Whenever I have been asked the question “What inspires you?” I have never been able to reply quickly. There is so much inspiration around us, how does one wrap it up in one answer? Inspiration can come in significant ways as well as fleeting moments, truly a lot to ponder. In response to such a question, I sit in silence for a little reflection often feeling overwhelmed with the things and the people that have and are still being an inspiration in my life.

Of course, one of the first realizations would be the amazing people who chose me to be their little girl and took me from an orphanage when I was four. Although, it has been a lifetime ago, the unlimited depth of their love still inspires me.  Also think of the teachers who worked so tirelessly to help shape my life by teaching and guiding me in my youth. 

My father’s garden in the spring was filled with colorful zinnias and later in the fall when chrysanthemums bloomed, they made me feel happy.  I think the beauty of the flowers inspired me to love colors which prompted my mother to later declare that I must have been a Gypsy Princess before she found me. Purple, pink, yellow, blue and lavender but never brown or beige, I was to live my life in full color as if to shout “Move over!!  I’m here, I’m alive and I’m ready for life.”

Of course, later in life, my children would inspire me with every hand-made card with hearts, every smile they flashed with a good kick of the soccer ball. It was always the little things, that made the happiest moments. The determination of each of my sons to reach the goals they set, even though at times it was very challenging. Eventually, as they grew up seeing each reach that goal and the genuine happiness of things accomplished filled my heart. They each inspired me to be a better person. 

Traveling to many impoverished countries for my work seeing people who had nothing, yet were joyful left me deep in thought.  Perhaps, we who have been blessed with much might actually be missing something that they have found. Seeing people that have failed but continue to rise, witnessing the kindness of strangers, witnessing a child give a hug to someone they feel just needed one, those things inspire me and usually push a few tears from my eyes.

Standing on the overlook of a place such as the Grand Canyon takes my breath away. The vast size, and the rugged beauty are simply more than the mind can comprehend at times. Or perhaps, it’s sitting on a beach, with the clean smell of the ocean watching the evening sun slip slowly into the ocean. The mystery and the silence of things so magnificent allows me to accept how insignificant I truly am in the entirety of the world.  Accepting that reality inspires me to work harder to do something every day to try to make a difference. 

Regardless what it is that brings a soul inspiration, it is more about what it allows us to do. Loved ones, friends, places, flowers, sunsets, great cathedrals, stunning art -whatever touches us, inspires us, should result in a gift of something we do, say or give to another soul. Inspiration should be shared. Some write books and tell us about places we will never see, others may create art that brings joy, while others are inspired to write music or sing songs that can heal our pain. Whatever we find inspiration in, let it fill us up and then share as a precious gift to others. Rainbows, a sunrise, so much around us to appreciate. Life is precious, so be inspired. Live it in full color!