Visit Fridays Inspiration Online - Click Here!
Friday's Inspiration Weekly
Eyes Open Wide

Menu: This week's tasty bits. Click an item to load your plate!


Accept everything about yourself - I mean everything. You are you, and that is the beginning and the end - no apologies, no regrets.

I was once afraid of people saying, "Who does she think she is?" Now I have the courage to stand and say, "This is who I am."

Sometimes it takes a good friend, or someone very close to my heart, who loves me enough to not just point out my shortcomings, but to help me to rectify them. How can I gain a more objective view of who I am?

Entrée: Getting To Know YOU by Nancy Bishop       Back to top

Have you ever had the opportunity to be an observer in your life? While I was recovering from surgery, I spent three months just observing. I gained such clarity about what was important in my life. Just getting up, getting showered and into a chair for meals was a big deal and a huge accomplishment for the day. I savored my warm shower, clean pajamas and every meal so lovingly prepared. I felt nourished, comforted and grateful to be alive.

Stepping out of my daily routine allowed me to see that the essence of life isn’t in the busyness of doing, or in the titles or degrees we hold, or the balance of our checking accounts. All of our life, our experiences and relationships are important and worth so much more.

Funny thing is, when you are faced with a crisis your life quickly, and without reservation, becomes the priority. Work becomes secondary. Unfortunately, many of us in this culture have made our work our priority and the rest of our lives have taken a back seat. It’s not until we are faced with losing a job, illness, or loss of an important relationship that we realize that we have nothing to fall back on. Our relationships with friends, and partners may have become brief exchanges. We don’t have time for developing personal interests and hobbies or, when we do, we have no energy left.

The most important relationship, the one with ourselves, may be almost non-existent. The thought of sitting alone for one hour sends many, including me at one time, into a state of panic. When you let the nonessentials fall away from your life, you are then faced with YOU. It can be frightening if you haven’t spent the time getting to know yourself.

Many of us have also lost our inner voice from years of stuffing things down, not wanting to say anything to upset anyone and always trying to please. These years of stuffing and putting the lid on things can leave us disconnected and out of balance. Like a pot left unattended, it eventually boils over and leaves a mess to clean up.

One of the ways that I have found to develop this relationship with myself is by keeping a journal. I’ve kept one for many years. I recommend that, if you don’t already keep one, you give it a try. Get to know yourself by writing in your journal everyday. Write about the things you observe in your life. If you inner critic starts chatting away about how you can’t write then give voice to your critic. Let it say whatever it has to say. It will finally run out of things and you will then move in another direction. You may be amazed at the quality, the sound, and the strength of your own voice.

What the world needs now is for each of us to be who we truly are, and to bring our gifts into the world. Don’t hold back any longer. Be Present, Be You. That is enough. Really it is.

About the author:

Nancy Bishop is a Life Coach and Inspirational Writer. Her "special-tea" is to work with women who want to find more time, energy and abundance for the things that really matter in their lives. She also publishes a free monthly newsletter! Visit to find your cup of tea, and contact her to get things brewing. She can be reached at 603-357-4597 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Eastern Tea-Time) or click here to email Nancy.

Second Helping: Count Your Blessings by Darren & Donna McNees, co-authors of Honeymoon Marriage       Back to top

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.

Thankfulness is an attitude that we cannot be without and still expect to experience joy and peace of mind. Everything takes on a higher degree of value when you are genuinely thankful for it. Even the quality of your relationships improve with a grateful attitude.

May we never let the things we can't have, or don't have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have.

If you're married or in a committed relationship, it is almost impossible to be extremely grateful that you have been blessed with a wonderful partner and at the same time be upset about all of the things that he or she does that you don't like. Our minds are not very good at focusing on two different things at the same time. Therefore, you have the choice - you can either choose to focus on the negatives or you can choose to be thankful for the positives. Which choice do you think will improve the quality of your relationship?

When was the last time you took a complete inventory of your life? When was the last time you counted your blessings? Do it today. Start in your mind and then when the time is appropriate, move out and appreciate these things in person.

Go to the important people in your life and tell them how much you appreciate them and why. And don't do it once in a blue moon, but rather do it often.

