meaning of life

On top of the world

Today I am inspired by a photo and message I recieved from my daughter.

The photo is of her on top of Mt Titlis in Engelberg, Swiss Alps. Her caption simply said “On top of the world”.

What a great caption. It says so much.

Mt Titlis is 3,238 metres above sea level. To us Australians that is close to the top of the world. The highest mountain in Australia is 2,228 metres above sea level.  Mt Titlis is in the northern hemisphere, which to us Australians is also the top of the world. And then of course there is the feeling of elation as she looked out at nature’s beauty and as she said to me “The most beautiful thing I have ever seen.” She was on top of the world.

We feel on top of the world when our soul is filled with excitement, when our hearts are pumping with love and when we have a great feeling of satisification. We have achieved a goal. We are feeling incrediably lucky. We are on top of the world.

The photo and caption were beautiful and inspiring and a reminder that you don’t have to climb a beautiful mountain to feel on top of the world we just need to embrace life and the opportunties it gives us.

 

Sam’s letter to Jennifer

Today I am inspired by the lovely book Sam’s Letters to Jennifer. I finished reading this easy to read book on the weekend. It is written by James Patterson, who is better known for his crime stories than love stories, but he does not disappoint with this book.

Sam is Jennifer’s grandmother. She is unwell so Jennifer returns to the small village where she resides to be by her side.

The letters she has left for Jennifer to read are inspiring. They are letters revealing a deep secret. They are letters of hope. They are letters with lessons for Jennifer.

Jennifer is also an inspiring character. It was inspiring to experience the depth of love she has for her grandmother and it was inspiring to see her let go of the past and live the moments she was experiencing now. To fall in love again was a huge step for Jennifer but a rewarding one.

The two love stories, Jennifer’s happening in the book and Sam’s revealed through her letters, are beautiful love stories and give inspiration to anyone who needs to be inspired to fall in love and be true to one self.

 

 

Friendships

Today I am inspired by friendships. One of the most valuable things in my life are my family and my friends.

I am inspired by the love and warm feelings felt by the friends that are in my life daily. The bond.

I am inspired by the connections with friends whom you may not see very often but when you do there is no awkwardness. It is comfortable, as if  we are frequently in each other’s company.

I am inspired by those who I barely know but welcome me with open arms.

All of these frienship types I have experienced this week. Today I am grateful I have experienced them and confident that I will again.

Talking on the phone with life long friends. Sharing our joys and concerns.

A text message out of the blue from a dear  friend telling me she is having surgery. That she was unsure about sharing it but then knew she should.

Lunch with friends we haven’t see for two years. Greeting each other with a hug. Chatting, sharing stories of our girls, sharing food and wine. Promising not to leave it two years before our next get together.

Friends whom I have an online connection with, who are connected through our admiration for one rock star. Friends who I have meet in person just one other time, welcoming me with a smile, introducing me to others, dancing and singing together in a night to celebrate the life and music of our idol.

There are strong friendships, there are frienships based on a common interest. There are life long friendships and friendships that hang around for a season or a reason. Friendships change with time. Some disappear, some become stronger, others static.

To me friendships are not just inspirational but necessary. They bring joy, love, support and learnings into my life.

Friends; a valuable aspect of my who I am.

 

Inspiration from a homeless man

This morning I read a small piece on Philani Dladla, a young South African man who has turned his life around through book reviews. I found it so inspiring I want to share the story with you.

Philani Dladla, also known as the Pavement Bookworm, grew up in KwaZula Natal loving books but after he moved to Johannesburg to find work he started using drugs. When he could no longer pay his rent he was forced to start living on the streets.  He noticed that many beggars were getting money for nothing and decided he would be different and offer something for money. That something was books and reviews.

He started selling books that he had read and offering a book review with the book. He priced the books according to how much he enjoyed them. The more enjoyment he got from a book, the more it would cost you to buy it. He soon became known as the Pavement Bookworm and his small business started growing.

