Finding Your Way

Life begins when you accept who you are
Bumps and lumps and all

When where you are isn’t where you would have chosen
Nor is it where you might expect to be

But in that puddle you splash and observe
You see WONDER where a mess could be

Because deep down low or way high above
Is a bigger picture of patience, faith, courage and most of all


And you’ll get there soon

just where you’ve been dreaming of:

By finding the flower amongst the weeds

Riding the wave
Not fighting the sea

Embracing the moment

Choosing joy, HoPe and love

And someday soon, when the toughest of the storms

recedes into the past,

(and it shall pass)

you’ll m-a-r-v-e-l at how far you’ve come.

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What is My Purpose In Life? The 3 Stages of Finding Your Purpose

{Etsy stamp from MountainsideCrafts}

{Etsy stamp from MountainsideCrafts}

I’ve spent about a decade trying to answer that question. I looked for it in books, from gurus, school counselors, life coaches and even psychics. But it only took revisiting my childhood passion to figure out what I always knew:

wish list for a typewriter + hours of making up stories + writing poems when I was 10 + obsessive reading & journal writing =  writer

It took remembering what brought me joy that helped me to find my purpose in life.

Through my own struggles, I’ve learned that there are several stages to the path of finding your purpose.

Stage 1: Actively Looking

You might be in high school or college or have years of work experience behind you, but feel like you missed the boat when it comes to living the life of your dreams. If that sounds like you, you’re in stage 1. This is when you’re most actively searching. Like me you might be taking career quizzes, searching the internet, talking with friends, family and a career counselor or a life coach, or reading a book to help you get clear.

Stage 2: Soul Searching

I’d call stage 1 more of a superficial search. You need to get to that point in order to start getting serious about what you want to do with your life. But to really find out what you want and who you are, you need to reach in deep. To bring out my passion for writing, I had to explore who I was as a child, what mattered most to me, and what brought me the most joy. It’s seems easy, but recalling who you are at your very core takes a bit of courage. There’s a reason why you’re not doing what you love right now. Someone told you a) that you couldn’t do it or b) that you shouldn’t do it so you buried that passion way in deep.

Stage 3: Trusting Your Instincts

Bestselling author of The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren says, “Your purpose is not about you.” It’s less about what you want, then about how you can use your innate gifts in service to others. How do we determine what those gifts are? When we learn to not just accept our flaws, but to think of them as strengths we can finally uncover our unique gifts. For example, since I was 7-years-old I would hound my mom with questions. I’ve always been this way annoying new acquaintances and old friends by my curiosity and need to know attitude. I realized after many years that this so-called flaw has enabled me to ask the right questions when it came to interviewing subjects for my writing.

Somewhere deep inside you already know who you are and what you’re meant to do with your life. The answers have been left like breadcrumbs on your path toward your purpose. You’ve just been too afraid, unsure or distracted to notice. All you need to do is to stop the outside noise (your family, your friends, the media that tells you what you should do) and listen to the gift that wants to direct your life.

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Finding Inspiration During Tough Times

If I were a good liar, even a decent one, I would say that life has never been better. That although I’ve hit some rough patches, I’m seeing the light.

While that’s partially true, the 100% truth is that sometimes life really sucks.

These days it’s a cough drop that helps me get through the toughest parts of my day because it forces me to focus on the present moment. And when that doesn’t work, a hug from my husband does.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have faith, or hope, or want to live each day being positive and inspiring to others.

What it means is that this moment, this year even, is forcing me be more of who I need to be. And I’m willing to take the journey, even in the dark, bumpy parts.

I’m a visual person so here’s what I mean:

1. Perspective:

This is a shot I took outside of our cottage in Point Reyes. The sun had just set and the gorgeous countryside was beginning to turn dark and gray.

Amazingly. This is the same scene taken with the same camera at the same time. The only difference? A different camera setting. To me, this represents a change in perspective. That we can all have tough moments, days, months, even years, but it is our ability to keep going, to do what we need to do to get through the hard parts, and see the same problem/concern/hardship through different lenses.

2. Blurry to Focus:

This photo looks like a big mess of weeds doesn’t it? Sometimes that mess is your business or your life. You’re doing a whole of something, but in the end it feels like it’s amounting to nothing. I know what you’re going through. I felt that way too. But recently, being sick has made it difficult for me to do more than one thing at a time. And you know what? That’s a blessing.

It’s made it easier for me to focus on the things that really matter. (Forgive me if that sounds trite, but it’s true.) When you have gazillion things on your plate, you lose track of your purpose. Not only that but you become inefficient in the things or people you care about most. When you zoom in on one specific aspect of your life, instead of trying to do a superficial observation from above, you get to see the details. I realized that placing your attention on one thing instead of trying to do all of them is a lot more beneficial to not just your career, but your life.

The bottom line is this. Life will inevitably suck at different moments. We are all living in a world we don’t have much control of. But what we can hold onto is grace. The choice we have to see something small to be grateful for, even when we’re sucking on our cough drops, or crying our eyes out. And then have patience and wait. Because out of that dark, difficult time, there will be a gift. It will be the rainbow you didn’t expect, the joy that you couldn’t have appreciated if you didn’t go through it, or the strength you didn’t have before.

That’s what keeps me hopeful and inspired during the sucky times in life. How about you?

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There’s Nothing Pollyanna about Being Positive

“I say Joyce Meyer’s quote to myself: ‘”You may not be where you need to be, but thank God you’re not where you used to be.'” ~Alanna Castilleja

There may be some misconceptions of inspirational writing. On one hand it’s filled with positivity and uplifting stories. Yet on the other, it’s probably written after much heartache and pain.

