Of the many, MANY things I am grateful for in my life, having an abundance of inspiring women around me rates pretty high. Their gifts fill my heart, soul and mind.  {Allow me to state this: I am blessed to be surrounded by many men I adore and whom inspire…howevs, it IS International Women’s Day, so, I’m sticking with my sisters.} Inspiration  = in + spirare (latin for breath). And it is sooooo important to breathe, isn’t it?

When I am a quart low of inspiration, these are the women I turn to. You see, I believe that inspiration is all around us. It taps you on the shoulder all the time - you just may choose to ignore it. Stated more prettily:

Inspiration is very polite. She knocks softly and then goes away if we don’t answer. -  Mary Pipher

So I am pretty intentional about going out and huffing it in when I need it, like a sleep-deprived travelling salesman at an oxygen bar. I fill up my lungs with the good stuff.

Some of my sources of inspiration, you’ll not meet on-line. And how they inspire me may not be of interest to anyone else. Like my Mom for teaching me that living joyfully is really the only sensible way (more on her teachings in The Joy Pages, over on the right hand side of this site), or my sister for showing me the grace in contentment.  Or my beloved clients for the bravery they show in their desire to step boldly into their best selves. Or my Mother-in-Law for epitomizing commitment. Or my Aunt for being a beacon of strength. Or my close friends for the meaning of unconditional love. Or my daughter for the reminder to slow down even as she grows at a breakneck speed.

Apart from my Future Self, here are my sources of inspiration that you CAN find on-line:

When I need to explore wholeheartedness, I breathe in Brené Brown.

When I need courage, I breathe in Lisa Chandler.

When I need to some wide-eyed wonder, I breathe in Teresa Deak.

When I need a shot of whip-smart sassiness, I breathe in Kelly Diels.

When I need a model of “no” AND of generosity, I breathe in Danielle LaPorte.

When I need to find soul-nourishing beauty, I breathe in Jamie Ridler.

When I need to know resilience and "never-too-latedness", I breathe in Debra Eve.

When I need nice (ONE of my favourite four-letter words), I breathe in Carrie Klassen.

When I need to remember to savour AND serve, I breathe in Jen Louden.

When I need to find the middle ground between heart and mind, I breathe in Laura McGrath.

When I need to be return to the feminine essence, I breathe in Dara McKinley.

When I need to see the power in vulnerability, I breathe in Lindsey Mead.

When I need to be reminded about what wonders are available to all beyond the cubicle, I breathe in Pam Slim.

When I need to bring back the fabulous, I breathe in Katia Millar.

When I need to see the value in connectedness, I breathe in Tia Singh.

When I need some bombastic instigation, I breathe in Dyana Valentine.

Please do find them. Soak in their goodness, their teachings and then, breathe out. Energized and inspired.

Kind of like love and money, inspiration is meant to be shared. My request is this: take a moment to share in the comments which women inspire YOU.

And then, just because it will feel so damned good: tell them.