Ikigai: One Path Toward an Integrated Life

Since I started writing Blooms to Blossoms, I have unknowingly been on the Ikigai path. My passion, mission, vocation, and profession resulted in the desire to share ideas about integrating wellness, lifelong learning, and personal development through writing my blog.  August 7 Visual Blossoms post identified internal and external aspects of life.  Each day, based on our life goals and vision while keeping in mind our commitment to others, we prioritize how these pieces fit together.  Last month I happened across Tanmay Vora’s book review sketchnote of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life.  I mentioned in my August 14 Visual Blossom that his summary statement stimulated my interest in how I could apply the principles of Ikigai to the purpose of Blooms to Blossoms.  

Ikigai is the intersection/convergence of four core elements. Charlton (2018) explains the core elements as follows.

**What you love (your passion) — what inspires you?
**What the world needs (your mission) — what makes you feel useful?
**What you are good at (your vocation) — what are you drawn to?
**What you can get paid for (your profession) — what activities do your find most productive?  
NOTE:  Remember that “paid” can mean outcomes/rewards beyond money.

Blooms to Blossoms strives to contribute to the enrichment of young adults and beyond by demonstrating that integrating life and learning makes a difference.  How can you use your knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and beliefs to envision and build your future?

Zippo et al. (2010) assert that wellness encompasses a balance of the multi- dimensional journey that each of us takes at one time or another. Each of our journeys is unique and different. We all strive to succeed as individuals who create our own paths in life. Yasuka (2019) supports my idea that wellness and ikigai are on the same path toward lifelong learning and personal development.  He states, “every person is said to have their own ikigai. An ikigai is personal and specific to each individual’s life, beliefs, and values. It should reflect one’s inner self” (para.2).

Wellness components related to Ikigai core elements

Ikigai is the union point of four fundamental components of life: passion, vocation, profession and mission. In other words, where; what you love meets what you are good at, meets what you can be valued and paid for meets that which the world needs. Ikigai is only complete if the goal implies service to the community. We feel more satisfied giving gifts than receiving. The next step, once you’ve identified these components, would be to start following your compass (Grant, 2019, para.9).

Linkage of wellness, lifelong learning, personal development to Ikigai
Ikigai diagram modified | Alex Tanchoco

Finding your ikigai…start by answering the questions. Kolmodin (2018) shares a tool to facilitate personal growth to find happiness and meaning to life. Click on the link below to download the template.

Smell the Roses: In-Between

On October 28, 2019 I published a blog titled, Be Open: Inspiration Comes from Everywhere.  In my opening I wrote:

Many people act as though the future is something that happens to them rather than something that you can create every day. Have you thought about what inspires you? It is interesting to consider that inspiration comes from everywhere if you are open to the possibilities.

This week my blog and a refreshed perspective on life resulted from a comment on ESPN, a song, a podcast, and a book.  

A Comment on ESPN:

While watching SportsCenter on ESPN this week the announcers referred to a quote attributed to Lou Holtz.  “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it”.  Their point about the quote is that Holtz’s intent may have been about attitude.  As I thought about this quote and researched various interpretations of it, I found that it applies to life.  Flom (n.d.) states:

We all carry loads, and we all carry them in different ways.. the key is to carry your load the right way. That means with your head up, back straight. Bend at the knees so the load is distributed better and doesn’t wreck one part of you. If it’s too heavy to carry alone, ask for help. Keep moving forward so that momentum is on your side. Where you were when you picked up the load doesn’t matter. Where you’re headed with it does.

A Song:

While doing errands this week I was listening to my favorite streaming station (Lee Greenwood Gospel).  I like to songs and there is good variety.  The 1974 song ‘Stop and Smell the Roses’ by Mac Davis came on…I sat in the car and listened to it a couple times.  This song connected to Holtz quote, Flom’s interpretation, and to my Visual Blossoms post Piecing Together Life… “Life is a journey, and there are bumps in the road.”   It is important to find a way to carry your load and count your blessings. Some of the Mac Davis lyrics are:

Hey Mister
Where you going in such a hurry
Don’t you think it’s time you realized
There’s a whole lot more to life than work and worry
The sweetest things in life are free
And they’re right before your eyes


A Podcast:

When I bike, I usually listen to audiobooks (leisure reading) or podcasts (for blog ideas).  I chose a Psychology at Work podcast by Lankow and Johansson. They “envision a world of work where people realize their significance and purpose.”  They “explore how to make positive meaning of our relationships and contributions (and what can get in the way), which leads to being more engaged, present, and effective.”  Based on the ESPN comment and the song, I chose the (2019) podcast “Eustress, Distress, We all Stress.”  They discuss and reiterate ideas that stress is not always a bad thing. 

