Be Inspired ~ Inspiration Comes Slowly

“Inspiration comes to us slowly and quietly…prime it with a little solitude.” -Brenda Ueland Click To Tweet

Coming across this quote was just what I needed to hear!

My life doesn’t lend itself to much solitude lately. Many days I feel like I’m coming and going at the same time. I feel pulled in different directions. And I struggle to do the impossible feat some called multi-tasking.

I long to hear the still, small voice the Bible speaks of.  Those divine utterances that I’m certain will give me the answers I long for and the comforting reassurance I desperately need.

These words remind me how I can hear and feel the inspiration I’m longing for. I need to give myself the gift of solitude. Hush the worry. Hush the to-do list. Hush the fretting and running and jumping through hoops. 

Pause. Be still. Do nothing. Relish in the quiet. Take slow deep breaths.

Embrace solitude.

Ah yes…

Inspiration was waiting for me to be still and quiet long enough to hear and feel it.

Annette Bridges

Annette Bridges

Author, Publisher and Women's Retreat Host

Annette Bridges is an author, publisher and women’s retreat host on a mission to help every woman realize her story is extraordinary, valuable and noteworthy. Part of Annette’s own journaling practice includes collecting ideas, quotes, songs, videos and photos that inspire her. She shares some of her finds in these weekly “Be Inspired” posts to lift your spirit with encouragement, comfort and joy.

Connect with me here…

Be Inspired ~ Perhaps Your Answer is Simply To Begin

“Don’t waste time waiting for inspiration. Begin, and inspiration will find you.” – H. Jackson… Click To Tweet

Some of you know that I wrote a weekly editorial column that was published in numerous Texas newspapers, magazines and websites. During that decade, I can’t tell you how many columns began with me having no idea what I was going to write about. I would open up the blank word document on my laptop and gaze upon the screen and ponder, “What now?”

I had deadlines to meet.

There were those lovely weeks when something had prompted my inspiration and it was easy to sit down and let the ideas flow effortlessly. And then there were other weeks when I had no idea where my inspiration would come from.

I didn’t have time to waste waiting for inspiration to come to me, however.

So I would begin. I would literally just start typing whatever was on my mind having no idea where it was going to take me or if it would spark the inspiration I needed to create the column.

What I can tell you is this. Inspiration always came. And each week I was left awestruck.

I guess that’s why today in all of my endeavors I refer to myself as a jumper. As ideas come, I act and let inspiration find me and take me where it wants to go. I don’t sit around waiting and wondering what to do next. And I’m still awestruck as I witness the evolution of an idea and how inspiration molds, shapes, and refines it.

So my friends, perhaps your answer is simply to BEGIN. Act. Move forward. Try it. Do it. Let your story unfold and evolve. You don’t need to know how your story ends first and you will never know if you don’t BEGIN.

Annette Bridges

Annette Bridges

Author, Publisher and Women's Retreat Host

Annette Bridges is an author, publisher and women’s retreat host on a mission to help every woman realize her story is extraordinary, valuable and noteworthy. Part of Annette’s own journaling practice includes collecting ideas, quotes, songs, videos and photos that inspire her. She shares some of her finds in these weekly “Be Inspired” posts to lift your spirit with encouragement, comfort and joy.

Connect with me here…

Be Inspired ~ Try to Love the Questions

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.… Click To Tweet

I’ve always loved asking myself questions and have never been one to avoid them. So when I read a phrase like “try to love the questions themselves” my first reaction might be “no problem!”

The first part of this quote is another matter. “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart.” Patience has never been my greatest asset in my humble opinion and yet when does our life not demand patience of us?

Where my impatience happens is when my heart knows what I need and outside circumstances keep me from moving forward and taking action.

Yet if I have no control over a situation, there really is no other alternative than to embrace patience along with acceptance.

I guess my lesson and suggestion to myself and anyone else these days is this. Be patient with yourself always. Things in your life are not always in your control. Time may be required for solutions to be realized. There may be things that go unsolved for a season.

I am accepting that grace is needed. Give yourself patience and loving care. Be gentle and tender with your heart when it is weary and uncertain. Welcome the questions. Love them. There will be a question that leads to receiving the answer you long for.

