Happy summer

I love the warmth of summer days, the fragrances of peonies permeating the air as I wander around the garden admiring nature. The magic of life is so evident as I witness the growth of each plant, shrub, tree.

When I stop for a moment and take in the magnitude of the creative energy around me I am in awe. I breathe it all in and feel the wonder of nature.

My sense of being a part of it is almost astounding to my consciousness. I experience vibrant stillness throughout all of me. So calming. So uplifting. So awe full.

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Marie

Why The Same Path

How many times have you asked yourself that question?  Why do I always seem to get myself in the same track, following the same old path that gets me to the same old place?

I have certainly asked myself that question several times over the many years of my life.  In fact just recently I found myself  searching for ways I could share what I have learned and was looking at what I used to do with workshops and retreats.  But I am older now and decided to take a new path. I have heard others, friends, colleagues, students, participants in workshops and retreats, those I mentor, express the same sense of doing what they have always done and wanting something different.. 

Following the same path is not unusual. We have been doing it so often that the neuropathways in our brain are well worn.  Just like when we are hiking or cycling or cross country skiing we tend to follow the same path most travelled unless we deliberately and consciously attempt to shift our focus, to hold tight as we move off the usual trail and onto to one that may or may not be used at all.  Something more adventurous perhaps.

We know that our body follows what we are looking at.  If we want to avoid something we have to shift our gaze away from what we want to avoid and toward where we want to go.  It may take a lot of concentration to get the cycle wheel out of the rut and onto a new path.  It may take learning new skills to lift one ski over to a new direction or to bushwhack through unfamiliar territory with a compass.  We may fall.  Sometimes in falling it helps us get away from the rutted trail and onto the new path we aim for.

This is not at all unlike the life paths we take.  It takes a conscious and determined effort to take a new direction and find the road less travelled.  I know that “if you do what you always did, you will get what you always got”.  Be courageous.  If you are looking for a different outcome shift your focus. Learn the skills you need.  You may fall in the process.  Notice new perspectives evident in the falling.   

Do you have a story you would like to share about the paths you have taken and maybe shifted?  Do you have any questions?  You can send me a private message at marieknapp206@gmail.com or respond on FaceBook or LinkedIn if you see this message there.  

Till next time,

Marie

Marie Knapp is a woman of curiosity and spiritual inquisitiveness. Her life experience as wife and mother coupled with her professional roles has given her insights into working with many of life’s challenges. She is a retired Nurse Educator and College Administrator, Reiki Master, Doctor of Education (Adults), Author of The Path To A More Inspiring Future, and Mentor of many. She sees her life purpose as inspiring others who can then inspire others. She learns incessantly and shares what she learns so others may gain from the opportunities she has had.  

Why the weather?

Spring, you keep teasing me.

The temperature dips and climbs

Like a square dance … over and under.

I should smile and enjoy the round

But my tentative moods follow too closely.

Must my spirit be so weather-informed

That I simply follow without standing firm?

Feet, touch the earth deeply. I connect.

Crown, reach to the sky expansively. I connect.

As a conductor of peace and strength, love and empowerment

I open my heart, cautiously, lovingly.

My spirit flows freely.

My heart sings. I smile. My energy lifts.

Now, I am joy!

by Marie Knapp

author of The Path To A More Inspiring Future

The Path to a More Inspiring Future

It probably was conceived early in midlife as I opened my eyes and ears to a much broader perspective than the loving protected life I had so far lived. It seemed the learning curve was exciting, at times overwhelming, very informative, life expanding and unending. It was a long gestation with several episodes of writing articles, and newsletters, which later developed into workshops and retreats. The book inside me wanted to be published at the right time.

This spring, 2021, I became aware of the struggling that was occurring not just within me but in the hearts and souls of many. The pandemic was going on far longer than any had imagined and some people talked about wanting a return to normal and the way things were. But not everyone. The isolation had given many more time to ponder life. They had a different perspective of what was really important and wanted something better in the future — something more inspiring.

And so the book was born. It is an uplifting book, not denying the reality of the future but rather helping people rise out of the down periods and into something that helped them know they can make a difference. Gandhi taught us that we must be the change we want to see in the world. The book begins with inner strengthening followed by ways to reach out to others in compassion and truthfulness. The final chapter offers suggested ways to take action steps to making a difference while encouraging people to express their uniqueness and follow their passion toward their vision of a positive future.

I have started a new website https://moreinspiringfuture.com I would be delighted to have you go there, scroll to the bottom and subscribe to receive inspiring messages and short articles in your inbox. You will also see the three articles I have already written.