Wack (2020) defines eustress as a term for positive stress that can have a beneficial impact on your life. “Eu” is a prefix meaning good or well, also used in words like “euphoria” and “eulogy.” Eustress can refer to challenges in work and life that put pressure on us to grow and improve. 

Coor (n.d.) defines distress as typically accompanied by feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, which are perceived as negative and unwanted.

The key is to be mindful and control what you can…do not let your goals become a form of distress.  In other words, carry your load the right way and take time to smell the roses.

A Book:

The quote, the song, and the podcast led me to search for books related to finding opportunities for growth.  I found an interesting choice written by Jeff Goins titled, The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing.  The book explores searching for a breakthrough, loving the journey, and life worth the wait. “The In-Between is a call to accept the importance that waiting plays in our lives by helping you find personal meaning in the times that make the least sense and hone the underestimated art of living in the moment.”

The expression “stop and smell the roses” is not simply about flowers, but rather about how to live your life with a deeper appreciation of the world around us. It reminds us to slow down and notice the little things that make life worthwhile. Despite a busy life, it is important to know how to be present in the moment; otherwise those moments will pass you by. Herst (2019)

My New Anthem for Life:

Pause, reflect, appreciate, move forward 

***********
“Don’t hurry. Don’t worry.
You’re only here for a short visit. 
So don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.”
Walter Hagen

Fitness IS a Spiritual Practice

Mavens (2018) defines spiritual practice:

A daily spiritual practice refers to any ritual that we perform each day to nur­ture our deep inner being. A spiritual practice quiets the mind and brings us into a state of peace or harmony with ourselves. A spiritual practice can take many forms—but it is not the form that matters so much as the intent. In fact, a spiritual practice does not even need to be explicitly spiritual to be effective. It simply needs to be something that helps you turn inward and connect with your own truth and purpose.

You do not need to be religious or even spiritual to benefit from develop­ing a spiritual practice. A daily spiritual practice is not about dogma or wor­ship; it is about tuning in to your own sense of spirit.

Life is multi-faceted…it would be difficult, if not impossible, to disconnect the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of life.  There is a relationship of these elements that permeate and integrate with living. For me, physical exercise is a form of spiritual practice that is the catalyst bringing these aspects together. In my blog, Run for My Body, Run for My Soul, and my three-part series on Well-Being: Self Exploration I describe how my running is more than just the physical action of putting one foot in front of the other. Bringing the body and mind together is a form of spiritual practice.

“The older I get, the more I realize there is more to these activities than just the competitiveness I found in the past.  
Improving and enhancing body, mind, and spirit
result from my physical activity.”

“I savor the peacefulness of a light rain and the solitude of my run. 
I have always been grateful for my runs (good, bad, or indifferent).
I have learned through this experience is to be more aware
of the meaning my day-to-day activities.
This awareness will have an influence on uplifting my well-being.”

Movement can be a way to focus on our well-being.  Think about it…exercise is like cross training for life.  The physical aspect of movement is just one of the many outcomes. Movement improves thinking, perspective, and purpose.  When you move you become physically and emotionally healthier. The more you move the more you confident and capable you become.

Scott-Dixon (Precision Nutrition)

Dupue (n.d.) provides reasons why he believes fitness is a form of spiritual practice.

  • You use it for greater happiness and fulfillment.
  • You use your workouts as a time to reflect.
  • You face yourself and grow in more ways than physical.
  • You test your will.
  • Your heart is engaged.
  • You expand your comfort zone.
  • You change your karma.
  • You release emotion and energy.
  • You take a moment a breathe.
  • Your mind quiets down, and you are present.
  • You have mental or emotional breakthroughs.

Here are a few examples of how fitness can be a spiritual practice…you may already engage in some of these suggestions. These rituals, relationships, and reflections through movement, exercise, fitness, working out to enhance your personal growth, your purpose, your engagement in life with self and others.