I’m also learning to accept the idea that some answers to questions may not be what I want or wish for. These are usually the questions that involve loved ones. Sometimes I tend to make questions that really belong to others my own. Their answers may not be what I want them to be. But their journey in life is theirs – not mine. Another lesson I’m learning to accept.

I guess when talking with your heart and considering what is unsolved in your heart, we need to be sure the questions are ones that are about us and for us – not others. I think I tend to give more attention to the needs of others and confuse their needs with my own. They are not the same my friends.  Perhaps the word that needs the most pondering in this quote is YOUR.

Annette Bridges

Annette Bridges

Author, Publisher and Women's Retreat Host

Annette Bridges is an author, publisher and women’s retreat host on a mission to help every woman realize her story is extraordinary, valuable and noteworthy. Part of Annette’s own journaling practice includes collecting ideas, quotes, songs, videos and photos that inspire her. She shares some of her finds in these weekly “Be Inspired” posts to lift your spirit with encouragement, comfort and joy.

Connect with me here…

Be Inspired ~ Question Everything

I think that old saying about curiosity killing the cat is way wrong and in fact, there’s even lots of statistics to prove it. But I don’t want to bore you with that type of info. But if you’re curious….google up on it yourself!  🙂 

I’m a BIG question everything kind of gal on pretty much every type of topic!!

I don’t think of myself as a skeptic with all my questioning. But I’m definitely not quick to believe as fact, for example, something I hear or read reported by some news agency or something a politician says.

I question everything!!

Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” -Albert Einstein Click To Tweet

Questioning everything is part of what it means to be passionately curious. Being inquisitive and a good listener are also part of that definition. Willing to leave the familiar or routine also becomes part of the equation when you are passionately curious. You don’t live your life as anything is set in stone. You don’t find making changes difficult.

I like to think of myself as on an enjoyable quest to discover, learn and grow.

And asking questions helps keep me fueled by the desire to know more, to want to do more and try new ideas and experiences.

Now I can’t say this also describes my partner in life so I don’t get to fully live by my passionate curiosity. But nothing stops me from questioning everything.

And apparently statistics say…this is keeping my brain healthy and makes me happier, too.

How about you? Do you question everything? If not, you might try it. It’s good for you!

Annette Bridges

Annette Bridges

Author, Publisher and Women's Retreat Host

Annette Bridges is an author, publisher and women’s retreat host on a mission to help every woman realize her story is extraordinary, valuable and noteworthy. Part of Annette’s own journaling practice includes collecting ideas, quotes, songs, videos and photos that inspire her. She shares some of her finds in these weekly “Be Inspired” posts to lift your spirit with encouragement, comfort and joy.

Connect with me here…

Be Inspired ~ How Do You Speak The Truth Into Your Own Heart?

How do you speak the truth into your own heart?

For me, this question has a couple of different meanings. 

One way of speaking the truth is affirming and declaring what God knows, what God sees as his beloved child.

There are times when I need to speak the truth that God knows and says to my heart. Those times when I feel sad, alone, sick, overwhelmed…

It’s a powerful journaling practice to free-write everything you think God knows and would say to you in a situation. Write in first person like God is speaking directly into your heart. Try it! I suspect you’ll find God’s truth very revealing, reviving and healing.

 

Another way of speaking the truth has to do with listening to our feelings and being honest with ourselves.

This truth I find the hardest to know and speak.

However, we need to live in our truth. And we can’t do that when we are not honest with our self.

We need to live in our truth. And we can’t do that when we are not honest with our self.… Click To Tweet

I believe when we are unhappy, depressed, confused, frazzled…we are probably not living in our truth and not speaking our truth into our heart. So our heart feels off balance.

I’ve learned a lot in the past couple of years about being honest with myself. When I was desperately feeling the need for help, I’ve learned to admit it and ask for it. When I longed to spend time doing something that I loved, I’ve given myself those opportunities even if only for a little while each day. I’ve spent more time journaling, asking myself questions and writing down the answers my heart spoke to me.

Speaking the truth into our heart first requires listening to better understand our truth. I seem to be hungry all the time these days to know my truth and live my truth and most definitely speak my truth into my heart.

 

The more I succeed at this, the greater is my peace and satisfaction.

