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  • Writer's picturealliemacs

Be YOU. And INSPIRE.

Updated: Apr 12, 2019

I'm coming off the weekend in a state of bliss. Josh and I had the opportunity to dine and stay at the #WillowsInn on Lummi Island. Of course - anytime we get the chance to have a kid-free, cooking-free getaway is a treat, but this was a REAL treat. (A big thank you to my very generous parents for the Christmas gift two years ago - I cannot believe we waited this long to use it!)


It wasn't just time with the hubs and a fancy dinner - what was so incredible about the experience is how passionate the team at the Willows are in what they do. So much thought and care goes into every ingredient, every table setting, every floral arrangement, the music, the overall hospitality, and every detail you could possibly think of. This served as yet another example to me that when people are living their passion and using their gifts - it is inspiring. You can't help but be inspired to do what YOU love. I don't know if it's this time in my life or if all of a sudden I had an epiphany at some point - but I keep having this same experience over and over.


I have a friend who is a photographer and her passion shines through every photo she takes and every beautifully worded post on social media. We took a photography class during high school (we were the only two in the class) and we'd spend the hour together driving around and finding inspiration in the every day.


I'M INSPIRED.


Another friend who has been a stay at home mom for 10 years decides to become a flight attendant part-time and use the travel benefits for her and her family. She had talked about it when we were younger before getting married and having a family. She's always loved those sunny getaways.


I'M INSPIRED.


Another friend homeschools her kids and just absolutely loves it. Her mom was a teacher, and I've always seen that in her.


I'M INSPIRED.


Another friend is a stay at home mom, and she is the most passionate stay-at-home mom I've ever met. She loves having family breakfast around the table before school, snacks ready when her kids come home from school, and going all out on every holiday with decorations and themed dinners.


I'M INSPIRED.


When you see people doing what they are meant to do, you just feel it. You can't help but be inspired.

Another friend cleans houses. But she doesn't just clean peoples homes - she develops relationships with them and cares about them. An old couple she cleans for - she gets their groceries every week and watches out for them. Another old woman she cleans for wasn't acting quite right - she contacted the woman's daughter and ended up bringing the woman to the hospital where they discovered she had a stroke. Is her passion and purpose to clean? She DOES love to clean. But I'd say her passion is to help people - and that's what she does through cleaning. Her mom was a nurse - she always wanted to go into the medical field. She's using her gifts in perhaps not the most obvious ways - but she's using them in the exact way she is meant to at this time in her life.


I'M INSPIRED.


I could honestly go on and on about all the people in my life that inspire me. You ALL know who you are. And if you aren't on there, you know you're on my list.


I don't think living our passion and using our gifts need to be grandiose or carried out in a specific profession. It could be in the way you love and care for your family. It can be in the way you listen to your client or co-worker, it could be the smile and small talk when you're checking someone out at the grocery store, or when you're a customer standing in line at the grocery store.


We see a lot in the media about finding your passion, following your dreams, yadi yadi ya. I agree with that, but I think a common misconception from those messages is that these need to be big life changes or career changes. NO! Living your passion should and can be incorporated into your every day life.


My grandma and my mom (and aunts) were both stay at home moms, and they were amazing at it. They were (my mom and aunts still are) amazing cooks, bakers, designers, artists, flower arranges, homemakers. You don't meet many women who are hospitable as them - and what a gift it is to be hospitable. I remember hearing a story from my mom's friends who used to rent a house from my grandparents - she used to go and drop off her rent check, and my grandmother would always invite her in for coffee and some sort of fresh baked good. She said my grandma always made her feel so welcome. My mom does the same thing - she'll drop everything and give someone her full attention, no matter what she was in the middle of. I don't know if that gene got passed down to me - they set the bar pretty high.


I'M INSPIRED.


I know I've only mentioned women, but there are so many men who also inspire me, promise. But lately I've been most moved by my girlfriends and women figures in my life.


What's Yo' Passion?


What lights you up inside? What did you used to love when you were a kid? What activities got you so excited? I believe our passions are inherent and always exist within us - coming out in different ways during different seasons in our lives.


I've always loved helping people. I also have always ended up being center stage, whether it was karaoke or speaking at graduation. It's funny to say that because if you tell me to get up and speak in front of a group of people I may break out into hives. But now I get up in front of people every week and tell them what to do for a whole hour! But I haven't broken out into hives yet. I like it if I'm prepared.


Ever since college when I took some of my first yoga classes, I thought it would be so cool to be a yoga teacher - to know so much about your body and to be able to help others. I've always loved helping people and being a leader. AWESOME! It's our inner critic that screws shit up, shuts down our excitement, and prevents us from being who we are meant to be. "I could never do that." "I'm not even flexible." "I'm not that 'type' of person." Once I pushed that negativeness aside - (15 years later) then I actually pursued a dream. It wasn't anyone else stopping me, I was in my own way. Sure, worrying about what certain people would think stopped me - but it wasn't them stopping me, it was the doubt in myself.


Everything happens in the right time.


For a long time, I thought my Sociology degree was a waste because I had never put it to use. My plan was to go to grad school and get my K-12 Counseling degree. When I realized how heavy a lot of the situations would be, I just didn't think I could handle that - I would end up taking everyone's problems home with me and be sad all the time. "A waste of 4 years at college and a waste of money," I thought. "I should have just finished with Business school." But those thoughts have changed, because I realize there was a reason I was drawn to the degree. Sociology was all about the study of people, understanding people, psychology, etc. I loved learning about it. And being able to understand people has been a great tool in how to help someone. I've come to accept that things come in seasons. I've been using my gifts in other ways the last 15 years, and it's been good. It was a different season of life, busy with kids, working for the family business - it wasn't the right time. But my season of yoga came right at the right time.

People come to yoga for all sorts of reasons - to stretch, to be stronger, a doctor told them to come, they are depressed....it's a mixed bag. I came for a workout and to stretch but then started coming for mental relief during a difficult time. I can use my sociology degree right there in the yoga studio. Not necessarily by trying to figure everyone out, but by providing a safe place for people for whatever reason they came, and by attempting to understand what people may need. Then teach accordingly. I love it. And if yoga didn't come in this season, I wouldn't have a story of what brought me to yoga in the first place.

The more I try to be myself and do what I love, the happier I am and the happier the people around me seem to be. And the more others inspire me. Like attracts like? A good season? I don't know but It's funny how a beautiful dining experience could lead to a whole piece on inspiration.


Peace. Allie


Just by being you, just by being your unique beautiful self, you're inspiring others to do the same for themselves. -Brittney Carmicheal


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