  • Listen to inspirational music
  • Listen to a book or podcast
  • Listen to the sounds of nature 
  • Mindfully notice your surroundings
  • Mindfully notice how your body feels as it moves
  • Participate with others to stay connected
  • Reflect on what you are grateful for
  • Savor the experience as it is happening and afterwards

Once Learned, Never Forgotten

Our identity development occurs many ways and is an ongoing, lifetime process.  Family culture (norms, values, and beliefs) is part of identity development.  Traditions are how family culture materializes.  Sharing and learning about stories, knowledge, and crafts is often how families pass down the traditions of their history. This sharing creates unity and a sense of belonging resulting in the link between generations.

My friend Polly publishes a blog, Phrog and Munkey.  Her recent blog post, “The Benefits of Crocheting” shares a family story tying directly to Blooms to Blossoms purpose to show that integrating life and learningmakes a difference in personal development. “Crocheting has been a part of my life since I can remember, and it remains something that brings me joy.  My grandmother, my mother, myself, and my children (son included) all crochet.” Companionship, stress relief, creativity, self-esteem are benefits Polly identifies in her story.  I share her blog (with her permission) to encourage you to recognize and remember how generations of family members cross the boundaries of life and learning.

At the heart of every family tradition is
a meaningful experience.  Unknown

The Benefits of Crocheting

As a young girl I wanted to learn how to crochet and I asked my grandmother to teach me.  I was left-handed she was right-handed, we sat facing each other her slowly crocheting and explaining, me listening and trying to mimic her movement.  As she was talking, she began to crochet faster but I was still struggling.  She was right-handed, I was left.  It was like looking into a mirror and trying to copy her process, backward.  Do you remember the Groucho Marx and Lucy routine where she is trying to mimic his movement as if she was in front of a mirror?  This must have looked similar.  I was left-handed, she was right.  This went on for some time her saying “put your needle into the stitch, loop over and pull it back through…” and me trying but failing.  After some time her patience ran thin and she took the needle out of my left hand, remember, I was left handed, and put it in my right, moved around behind me, took my hands in hers and taught me how to crochet.  She loved to crochet and some of the pieces she made were intricate and beautiful.  Some were a little questionable like the bathing suits she made us one summer.  I remember her, her patience, and her artistry every time I pick up a crochet needle. 

This leads me to the first and most important benefit of crocheting, sharing, companionship and time spent with friends, old or new.  Learning to crochet is a challenging process that is tough to teach yourself, so you need a mentor, a friend, a teacher to show you how it is done.  Someone to take your hands in theirs and walk you through the process of weaving yarn together to make something beautiful.

Crocheting relieves stress and anxiety.  Well, maybe not when you are learning how but once you have the automated movements don and your process is instinctual, it is comforting to sit and create.  It is the creativity and repetitive motion that helps you become more relaxed and ease the tension in your thoughts.  

Crocheting builds your self-esteem.  Anyone that is a master crocheter will tell you how fulfilling it is to be able to read a pattern, pick up a needle and some thread and make something that someone is going to love.  When you put that last stitch in and tie your piece off you feel amazing, accomplished and astounded at the sheer process, your ability and the craftsmanship of your work of art.  If that doesn’t build your self-esteem, I don’t know what will.  

Crocheting has been a part of my life since I can remember, and it remains something that brings me joy.  My grandmother, my mother, myself, and my children (son included) all crochet.  One of my fondest memories of my grandmother was placing an afghan that I had made on her lap.  I went to see her one evening at the assisted living home and started to push her down the hall and the afghan on her lap was too long.  She fussed and told me that I needed to make her a short afghan so it wouldn’t get caught under the wheels.  I left there, went straight to the store, bought some yarn, and proceeded to crochet.  When I placed the afghan on her lap she said, “I taught you well.”   That was her way of telling me she was proud of me, that she loved me and thank you all at the same time.  

Stitches bind us together.  

Polly’s afghan

It is interesting how the hobby of crocheting can affect so many lives?

Consider your past, present, and vision for your future as you reflect on ways to thrive and blossom.

Consider your past, present, and vision for your future as you reflect on ways to thrive and blossom.

Consider ways your experiences transfer knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and beliefs from one aspect of your life to another.