How would you answer the question my friend? How do you speak the truth into your own heart? What does this mean to you?

Annette Bridges

Annette Bridges

Author, Publisher and Women's Retreat Host

Annette Bridges is an author, publisher and women’s retreat host on a mission to help every woman realize her story is extraordinary, valuable and noteworthy. Part of Annette’s own journaling practice includes collecting ideas, quotes, songs, videos and photos that inspire her. She shares some of her finds in these weekly “Be Inspired” posts to lift your spirit with encouragement, comfort and joy.

Connect with me here…

Be Inspired ~ Love the Questions

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions… Click To Tweet

This week I have more questions than answers to so many things in my life. Actually, I think this is always the way it goes in my life. As soon as I think I have an answer for something, I have a new question.

I have come to appreciate the questions. In fact, even when I don’t initially have a question I tend to try to come up with one. Ha! Call me crazy I guess! But I find questions to be a powerful way to gain clarity, direction as well as a feeling of certainty and comfort about a choice or decision.

I believe questions keep us listening and engaged with our heart, our feelings. And I am convinced our heart knows best. That our heart keeps us honest with our self.

By all means…give yourself some patience. Some questions require time to find the best solution. Time and again I’ve witnessed patience having its perfect work. I’m getting better with patience. This is huge for a jump-off-the-cliff kind of gal like me. But I’m learning to relish in the pause. To question a little more. There is beauty in watching transformation unfold a little at a time.

So do please try to love the questions. Ask yourself why this question and why now. Or question why not now. I’ve found answering “Why not?” to be one of the most revealing questions of them all!

Annette Bridges

Annette Bridges

Author, Publisher and Women's Retreat Host

Annette Bridges is an author, publisher and women’s retreat host on a mission to help every woman realize her story is extraordinary, valuable and noteworthy. Part of Annette’s own journaling practice includes collecting ideas, quotes, songs, videos and photos that inspire her. She shares some of her finds in these weekly “Be Inspired” posts to lift your spirit with encouragement, comfort and joy.

Connect with me here…

Be Inspired ~ Love What You Do – Don’t Settle

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it, keep looking.… Click To Tweet

Steve Jobs shared many motivating and encouraging statements in his talks. Among them is “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

I hope I will hear from some of my blog readers about this!

The March 1st journaling prompt in my Color Your World Journal Club was “If you could write a letter to your 15-year old self, what would you say?” These words by Steve Jobs is what came to mind to include in such a letter.

But what about folks, like me, in their mid-life years who may still be in search of what they love to do? What would you say to them?

I am reaching the conclusion about my own life and loving what I’m doing has become a definite requisite! Life is feeling way too short to spend precious days not feeling satisfied or happy.

There are things that I do that make my cup run over with joy and contentment. And I’m concluding that it’s those activities that need to be the center of my work and how I spend my days.

Have you found what you LOVE to do? Whether that’s what earns you money or not, do you spend a little time every day doing what you love?

Annette Bridges

Annette Bridges

Author, Publisher and Women's Retreat Host

Annette Bridges is an author, publisher and women’s retreat host on a mission to help every woman realize her story is extraordinary, valuable and noteworthy. Part of Annette’s own journaling practice includes collecting ideas, quotes, songs, videos and photos that inspire her. She shares some of her finds in these weekly “Be Inspired” posts to lift your spirit with encouragement, comfort and joy.

Connect with me here…

Be Inspired ~ Learn to Love It Again

“Sometimes you have to step away from what you love in order to learn how to love it again.”… Click To Tweet

I have no idea what the author was thinking when he wrote these words but they have been stuck in my head ever since I first read them.

There are things that I used to love that I did step away from. When I asked myself why I stepped away, a mixture of answers, reasons or excuses began filling my thought waves. 

Regardless of why I stepped away, I do have longing to engage again with some of the things I loved and left.

The word that really captures me in this quote is LEARN…the idea that I will need to LEARN how to love “it” again!

Just as shown in this photo, for example, walking is one of those loves that I stepped away from and I do feel like I need to LEARN how to love it again.

I do have the longing. I miss my memories of how I felt before. The pure joy, contentment and calmness of being outdoors! I definitely miss the results I saw and felt in my body.

