Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I resolve to just Be Inspired

The holiday hamster wheel we’ve all been riding at a fierce pace for more than a month has changed speeds in the last day or two, and will hopefully come to a screeching halt after this upcoming New Year’s weekend. We will all settle into 2016, and with it an opportunity to start fresh.

New Year’s resolutions can be a bit of a cliché, albeit they’re on the minds of many seeking a greater peace-of-mind, body and/or soul in the coming year. Most of us make them, only to be discouraged within weeks by our lack of inspiration. There’s not any bad excuse for our slacking ways. We get distracted with life, and its demands…work, kids (and their homework, their sports, their events and commitments), church, house work, etc., etc. And then, someone goes and gets sick, which inevitably always blows mommy’s priorities to pot! Or, perhaps we set our sights too high to begin with? No matter the reason, most years, we start out January with a bang, and end it in a worse place than we were before it started.

So, in an attempt to not be discouraged a month from now, I resolve to not set any established resolutions this year. No weight loss goals. No resolutions to be tidier, or healthier. No high expectations set for the type of wife and mother I need to be in 2016. No New Year’s lists are being made or being checked twice before midnight on Thursday by this harried full-time working wife and mother-of-two. Just a simple resolution to do my best each day to simply Be Inspired.

It’s a directive that will surely entail a re-evaluation each and every day, based upon the course my life takes. It will, in and of itself, entail a more conscious effort to pull myself up by my bootstraps on a daily basis. And, on days when I can’t muster the strength to do that, I had better make sure I’m not far from my parish’s chapel, where I can meet My God and quiet myself in his presence. Whatever the case on any given day, I will feed my soul. For this place deep within is where the inspiration lies. And, I’m confident if I resolve to just Be Inspired in 2016, my whole self and family will benefit in ways I never imagined possible a year from now. Simple inspiration fosters far greater action on its own that impacts every aspect of my body, mind and soul.

In the coming days I will close this chapter of my life entitled “2015” feeling encouraged by the peace one can acquire by being “10% Happier” (Dan Harris, 2014). Just like millions of other Americans, I will spend a bit of time these next few days pondering where I’ve been this past year, and where I’m headed.  I look back and remember discouraging moments. I recall words said that I wish I could re-tract. I am disappointed by particular opportunities where I may not have selected the high road, and was led down paths I wish I hadn’t traveled. At times this past year, my life journey stripped me of my character, and even of my dignity. I was knocked down a notch or two. But, I’ve discovered that when I’m down is always when I’m more inclined to let My God in. And, it’s here that he taught me the value of having a humbler, more peaceful heart.

This past April (not even a week after we celebrated his death and resurrection at Easter), I narrowly escaped a black wall cloud headed straight towards me at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. I had just completed one of the most inspiring conferences I’d ever attended and was anxious to get home to my family when the storm hit. More scared than I can recall being in my adult life, I was literally brought to my knees during that severe storm outbreak that occurred just moments before I was due to board my plane. I was alone, and I was scared. It was just me…and My God.

Later that April night, he met me in my St. Louis hotel room. He woke me in the dead of night with the charge to bring up a certain Matt Maher song on You Tube. I wept as the words to “Hold Us Together” were sang. Then, he inspired me to meditate for the very first time in my life, which introduced me to a whole new dimension of personal peace I’ve not ever known. Little did I realize he was preparing me for challenges that lie ahead. But, then again, that’s often how My God operates. It’s in these challenges that we can choose to either wither or grow.

Mindful meditation brought a far better peace to my mind and soul in 2015 than I’ve ever known, and I’m eager for more of it. I resolve to continue to work on quieting my active mind, and finding “my center” on a regular basis. I have an inner voice that seems to never shut up. However, I have discovered that the more I consciously quiet my mind through meditation, the more peaceful I become on the outside. I am more inclined to respond versus react when I’m “present” and not focused on the past or the future. This year taught me just how much my soul actually craves the peace, love and joy of the present moment. I resolve to continue feeding my soul in the New Year with daily inspiration.

It’s so ironic that I find it most difficult to be the best version of myself to the ones I love the most. My husband and two boys are my heart and soul, yet they are the ones who see the ugliest version of me on a regular basis. They see me tired and grouchy and impatient. They listen to my rants and react to my regular barking out of perpetual daily chores to keep the household running like a well-oiled machine.  But, how much peace, love and joy do they actually receive from me? I’ve struggled with this question in recent weeks, and have resolved to make it a little more evident to these precious people in 2016. Inevitably, if I follow through with the personal resolution to just Be Inspired, the ones I love the most will reap the positive benefits of this more “present” wife and mommy.

As I look back, I can whole-heartedly attest that my faith and prayer life strengthened greatly over the course of this past year. I've gained a bit more patience and far more perspective. I've learned to shut up a little quicker, and I do a better job these days of just responding versus reacting. For the first time in a long time, my year is concluding on a much more encouraging note than it began. But, there's far more work to be done.

At midnight this Thursday night we will hear the famous Scottish folk song, “Auld Lang Syne.” The hymn begins by posing a rhetorical question as to whether it is right that old times be forgotten. I say absolutely not. Never forget, as our pasts encourages pronounced inspiration. But, always forgive…ourselves and others…for that’s where the liberation lies. Freedom from our own personal chains fosters peace, and in centered peace we find boundless love and joy. So, here’s to an inspired 2016, full of peace, love and joy.

Auld Lang Syne
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.


We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.



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    1. Such a strong message you are sending to women out there to attempt to let go of what the world tells us is "perfection" and instead listen to our own minds and hearts and find our true happiness. Interesting how things work - your goal to Be Inspired has inspired me-to just be the better and most true version of me. Thank you for that and cheers to a wonderful 2016!