Inspiration is defined as “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”

I’ve read and re-read that definition about ten times while staring at the blinking cursor here and it wasn’t until the tenth time that I realized how incredible it is to be inspired.  That something, someone, can stimulate your mind so much as to make you act or create.  It’s really the act of being touched. Not physically touched (although maybe that can be inspiring) but that something can crawl inside your skin, into your heart, into your soul, and motivate you to “do” or “feel.”  In the simplest terms, inspiration is a blessing. Can you imagine a life without it?

I’ve been thinking about what inspires me. It’s tough to narrow down the concept of inspiration into words in a blog post, but I’ve come up with the following:

People inspire me. People present daily in my life, like my husband who supports me and my friends who encourage me, and people I don’t know personally but who motivate me by their actions or words. Mostly, my kids inspire me to be a better person and to try to live my life unselfishly, as An Example. I know I hold the keys to the doors they will choose, and I want them to win at life. Pick the right doors. And I realize how simple it would be for me to screw them up– happens all the time with parents and kids. I don’t want to mess them up and send them through the wrong doors for the wrong reasons. So my kids inspire me to try to be better– not for me, but for them. Inspiration is love.

Music inspires me. Sometimes a song flows through my ears straight to my heart. When using words to describe certain songs or artists that inspire me, I’ve said, “I hear it and I feel it on the inside.” Not very eloquent, but it’s the simplest way for me to put words to the feeling. Some songs give me chills. Some make me angry. Some take me back to a specific point in time that I remember so clearly. Some grab me so hard that I ache. Do you know a song that actually makes you feel thankful that you have it in your mind, that you’ve experienced it and can pull it up in a moment when you need it? Sounds dramatic, I know. Inspiration is dramatic.

Nature inspires me. I’m not an outdoorsy kind of gal, but sometimes I see things in nature that are so perfect, so beautiful and simple, that I can’t even believe it. A fully bloomed rose. The bluest sky. The bright green grass. Corny, I know, but amazing nonetheless. JC is a big fan of animals and nature. He’s taught me about jellyfish and scorpions, rhinos and dinosaurs and let me tell you, they are all pretty cool. The smallest flower to the biggest mountain, ants to elephants, if you think about it, the world and how it works is pretty damn miraculous. Ever see the Grand Canyon? After spending Sunday after Sunday in church, praying mostly for the Mass to be over to get to the donuts in the basement, it wasn’t until I saw the Grand Canyon that I actually felt spiritual. It’s probably the most awe-inspiring thing I’ve ever seen. Inspiration is the world around us.

Inspiration also comes in the form of your words, whether I talk to you in person, on email, or read your blog posts. So Thank You!

On that note, I’m proud to accept the Very Inspirational Blogger Award from sweetness over at Chronicles of a Public Transit User; Dylan at Eyes Through the Looking Glass; S.L. at The Urge to Write; and Lois & Clark over at Clark Kent.

If you ever need a dose of inspiration, hit up these blogs:  Sweetness at PTU for inspiration to save money for a car and avoid public transit at all costs (!) (click here for the post on the tossed cookies and importance of knowing the difference between red and green lights); Dylan for inspiration on living the best life you can despite any challenges you may face (click here for his very different take on inspiration); S.L. for inspiration on writing, music, and fanfiction and just plain fun (Do guys in eyeliner inspire you? Check out this post for S.L.’s Guys Who Can Pull Off Guyliner list) and Clark for inspiration on finding your “twin flame” (“Huh?” you ask. Click here to read more). Thank you for the nomination!

The Rules for the Award*:

(1) Display the Award Logo. (Check!)

(2) Link back to your nominators. (Check!)

(3) Nominate 15 Inspiring Bloggers. (See below!)

(4) Notify them of their nominations. (Will do!)

*It seems the rules vary on this one. I’m taking the simple route, but some routes also require a seven-things-about-you list.

Here are my nominees:

Factory Maid – She’s making major changes in her life including moving to Chicago (on Monday!) and reentering the dating scene. Besides posts about her life, her friends, and her work, Factory Maid does this super cool thing where she finds pictures and comes up with imaginative, perfectly written stories based on the picture and shares them on her blog. Here’s one. I love seeing her posts pop up in my inbox!

Especially Made– A mother and writer, she takes her inspiration from her religion. She always takes the time to read and comment on my posts and give careful attention to her readers on her blog. As a parent and a Christian she’s the embodiment of “inspiration.”

