I’m focusing on inspiration this month on my “Don’t Wait For Your Wake Up Call” podcast. I will be interviewing three amazing guests, women who have suffered near death experiences, health issues, been told they’d never walk again, and then they do. These episodes are going to be very powerful, and I hope you tune in.
I wanted to expand and write about it in my blog this month as well. I started thinking about what inspiration really means. How can I tie inspiration into health? I decided to look up the definition of inspiration.
The Definition of Inspiration:
- The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
- A sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea.
After reading the definition I did a search using Google for sources of inspiration. I found 20 sources of inspiration and I want to share with you how each of them has inspired me in my life, 10 in this blog and 10 in my next.
Whether you are inspired by another individual or something within your own person; inspiration is the motivator within life. It is the catalyst for prodding you forward in life.
More than that, when you are feeling inspired, there is hope, there is joy, there is belief that you can do something, it’s exciting, it’s new, it feels good. When we are in this state, we’ve moved away from fear and anger and all the negative emotions that can weigh heavy and bog us down and literally cause disease over time. Therefore, being in a state of feeling inspired leads you to a healthier frame of mind and healthier physical body, as you raise your vibration and soar.
Let’s dive into the list I found, and you can think about how these things might inspire you in your life. I hope by the end of this article, your energy vibration has been lifted and you are inspired to think about all the good that is happening in your life.
1. The Sunrise – Camping with Nicole and waking up at 5am to watch the sunrise last October.
Last October, I went back country camping with my oldest daughter, back country camping is something that we’ve started doing together since the pandemic. We love being in nature, it gets us away from the distraction of devices, and allows us to spend quality time together creating memories.
Being in nature, lets the stress drip right off your body. Before we left, we looked up what time the sunrise was going to be – 5am! The next morning, we got up at 4:30am, it was still quite chilly so we took our chairs and sleeping bags and found an empty tent platform, climbed into our sleeping bags and sat on that platform waiting for the sun to rise.
We watched the light move across the sky, as the sun got higher and higher. The colors were amazing, the oranges, pinks, and yellows. It took around 45 minutes for the sun to fully come up over the mountains, but it was beautiful to have that quiet time in the morning. We didn’t talk, we just sat there, mesmerized by the beauty of nature.
Watching the sunrise is a source of inspiration, an opportunity to be grateful for each new day that you get to wake up to. As you’re sitting there and watching the sun rise letting your mind wander, it’s meditative. That’s when creative ideas can come to you, as well!
2. Past Achievements – I Know When I Apply My Mind to Something I can be Successful – Story of Getting My Canadian Citizenship
When we look back at what we have accomplished over our lifetime that can be another incredible source of inspiration. As an entrepreneur we have our ups and our downs. You’re trying not to listen to all those voices in your head that are telling you that you’re not good enough or you won’t be able to achieve the goals that you’ve set for yourself this year, etc., etc. Standing above all of that and keeping going can be difficult. When we truly tap into why we’re doing what we are doing, we feel it to the depths of our core, and that helps us to show up every single day and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Almost 30 years ago I was hired to translate at the Canadian Embassy in Japan at an event for BC pavilion Corporation, as a simultaneous translator.
I was raised in Japan, and I speak Japanese, but I had never done simultaneous translation before. It was very nerve wracking to say yes, that I would do that. However, there was a piece of me that knew that this was my opportunity to achieve something else.
I wanted to get my Canadian Landed Immigrants and have the opportunity to continue living in Canada. I knew by going to this event, there would be many government officials there. I had hoped that I would have the opportunity to meet somebody that could help me in my desire to get my landed immigrant status.
I’d already tried through the normal channels of filling out the paperwork and the application etc. This all happened before the days of the Internet, and I had been rejected twice because I didn’t have a high enough point score. To be truthful I think a big part of that was the fact that I was only 22 at the time, and I didn’t have enough work experience. I’d heard that if you apply three times and get rejected, then you’re never going to get your landed immigrant status. I didn’t want to try a third time, so I had to do something differently. So I agreed to go and be a simultaneous translator at this event in Japan.
When I was there, I met many government officials from both The Federal Government and the BC government. I shared with many of them my story about how I speak Japanese, and how I wanted to stay and work in Canada. I explained that I wouldn’t be taking another Canadian’s job, as I could use my experience of speaking Japanese to help those who were coming into Canada. I was in Whistler, British Columbia at the time, it was the heyday of Japanese tourists coming into Canada. They needed more people that spoke Japanese. I asked them all “what did I need to be doing to stay in Canada?”.
