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Inspiration

Inspiration

Here’s to getting inspired…And getting going!

Shelley wrote that “The eye sees what it brings to seeing”. In other words, we find what we are looking for! And so this is a place to find a little bit of inspiration. I start each day with a dose of inspiration, whether it comes in the form of a story, quote, person or a paragraph from a great book. I invite you to enjoy just a few of my favorites. Please check back often for updates and additions. You may also e-mail or call me to share what inspires you. I’d love to know!

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If you enjoy what you read here, I invite you to sign up for my complimentary e-zine! When you subscribe to “Inspiration for the Road” you will receive inspiration in the form of brief stories, quotes and thoughts on a roughly weekly basis directly to your e-mail inbox.

THE DAFFODIL PRINCIPLE

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. "I'll come next Tuesday," I promised (a little reluctantly) on her third call.
Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still... I had promised, and so I drove. When finally I walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog and there's nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother."
"Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears and then I'm heading for home" I assured her. "I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car." "How far is the drive?" "Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive Mom. I'm used to this weather." After several minutes, I had to ask, "Where are we going?

This isn't the way to the car garage!" "We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn grinned, "by way of the daffodils." "Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around." "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You'll never forgive yourself if you miss this experience." After twenty minutes, we turned onto a narrow gravel road and I saw a small country church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign that read, "DAFFODIL GARDEN."
We got out of the car and each took a child's hand. I followed Carolyn down the path. Then we turned a corner and I looked up and gasped. Right before me lay the most glorious sight! It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange ... white ... lemon yellow ... salmon pink ... saffron ... and butter yellow. Each different colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. Altogether, there were five acres of daffodils.

"But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn. "It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property and that's home." Carolyn pointed to a well kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.
On the patio we saw a large poster. It read "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking." The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain." The third answer was "Began in 1958."
There it was ..... THE DAFFODIL PRINCIPLE!

For me that moment was a life changing experience. I thought about this woman who I had never met. More than forty years ago she had begun (one bulb at a time) to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top.
This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of indescribable magnificence, beauty and inspiration.
The principle her Daffodil Garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is: learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time -- often just one baby step at a time -- and learning to love the doing. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world!
"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve."
My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterday. The most desirable way to make learning 'a lesson of celebration' ... instead of a cause for regret is simply to ask, "How can I put this to use today?"
---- Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards

Commitment
Until one is committed there is hesitancy,
the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
There is one elementary truth,
The ignorance of which kills countless ideas
and splendid plans:
That the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
Raising in one's favor all manner
of unforeseen incidents and meetings
and material assistance,
which no man could have dreamt
would have come his way.
I have learned a deep respect
for one of Goethe's couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
---- W.H. Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

The Final Analysis...
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
give the world the best you have anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
it was never between you and them anyway.
---- Attributed to Mother Theresa
Based upon "The Paradoxical Commandments"
Written by Dr. Kent M. Keith 1968

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
----Nelson Mandela, 1994 Inauguration speech

It is never too late to be what you might have been.
---- George Eliot


Everyone has inside him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!
---- Anne Frank


Opal HillsThere is a vitality, a life force that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other mediums and be lost.
---- Martha Graham


We cannot afford to “wait and see what happens” while the tide of events sweeps over and beyond us. We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.
---- John F. Kennedy


Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
---- Mark Twain


If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun!
---- Katharine Hepburn

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice?
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
but you didn’t stop.
you knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.

 

It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do?
determined to save
the only life that you could save.
----Mary Oliver


Two little words that can make the difference: START NOW.
---- Mary C. Crowley

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