Monthly Archives: January 2012
What does the word “inspiration” mean to you?
Does it conjure up images of an artist sloshing paint across a canvass? Monet perhaps, inspired by the play of light on water and the dream-like colours of the flowers. Or a writer inspired to pen a story about a real life event, and in turn potentially inspiring countless more who read their words.
How about a lonesome musician scribbling notes across a page above a worn out piano? Elton John was inspired to sing Candle in the Wind because of the life of Marilyn Monroe. Many associate that song with Princess Diana, and no doubt it continues to inspire people every time it’s played.
Maybe something less glamorous?
An ordinary person going out of their way to help an elderly neighbour in the winter because they saw post sticking out of their letter box.
Mundane right? Not really if you consider how that person was inspired by the letters. Why are they still there? Why hasn’t my neighbour collected them? Maybe something is wrong. I should investigate. I am inspired to help.
You don’t have to be a “creative type” to be inspired.
As a writer I am inspired by the beautiful world around me. But those slithers of positivity aren’t limited to words on my screen. If you read my post Christmas Cheer – The Big Issue Guy, where I wrote about helping out a homeless guy with a hot meal, you’ll see that inspiration can strike in the most unexpected places. Pay it forward – a simple and effective moral I like to keep in my mind at all times.
I think of inspiration as a brief connection to something or someone. How the connection is made isn’t important, physical, mental, spiritual, it can have a profound effect on your outlook on life or be as simple as checking on your neighbour or a stranger in need.
So where do we find our inspiration?
I’d like to introduce you to a website called Pure Inspiration – www.pure-inspiration.co.uk which is all about capturing how and why inspiration is important to us all.
It would mean a lot to me if you could hop over there and have a look around, fill in the guest book and soak up some pure positivity.
Pure Inspiration has been designed by my sister, Leigh. She is currently on maternity leave after popping out baby #2. Whilst away from work she decided to improve her skills by joining a web design course. Pure Inspiration is much more than a web design project for her, it captures the essence of who she is.
As we travel the journey of life we meet many different people, from dull lifeless husks who seem to live in a bubble of grey and pessimism, to those vibrant characters that shine so bright they dazzle. I often wonder if everyone could see the energy aura that surrounds us all whether people would reach for their sunglasses when they see my sister.
Let me paint you a picture.
Think of people as pure energy. You walk down the street and look with your true eyes. Here and there you see people who shine, a shimmering mirage of colour that surrounds and radiates from them – these people wear a rainbow suit. They are so very different from the weak grey cloud that lingers around others. That isn’t to say the grey people shun positivity, they simply show it at different times, or maybe they seldom lower their defences and open up to the world.
My sister shines.
I’ve not had the privilege to meet many people who dazzle and inspire like my sister. One blogging pal stands out from the crowd, Joss Burnel at The Crowing Crone.
She shines. And like my sister she walks in beauty.
Like Joss, my sister believes in the power of positive thought. It shows. I figure I have a decent outlook on life, I’m patient, smiling, thoughtful and offer support to anyone who needs it. But my sister takes all of these aspects and many more and blends them together with ease to shine with such force that even a text or five-minute phone call from her is enough to lift me for a week.
2012 – Doom & Gloom or are we mistaken?
When I told my sister I was going to blog about her new website, she asked me to mention the Mayan calendar and how we might be looking at it the wrong way. She said she’d read somewhere that the doomsday scenario that surrounds this much documented event isn’t about the end of times but the start of something better. Something the Mayans couldn’t or wouldn’t speak about.
I guess there could be something there. Isn’t it possible that the Mayan calendar ends not because they foresaw the end of the world but because it was the end of the bad times. Obviously it’s easy for anyone to jump on the bandwagon and spin yarns about the end of days because bad news sells. In the movie 2012 we see the world forever changed. There are countless books and documentaries that warn of an apocalyptic event. It’s scary, exciting and captivating.