I also have opened a new Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/moreinspiringfuture. Please check it out, like it and follow the page. I appreciate your interest in this site. I expect I will continue with this site for a while. At least until I am sure the new website is well established.

Thank you for your continued interest in what I offer to you.

Till next time,

Marie

Happy fall

Not officially fall but when I look at the sky and smell the air, and feel the coolish breeze on my face … well fall is on its way. It won’t be long.

I have not been sending out blogs lately for a very important reason I have been focusing my writing time and energy on a book I have been writing.

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The Path To A More Inspiring Future. I am very excited about sharing the book with you. My intention is that it will be hopeful and uplifting for the readers. It is currently in the hands of my valuable editor. After I make the necessary changes, the book will go for printing. And it will also become an eBook.

This is just a short message for now. I will keep you posted, telling you a bit more about the book and where you will be able to get it. Meanwhile I will share a poem that I have written in the book

The present nudges me forward.

I begin in the now.

Within my being

my true self resides,

sometimes hiding behind the cloak of fear.

I look to hope, honesty, and acceptance

to shine its light on my path.

Wishing you a happy September.

Till next time,

Marie

Inspiration

Hello everyone,
We haven’t connected in a while. How are you.
It would be great to hear an update from everyone.

I have been attending a very inspiring Zoom gathering led by LanceSecretan. Usually5 or 6 of us having an interesting discussion all related in some way to inspirational leadership. Actually Lance has a YouTube Channel. He selects a question posed by people who subscribe to the site. Each video response is less than two minutes. I suggest you have a look, and listen to at least two or three of them. If it interests you, please subscribe.

I think of leadership less as a role and more as a quality that inspires others. Anyone can be a leader: students, parents, volunteers, employees. You do not have to be a CEO to be a good leader. I woll write more on this another time.

I hope you will listen to what Lance shares.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Marie
Here is the link.

Just Listen To Me

“Listen to me!”, shout the inner voices of

the unhappy child, the indigenous woman, the lonely teenager,

the elderly person locked in a place that

was to be safe but now is in breakout mode.

“Listen to me!” shout the trees in the forest as the logger marks them red

Or the developer thrashes with determined effort to

Create a monster home for those who already have enough.

Listening with open heart creates a path

For compassion, understanding, love.

Listening, one of the main acts of loving,

Simply listen to a person you care about at home or at work. First sit calmly. Envision yourself in a place of peace, ready to open your heart to the other person who just wants to be heard. Notice the right time to begin with an open ended question. Perhaps you might say “How did school go today?”  or “What worried you at work today?” or maybe “What can I bring to you that will brighten your day?” or “You look tired. Is there anything I can do to help? What do you need most?” or make your own question that does not seek a yes or no response.

And then just listen. Any further questions are without judgement but also open ended? Perhaps “How did you feel about that?” or How did that affect things?” or even “Tell me more about that.” This kind of listening can help the person with workplace burnout, parenting, marriage conflicts, and more.

You do not have to fix anything when the person is not asking to be fixed. Refrain from giving an opinion. You can reflect their question back to them. If you have listened long and you feel the person is looking for an answer,  then you might say something like “Is there anything you would like me to do?” or “How can I help you?”

Imagine a world where people listen openly and non-judgmentally on a regular basis. The world would become a better place.  A more peaceful, productive, happier place.

Be brave. You can do this.  I welcome your response.

Marie

Courage

It was about twenty years ago when Lance Secretan asked me if I would write the poems for his latest project, Spirit@Work cards. I was honoured and to be honest it took courage on my part to make it happen. It was published in 2002!   Today I picked the word Courage.  So appropriate for the world we are facing.

I have been recently learning about the personal fears that hold me back from being my authentic self.  Concurrently I am reading the book The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson. The fears are not big things but they are ego based and the effects within me are significant. The poem I wrote twenty years ago has new meaning for me.  I would like to share it with you because I have a feeling that others will find meaning in the words too.  Your comments are appreciated.

Let me speak truthfully and with integrity,

Modeling courage for those I serve.

Help me unpeel the layers of fear

That keep my courage hidden,

Sometimes disguised as strength in its coolness and distancing.

Help me gently replace fearful thoughts

With love – loving perceptions and caring interpretations.

Let me be lovingly vulnerable, connecting more deeply in truth,

Let me lead courageously

Let me serve courageously.

Let me be courageous.

by Marie Knapp