How do the pieces fit together to make a whole?

“Traditions touch us,
they connect us, and
they expand us.”  Craig

Phrog and Munkey Enterprises…products are constructed with as much reclaimed wood as possible which allows us the opportunity to protect a small part of the amazing planet we live on. 

More blogs from Polly:

An Old Tractor and a Good Book

A Rooster, a Song and Laughing Out Loud

Day One…Year Two!

I started writing my blog in May 2019.  
Today is blog #53…the first blog of my second year!!  
Happy Birthday Bloom to Blossoms!! 

I stated in my first blog that I hope to create a community to share ideas and experiences about ways to live a healthy, evolving, and enriching life. Intellectual stimulation and community building continue to be two of my primary goals.  Reading, thinking, and writing about topics I care about moved me from being a passive consumer to an actively engaged consumer. Over the past year I feel like I progressed from questioning “am I a blogger” to believing “I am a blogger”.  

Sitting on the porch last week, I did some brainstorming with myself about my first year as a blogger and what I wanted to do next. Below are some key ideas and I am excited to share an additional aspect of Blooms to Blossoms that will begin on Friday.

  • Blogging is more time consuming than I had expected BUT it is time well spent.  Consistency in writing and publishing is important.
  • Finding a niche/brand/identity (my purpose) helps focus my writing.
  • Learning from trial and error is part of the process; trial and error is really a fundamental problem-solving process.  Trial and error is insightful learning.
  • Being “out there” (publicly sharing my writing) is a bit daunting and intimidating but fulfilling after publishing each blog.
  • Inspiration for topics come from everywhere.  Being open to influences from my surroundings and my day-to-day life is a creative process of writing.
  • Information overload happens so organization of ideas and materials continues to be important.
  • Reconnection with friends and making new friends is a benefit.  Making connections with others is the community building aspect I plan to continue developing.
  • Engagement in the blogging community provides support and resources.
  • Patience is a virtue 

The past 52 weeks topics of my blogs have been varied. Learning is a lifelong process integrating all aspects of the wellness (physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, etc).  

Feature images from Blooms to Blossoms Year One

On Friday I will launch Visual Blossoms.  The purpose of Visual Blossoms is to share my thoughts about the purpose of Blooms to Blossoms with readers through sketching.  The intent is not to repeat the blog in graphic form. Visual Blossoms will expand the purpose of Blooms to Blossoms…to tell the story in a distinct way.

Blogging provides me the opportunity to connect my personal and professional life and continue to learn something new every day.  I couldn’t have accomplished getting Blooms to Blossoms online without the encouragement and support of my family and friends.  I appreciate your input and feedback. I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. As I continue to increase my readership I appreciate you sharing my blog with your family, friends, and colleagues.

In addition, when I met Conor (my web guy), and he told me, “I love solving problems and telling authentic stories” I knew he would be a key contributor to my success. Conor listens to my ideas and then creates a custom identity and design for me to accomplish my goals.

The past year I have learned A LOT.  I have filled an intellectual/creative gap missing in my life.  The blog journey is off to an excellent start.  I am looking forward to the upcoming year to see where it takes us. 

Visual Happiness

Recently a couple friends sent me messages about the Yale online course The Science of Well-Being.  They thought I would be interested in the course for a variety of reasons. The main reason is the topic fits with the intent of my blog.  It is interesting that they contacted me as I have mentioned this course a few months ago on Facebook. Last week the Today Show aired a segment with Happiness Lab’s professor Laurie Santos. In the interview she shares 5 ways to feel better.

In the interview Santos discusses 5 tips that can help elevate your mood and help you feel better during this stressful time.

Learning to draw and sketch has been on my “wish I knew how to” list for a couple of years now.  I had an idea!!

Disclaimer: Drawings below are suitable for all audiences…HA…however, they may not be worthy of posting on your refrigerator…HA!!

My idea:
Share some of my “drawings” that depict Santos’ tips

Santos Tip #1: Belly Breathing – to deactivate (sympathetic nervous system or fight or flight mode).

Calming breathes, yoga, taking a walk, sitting outside are ways to stop and refresh.

Santos Tip #2: Kindness – in addition to self-care, do an act of kindness or helping someone.

Be kind to yourself,
then let your kindness fill the world.
Unknown

Santos Tip #3: Focus on what you can control – actively try to be healthy and mindful of your well-being.

