Posts Tagged ‘inspirational’

I awoke this morning to the sound of loud singing. Not from people, they’re all still snoozing. It was the birds. It’s one of those things that I noticed right away when I moved into this house – there are birds that start their singing early in the morning. On sunny mornings, they seem to be a little more loud and boisterous. I can relate, I tend to get that way myself when the sun comes out.

This morning was the first bit of sunshine I’ve seen for a while. It was creeping through the front window, making a halo of sorts around the cats sleeping there. My hand reached for the camera, as always. I stood on the front porch and captured the first few rays sneaking over the horizon.

Then I returned to my desk. After a few moments, it became suddenly brighter in the room and I felt compelled to look again. From my vantage point in the window, I could see the huge ball of fire that was the source for the little rays I had photographed.

I reached for my camera again and stepped onto the front porch. In that moment, I had a deep appreciation for the beauty of the world. The birds were singing loudly, the sun was making a blazing arrival on the horizon. There was a slight chill in the air, but it wasn’t so cold that I needed to bundle up. The old Beatles song “Here comes the sun” began playing in my head and I smiled.

It’s a beautiful day. Make it a great one!

The Birds were singing.

The sun sneaking up.



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I had just returned from a trip for work and was sharing the pictures I had taken with a friend.  I had visited Las Vegas, NV and wandered out to Red Rock canyon and then Mount Charleston in my spare time.

She looked through the pictures and made sounds of appreciation for the beauty I had captured with my camera.  After a while, she sighed and said “Oh you go to such beautiful places!”  I contemplated her assumption for a moment, but before I could respond she commented again.

“Or is it that you find beauty wherever you go?”

What do you see when you look at the world?  Do you find beauty wherever you go?  If you don’t , you should try it sometime.  It has brought me many joyful moments in my life.

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It was 1995 and my divorce was final.  I was working on rebuilding and had to decide where I wanted to go with my life and what I wanted to hang on the walls.  Someone asked me about the big print of the sunrise as it got moved from room to room but never put away.
So, I explained to her what that picture represents to me:

When I took that picture, it was in a series on the roll… one or two before, one or two after.  Each shot is a completely different view, moments apart, split second changes in the world around me.  At the time, all of those changes were so subtle and yet, very significant when you look at the prints.

That moment made me proud, returned my confidence.  It changed my perspective of myself for a short period of time.  I keep it around to remind me what I’m capable of accomplishing when I believe in myself.  And when someone else believes in me.  If my boss had never encouraged me to capture my own view – perhaps I wouldn’t have turned into a tourist in my own life. 

I can look at that picture and feel that moment with such clarity.   As time passes, I appreciate it so much more.  Because I have learned to value special moments in time.  Moments that can change your view of the world forever – or for a moment.  It just depends on how long you choose to remember the lesson.

So many of us miss so much looking at moments in blocks of days, weeks, months, years… and forgetting how a single moment in time can change your life so significantly, so profoundly.  

The lesson for me in that picture was this:
Don’t get so caught up in moments that have passed (and you can’t do anything about anyway) or moments that may happen (or not)- that you forget to pay attention to and appreciate the moment you are in.

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I have a book that sits on my desk. It’s covered in pink cloth and has little flowers scattered across it. In the front it says:

This Book Belongs to: Holly J Burdett
From Jeannie
Christmas 1983

I remember the excitement I had when she gave it to me. She said “This is for you to keep your writings in. I love your poetry, you should keep it up.”

I contemplated what I would put in the book. At that time, more so than recent years, I wrote a great many things. Poems and stories and dreams and lists….. I contemplated what the book would hold. Because it was a special gift from a good friend and coworker.  Then came my “parenting years”, unexpectedly I changed course.  What a wonderful journey that was!  Every now and then, I’d scribble something in my notebook or on a sheet of paper that I believed qualified to be in “the book”.  Then I would carefully transcribe it, clarifying it in the process.

I’ve shared the contents of the book with just a few people over the years. Periodically, I would open the book and share something that seemed appropriate for a particular time and place. I’ve been encouraged lately by my friends at Milagroworld to share some of my stories.  They tell me my stories are uplifting and insightful.

I’ve always been shy about doing so, but…. Today, I will begin my journey of sharing of insights and poems and “stuff” that I’ve gathered in my little pink book and beyond over the years.  It is my hope that you will find it useful and helpful in your own adventures.

Here’s how it begins – Page 1 of my collection:

Inside this book
of mine you’ll find

So many things
I’ve left behind
Sometimes they’re good
Sometimes they’re bad
Sometimes joyful
Others so sad
I put them here
inside this book
Where I can pick it
up and look….
I search through them
like buried treasure
Reread them all
and then remeasure
How they have each
Affected me
And made me what
I’ve come to be.