When I spoke to each official, I collected all their business cards. On one of the final days that I was in Tokyo, I was in my hotel, and I had gone to the elevator, and I was standing there by myself. The next thing I knew the premier of our province, Premier Harcourt came up and was waiting for the elevator next to me, and he was by himself. In my head, I just thought, “This is who I need to speak to, and this is my opportunity”. In the elevator from the third floor to the lobby, I told him my story of wanting to stay in Canada and being able to speak Japanese, how I would not be taking another Canadian’s job, because of the need for more Japanese translators in Whistler. When we got to the lobby level, and he said, my grandfather emigrated from Australia to Canada, and he gave me his business card. He said, “Write to me when you get back”, and so I did.
When I returned, I wrote to every single one of those people that I had met. Now when I say wrote, it was on a typewriter as back then I didn’t have a home computer! I had to type out individual letters to all those people I met, and mail them off. One day in the mail, I received a letter back from Premier Harcourt. In that letter he wrote, “I can’t get involved in your case, however, here is a number you can contact in order to apply to become a landed immigrant.”
I called that number immediately. It was the first time I got a human being on the other end of the phone instead of just getting lost pressing numbers and never getting to talk to a person. The person I got a hold of explained the process for me and what I could do to become a landed immigrant. I was literally a landed immigrant within three months of that phone call.
I had to go back to Australia to do my fingerprinting and an interview at the Canadian consulate in Australia, but I was able to do everything else from Canada. Those was my final steps. I became a landed immigrant of Canada. Years later, when Australia allowed dual citizenship, I was able to become a Canadian citizen, and I’ve lived here for 32 plus years now.
That was just one of those pivotal moments where I knew to the depths of my core, that if I took those steps, even though it was terrifying to be hired to be a simultaneous translator, something that I’d never done before, I could achieve what I wanted. I had to put myself in that situation in order to meet the people that could help me achieve my goal and the dream that I had of becoming a landed immigrant of Canada.
I hadn’t done any personal growth work at that time. I was following my intuition. I was able to do the simultaneous translation it wasn’t as scary in the end as I had thought it would be. Our mind always makes things out to be worse than they are. I was able to achieve the goal that I wanted.
When things pop up in my mind that I am scared to do I go back to that story to remind myself when things feel hard, or when I’m afraid of moving forward with something, etc. to dig deep and to believe in my core in what I’m doing, and that I can do it, because I’ve done it before.
Over the years, I have met other Australians that said, “oh, yeah, I’d like to stay here too. I’m trying to apply”. I could always tell the ones that we’re going to be successful and the ones that weren’t. It was the depth of their desire, of how much they truly wanted it, because if you don’t want it enough, you’re not going to stick with it. Right?
3. Progress – Looking Back at Past Achievements Can Be Inspirational
When we set big audacious goals for ourselves, they can feel scary and impossible. At that point we talk ourselves down from them, and don’t believe they are possible. What we need to do is break them down into smaller goals and then even smaller goals, each of those feels do-able and each one we achieve motivates us to keep going!
My Mom recently received the highest badge on Fitbit – she will be 77 years old this year, and she earned the Pole to Pole Badge! Yes, she has walked 12, 430miles since joining Fitbit! Her response was “If someone had asked me to do that, I would have said it was impossible, but I’ve gone and done it without even knowing it, by just walking her dogs multiple times every day!”
When we break our progress down into smaller bite sized chunks, we can actually continue to be inspired to move forward as we celebrate each of the little successes along the way.
We all know there’s many, many, many inspirational quotes that are out there. You can Google them, pick your favorite people and search for quotes by them. Whether it’s Maya Angelou, mother, Teresa Gandhi, Henry Ford, Hippocrates, the list is endless.
Find your favorite quote, post it where you can see it every day. Look at it and memorize it. Keep reminding yourself, of putting one foot in front of the other and being inspired.
One of my favorites is Henry Ford’s quote of “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” That’s such a great reminder around mindset. If you think you can’t, it’s not going to happen. If you think you can, now there you can achieve it, right? I also love the quote, and I don’t know who said it but “Love the life you live the life you love”. Life by design, we all have the power to create a life that we love!
I challenge you choose your favorite quotes, post them on stickies around the house, on your desk in the bathroom mirror on the bedside table in the car. Every time you read it, let it bring a smile to your face, and lift your energy that little bit higher.
Here is a link I would like to share with you that has a lot of inspiring quotes:
5. Movies /Documentaries – Girls Rising > Girls Matter
This has been one of the sources of massive inspiration in my life. Years ago, could be 10 years ago, I took my Girl Guides to a documentary called Girls Rising. It was all about girls who wanted an education and were being denied an education in various countries around the world.