Time with family (for me that’s my husband and our cats) keeps me focused on our well-being.

Time spent with cats is never wasted.
S. Freud

Santos Tip #4: Exercise, eat healthy, sleep enough – back to the basics

At the end of the 19th century
“an apple a day keeps the doctor away” 
became a popular phrase.
A good start toward getting back to basics.

Santos Tip #5: Actively practice gratitude – mood and resilience improves when you focus on blessings.

The oak tree symbolizes strength, knowledge and resilience.
We should all be grateful for the strength, knowledge and resilience
of ourselves and each other.

Her current course “The Science of Well-Being” starts TODAY…I’m enrolled!!

In this course you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life.

Another friend sent this to me last week. I hoped I’ve passed along a little kindness and love to my readers.

Breathe, be kind, stay focused, be healthy, be grateful.

A Peek Into My World

Well, it’s been an interesting past week or so. I am actually someone who likes to stay at home however it has been a bit challenging when the decisions to stay at home is not solely my own. Friday I saw a CNN article published as part of the Wisdom Project by Allan titled, Inspirational Quotes to Get Us Through the Coronavirus Shutdown that I thought might be supportive.

Since I’ve been home (more than usual) the inspiration for my blog comes from taking a look around my office. I wanted to share a few items that surround my work space to encourage and motivate me.

My office is in the front of the house with a nice view of the yard.

A few books I keep:

Body and Soul: A novel about the development of a young musician

Grand Obsession: Chronicles one woman’s search for the perfect piano. 

Joy of Movement: How exercise helps us find happiness, hope, connection, and courage

Life as Sport: What top athletes can teach you about how to win in life

Music Matters: Perspectives on nature & significance of music teaching & learing

The Musician’s Way: A guide to practice, performance, and wellness

Reminder that all is well:

These angels have been in our family for over 75 years. They are now in my office surrounding the serenity prayer that used to be on my grandma’s dresser. If Granny had a motto this was it…sure is applicable today.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Various knick-knacks from my grandparents

Family knick-knacks:

The Snow White canister and Girls in the Rain music box belonged to my paternal grandma.

The two music boxes in the second picture belonged to my maternal grandma.

Both are with my baby cup and spoons.

Family heirlooms:

The bookcase belong to Buddy and Granny. I’ve had this bookcase for 35 years. The glass on the bottom left is cracked from a move. The movers offered to get the glass replaced. I said “no, I need the original glass because this bookcase is from my family.” I recently moved the bookcase into my office. The only items in it right now are the manger scene that was displayed at Buddy and Granny’s house that I keep out year-round. I also have my baby shoes and blanket…I guess these were my first running shoes!!

Fit for Life:

A few key reminders of my athletic life to keep me motivated. The trophy on the right is from my first road race after my college career ended. State cross country championship medal hanging on the runner’s foot. The award on the left is for a runner of the year award (back in my prime). I participated in a weekly bicycle time trial and won best senior women award. The frame picture is from my sister and brother-in-law after my bike accident (October 13, 1997)…it says “Watch out for cars”. They gave me this picture after they found out I was ok….the humor was appreciated.

Family rock project:

My sister and I went to a festival with my parents several years ago. One of the vendor sold rocks with names. I bought one for Eric and me. We had our first two cats at the time so I ordered their rocks from the vendor to add to the collection. I have been buying a rock for each cat…the plate is full…I guess Buddy will be our last cat!!

May the memory of our friends
remain with us forever.

Einstein and Reggie:

Einstein (10/21/01-10/9/14) and Reggie (10/21/01-2/1/19) are brother and sister pixie bob cats and were our first two cats.  

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.  **Anatole France

Eric and Me:

The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being.
His heart withers if it does not answer another heart.
His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no inspiration.
–Pearl S. Buck

The eagle on the right I found as I walked in the entrance of the building for my first full-time job (30+years ago). When I met Eric (20 years ago) he had an eagle in his house. The eagles have been together ever since.

