Inspiration Report

Oprah Winfrey and Marianne Williamson: A Return to Love
Photo Credit: OWN / George Burns

We have a number of bloggers and writers here who have been inspired  by the writings of Marianne Williamson. Her debut book, A Return to Love, reflected A Course in Miracles for a new generation. She first gained notoriety by an appearance on the Oprah show, and they will sit down once again this Sunday on OWN!

Oprah and Marianne Williamson: 20 Years After ‘A Return To Love’ will premiere on the Emmy® Award-winning “Super Soul Sunday” July 29 at 11 a.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and will simulcast online worldwide via and

To get a glimpse of what’s in store, check out this exclusive clip OWN sent us:

“Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.”

My friends who have known me a long time can attest that I’m always into something.

I’ve been a writer, guitarist, a radio DJ, artist, missionary, marathon runner, theater actress, and music journalist, just to name a few. I strongly considered becoming a chef, and it was only a twist of fate that steered me away from a cooking school in Florence, Italy. I’ve told funny stories and sang songs at open mic nights. I studied yoga for two years. I’ve had brief affairs with designer fashion and home decor. I have a number of tattoos.

This isn’t to say that I stay all over the map. My truest passions were ignited and stayed lit. I still love cooking. Despite how challenging it is (or perhaps because of it), I can’t seem to stop running and am training for my 5th race. And I’ll probably be a writer until the day I die.

As I’m just in my mid-30s, my bucket list is far from complete. I still want to complete a triathlon and learn how to ride a motorcycle. I want to earn a doctorate degree. And although, I’m pretty sure I’d be bad at it, I want to surf… just one time.

I guess I’ve always considered life to be a buffet and it’s all there for you to sample. I know that if I died tomorrow, I’d leave with few regrets because I’ve tried (and sometimes failed at) just about anything and everything that interested me in my life.

“There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.”

When you look over your life, how many leaps of faith have attempted? How many new things have you tried? Are you satisfied with where you are or is something inside of you begging to step out into more?

Fear is probably the biggest bucket-list-killer. It makes you hesitate, question your motives, and stalls you into inactivity. It wants to convince you that if you try you’ll fail. And you know what? Maybe you will, but that never ever means you shouldn’t try. You have talents, interests and passions that you may be unaware of. All they need is a little push in the right direction.

I believe life is inherently challenging. Even if you never ventured from your home, trouble and heartache have a way of finding you anyway. That’s just the way it is. So instead of letting life throw you here and there, why not take the bull by the horns and make it your adventure. Dismiss the fear. Rewrite your bucket list and keep rewriting it, because your journey is full of surprises and the biggest one of all is all the potential that lies inside of you.

“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So, get on your way!”

All italicized quotes from Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go

The following is a guest post by Juana Lopez. Enjoy!

“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, to work, to play, and to look up at the stars.” – Henry Van Dyke

Muse. Love. Beauty. These are words that bring on connotations of inspiration and newness. However, when we get wrapped up in the day-to-day tasks that we have to complete, we often do not see the avenues of inspiration that are all around us. It is important to take the time to view everything with fresh eyes. A mindset of newness must constantly be had so that each moment in our lives has the potential to inspire, not only ourselves, but also those around us.

One way to find inspiration is to look beyond what we find seemingly ordinary. An evening walk that is taken multiple times a week can grow dull and routine, but if we only focus on what seems “usual”, we will never see the unusual! Perhaps, there is a neighbor who tends to their lawn at the same time and there is an opportunity to make a new friend. Or maybe you never noticed how musically the birds chirp as the sun sets. I am often amazed at how much time I spend fixated on getting through the day, which only causes me to miss out on life’s little surprises. We have to learn to welcome those surprises with open arms!

Another avenue to find everyday inspiration is through things that make us happy. For example, I quite enjoy swimming and being in water, whether it is at the pool or the beach. It is that quiet moment when the water around me dulls outside noise or when I am standing at the point where the water meets the sand that brings me the most inspiration. From this, I become inspired to write poems and stories. It even inspires me to buy blue paint for my apartment or create sea shell jewelry!

A great practical way to find inspiration is to focus on the positive side of our circumstances instead of griping and complaining. It can be really difficult to do this, but it is worth it! Each situation in life then gains a silver lining making it easier to be inspired by any situation that we may be in. It allows us to find joy and delight in everyday events.

Many times, even the most difficult situations in our lives can bring inspiration to us. Quiet moments and chaotic moments bring inspiration to those who seek it out! Be encouraged that life never has to be monotonous! Look outside of that window; take a step beyond that door! Grab on, hold tight, and be INSPIRED!

Juana Lopez is currently pursuing her Master degree in Journalism at Regent University. She enjoys writing on her new blog The Rushing Calm.

There’s a good chance you were meant for more than what you’re doing right now.

Think about it. What did you want to be when you were a child? Before anyone told you it wasn’t possible? Before you convinced yourself you wouldn’t be any good at it? Now think about where you are now. See a difference?

I can count on maybe two hands and a toe the friends I have who are doing exactly what they were made to do. They’re teachers making their classrooms come alive. They’re musicians winning awards and composing symphonies. They’re owning their own businesses. I’m so impressed with their tenacity to chase down their dreams… and I’m curious as to why there aren’t more people like them.

Of course, for every person I know whose work is their passion, I know ten more people who are simply making a living. They can sing, but they’re stuck behind a desk. They’d be brilliant novelists if they weren’t squeezed into middle management. So many hopes and dreams are getting lost working 9-5.

Now, I believe you should be grateful for whatever place you’re in. But that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to stay there. Perhaps it all starts with learning that there’s more…

There is a great scene in the 1998 film Pleasantville where two teens are blasted back in time into a straight-laced, black-and-white sitcom from the 1950s. The girl, Jennifer (played by Reese Witherspoon), feels particularly out of place as everyone seems to be homogenized into perfect behavior in poodle skirts and sweater sets. One day in class, her teacher is talking about the geography of their town. Jennifer raises her hand and asks, “What’s outside of Pleasantville?” She is met with stares from the teacher and the entire class. It was the silliest question, because to them, their town was all they knew and all there was.

Have you ever been like that? Looking around at everyone else settled in the drudgery of life and wondered what else there is? You’re not alone.

Everyone is stuck in some version of “Pleasantville”, and it takes a brave soul to venture outside of it. Think you’re the one? Then, try. Reach. Step out of that black and white world and find your technicolor. Real life is risk, and you’ll never find out what you’re truly made of until you get out of your comfort zone.

I don’t know what your leap of faith needs to be. Maybe it’s as simple as taking an evening acting class or as grand as moving to New York City. Whatever it is, it’s not living where you’re bored, but comfortable. You were made to be challenged. You were made to rise above. And you’re definitely made for more than where you are today.

“There’s no limit to how much you’ll know, depending how far beyond zebra you go.” ~ Dr. Seuss

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