Tag Archives: inspiration

sunday inspiration: peace for afghanistan

here is a beautiful prayer, sent by my mennonite friends who work in afghanistan. even though the elections are over, it still very much applies.

for the people of afghanistan

god of love and life,
we pray for the people of afghanistan during this election time.
may your peace descend upon them and upon their nation.
may there be food and safety and schools for children.
may there be dignity and respect for women.
may there be meaningful work for men.
may there be wisdom for leaders.
may there be a laying down of weapons.
may there be reconciliation between enemies.
may there be restoration for the land.
god of life and love,
may your peace descend upon afghanistan.

this is also a shout-out to my friend sojourner’s
sunday inspirations.

image source


haikuit’s sunday inspiration time, a meme created by my friend sojourner.

today i am inspired by

  • reading and writing haiku
  • my 2-year-old grandson and his single-minded focus on choo-choo trains
  • my professional immigrant clients from china who are giving up impressive professional success in their country to start from scratch in a totally new culture
  • my friend tina who refused to let a label of “learning disability” stand in her way
  • kathi bentall who dedicates herself to provide refuges of calmness and relaxation to the people in vancouver’s downtown eastside with the listening post, a little meditation oasis on main and hastings, and rivendell, a beautiful retreat on bowen island
  • people who use social media in friendly, respectful and creative ways, with the intention to mutually rich relationships and make the world a better place – like sojourner
  • my friend a. who is throwing perfection to the wind and has decided not to wait for the ideal job, the ideal wife or the ideal apartment to be happy
  • stephen baxter’s book manifold: space; a book of such extraordinarily epic proportions that “inspired” is almost too small a word
  • the people in my support group, especially the guys – it’s not easy to bare your soul in a roomful of women if you’re a man
  • the characters in my novel. so imperfect and still stumbling towards honesty, love and freedom
  • twitter people who tweet about one of my all-time favourite writers, alice walker
  • bishop td jakes on free your mind  (yes, despite the controversy)
  • bob marley. always.

who (or what) inspires you today?

(i guess i should ask particularly you, vivien from InspirationBit)

image by monkeysox

happy birthday bob marley!

bob marley

today is bob marley’s birthday. listen to him and chances are you won’t need therapy. listen to his sweetness and be comforted; to his rebel music and be roused; to his odes to jah and be lifted to a place that belongs to everyone.

for valentine’s day that’s coming up soon, one of his love songs:

i wanna love you and treat you right;
i wanna love you every day and every night:
we’ll be together with a roof right over our heads;
we’ll share the shelter of my single bed;
we’ll share the same room, yeah! – for jah provide the bread.
is this love – is this love – is this love –
is this love that i’m feelin’?
is this love – is this love – is this love –
is this love that i’m feelin’?
i wanna know – wanna know – wanna know now!
i got to know – got to know – got to know now!

i’m willing and able,
so i throw my cards on your table!
i wanna love you – i wanna love and treat – love and treat you right;
i wanna love you every day and every night:
we’ll be together, yeah! – with a roof right over our heads;
we’ll share the shelter, yeah, oh now! – of my single bed;
we’ll share the same room, yeah! – for jah provide the bread.

freedom, redemption and inspiration

bob marley, black and whiteone of the people to whom i passed on my “brilliant blog” award, sojourner, has a meme, sunday inspirations. similar to wordless wednesday, it’s a day of the week dedicated to a theme. it was created in honor of sojourner’s mother

and is just one way to help get us through the week ahead, the trials we may face, and yes, to say thank ya … your weekly contribution may very well be the inspiration that someone else may need and has been looking for

sojourner’s place itself is a blog that inspires me, with a great mix of southern graciousness, politics, spirituality and an emphasis on the lives of professional african-american women.