With this new level of self esteem, some motivation and a lot of self help books, Philani decided to stop using drugs and help others. He used the money he made from selling books to buy soup and bread for the homeless. Soon after he decided to share his love of books with underprivileged children by setting up a Book Readers Club in a local park where kids were hanging out waiting for their parents to finish work.

He would give the children books on the condition that they came back to him to share what they learnt from the book. The children and Philani not only read together they discuss their hopes, dreams and challenges, but most of all they support each other through the tough times.

A story like this, a man like this, gives us hope for the homeless and the drug addicts. Life can be challenging for everyone, but especially these people. If something as simple as the love of reading can turn their lives around, that is fantastic, to share that love and help turn other lives around, is inspirational.

Determined people can be inspiring people

I am a personal trainer and in my line of work I meet some inspirational people. People who are determined to stay fit regardless of some limitations that their body has.

I have three visually impaired clients who love to stay fit and do not allow their limited eye sight to stop them enjoying fitness. It is inspiring to take a visually impaired client out for a walk. Although she cannot fully see everything around her, her other senses allow her to enjoy the walk and appreciate what is around. She can hear the birds singing and the creek water flowing, she can smell the gum leaves and the flowers. She enjoys her walk.

One of my other visually impaired clients loves to dance. She cannot see my movements but listens carefully to my instructions and to the music. The smile on her face when she is dancing is priceless.

Another client has arthritis throughout her body. She has had a hip replacement and could be in need of a knee one in the next few years. She has pain but doesn’t let it stop her from walking on the treadmill, boxing, lifting weights and keeping fit. She knows that making fitness a priority helps slow down her condition and enables her to travel, walk the dog and go on day outings around this wonderful city.

So many people with arthritis, vision problems and other physical disabilities give up on being active. Those who don’t, those who embrace fitness, exercise and life by recognizing their limitations but not letting them stop totally are inspirational.

The Christmas Story

Can you believe that it is one month until Christmas? Wow where has the year gone? Today I am inspired by the Christmas story and the real meaning of Christmas. A message of unconditional love, peace, hope and the birth of Jesus Christ.

The commercial aspect of Christmas that yells “buy me”, “spend more dollars”, “the latest and the greatest will make your loved ones happy” is uninspiring. God gave us a baby. He did not spend money, it was not grand. The baby was born in a stable, in a cradle of hay. Not a golden crib full of money. His birth gave us hope, love and light. That is inspiring.

Don’t get me wrong I love the decorations, I love the lights but do they need to be on display in October and pulled down on Boxing Day? I would love to visit London at Christmas time and see the beautiful lights and decorations of Oxford street. They look magical. They look inspiring lit up against the winter sky. I have been fortunate enough to see the Christmas decorations on Orchard Rd Singapore. They make you feel alive, they bring excitement and anticipation into our lives, just as the birth of Jesus Christ did.

This Christmas I challenge you to be inspired by the real meaning of Christmas. Even if you are not a Christian I inspire you to take a breath and think about the meaning of Christmas.  Give with love, give with meaning.

CATERFLY, the strange fictional insect that inspires.

In 1979 my cousin and his girlfriend gave me the book Caterfly I loved it so much I kept it to re read one day. My cousin passed away last week prompting me to re read the book.
My cousin was a curious sort of person who was interested in people and their beliefs. He and I had a special bond and after  re reading this book and knowing what my cousin was like I appreciate the book even more and wonder if he gave me the book as a “lesson” from him about life!
It is a book about one small creature, a caterfly, searching for the meaning of life. It is a book about self acceptance and acceptance of others no matter how different they are. It is a book about believing, it is a book about searching for meaning. A book about having the courage to question and stand up for what you believe in and for yourself.
There are many beautiful passages in the book to reflect upon. There are many passages that make you go, yeah I know exactly what you are talking about.
It is a timeless book. It is an inspirational book.
I will leave you with this one passage from the book
“This is the truth – if I were to love anyone it would be you. I could be very happy with you, but not at this time, because I don’t know who I am, what I am or what my purpose for living is. How can I love with all of my being if I have not answered any of these important questions yet.”