lunch with the best china, followed by card games with lots of lively conversation, ending up with carmel colored coffee and lovely sweet confections (did I mention these ladies loved to bake?…and bake they did!).

I attribute my affection for my cousins to the time we spent observing our elders having fun with each other.

Do you have an inspirational story? Care to share?

 

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] I believe in you…

 

Mary "Writer Unleashed" Knippel at Hermitage, Santa Sabina Retreat Center

Mary “Writer Unleashed” Knippel at Hermitage, Santa Sabina Retreat Center

Have you ever received a note of encouragement in the mail at the exact moment you needed to hear positive words?

You have the cool, clear eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth…Oh, I believe in you. I believe in you. Lyrics from the musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

 For many years I have attended a women’s retreat in Northern California. On the final morning of our retreat, our beloved workshop leader passes out envelopes and 3 x 5 index cards. We are then invited to follow a set of simple instructions:  address the envelope to yourself, write something on the 3 x 5 card, put the index card in the envelope, seal the envelope, then drop the envelope in the box provided in the front of the room. The note can be one word or a paragraph. It could be congratulatory words about how far we’ve come in realizing our dreams, simply a question asking what have we done to bring about the fulfillment of our goals, or a loving reminder to practice the nurturing spirit we experienced while on retreat.

Our retreat leader then takes the box home with her. Six months from the end of our retreat, she stamps the self-addressed letters and mails them. Many, many times I have been delighted to receive the pleasant momento of that spirit-filled weekend and astonished at the prophetic words I’ve written by the Fragile Me attending the retreat to console, inspire and reassure the Future Me who so appreciated receiving the loving gesture.

What better way to honor Effective Communications Month than to communicate with someone we are extremely close to, yet seldom acknowledge her strengths, talents, and passions.

Today take out a pen and some pretty paper, a note card, a post card,  (an index card in an envelope will do) and write a sentence or two in praise of YOU! Not sure what you want to say? OK, write down a favorite quote, or a line of poetry. Something that will inspire you, gives you pause, or evokes a sigh of delight.

What about song lyrics…I believe in YOU!

I’d love to hear what this post has brought up for you.

I can’t wait to see what the mail will bring… 

Encouraging words are effective communication…

 

Mary "Writer Unleashed" Knippel at Hermitage, Santa Sabina Retreat Center

Mary “Writer Unleashed” Knippel at Hermitage, Santa Sabina Retreat Center

You have the cool, clear eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth…Oh, I believe in you. I believe in you. 

Lyrics from the popular musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

Have you ever received a note of encouragement in the mail at the exact moment you needed to hear positive words?

 For many years I have attended a women’s retreat in Northern California. On the final morning of our retreat, our beloved workshop leader passes out envelopes and 3 x 5 index cards. We are then invited to follow a set of simple instructions:  address the envelope to yourself, write something on the 3 x 5 card, put the index card in the envelope, seal the envelope, then drop the envelope in the box provided in the front of the room. The note can be one word or a paragraph. It could be congratulatory words about how far we’ve come in realizing our dreams, simply a question asking what have we done to bring about the fulfillment of our goals, or a loving reminder to practice the nurturing spirit we experienced while on retreat.

Carolyn Foster, our beloved retreat leader, then takes the box home with her. Six months from the end of our retreat, she stamps the self-addressed letters and mails them. Many, many times I have been delighted to receive the pleasant memento of that spirit-filled weekend and astonished at the prophetic words I’ve written by the Fragile Me attending the retreat to console, inspire and reassure the Future Me who so appreciated receiving the loving gesture.

What better way to honor Effective Communications Month than to communicate with someone we are extremely close to, yet seldom acknowledge her strengths, talents, and passions.

Today take out a pen and some pretty paper, a note card, a post card,  (an index card in an envelope will do) and write a sentence or two in praise of YOU! Not sure what you want to say? OK, write down a favorite quote, song lyrics, or a line of poetry. Something that will inspire you, gives you pause, or evokes a sigh of delight.

Hop over to my Facebook page to share what you come up with.

I’d love to hear what this post has brought up for you. 

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] I have faith in…

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image13221972

Five-Minute Writing Prompt from Mary E. Knippel, author

I have faith in…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period of time.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – I have faith in.. or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and/or fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Faith and fortune cookies

heavens aboveWe are only a breath away from a significant day of faith and rebirth in Christian culture. The sun is streaming in the window and I am blessed to be in beautiful surroundings, enjoying good health and the privilege of pursuing work I love.

I believe we need generous amounts of all faith, forgiveness and a healthy dose of imagination to pursue and achieve our hopes and dreams.

Faith, of course, in the ability to dream of creating a new reality for ourselves. Drive, motivation, and determination to succeed are also necessary components. Whatever goal you choose, from changing a behavior to learning a new skill, you must first believe you have a chance of being successful or you wouldn’t try. Yes, I know there are times we try something and they don’t turn out exactly the way we expected. Hopefully, we can laugh about them later. [Read more…]

How is your optimism today?