I sat watching that documentary, with tears running down my face knowing our girls were all fortunate to live in a first world country where girls get to go to school, and yet they take it for granted, as I did. Sometimes they even complain about having to go to school. My own two children included and I’m sure when I was a child, I did the very same thing.
Yet here were other girls around the world desperate for the opportunity to go to school and being denied that chance simply because of their gender. In that moment, I knew I wanted to do something more to support more girls getting an education.
There was a quote in that movie that if India could just educate 1% more girls, they would grow their GDP by $5.5 billion. In that moment, was a very clear answer – it’s not easy, but it’s simple. We educate the girls and we grow the GDP of countries and we bring third world countries out of poverty. If we could focus on the girls, we could break the poverty cycle, one girl, one family, one village at a time.
Seven years ago, when I was let go from my corporate job, I knew that I wanted to do something completely different. Whatever I did next had to be more of service to humanity into the planet, but I had no idea what that would look like at the time. I went to a conference later that year, when I heard the speaker say that we are put on this planet for three things:
#1 To serve others
#2 To never stop learning
#3 To find our passion and purpose
He also said, “you don’t always have to know the how the how will show itself to you”.
In that moment, I decided I was going to create a way to support more girls getting an education. I had no idea how to do that, but I knew people who might. I picked up my phone and called them. They already had non-profit organizations in Nepal and in Uganda.
I asked them, how do I start a non-profit? They simply said, why? What do you want to do? I told them I wanted to support girls in staying in high school longer, so they weren’t being married off and having babies as teenagers repeating the poverty cycle of their parents, by keeping them in school longer.
I wanted these young women to be able to get a good job and start to break that poverty cycle. They loved it and said, “We’ll do it with you”. That was how the non-profit Girls Matter was birthed.
We’ve been funding girls to finish high school and some through University ever since. We launched girls matter in 2017. We’ve had some girls graduate from university; we’ve had many girls graduate from high school. We’re continuing to support girls. Now we’re starting to blow it up even more, because I have a ‘fairy godmother’ that’s come into my life, and contributed money, and she’s in the crypto world. She’s using those funds and the profits from the crypto world to help fund the girls.
She is helping me create an even bigger vision, so we can reach even more girls, globally, not just in Uganda, as we generate more funds through what’s happening in the crypto world today.
That documentary was incredibly inspiring to me and gave me a purpose at a time when I didn’t know what I was doing with my career and was still figuring that out. Now I’ve been able to bring the two of those, more closely together.
These girls continue to inspire me because of their passion and desire to get an education. Their reasons why they want this is incredibly inspiring, they all want to help their village, they all want to help make their life and the life of their loved ones and their families better.
6. Travel – Experiencing New Cultures, New Foods, New Ways of Doing Things. These Inspire You To Get Outside Your Comfort Zone and Engage in Life in a Different Way.
Now, I’ve traveled a lot in my life. I feel very, very fortunate to have had the opportunity to do that. Being raised in Japan, coming from Australia, traveling around Southeast Asia, traveling around Europe, Africa, I’ve seen how different people live in different parts of the world.
Different cultures enjoy different foods, different music, different dancing. It inspires you to get out of your comfort zone, to simply try new things, try new food, try speaking a new language, listen to new music and enjoying it, dancing and having fun! Seeing different forms of architecture, just meeting people with different approaches and styles to life. Meeting people who have almost nothing, and yet are so happy and generous they are willing to give you a gift.
Travel is incredibly inspirational, but so is the planning of where you will be going. Think about how you feel when you’re planning a trip. It’s exciting and you’re looking forward to it. You’re looking at all the different places you can go. You start looking at websites online and looking at it in brochures. That is a moment when I am always truly inspired.
7. Music – Shifts Your Energy, Motivates You – My Energy Shifting List of Music
I have a playlist on my phone of songs that I literally call my ‘energy shifting’ music. When I feel like I’m feeling down or tired or whatever, then I can play that music. I can turn it up loud. I can sing to my heart’s content and raise my vibration. The music literally shifts my energy in that moment. We all have songs that do that for us. We all have songs that take us back in time, or takes us back to different places. Music is incredibly inspirational. Enjoy what that music gives you. When you are feeling down in the dumps, turn on some great music and shift your energy and be inspired to move into a better space.
8. Poetry – Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Obviously, there’s many, many different poets that are out there and so many different types of poetry, and it’s not something that I’ve ever really studied. It’s not something that I’ve ever really read per se. So, in terms of a source of inspiration for me, I wouldn’t put it top of the list, but I do have a favorite poem.
