Reflections and intentions.

What inspires you?

What are the things, the thoughts that motivate you to become a good, better, great version of yourself?

Maybe it’s the year winding down that’s got me introspective, but I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration this week. About motivation. About all of the beauty and pain and wonderfulness and horror in our world. About those same things in my own life.

Humans have the incredible opportunity to do good. With effort, we can become fit, we can eat well, we can help others, we can make the wise choices instead of the destructive ones. We can choose to change the world, even if it’s just by adding one more smile to it. It’s quite a burden- but also an incredible gift.

Inspiration comes from so many places for me. A stunning view, a spectacular sunset. A smile from a baby or a kind gesture from a stranger. Music that prompts me to turn up the volume, every single time. Words on a page or words on my screen- as someone who jumbles them together on a daily basis, I’m moved by the power of language quite often. I’ve discovered a few new blogs that I can’t get enough of- whether it’s their simplicity, or the lovely photos, or the feeling I get when I visit, I’m inspired to continually improve my own offerings.

I see amazing strength in my friends. A working mother with two young daughters, beautiful little handfuls, whose hubby is out of commission after significant, debilitating surgery. She is beyond exhausted, fighting sickness in her little ones and voiceless herself- but still laughing. Another who, over the first few months of motherhood struggled with breastfeeding, anxiety, insomnia- now committed to getting up at 5:30am for an exercise class to be a healthier, happier woman and mother before her job as one of Colorado’s recognized top adult educators. Friends who labor for many days or just minutes, rejecting pain medication, yearning to experience the exquisite pain of bringing life into this world in the most natural way. Multiple friends who spend hours of their personal time trying to help neglected or abused animals, finding them forever families, even opening their own homes to save them from perishing. And a friend from high school, who recently lost her home in a fire. I haven’t seen her in years, yet hers was the very first “Congratulations!” wedding card we received in the mail. As a licensed therapist, her days are devoted to others. She is lamenting her losses, which are inconceivable- 4 of her beloved pets were lost in the fire, as well. They were her children. I see the quotes she bookmarks on Pinterest- words saved to help herself heal while also healing others.

Wow.

As I’m writing these words, I realize a common theme in the people that inspire me. All of their work and focus isn’t just on themselves- they do things for others, and in turn, that makes them a better version of themselves. I wonder if they even realize the example they are to others, that people like me are sometimes in awe of them.

I’ve had an incredible year. On the second day of 2012, my best friend got on his knee and asked me to share a life with him. In February, we toted our tiny puppy and two households’ worth of stuff up the hill to a brand new home in Park City. Spring and summer were filled with camping trips, vacations, exploring a new town, hikes, live music, great food, lots of friends. Autumn was a whirlwind of love, bachelor and bachelorette trips, our magical wedding, a dream of a honeymoon. And here we are, just days from Christmas, which is also my new husband’s 40th birthday. Milestones. All year long.

2013 has got some big shoes to fill.

Even as I reflect on the past year, there’s a lot of ME in it. ME ME ME.  I’m not saying my life is not significant; I know I make a difference here in my own little mountain bubble, and that sharing smiles with friends or strangers can have an unknown impact. I’m fairly certain a furry beast and a handsome mountain man need me. But I am not my best version. I can look around at everyone and everything that inspires me and be motivated to be better- for myself, but more for my family, for my future, for the world around me. These are my intentions for 2013. I’m EXCITED to see what the coming year will bring!

And I’m totally going to toast the new year with THIS sparkly gem.

I’m on the hunt for continual inspiration. Will you share yours with me? Where do you find inspiration? What motivates you?

16 replies »

  1. What a wonderful post! Just by asking the question you’ve brought a smile to my face, because it makes me think of all the wonderful things and people that inspire me in my life.
    Honestly, my mother is my main inspiration. She’s a general mum, a hard working and loving individual who would do anything for her children. But as I’ve gotten older and as I’m slowly moving past the childish thinking of “EVERYTHING IS ABOUT ME!” (I wont be so egotistical as to say I’ve completely grown past the selfishness of youth) I’m coming to realize quite literally how much she has done for me.
    Whilst battling depression, she was a constant rock of support. Whilst losing my first child, she held my hand and hugged me when I needed it most. So many times in my life she has been the one constant that I’ve always needed. She’s celebrated my triumphs, forgave my failings and always seen the best person I can be, even though I’m not that person yet.
    To be able to walk in her footsteps and be half the woman she is would be a blessing. She is a constant inspiration to me because throughout everything she has been the most amazing mother I could ever have wished for.
    Thank you for this post, now I think I need to call her and tell her how much I love her.

  2. Your blog inspires me! Your posts always put a smile on my face and a rumble in my tummy. It seems so simple, but it works…focusing on those little things that make life grand. You’ve prompted me to create another blog where I focus on the good and challenge myself to take more chances and live on purpose. Congrats on reaching all of those happy milestones!

  3. I find motivation and inspiration everywhere – from having coffee with friends and playing with my kids to reading blogs and books. One of my personal favorites right now is Chris Guillebeau (The Art of Non-Conformity, The $100 Startup). He writes this incredible blog and has spent the last five years traveling to every country in the world – literally. As of right now, he has two more to go and should be done by early 2013. It’s very cool.

  4. I am inspired by watching people accomplish their goals, or take risks. Cheering my friends on as they run their first marathons, or encouraging them as they pursue master’s degrees to attain more fulfilling careers – I am in awe of people who shape their life with intention and fortitude. I love your idea of a gentle sense of being the best version of yourself – it’s truly a blessing to all.

  5. […] Last year, I chose to forego traditional resolutions, which so often are just items on a list, something that makes us cringe as months pass without crossing things off successfully. Instead, my goal was to work toward being the best version of myself that I could be. Did I succeed? Sometimes. I missed the mark sometimes, too, but tried to accept those failures with grace and grow from them. As I ponder this, I realize that my 2013 goal was not one that could ever be checked off as “complete”- it’s an ever-evolving challenge to continue to grow as a person and contribute things of value to the world. […]

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