so i’d like to participate today, with an excerpt from the novel i’m working on. it’s about a slave, joe (or kosi, his african name) on one of the first sugar plantations in louisiana. one day he runs away, and dies on his escpape. since i’m writing this novel in the shape of magical realism, it doesn’t end there. after he dies, he meets a cranky entity who offers to show him heaven. heaven turns out to be a bit boring, so they fly on over to africa, where joe/kosi meets animals and people he’s never met before, and is also confronted with becoming a new person. yes, yes, i know he’s dead – but as i said, it’s magical realism. here he sits, among a bunch of people gathered on a sunday evening somewhere in present-day louisiana and talks about his experience of starting to realize that he could become someone else, someone new, someone awakening. the song he refers to is a melody that weaves itself throughout the book.

people, this is hard for me to talk about, even after all this time, 200 years almost, the way you-all count it. so many feelings have left me, and i tell you, that’s a good thing, but sorrow, that’s one i still have. sorrow and joy. it’s not joyful for me to talk about that time but i know i must, i must tell my story, the way we all must. telling our true story, that’s what sets us free. and that’s what it’s all about. freedom.

i have sorrow for that man back there in africa, in dahomey, i know it’s called benin now. he was so sightless. both looking inside himself and looking outside, there was so little he saw. this was the time of his awakening, in his death he awoke, and that’s not an easy thing.

today i sit here, speaking through an old man, dick of all people, i know, that’s funny but who knows what’s going on in a mind? maybe when he wakes up tomorrow from his hangover he’ll remember a tiny bit of this, and maybe it’ll move him along to more freedom?

the song? you want to hear the song? i can’t sing it here, not with dick’s old voice; not because he can’t sing, that doesn’t matter and it’s a crazy notion anyway, that there are people who can’t sing. but his heart isn’t ready yet, it’s not in his heart yet, and that’s the only way it can be sung. where the voice and the heart come together. it’s gotta be not just there in his heart, lying there, it has to take root, that song.

but tell you what. you listen to this other guy, what’s his name, a brother, and i tell you, not just because he’s got dark skin, what’s his name, long hair, from down that other country, jamaica – that’s his song, anyway.

and dick, or joe, or whoever it was, started singing, in a quiet voice …

won’t you help to sing
these songs of freedom? –
cause all i ever have:
redemption songs;
redemption songs.

emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
none but ourselves can free our minds.
have no fear … have no fear … have no fear …

… these songs of freedom …

image by unlockok

quickie: inspiration

to my fellow bloggers who like to write about inspiration: one of my blogging buddies, damien at postcards from the funny farm, has a group writing/writing contest project called amazing visions.

it closes on july 1 (extended deadline) and here is what it’s about

can you think of someone you admire? maybe it’s for their brain? their personality? maybe they are as big as walt disney or as ordinary as your dad. i love reading stories of people who use their common brain and inspiration to do amazing things. i’m holding a contest for your articles on that type of person. i think the posts are going to be revolutionary and inspiring to all who read them. here’s the details:

publish a 200-400 word post on your blog. if you like you can get some ideas what i am thinking of in my archived series: “amazing visions.” but please, be as different from me as you can be. in the post you need to link back to this permalink, or this blog’s root url. there will be 2 big winners and 3 honorable mentions. the 2 will get box ads to their blogs for a month free of charge along with optional custom-made 125×125 glass buttons courtesy of our design company, create and innovate designs. each will also receive a thoughtful writeup about their blog linked back from here in a post.

since i think this is a great project, i want to invite you all to participate. to prime the pump a bit, i’m specifically inviting

  1. alexander
  2. be playful
  3. cheerful monk
  4. elizabeth potts-weinstein
  5. fight for justice
  6. hootin’ annie
  7. vivien at inspirationbit
  8. jeff
  9. ken nubo
  10. lives less ordinary
  11. middlezone musings
  12. nicaragua picture of the day
  13. nickie
  14. reiki digest
  15. shy one
  16. the lives and times
  17. weightloss dude

international women’s day: misbehaving women

it’s international women’s day week and this is my blog from the misbehaving women event, a fundraiser for the avalon women’s centre, organized by zoey ryan.