17 Words That Will Never Fail You 
  
Prepare…Listen…Smile…Care…Choose…Focus…
Believe…Relax…Act…Forgive…Pray…Trust…
Change…Persist…Accept…Risk…Wait

Influencers Help You Find Your Best Life

It is interesting, the tidbits of information you find out about your parents when they move close to you as they get older. I went to visit my parents this morning and came home with a briefcase full of reading materials my Dad has saved over the years. The materials in the briefcase were items from the last 3 decades. He told me to take it home… “there might be inspirations for your writing”. Knowing my Dad, I knew there is some good “stuff” to share.  

Typical to my personality, I had to first sort through the materials.  I gathered items based on topic and then had to put everything in order by month and year.  

NOTE:  Those who know me would say “well, of course, that was your first step.”

Anyway, after sorting, I skimmed through the items.  Yep, some good stuff for sure!

The most interesting aspect as I skimmed the items was that there were several places Dad marked with arrows or starred or used a paper clip. He also makes notes on the back cover with a page number and someone’s name who he feels would benefit from the passage or story. This is what my Dad has always done to keep track of the most meaningful passages.  I believe it is also his way of creating teachable moments…as I look through the materials now I recall many times over the years that Dad has taught me lessons of life, common sense, and responsibility from what he’s read.  I now see his intent was to help me become the best I could be and to do good for others.  He is showing me how to “Let My Life Sing.”

Below, I share some of the items I pulled from the briefcase today.  These items support the idea of seeing the big picture, thinking about the future, and how to succeed in life. While keeping the big picture in mind, the story told by these snippets also share the idea of learning from mistakes/failures, live for today, and hold the course to future dreams. 

Live to Influence Others is chapter 4 in Lessons My Father Taught Me (2016) by Michael Reagan.  Reagan states, “influence is something that you understand and appreciate better after you gain life experience, wisdom, and perspective.”  I believe we can all agree that life experience, wisdom, and perspective allow us to see the value in the thoughts of those influential in our lives.  Reagan went on the name key aspects of an “influencer” and these all are characteristics that could describe my Dad.  An influencer in your life…

**makes an investment of time to help and teach others
**provides direct and indirect guidance
**knows his audience
**knows what he believes in and why he believes it
**uses the events of the day as object lessons
**looks for opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others
**is a storyteller

Who have been/are influencers in your life?  Do the characteristics listed above apply?

Who are you hoping to influence?  Do the characteristics listed above apply?

Be Open: Inspiration Comes From Everywhere

Many people act as though the future is something that happens to them rather than something that you can create every day. Have you thought about what inspires you? It is interesting to consider that inspiration comes from everywhere if you are open to the possibilities.

The definition of INSPIRE is: 

**to fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

** to create (a feeling, especially a positive one) in a person.

Merriam Webster provides the word history of inspire.

This moving little word may be traced back to the Latin inspirare (“to breathe or blow into”), which itself is from the word spirare, meaning “to breathe.” It didn’t take long to establish itself in a figurative sense, as our earliest written English uses of inspire give it the meaning “to influence, move, or guide (as to speech or action) through divine or supernatural agency or power.” Many of the early figurative senses of inspire are religious in nature, so it is not surprising to learn that the word shares a connection with spirit (which comes from the Latin word for “breath,” spiritus, which is also from spirare).

I am not a church going person BUT that does not mean I am not open to inspiration, support and guidance found from living my day-to-day life. Inspiration, for me, comes from everywhere.

I subscribe to a couple reading listservs. I receive a daily email with descriptions of suggested books in categories I self-selected.  Recently a book series was profiled, published by Guideposts.  Guideposts is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the world to believe that anything is possible with hope, faith, and prayer. Their programs extend to writing workshops and encouraging wellness.  I didn’t know Guideposts published fiction so I read the profile and decided to get the first book in the series.

I ordered the book through interlibrary loan.  It is not “blog-worthy” news that I ran an errand to get my book last week…however…what I found in the book is quite inspirational and something I would like to share.

Inside the front cover of the book were two pieces of paper.  Someone (or maybe more than one person) typed the content on the pages on two different typewriters.  Also, I could see there were pin holes in the corners of each page. Someone had tacked these pages to a bulletin board or wall.

Guardian Tree Productions blog shares several articles on responsible living. One article, Finding Guidance in Your Life, connects to the ideas shared in my blog this week.  I believe that being open to inspiration that comes from everywhere is a key factor to finding your path in life.

Guardian Tree states, “The key to finding guidance in your life is to start being responsible for your own growth.”