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Finding Inspiration

[caption id="attachment_4196" align="alignright" width="190"] Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA[/caption] How do you find inspiration when you need to uplift your spirits? Do you listen to music, read a book, take a walk in a nearby park, create artwork, do journal writing, cook, or indulge in some other activity?  My three favorite ways of finding inspiration are music, writing, and reading.  I’d love to hear what your source of inspiration is for weathering the peaks and valleys in life.  But, for now, let’s explore some author names and book titles that you might add to your collection of inspirational works. A Google search for “inspirational authors” will give you such focused lists such as: I was pleased to see that these lists identified both male and female authors who are from different cultures, ethnicities, and generations.  During my growing up years, male authors dominated the readership of inspirational works from Dale Carnegie to Norman Vincent Peale and from Og Mandino to  Zig Ziglar.  Several of Og Mandino’s fictional works top my list of favorite inspirational readings—The God Memorandum, The Greatest Miracle in the World, and The Return of the Ragpicker.  Mandino’s storytelling style leaves you wondering if his characters are fictional or real as he takes you on a journey of discovery about the meaning of life and hope. If you’re looking for contemporary authors who write inspirational fiction or poetry, you can turn to works by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Maya Angelou, Stephen Covey, Toni Morrison, and Anthony Robbins, to name just a few.  Or, check out this link to 23 Contemporary Writers You Should Have Read by Now or click here to browse through a list of popular inspirational books.  Among some of the popular inspirational titles are Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, The Help by Katherine Stockett, Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss,  Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, and more. If you’ve read any of these popular works, you’ll recognize that inspirational works appear in children’s and adult books from picture books to biographies, memoirs, and fiction and nonfiction writings.  You’ll read about light-hearted stories to stories about despair to overcoming hardships and positive thinking.  Inspiration can come from many sources and can transport us to many places and unfamiliar worlds.  Often inspirational works are transforming, expanding the lens by which we view the world, increasing our understanding of other perspectives and beliefs, and making positive changes in our own lives. So, who are the authors whose works have inspired you and touched a deep place in your heart?  What life lessons have you learned from reading books? Many life lessons appear in one of the most ancient of books, the Bible, and in the teachings of Jesus.  Have you been transformed by your reading of biblical passages?  Do you want to be immersed in a community whose life flows from contemplation and is embodied in a life of prayer, study, community, and ministry?  If so, contact one of our Vocation Ministers to learn more about discerning religious life with the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

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