But I can see that there will be a learning curve this time around. It’s not as easy to get started as it was before. So this learning will require embracing a new way to begin, too. It could be I need to embrace a whole new approach, a new location and setting, a new time of day. Everything may need to be different!

I need to be willing to embrace the idea of “different than it was before.”

Perhaps my current challenge in trying to begin again is that everything needs to be different and that fact alone has been holding me back from starting.

I really believe I’m on to something. That these words in this quote are giving me the incentive I needed. It’s telling me I can go back to an old love but there will be a learning curve. That loving again will be different, fresh, new. That things are never exactly the same as they once were. And that is ok!

Be willing to learn. Be willing to let an old love become a new love whatever that may look like. Be open. Don’t limit the possibilities. Don’t confine the present and future possibilities to the details of an old memory.

We never really can go back. Life only moves forward, grows, develops, unfolds. That’s the nature of life! But the old can become new when we let it! So…off I go! Right now! Walking shoes are on! Not the time of day I used to go walking but I’m going anyway.

 

How about you? Do you have an old love you would like to learn how to love again?

Annette Bridges

Annette Bridges

Author, Publisher and Women's Retreat Host

Annette Bridges is an author, publisher and women’s retreat host on a mission to help every woman realize her story is extraordinary, valuable and noteworthy. Part of Annette’s own journaling practice includes collecting ideas, quotes, songs, videos and photos that inspire her. She shares some of her finds in these weekly “Be Inspired” posts to lift your spirit with encouragement, comfort and joy.

Connect with me here…

Be Inspired ~ It All Begins With A Smile

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.” -Maya Angelou Click To Tweet

Our smile! This is a powerful gift to those we love.

 

Sometimes it can be easy to take those we love for granted or perhaps even let them be who we rant our grievances to and maybe we even direct our frustrations toward them.

Some of the people I love most have either passed on recently or in the midst of illness and senior aging challenges. It became vividly clear to me along the way the light that I can bring into their lives. And it all begins with a smile.

Your smile can be the only light in an otherwise very dark atmosphere of thought a loved one is dwelling. But make no mistake. Your smile is a light. It brings light and has the ability to totally brighten the weary struggling heart of someone you love so very dearly.

Indeed, your smile doesn’t cost you anything. Yet it may be the most valuable gift you give to your loved one. And it leaves a memorable healing imprint. And…it can also lighten your own burdens and even soothe your sadness.

Annette Bridges

Annette Bridges

Author, Publisher and Women's Retreat Host

Annette Bridges is an author, publisher and women’s retreat host on a mission to help every woman realize her story is extraordinary, valuable and noteworthy. Part of Annette’s own journaling practice includes collecting ideas, quotes, songs, videos and photos that inspire her. She shares some of her finds in these weekly “Be Inspired” posts to lift your spirit with encouragement, comfort and joy.

Connect with me here…

Be Inspired ~ For All We Know

The song “For all we know” sung by the Carpenters would have been sung at my wedding if I could have found the sheet music thirty-six years ago. I thought the words perfectly expressed my feelings and wishes as I said my vows to a young man I had met only seven months earlier.

With Valentine’s Day next week, this song came to mind once again.

We may not be strangers anymore (although sometimes I still feel like we have much to learn about each other), I can’t help but think about the lifetime we’ve spent together so far. And I can’t help but feel that the lifetime we have remaining doesn’t seem as long as it did on our wedding day.

“So much to say…”

Indeed!

I wonder if I’ve said all the important things I’ve wanted to say. Sometimes I think it’s easy to get so busy and caught up in the day to day of life, that too many important things get left unsaid.

Yes….I have much I want to say this Valentine’s Day!

Or better yet…

Don’t put off for tomorrow what could be said today, done today, experienced today! Regrets can happen when we put off. And this is true for ALL relationships including the relationship we have with our self!

Annette Bridges

Annette Bridges

Author, Publisher and Women's Retreat Host

Annette Bridges is an author, publisher and women’s retreat host on a mission to help every woman realize her story is extraordinary, valuable and noteworthy. Part of Annette’s own journaling practice includes collecting ideas, quotes, songs, videos and photos that inspire her. She shares some of her finds in these weekly “Be Inspired” posts to lift your spirit with encouragement, comfort and joy.

Connect with me here…