Walk through every room in your home and look at what you have. Touch it as though you were admiring something that you have wanted for years. Be thankful that you have a bed to sleep on instead of sleeping on a dirt floor. Be grateful that you have heat in the winter and plenty of food to eat. Be thankful that your car didn't break down today or if it did, be thankful that you at least have a car.

Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.

Having more will not bring more happiness into your life. It is enjoying what you already have that brings forth joy. There are children running and playing in the woods right now, somewhere in the world, who are enjoying life and having more fun than children in America who are playing with their expensive video games.

If only the people who worry about their liabilities would think about the riches they do possess, they would stop worrying. Would you sell both your eyes for a million dollars, or your two legs, or your hands, or your hearing? Add up what you do have, and you'll find that you won't sell them for all the gold in the world. The best things in life are yours, if you can appreciate yourself.

And finally, be thankful for who you are. There is no one else on the planet like you, and you have a lot to offer others. Discover your talents and your passions and use them to the fullest of your ability. Be thankful for life - it is the only way to get the most out of it.

About the author:

Darren and Donna McNees, the co-authors of Honeymoon Marriage, can help you manage your money, your health, your marriage, romance, happiness and more. To subscribe to the free Honeymoon Marriage Newsletter and free Honeymoon Marriage Daily Moments, go to

Soup to Nuts: From the Feedback Button       Back to top

About No Place to Hide, Nowhere to Run, Jeanne wrote, "Wow! What wonderful pictures. Makes me feel I was there with you. Hope you have a wonderful time taking more of them. Remember to reflect on the tranquility of those images so you can re-energize. I am thinking of you. Love, your sis." Yeah, she really is my sister. I am in the process of putting the pictures in the Group photo album - I will let you know when they are there. F.I. Group members are welcome to add pictures to the album, too. Yahoo! sign-in is required, and storage space is limited!

So, the new navigation menu at the beginning of the newsletter is supposed to simplify the newsletter, and empower the reader. Any comments?

Click to send your FEEDBACK to me right now!

The Whine List: Huia Brut 1999       Back to top

Enjoy the Sports Whine of the Week with Huia Brut 1999, a Marlborough blend of 38% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir and 29% Pinot Meunier made in the classic 'traditional method' style. My, doesn't that sound tasty? This bubbly wine is soft, round and simply gorgeous. Their wine is available in NZ, Australia, USA, UK, parts of Europe and parts of Asia. Dial up their website to find your local distributor. Huia Vineyards is on the internet at

Main Course: Straight Up Now, Tell Me      Back to top

How I am perceived by others is important to me, and I should not necessarily shy away from critical self-evaluation. Critical self-evaluation, if done right, can help me understand my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges. It is necessary to engage in personal reflection, and constantly strive to become the best I can. In doing so, I can explore alternative approaches to doing things, rather than relying exclusively on ‘tried and tested’ methods.

However, self-evaluation is, by its very nature, biased and can rarely stand alone, because some individuals may find it very difficult to be honest with themselves and others about their difficulties. Overcritical self-evaluation can lead to a destructive form of self-judgment and other sorts of negativity. Who needs that?

In his book Autumn Wisdom, James Miller wrote, "You have, in the autumn of your life, a rare opportunity. From this perspective - one you've never had before - you can view your life from a distance. You can see where your years have led you, what they have given you, what they have taken from you, how they have formed you. You can also look into your future and plan and hope and dream. And you can take the time to look for something you've always been looking for, even if you haven't put it into words: the meaning in your life."

Sometimes, that "view from a distance" of simply living long enough is not sufficient to see what needs to be seen. Sometimes, I can't get far enough away from me to see me as others do. It is not just a matter of seeing the future, or recounting the lessons of the past, but more of an assessment of where I am right now. That, too, is part of finding the meaning in my life.

What is most helpful is to have close relationships with others who will give it to me straight, who will be absolutely honest and truthful with me. Thankfully, I have people like this in my life - people who love me enough to hang around while I go through all the stuff, learn the lessons and make the mistakes. I need a relationship or five like this with friends and family who feel comfortable enough to hand me the real deal, as they see it, and still care. Gary Zukav calls these individuals "spiritual partners," because they are concerned with my spiritual growth.