The sceptic in me thinks: “Meh, yeah right, an ancient civilisation really had that sort of power? Not likely. Their calendar probably stopped due to famine or natural disaster, no great mystery there.”
Even so, I like the idea of the world-changing on December 21st 2012 but not in a bad way. Perhaps it means a shift toward a more positive perspective. Considering how war and destruction loves to ravage the world it seems unlikely that something BIG can suddenly change it all, but hey, you never know! And maybe even a shared vision of a twist toward peace and positivity is enough to cause ripples that lead to a profound change in the future.
This post is dedicated to my sister, Leigh, and her website, Pure Inspiration. Once again I invite you, dear blog reader, to go take a look. It’s early days for her site and I expect it will grow as more people find it. If you have an inspirational story to tell then share it and let that light into someone else’s life.
I hope you’ll find enlightenment there and take something positive from it.
And maybe when someone spots you as they walk down the street they’ll see how brightly you shine.
Found this photo this morning before I set off for work. Usually I browse around for a quick look at the news, Google News does it for me at that time in the morning. Most days I switch off my PC and drive with a sense of “ho-hum, war here, drugs there, political squabbling in the corner….sigh” but not today!
I had to smile when I saw this photo! And I thought I’d share it with you, dear blog reader, because we all need to smile a bit more. It’s photos like these that make me wonder if those much cherished human elements like love, humour, friendship and fun are experienced by all species.
Each night we put our dogs in the kitchen, they have a tasty Bonio doggy biscuit and a cosy bed each to curl up in. Tilly gets the bigger bed, Ben the smaller one. However, most mornings they are found in the same bed together, all snuggled up! And then when they’re allowed on the sofa – yeah, yeah, dogs on the sofa, very bad, blah, blah – they always seek each other out.
And if we try to take one of them out for a walk without the other…well, put it this way they don’t like it! They spend a lot of time play fighting and winding each other up but I seldom see two dogs so in tune with each other as ours.
All those human traits we take for granted and seem to take ownership of are very much alive and kicking in the animal world, our lovely dogs are a prime example! Cute or what!
Lies are the devils way of tormenting the soul.
That’s what my Gram used to say. You keep spinning that web of lies and sooner or later it’ll wrap itself around your spirit and bleed until you cry from the pain. When I was a lad I thought it was just an old wives tale, something to scare me into confessing that I stole the sweeties not Katie Simmons, the wild red-haired girl from down the street. I was the one who got caught. I always got caught when I was a kid. My Gram told me I had a guilty face, and I couldn’t hide the truth from her, not one bit.
But I learnt to mask it and by the time I entered the crazy shit race of adulthood I was highly skilled in the art of Lie Weaving. I was the best because I had been taught by the best at how to hide them away, not that my Gram intended for that to happen. No doubt she would be speechless if she were still alive to hear that.
I spread my web wherever I went, without a care for the consequences or who got hurt in the process. Nothing could touch me, no way Jose.
But it did.
My web began to unravel long before I saw it tangling around me. And by the time those sticky ropes of falsehoods began to trip me up it was too late. The damage was done and I had no one left to turn to and no chance of redemption. Every bridge was burned to a crisp, friendships lay in tatters and my life was in ruins. I never did things by halves – if you’re going to screw things up then why not turn a spark into a full-blown crescendo of fireworks, you get me?
The same day the news went ape shit over this flu business I was far away from anything even close to civilisation. I filled my tank and got the hell out of dodge before my web trapped me completely. Don’t think of me as a coward, but a survivor. My car died on me in the middle of nowhere, miles from a gas station or motel.
At the top of a hill I cruised to a stop and sat in silence. Vast green fields and valleys stretched out before me. I watched cloud shadows race across the landscape and thought of the tornado of chaos I had left behind. The city was an oppressive place when I left, in more ways than one. The flat grey skies hunkered over the skyline like an angry boy staring at an ant hill. But out in the country the sun had got his hat. Hip, hip, hip, hooray.
I wanted to feel refreshed but my mind was awash with angry lightning, pins and needles and shouting.