5:50 i’m sitting here at the heritage hall with glenda watson-hyatt and her husband darrell. unfortunately, they cannot partake of the wonderful spread here because they’ve been assaulted by a stomach bug but i can!

i have on my plate a samosa, a skewer of chicken satay, a fruit skewer, chickpeas, thai noodles, naan bread, sesame yam and some fancy salad. oh, and buried under this i just found a spring roll! for dessert, some sinfully decadent chocolate from rubens. no, not the painter, the canadian chocolate company.

it’s 6:18 and we’ve started. they have someone who’s translating everything into sign language. cool!

zoey starts it all of with a very short metta. may we be happy, may we be healthy, may we be peaceful, may we be free. what a lovely way to set the tone. thanks, zoey!

6:22 michelle shares a few words about avalon. avalon helps women who are dealing with abuse and addition. alcohol, drugs, eating disorders … “addictions of the lost soul”. they support women to take back their lives. last year, they had 30,000 visits and phone calls. very happy to be able to help out a bit.

6:28 key note by glynnis osher-anderson of mystic masala. she has an ayurvedic aromatherapy business and works on a fair trade program with a group of women in nepal, “wild earth nepal“. she spoke so passionately:

our herbs bake in the himalayan sun and bathe in the himalayan moon. each one small bar of soap is a beautiful miracle. every time i have a shower, i feel the work of these women and the himalayan herbs on my entire body. what we give back to them is fair trade. every bar of soap goes to education, maternity leave, vocational guidance for the women, food and a career that nourishes the spirit like nothing i have ever seen. it literally touches the lives of thousands of women all over the world.

6:55 the “misbehaving woman of the year” awards are based on the laurel thatcher ulrich quote “well behaved women seldom make history” and honors a woman or women who have refused to be pulled into the cultural drift of complacency, who have dared to make a difference, taken a risk and enhanced the lives of women in her community.

the award winners:

karen taylor – she was kicked out of kindergarten five times. she is deaf (which doesn’t prevent her from being extremely articulate). the first deaf person in UBC’s deaf teacher training program. travelled europe alone as a deaf woman. built first private school for the deaf in canada. built her own two-storey log cabin. built a summer camp for deaf children in canada.

bonnie morgan – a kindergarten teacher who dances with her students every day. misbehaving is a spirit, a way of saying, i’m not better than you, we’re all equal. if you’re perfectly behaved, you can’t be empathetic. only the misbehaved know how to behave.

alma vaugeois – “one of the most quiet and unassuming misbehaving women you will ever meet.” she heals as a psychologist, as a singer (through song) and as a yoga teacher.

carole tulpar – “i’m out there and i don’t give a damn”. she lives way, way outside her box. teaches ESL, writes, and … ask her about her underwear!

susan borax – she dares, she said! stands up on the stage and sings clutter away. supposedly, she has an online clutter museum but i couldn’t find it. maybe it was – sung away?

glenda watson-hyattand last but very much not least, glenda watson-hyatt, who i had the pleasure to nominate (here she is in the picture). glenda’s whole life is about misbehaving. lots of people didn’t expect her to talk – she was supposed to be institutionalized. she was never expected to make a living, never mind write a book, win a gold medal in horseback riding or give speeches! today, glenda is an author, a blogger, and an accessibility specialist. oh, she also has cerebral palsy. you know why glenda is this success maven? because she said, “i’ll do it myself”.

glenda doesn’t listen to the people who say, oh, you can’t do this. she doesn’t listen to the people who say, oh nobody can do this. she just goes ahead and does what she puts her mind to.

and glenda inspires us. most of all she inspires us with her life but she’s also made it her business to inspire others. on her blog, there is a whole section on that. there’s inspiration from a flushed toilet – i’m am glad i’m not the only one who blogs about stuff like that; from just one word that can inspire you for the rest of the year; and from the excitement of the first time you dare to do something new and risky.

that’s why she wan the misbehaving women of the year award in the category of inspiration.