The value of living inspirations....

                              I once read a book by Linda Goodman, I don't remember which for I read them all and they blend together in my mind, but in this one particular book Goodman mentions that the Universe, God, Great Spirit (what ever YOU may call it) sends down human anomalies in order to give us hope. Mind you, these are not her 'exact' words, but my mere interpretation of her message, so bear with me. Goodman's one of many examples of such anomalies were of people who have managed to live way, way beyond humanly believed possible. But without going so far out there, let's look at even less extreme examples of these human anomalies, like people who accomplish great feats whom we hear about in the news, or read about in history books. In my mind, I think, "no way can I rise to the same level as these great men and women, and in thinking that way justify in our minds that we and them are essentially night and day. Through THAT line of thinking we allow ourselves to stay where we are. But what if, what IF we are sent these great leaders in human form, specifically so that we can think JUST the opposite? How about the thinking that perhaps these people were placed on this earth at these times, to inspire us to aim higher in the rungs of humanity? Why not? we have whole religions built on just that scenario; someone is born and lives a human life, suffers, and in their human life do amazing things, and inspires others by example. 

                             In my life journey so far,  I have found running and daily juicing as these powerful catalysts for my own personal change. The daily supplemental juicing of daily 60+ ounces of vegetables and fruits has eliminated most of my food cravings. In addition, juicing has given me the gift of emotional balance, and health and energy beyond ever experienced. Running has given me the gifts of mental toughness, confidence and keen self-awareness; and these, mind you, are just some of the benefits. We could easily be here all day going through the varied benefits of running. Suffice it to say that this transformation has been so beyond my wildest dreams; I could have never 'planned' to come this far, I only imagined it vaguely and began arming myself with one right action after another. Often, I will share on Facebook, on in my blogs on on Twitter about my feats of the week. Perhaps some may conclude about me that this type of personal sharing on such a public forum to be a form of bragging, maybe annoying, maybe even, boisterous. Yet,  I know the nature of inspiration now after years and years of futile and turturous attempts to change those around me via various methods such as lecturing, begging, manipulating, pouting.  Why go through all that? No one changes for others and stay that way for long. Yet, all along the answer is quite simple; all it takes to help change others for the better is to first and only change oneself, all other external attempts to change the world are a total waste of time. 

                           I know a tad about inspiration. Inspiration is what gave me hope in my darkest hours and provided me a map to a brighter future. Unfortunately, I have never been, and still to this day I am not, one to do therapy or bear my soul to a perfect stranger. Tried it a few times and it felt plastic and the suggestions I was getting lacked something else I needed but could not pin point.  Therefore, while growing up, when I needed answers and a way to label and make sense of all baggage I had carried with me up to that point, I turned to books. Authors became my guiding light, my confidantes, my coaches, my therapy. I often state that reading books by great people with an open heart has saved my life. As time went on and with the upsurge of the internet, I began following the works of living inspirations online, not just authors, but people of all walks of life and found that, in fact, all around us, great, amazing, wonderful, strong, beautiful, and compassionate people abide. People who have done great things despite what seems like unsurmoutable obstacles. My focus became fine-tuned to finding these living inspirational 'anomalies', as I call them. I was thirsty to find the light keepers, the people whom despite enduring great hardship have remained positive, light, open, then have gone on to conquer their fears and turn their lives around. Why reinvent the wheel when these people were right here sharing their battles, their formulas, their entire cadre of wisdom through their books, their blogs, their very actions even? Amazing humans around us are living testament to what we too can become. And contrary to the way we traditionally treat gurus and great teachers, they are not primarily placed here to be oohhhdd and ahhhed over some altar. They help no one sitting in an altar. Their journeys are meant to be more like maps, life maps. Like snails on a dewey morning, they leave behind trails that literally anyone can follow. 

                                   I have long stopped giving people a list of authors or of people to look up as a way to inspire them to begin their own transformational journey. Everyone has to find their very own teachers in life. Teachers come in all forms and they are as individual as you are unique. What helped me, may not speak to you. Although my journey is a map to what is possible, you still need to fine-tune your heart to be able to recognize what moves you, what speaks to you, what calls you. The secret here being .....WHAT. MOVES. YOU. When found, the secret of what moves you will feed you, comfort you, fill you with purpose, you will feel and be invincible and life will feel successful regardless of external factors. 

                                  But some adults have a hard time knowing, identifying and even looking for what moves them. Being hopeful and dreaming big is something that is in us naturally, but can be lost for more practical considerations.  Unfortunately, everything about current life seems to work hard to tamp down hopes and dreams. Security breeds fear. Fear, if believed, tells us to stay put, and there, in an instant, our dreams are sacrificed for the sake of security. When my own kids tell me they are BORED, for example, this is my wake up call. Boredom is not bad per se, but what one does when bored, or with their time in general, is very telling of the health of their big dreams. These days, our children need to be supported in finding what moves them. Sadly, every 'happiness' children now profess to have seems to be externally produced. To name a few: Video games, TV shows, Ipad app games, iphones, texting, and messaging. IF a child reaches for externally-driven fun within 1.3 seconds of experiencing the first wave of discomfort there is a huge problem. It's an addiction. I call it an addition because that is what it is, plain and simple. Here's the test to prove to you that yes, in fact, it's an addition. Take just one of your child's external fun away for 2 or even days and see this seemingly docile child become a total monster for those two days. THAT is an addicted child. (note: If you are afraid to try this little test, then the addition is pretty far along already and you will need a serious intervention) Life happens outside screen time. Let me repeat, L.I. F.E. happens outside screen time. If LIFE is not experienced as a child, then when will they learn to live it?

                                All of us have the ability to rise up to do great things in this precious life, ALL of us have that little diamond nugget of a seed inside our hearts that, when listened too, can guide us in the right direction, but first we must be taught that it's even possible to reach great heights and that yes, we have the ability to follow our big dreams and that is called hope. We must look for and surround ourselves with people in our life that carry this hope, that inspire us and expect us to be our best selves. Last, we must raise our children to reconnect with their own simple, self-driven inner contentment so that they may live a life with purpose, and full self -awareness.