It is like a performance review at work, only on a more personal level and conveyed to me with love and compassion. A "spiritual partner" can hold up the mirror for me. "What do you see?" they say... and they patiently listen until I am done with my self-evaluation. Then, they lovingly, openly and honestly tell me what they see. And just like looking in a mirror, what I see in there is just a bit different than what others see when they look directly at me.

Not that they are 100% right in their opinion, but if I listen to what they have to say, I can learn and grow. They are in my life for a purpose, and what they may have to say can be vital to my self-improvement. What I learn can help me to live my life consciously, with my spiritual eyes open wide, able to see more clearly the Path of duty that lies before me.

Along with all the other abundance in my life, I am thankful for those spiritual partners that I have in my life, and I remain deeply grateful that I can depend upon them. After all, what help is someone who won't tell it to me as they see it - honestly, straight up?

Michael Rawls, Friday's Inspiration © 2003

Just Desserts - Also Highly Recommended:       Back to top

There have been more than 400 NEW AND UNIQUE visitors to the website during the last month - Thank you for your continued support! Over 400 of our partners on the Internet graciously recommend visitors to Friday's Inspiration. Please take time to visit the "Highly Recommended" links below. Stories that touch the heart and the mind, stories that bring a smile to your face, or a tear to your eye, emailed each Friday morning. By sharing stories of compassion, understanding, and creativity, you and create a kinder, better world in which to live. Good enough to pass on! Get a Subscription to 52Best today. Kindness has been Shmuel Greenbaum's personal response to terrorism. ;His wife, Shoshana, was murdered by a suicide bomber, one of over 100 victims that were killed or injured at 2:00 P.M. on August 9, 2001 at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem. The result of his response touches many lives through Kind Words, a free weekly email that contains inspiring stories along with successful techniques and exercises to improve your own ability to perform random acts of kindness.

Check, Please! Brought to you by F.I.'s *Shameless Commerce* Division:       Back to top

(100% of the proceeds from the sales of products and services advertised here will benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children - CASA.)

PERSONALIZED GIFTS - Purchase Halloween Gifts for every little ghost and all the big goblins! Add a personal touch to your gift giving with something unique from Personal Creations, and don't forget that there's more to Fall than just Halloween and Thanksgiving. Celebrate National Bosses Day (Oct. 16), Sweetest Day (Oct 18), and Veterans Day (Nov.. 11), all with a special personalized gift from!

THE POWER OF OXYGEN - All natural, hypo-allergenic, and pH balanced, oxygen-enhanced Veriuni Activated Oxygen products deliver a completely safe, non- toxic dose of concentrated oxygen that can:
* Nourish and help renew healthy cell growth * Help your body use vitamins, minerals and other nutrients more efficiently * Enhance the function of the immune system * Control dark circles under the eyes * Help deliver nutrients topically to the skin * Restore vital skin pH balance * Stimulate and invigorate your skin * Promote youthful skin tone and firmness * Help control the outbreak and severity of acne and other skin conditions * And much more.
But the benefits don't stop there. VAO's own EliminatO2r w/VUO2 and Stain O2ut w/VUO2 work outside the body, harnessing the power of Activated Oxygen to act as a powerful, yet completely safe bactericide, virucide, and fungicide for even the most demanding home and office environments. Discover for yourself the truly healthful power of oxygen. Purchase these fine products at

Party's over, go home - The rest of the stuff:       Back to top

Your suggestions for inspirational topics and inspiring authors are welcome. Guest Authors are encouraged to submit their article to - Article length should be limited to 600 words in any format, and should be on an appropriate subject for our subscribers. Please include a short biography and picture. Absolutely no business or marketing related articles will be accepted.

Friday's Inspiration continues to be visited by inspiration seekers from around the world! Help spread the word about this one-of-a-kind website. You are welcome to invite your friends to join us by forwarding this message. They may subscribe by sending a blank email to

Peace and Light,

Sign My Guestbook Get your own FREE Guestbook from htmlGEAR View My Guestbook