I would like to share this poem with you here, because this is a poem that I found close to 30 years ago. When I lost my father, I was only 13 years old. Yet somehow, I always felt like he was always with me. I didn’t know how to put that into words. Then when I found this poem, about 10 years later, I was in Granville Island at a little shop and I read this poem and went, “Oh, my goodness, this poem describes exactly how I feel about my father’s presence, being always around me”. It has become my favorite poem, and a poem of inspiration to me.
“Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there. I do not sleep. I am 1000 winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumns rain, when you awaken in the morning’s hush, I am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet birds and circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night, do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not die.”
For any of you who have lost loved ones, maybe that poem will connect with you, and maybe give you a little bit of inspiration that you haven’t lost them. They’re always with you.
9. Pets – Oscar’s Persistence in Asking for Food, Inspires Me to Apply that same Persistence to My Business.
This was funny to see on the list because I was just talking to someone else about how one of our cats is actually an inspiration to me. It’s an annoyance and an inspiration at the same time. For now I will choose for it to be an inspiration.
You see his name is Oscar, and I work from home. He likes to come upstairs and walk across my desk right in front of my laptop and tell me that it’s food time. Generally, his lunchtime is at noon. I try to feed him as close to noon as I can. Oscar is always up in my office by 1130 at the latest, telling me that it’s almost noon! The fact that he comes and jumps up, and I put him down and he jumps back up, and I put him down and he jumps back up shows is level of persistence (if it does get annoying!). His persistence in making sure that I don’t forget to feed him and me understanding that his persistence works, because I always do go and feed him, is what made me realize I can learn persistence from my cat!
Sometimes running my business feels hard and that it’s a whole lot of work. however, at the same time, I love what I do. I love sharing health education. I love inspiring people to take better care of their health and showing them how to do that, because I do truly believe that we can all be empowered in our health. If everybody understood the impact of stress and the impact of toxins on their health and knew what they could do to lower both, then we wouldn’t have the chronic illness that we have in the world today.
This is what I teach on each day. I’m sure many of you have heard me teach on these things or been a part of my programs. I recently realized that I choose to continue to show up every day and apply the same level of persistence to building my business, as Oscar does to getting fed! . I learned persistence from my cat!
I thought you’d enjoy that little funny one that I’m learning from our cat.
10. Family – My children and my Grandmother have inspired me….
I’m a mom, I’ve raised two girls. I remember watching both girls when they were little and learning to walk. I’d watch them fall down and get right back up and keep on trying. They believe they can walk because they see us walking. They had no doubts that they could learn to walk, they fall down, they get back up, they try again, and eventually they walk.
They’re inspired by the older people in their life. As adults though, sometimes we fall down, and then we just want to give up. The testament to your character is not how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get back up.
Then the other truly inspirational person or family member is my grandmother. My grandmother lived to being 101 years old, in her own home, caring for herself, fully cognitively functioning, and died in her sleep. Now, that is what I want from my life. She inspires me to prioritize my health, to do all that I can, to get to live my life that way, instead of what many people unfortunately are doing these days,
living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
I recently saw a research study by Edward Jones, that showed that in North America, the average person spends 10 years dying in a nursing home. 10 years! What if you could get those 10 years back to spend with your loved ones and have quality of life. You absolutely can when you start to look after your health today, because what you do now matters.
You can have Alzheimer’s and dementia for 20 to 30 years before it ever gets diagnosed. When you choose today to understand how stress impacts your body to understand what toxins are doing to your body and to take the baby steps to learn about nutrition and the right way to eat for your body to understand the importance of sleep it doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t have to be a make work project.
It can be done in baby steps and learning a little bit every day! I’ve been learning for seven years, and I’ll continue learning. I’ll never stop learning because we’re still scratching the surface of what we know about the health of our microbiome, the health of our brain, and so much more. But it’s my grandmother and understanding her life and how she lived her life that made me have the ‘A-HA’ that if I want to get on her path, I need to do things differently. I realized I was living a toxic life.
After all those amazing years growing up in Japan (for which I’m very grateful), I realized I was toxic because it was a big city with manufacturing plants spewing out toxins. By living that way, it made me more toxic than my grandmother. I asked myself what do I need to do about that? That’s when I started learning about toxins and detoxing, and why I’m such a big advocate for that today. She is my inspiration.
Before I end this article, I want to ask you Who in your family is your inspiration?
I’d love you to send me a note or comment. Please let me know which of these first 10 sources of inspiration did you like the best? I’d love to hear from you!
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