Lessons of Hardship

If there’s one thing I know for sure is that the best things from life, hope, inspiration, love, often come from the most difficult times in life.

  • Heartache teaches us to appreciate love.
  • Disappointment = humility
  • Loss = appreciation for life
  • Pain teaches us the importance of spirituality.

Although the road is painful and sometimes long, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And that light is hope.

Inspiring others through your writing is not just about the happiness and appreciation you get after the hard work. It is the hard work!

It is the moment you decide to write even when you feel rejected, dejected and unsure.

It is the moment you decide to find sunshine, even if it’s pitch black dark, and the only light is the meal you have in front of you. Those moments are the inspiration.

The unglamorous, non-spectacular, courageous actions you do that seem so ordinary, are the moments that define inspirational writing.

Look to that. Look to yourself. Forget about going straight to the head of the line or passing go to get there. Write about where you are in this moment-your fears, your uncertainty, your struggles-talk about how your greatest accomplishment was not the trophy sitting atop your mantel, but the time when you first learned how to breathe after a great loss. Write about how you feel like a fraud, but still kept to writing every day, just for the chance of one day getting published.

Talk about the journey. Talk about your sorrow. Write about your gradual journey toward the light at the end of the tunnel. And your readers will follow.

Life is difficult.

As I write this I’m reflecting on one of the most difficult years of my life. The loss of my 15 year old dog, a recent illness that I’m battling with, the uncertainty of my writing career and future.

But then again, every year has its battles.

But what I remember are the tough, scary moments that made me inwardly strong. And though it may sound corny, the truth is that we really do learn more through pain and suffering, then we do when everything is going well in our life.

Hardships forces us, molds us into who we need to be.

It’s what makes me embrace inspirational writing. The chance for life’s challenges to change us. And the ability to capture that and inspire change in others, that’s not just Pollyanna positivity, it’s the beauty of life.

Would you agree?

What did you learn from the most difficult moments in your life?

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Wanna Know How to Write to Inspire? A Professional Answers

Awhile back I took a course on inspiring writing from Writer’s Digest. Our professor, Gloria Kempton is an expert at what she does, a published author with several books to her name. Just check out her website and see for yourself.

That’s why I was extra excited to ask her if she’d be willing to help demystify the concept of inspirational writing. I asked her a few questions about it such as, “What is it and how can you learn to inspire others?” And she willingly replied.

Hope these answers will help inspire you to inspire others through your own writing endeavors!

How would you define inspirational writing and can it be applied to all types of writing?

Inspirational writing is any kind of writing that inspires others. It used to be that the Christian publishing industry thought they had a corner on inspirational writing, but no more. Inspirational writing can run the gamut from Christian to New Age to Chicken Soup for the Soul. You’ll find it in many of the commercial markets; miracle stories of healing of body and soul, articles about yoga and meditation, stories of courage and heroism, and many, many other types. Inspirational writing encourages, inspires, and enlightens; it speaks to the reader’s higher self.

What key concepts do you think are important to include in any article of writing that inspires others?

Writing that inspires others should be positive while being honest. It should enlighten while refraining from the “woo-woo” kind of tone. It can refer to God with the understanding that the word, God, means something different to every reader. It calls the reader to be her best self while not pushing her beyond where she’s able to go in the moment. It doesn’t preach and honors everyone’s unique path. It never judges and makes room for anyone and everyone who is open to becoming his or her best self.

You can find out more about Gloria on her website Writer’s Recharge.

Hi there! Glad you stopped by!

You’ve found one of my blogs on everything inspiring.  I also have one on writing and freelancing tips for new writers and entrepreneurs here. If you are in search of a writer to get all of your words in order, I’d love to work with you!

I am a published writer, blogger, and copywriter that can help you with all of your writing needs. You can find out more about me here.

You can also sign up for my RSS feed, join in the conversation on Facebook or tweet me @TheInspiringBee. I’d love to hear from you! Thanks for finding me!

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Getting in Touch With Your Inspiring Side

In my twenties, two things happened to me that put me on a road to publication and shifted me to a career I never thought I deserved or believed to be possible.

1. My poem was accepted by Blue Mountain Arts in 2004. When I was in my early-20’s I had a deeply hidden desire to be a writer. But I didn’t pursue it because a) I adopted my parents’ belief that a writer wasn’t a practical or even a real job that could be pursued b) I didn’t think I had it in me.

Though I denied it, I was moved to write. I used to write poems and little letters with drawings on them and leave them hidden for my mom, dad or grandparents to find. And I was still writing opinion pieces for my local newspaper, but up until then I never got paid for publication in a book. {This was my first real experience as a published writer.}

One day I was deeply touched by the selflessness and wisdom of my mother and all mothers-the way she taught me the little things as a child (brush your teeth, look both ways before you cross the street, etc.) and then the bigger things (how to love, etc.) as I got older. I wrote a quick poem, made a copy of it with our photo on it and framed it for her for Mother’s Day.

On a whim, I also sent it into a card company I admired.

Imagine my surprise when I received a letter saying it would be published in a calendar and a book! Continue reading →

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4 Ways to Infuse Inspiration in Writing

You may have a blog, sell jewelry or work for a nonprofit. In all cases, writing something that inspire others is important.

Inspirational writing is actually quite versatile. Even seemingly non-inspiring pieces inspire others in surprising ways.

Think about what makes you bookmark a site or click through the pages of a particular blog every day. For me, it’s a person’s ability to express their passion whether it’s home decor or psychology. There’s something he or she is able to do and convey and it makes you want to be better. Then, you know you’ve found something inspiring.

If you’re scratching your head, confused about how to inspire others, don’t worry. I’ve compiled a list of five things you can do right now to infuse inspiration in your writing.

Here they are: Continue reading →

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