The little girl in the picture could be excited to be on her way to Grandma’s house, or she could just be happy to see a funny cow painted on the side of a truck passing by. She’s living in the moment the way children do.

How are you doing with that living in the moment thing? Are you struggling to keep your balance with all that life is throwing at you…work…family…health…leaving little time for a single moment to yourself?

Optimism is looking on the bright side…an attitude of cheerfulness, buoyancy, enthusiasm, radiance, hope, faith, trust, certainty, and conviction.

March is National Optimism Month! Let’s celebrate that “Can Do” attitude! What’s your biggest challenge right now? How can you see the possibility in your future and learn from past disappointments to improve your current situation? [Read more…]

Celebrate who inspires you…

Meurer girls

Meurer girls

November invites us to celebrate National Inspirational Role Models Month. 

Who inspires you? 

Inspiration comes to us in new ideas we are exposed to, the things we see in the media, concepts and plot twists from our favorite authors. Perhaps we are inspired when we watch larger than life heroines take on challenges and save the day. Or, when we worship…logic and life intersect when spirit and faith combine. And if we are lucky, the people who inspire us are also the people we love…our family.

They are our link to our past, our present, and our future.

Grandmothers who survived losing husbands and the deaths of children. Great Aunts who succeeded in carving out lives for themselves despite the fact society frowned on women invading men’s business sanctuary. Sisters and cousins who maintained a deep strong bond of not only kinship, but also friendship.

When I was growing up we lived with my Grandma Emma. She seldom travelled farther than the several hundred yards to the church for Mass and the backyard to hang up laundry. But she did venture out for one specific activity that I can picture so clearly, I can smell the bacon lingering in the air for the old-fashioned German Potato Salad she prepared for the occasion.

Grandma, her sisters, their daughters, and their daughters got together for what they called Cousin’s Club. It was a ladies lunch with the best china, followed by card games with lots of lively conversation, ending up with carmel colored coffee and lovely sweet confections (did I mention these ladies loved to bake?…and bake they did!).

I attribute my affection for my cousins to the time we spent observing our elders having fun with each other.

Do you have an inspirational story? Care to share?

 

[Coaxing Creativity Tuesday Tip] Encouraging words…

 

Mary "Writer Unleashed" Knippel at Hermitage, Santa Sabina Retreat Center

Mary “Writer Unleashed” Knippel at Hermitage, Santa Sabina Retreat Center

You have the cool, clear eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth…Oh, I believe in you. I believe in you. 

Lyrics from the popular musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

Have you ever received a note of encouragement in the mail at the exact moment you needed to hear positive words?

 For many years I have attended a women’s retreat in Northern California. On the final morning of our retreat, our beloved workshop leader passes out envelopes and 3 x 5 index cards. We are then invited to follow a set of simple instructions:  address the envelope to yourself, write something on the 3 x 5 card, put the index card in the envelope, seal the envelope, then drop the envelope in the box provided in the front of the room. The note can be one word or a paragraph. It could be congratulatory words about how far we’ve come in realizing our dreams, simply a question asking what have we done to bring about the fulfillment of our goals, or a loving reminder to practice the nurturing spirit we experienced while on retreat.

Our retreat leader then takes the box home with her. Six months from the end of our retreat, she stamps the self-addressed letters and mails them. Many, many times I have been delighted to receive the pleasant momento of that spirit-filled weekend and astonished at the prophetic words I’ve written by the Fragile Me attending the retreat to console, inspire and reassure the Future Me who so appreciated receiving the loving gesture.

What better way to honor Effective Communications Month than to communicate with someone we are extremely close to, yet seldom acknowledge her strengths, talents, and passions.

Today take out a pen and some pretty paper, a note card, a post card,  (an index card in an envelope will do) and write a sentence or two in praise of YOU! Not sure what you want to say? OK, write down a favorite quote, or a line of poetry. Something that will inspire you, gives you pause, or evokes a sigh of delight.

What about song lyrics…I believe in YOU!

I’d love to hear what this post has brought up for you.

I can’t wait to see what the mail will bring… 

What is your legacy? Your legacy is your story.

I’m getting ready to attend my nephew’s high school graduation and am thinking back to the day I graduated from high school. In those carefree days of 1968, not many of us were thinking beyond the summer and the freedom we were anticipating. Living in a small farming community, the college track  was not the norm as it is for this generation. Only a few of us had aspirations that required a college degree or specific education:  doctor, teacher and nurse. The rest of us would get a job and get on with the business of life. We were eager to make our mark on the world. Since then I’ve come to realize that we’d already begun the process of creating our legacy as soon as we drew our first breath…the story of our lives. Our legacy isn’t the “stuff” we accumulate, it’s the stuff we do every single minute of every day. Our legacy is how we treat each other, our loved ones, business associates, Mother Earth and ourselves with respect, compassion and kindness.  Sometimes it may take every ounce of creativity and inspiration to keep our stuff together for this challenging part of our story, but having faith that whatever it bugging us will pass helps to stay focused on living our beautiful legacy of the story of a life well lived.

What is your story? How do you define your legacy?