Dana, who’s Swimming in the Shucking Tub– Many of us know Dana only in relation to David over at Sounds Like Orange, but Dana is an inspiring blogger in her own right. One of the most beautiful writers in Blogtropolis (see this post), Dana’s fearlessness makes me want to be a better writer. Besides sharing her stories, she also designs amazing jewelry. She deserves an audience so give her a visit!

Crissi Langwell– A published author (I recently downloaded her book, A Symphony of Cicadas onto my Kindle), Crissi’s blog seeks to inspire the writer in all of us. I anxiously await her honest posts on the writing life and her journey as an author.

Nicole at mommy&everything– Her kids inspire her, but she’s not afraid to share when they drive her nuts either. She inspires me in real life too, and I’m lucky to have her as a friend and pseudo-sister. Here’s an example of her Random Monday Thoughts feature, which I love.

cvheerden at Bridging Worlds– CVH’s blog is part travel blog, part politics, all inspiration. She’s been everywhere and has dedicated her life to making a difference. Her “About” page (here) lists the places she’s been and links to her posts on everything from education to her bucket list to pastoring.

Angela at Telling New Stories– Angela’s another real life friend; in fact, she inspired me to actually sit down and start writing (I posted about it here). She’s blogging and sharing about movies, life, hope and dreams. She’s my writing inspiration, unofficial therapist, and soul sister.

Chronicles of John Shue– John has been a blogging inspiration to me, sharing all aspects of his life including his work, his dating experiences, his love for his father, and his connection with God. When he disappeared from the blogging world for a bit, I actually emailed him looking for him! I’m glad to see that he’s back and hope you check him out.

The Underground Writer– Megan takes the simple happenings in life and turns them into humorous posts that make me giggle and say, “YEAH! I get that!” Here’s a cute post with her thoughts on why we take Mother’s Day more seriously than Father’s Day. She’s also a new friend who inspires me as a parent and a writer and I’m excited to finally meet her in the Big Apple this fall- yay!

The Howling Mad Cat– Did you ever read a blog by a cat?  HMC shares quick witty posts about the feline way of life. Here’s a post by HMC about Cat Yoga. Yes. A cat who blogs.

Jack Flacco– Jack inspires me every Wednesday with his Women Who Wow Wednesday feature (this past week he featured the women of “The Incredibles” which was so awesome!), and because he is a published writer with his book, Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse, ready for release in October. If you like zombies, Canada, Women Who Wow, and excellent writing, check him out!

Ritu at Things to Rave About– Ritu’s blog includes travel, photography, and inspiration.  Check out her post of inspirational quotes for June here. She’s been hanging around WOAW from the early days here, and I appreciate the support she has given me and the inspiration she’s provided on her lovely blog.

Poetlandia– Another Canadian, Poetlandia writes in search of happiness and shares her many life experiences. Poetry is Poetlandia’s passion. I love this list of “77 Things” about Poetlandia, which itself reads like a poem!  (That’s a lot of “P”‘s!).

Daydreams from the Spectrum– Jenny shares her life raising an autistic child and deserves the label “inspiring” because she’s completely honest about it all– the good and the difficult.  I love this post about her struggles as a parent of a special needs child.

Ling Lee, The Lost Girl– A fledgling writer, Ling admits that she’s “fighting to get her spirit back.” She needs our support, Blogtropolis, and truly appreciates comments and reads of her writing extracts. Give her a look!

Whew! And that’s it!  Fifteen out of the many of you who inspire me daily.  Thanks for reading and thanks again for the nomination!

40 thoughts on “What Inspires You?

  1. Thanks a lot Jess! I love your list of amazing blogs and can’t wait to dig in and meet them! Awards are such a nice opportunity to share some other blogs your readers might like, well done!!!


  2. Thank you, Jess! As hokey as it may sound, I’ve really been in need of a thumbs-up from the universe — and YOU provided it! Your use of the words “beautiful” and “fearlessness” are like getting TWO thumbs up! Your kindness and generosity inspire me. I appreciate you!


    1. I appreciate you too and it’s well-deserved and I wish you didn’t need the thumbs up from the universe but I am glad I could help and would give you more than two thumbs up if I had more thumbs 🙂



    Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.


  4. a good project, a good deed, a child’s smile…are inspirational for me!
    (by the way thanks for reminding me that i have to reply the same post but on an italian blog!!!) (smiles!!)


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