Finding Inspiration Every Day

I haven’t posted in a long time. I was trying to post often and then the Newton shootings happened and it seemed inappropriate to post anything except what everyone else was writing about it, but then everyone else was writing about it. Then life happened. Then a building collapse in Bangladesh (which increased the number of companies I’m boycotting) and then tornados. And as I write this there is a big fire in Colorado Springs and the evacuation zone currently stops 2 miles from my brother’s house. And, closer to home, I found out recently that someone I knew well had told a big lie about me (which many people apparently believed and which then caused them to act very differently toward me…but hey, at least now I know why…still depressing, though). Alas, the world can be a scary and sad and frustrating place but it can still be a beautiful place.

First, the sky is blue and the clouds are fluffy white today. That’s amazing to me. Clouds have always amazed me. I LOVE being in the window seat on a plane and looking down on the earth but the best is when we’re flying above the clouds and I can just see the shapes, play of light and the miracles that are clouds.

Second, the grass is green. A beautiful green. With clovers and flowers. That’s because we’re in a place that happens to have plenty (and sometimes way too much) rain. I love rain, too. The sound that it makes when it falls. Thunder. Lightning. The best rain sound is on a tin roof, like the roof I had on my house when I lived in a village in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa (1992-1994). Whoa, that was a long time ago.

Third, my kids. They are beautiful in my eyes, smart, funny, clever and talented. They forgive me when I am not in a good mood and play with me when I am. They remind me why I was put on this earth. I look forward to a couple weeks this summer when I can just focus on relaxing and having fun with them without worrying about much else.

And finally, my work (okay, yes, my husband is also inspiring to me, but I don’t know how much you want to read about how in love I am with him and how blessed I am to have him, yadda, yadda, yadda). In my work I get to know expectant and new parents and their babies. I see their faces light up when I let them in on some information that might help them make birth, breastfeeding or parenting easier. I help their babies nurse more comfortably or see mom smile when she tells me she makes more milk perhaps because of a suggestion I gave her. The little things inspire me to keep going…when a small baby gains weight, when a formerly tongue-tied baby latches on better after the revision procedure is done (which doesn’t always happen right away), when a mom gets the natural birth she wanted, when a dad gets to catch his baby and experiences the feeling of being the first person to touch his child…the list goes on.

Life has its ups and downs, that’s for sure. I think it just helps to keep repeating “this too shall pass.” Whether it’s a good time or bad time, it will pass. So enjoy each moment. Some people call that mindfulness. Whatever you want to call it. It’s what makes life worth living.

8,000 Women

Yesterday I attended the Massachusetts Conference for Women. I had NO idea until I was driving to Boston for the conference with my friend Karen (who attended the last two years) that there would be more than 500 people there. No, not 500, EIGHT THOUSAND. Gulp. Thousands of GUTSY MAMAS! Thousands of gutsy women who took a day off of work to nurture themselves for a day.

A few of the speakers I had heard of: Arianna Huffington, Deepak Chopra, Jean Chatzky, Kristin Chenoweth. Some I hadn’t: Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, Brene Brown, Charlotte Beers and Tory Johnson. I learned, I was inspired, I was challenged, I shed a few tears, I smiled, I laughed and I made a few new friends.

20121207-211311.jpg

What did I learn? What nuggets?

Don’t forfeit the right to know yourself.
Be memorable.
Dare greatly.
Vulnerability is about showing up and been seen. Be a courageous person, walk into the arena, talk about how you feel. You may be afraid but do it anyway.
Sleep at least 7 hours. Nap if you didn’t. Read Good News on Huffingtonpost.com.

There were more, but wow, it’ll take a while for those to really sink in, eh?

[Photo: have you ever seen so many tables?]