It’s a truism.  I find that, especially when I’m troubled, I write and write and write and then just put it away for a day or two.  When I look back on it later, it helps clarify for me what thoughts and feelings came from that moment of darkness.

And it’s also true that every choice I’ve made since the moment I began this life has led me to this moment.  And, in this moment, I am happy.  That’s not to say that there are no struggles in my world, there are.  It’s not to say that life is perfect.  It’s not.   But I am happy nonetheless.  It’s all in how you choose to respond to your circumstances.  Every moment, I choose to respond with happiness and love.  It’s the only way to go!

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It’s a habit of mine that started years ago. I have been asked by many “Where does that COME from?” It’s one of those stories I love to share.

I used to do daycare in my home. Charlene was one of my “part timers”. She was only at my house on specified days. She loved coming to my house and playing with the other children. One afternoon as she was dropping her off, her mother told me a fun story.

“She loves coming here, you know.” I smiled and nodded as she continued. “Every morning she gets up and asks me ‘Is today a hollyday?’ “. I laughed out loud at the way she said it, blending it together to make it sound like holiday. “Ah, Mary, in my house EVERY day is a holiday! Happy Wednesday!”

It now defines me to many people. There is a service station that I visit multiple times every day. I didn’t realize how spoiled they were by my greeting until I sent my beautiful Mike in my place one evening. The clerk greeted him with a stern “Where is Holly?”

Mike explained that I was still working and he was helping me out by running some errands for me. She was disappointed, she hadn’t gotten her “Happy Tuesday” from me and she was going to be working at a different store for the next few days. Not getting her “Happy Tuesday” from me just wasn’t acceptable! She’d had a rough day and she NEEDED her Happy Tuesday…..

Mike tried, in a falsetto voice, to mollify her. “Happy Tuesday,” he squeaked. She wouldn’t have any of it, he was too tall. He scrunched himself down and tried again, but to no avail. She was having none of it. He gave up and came home.

When he arrived home, he notified me that I needed to call the service station. I was pretty involved in my project and not crazy about being interrupted. I looked at him quizzically, “For what purpose?” He explained “Jessica needs a happy tuesday, and it must come from you!” I laughed out loud and dialed the phone. It was a simple enough request. When she answered I called out “HAPPY TUESDAY” and we laughed. As her day got better, so did mine.

In retrospect, it happens to me frequently. I’ve started to notice when I walk into that particular establishment how they wait expectantly for my greeting. If I don’t greet them, they throw one at me. Or they sulk until I greet them appropriately.

Before I leave, I must give them the command. It’s become routine now. They tell me to “have a nice day”. I respond “Absolutely NOT. I don’t have days. I will make it a great day! It’s always a choice, you know!” I always leave them with a smile, no matter how many “bad” things are happening in my world. It’s a rule.

And so, I say to you:

“Happy Saturday!”


“Make it a great day!”

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Make it a great day!

It’s a simple shift from the “Have a nice day” that we’re used to hearing. I’ve never liked the phrase “Have a nice day” because it implies that it’s something that happens TO you. In my opinion, you can make every moment of every day of your life as great and as happy as you want.

Make no mistake about it, it’s always a choice. And the choice lies within you. In any given situation, you choose your response. Things go wrong, stuff happens that can push your buttons, you react.

That’s the key part of it, how do you react? How do you choose to respond?

Do you lash out in anger? Do you sit down and cry? Do you exact your revenge on those who have wronged you? Do you give up on your dreams? Or do you take a deep breath, choose your response and move on? Do you blame someone else for making you upset?

I know that this may sound simplistic to many who believe that life is complicated and they are victims of some sort and they have no control over their destiny. To that I say “Bull”. All the choices you’ve made throughout every moment of your life have brought you to the moment you are in now.

Every moment of every day you have a choice in your thoughts and actions. Sometimes, I realize, it doesn’t seem that way. I myself have battled with situations in life that left me feeling frustrated and helpless and powerless. And it wasn’t until I learned to empower myself and choose my experiences that my world changed.

If you want to change your life, start with yourself and your attitude. Choose your response in every moment of every day. While we all need to occasionally wallow in self pity, it should be temporary, not a lifestyle. You are a powerful being. You have a unique set of talents and skills and characteristics that combine to make you. Be thankful and hold onto only those thoughts and attitudes that benefit you and yours. Focus loving energy on everyone you encounter. Hand out smiles to strangers. Sing. Give away gifts – money, food, books…… Tip generously. Maintain an attitude of gratitude for even the smallest of miracles.

Make every moment of every day count for something, count for you.

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