Tag Archives: inspiration

Friday’s Free Refill: The Joy of Inspiration

This past weekend my long time college friend Lisa and I said, Sayonara, to our hubbies, kids, dogs, all of our responsibilities, packed up her car, hit the highway and never looked back. When I asked Lisa on our drive to Portland what her intention for the weekend was she took a deep breath, “I want  you to have fun this weekend, that will bring me joy.” It was my first trip away after a long winter of foot surgery recovery, I was ready to choose joy for sure.


We stayed with her aunt and uncle, whom I could easily adopt as my own family. I acclimated quickly to their beautiful home, open hearts and peaceful way of living.


It is impossible to spend time with another person and walk away unchanged. Our interactions, sharing, connection and simply the experience of being in their energy motivates, inspires and wakes us up to our own creativity and purpose within. For instance, on this visit, our first conversation of the weekend was about their newly inspired kick to follow the advice of internationally renowned, Japanese born, de-clutter and organization expert, Marie Kondo. The author is all about tidying up based upon her method of keeping only “what brings you joy.” My friend’s uncle and aunt have always been tidy and organized, this new motivation deepened that awareness of organization. Their united passion for the way they live is fueled by inspiration from a particular era. My first visit with Lisa, a decade ago, was during their Victorian period. Their homes have been in magazines and their own expertise has been written about in a number of publications. In their new since my last visit, current home Japanese antiques adorn their 1920’s bungalow. I was revisited with memories of living in Japan back in my early twenties as a recent college grad. This sparked sharing stories I had forgotten with our hosts as well as chatting in Japanese with my friend’s uncle, watching a 1953 Japanese film and of course going out for sushi. Forgotten memories resurfaced of a very happy and exciting time in my life. Although, I didn’t come home ready to move to Tokyo, I did come home with new inspiration.


On Monday, attending to the grocery shopping, household chores and mom responsibilities, I had the sudden urge to plant and fill the house with beauty. I stopped at the local nursery and bought petunias for our front porch pots and more basil and bright colored plants for the back deck. Basil brings me joy, I make lots of pesto in the summer. Bright pink flowers call out to me to smile.  This yearning for beauty found me buying sunflowers for the living room and a new succulent potted plant for our entry way. I felt myself re-energize as I dug in the dirt outside and arranged flowers inside.


On our way back home to Seattle, Lisa and I discussed how we could create our own de-clutter method for each of our homes. We aren’t necessarily going to follow the Kondo rules, but instead adopt rules of motivation that work for us. We are calling it the JenLi method. (I will keep you posted in future blogs.)


This visit ignited planting more flowers and creating a new de-clutter plan. Interactions change us. Transform us beyond words. Even if Lisa’s uncle and aunt were slobs and didn’t serve our tea from an antique teapot, the experience still could have inspired me to choose flowers and keepsakes from a place of joy. The fact is every experience is an opportunity for inspiration. On our drive both to and from Lisa and I caught up on each other’s family life, work, challenges and we sang from the top of our longs to music from the 1970’s. If that doesn’t bring joy then I urge you to find your own era and a person who warms your heart to sing along with you.


Hello! I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Coach for your Life and Spirit. I have been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. One of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching for women, men, teenagers, and couples, in person in Seattle and by phone.  2017 Mini-retreats in West Seattle 9:30 – 2 pm. Next one, September 15 (3 seats left). Limited availability, register early. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.


Friday’s Free Refill: Finish the Fire

Getting inspired to do new things, start new projects is how writer friend, Sonya Elliott and I are wired. There comes a time when we both need to STOP and complete the pile of projects we have started before adding a new one to our list. Do you get inspired to start lots of things and then don't always finish everything you start?
Getting inspired to do new things, start new projects is how writer friend, Sonya Elliott and I are wired. There comes a time when we both need to STOP and complete the pile of projects we have started before adding a new one to our list. Do you get inspired to start lots of things and then don’t always finish everything you start?

The Seattle Schools Teacher Strike wasn’t going to stop my writing with Sonya on Thursday. We started this writing journey together nine years ago this month and it is my church, my sanity, my heartbeat, my one thing I do every week that fills my cup for sure. We usually meet at each others homes, but with sleeping teenagers in both homes we chose to meet at our neighborhood coffee shop.


Different time, new place, same intention. We show up to write.


Sonya and I spend the first half an hour of our writing time together writing eachother a letter full of the past weeks activities, catching the other up on our life. In yesterday’s reading aloud of our letters once again, like many Thursdays, there were parallels. We both are doers. New ideas, new projects, new goals constantly being thrown into the fire. But we both realized that this is the time to finish current projects, reach current goals, stay on task before adding more to the fire.


Aaaah. We love to add it to the list. Sparked genuinely by so many things. Pulled in a hundred directions because those directions call us and light us up.


Now is the time to tend our current fires. We have a writing project we have been talking about doing together for years now. It won’t go away. The kindling will be kept dry. It is time to finish what we have both began in our own worlds before building another fire together so to speak.


Intention. Focus. One thing at a time.


What project is waiting to be finished in your life? The hard part is behind you. You started it now comes the even harder part, finishing it. (Harder only in your mind if you allow it.) Go back to your intention. Is it still relevant? If yes, focus. Write down the steps that need to happen. Break them down to the ridiculous. Do one thing a day, one piece of the puzzle at a time. One piece of kindling in the fire at a time until it is burned out and set aflame. Adding more to it can dampen what you have going, extinguish the original spark before it has had time to blaze in its full glory.


Sonya and I could start more projects, list out more goals but for now we both want to focu on what is front of us, what we have already started. (Do check out her published memoir, Back on the Court and her weekly blogs for basketball and writing inspiration, www.sonyaelliott.com.)


If you are open to it before you consider embarking on a new project that excites you, ask yourself, Have I finished my other projects? Is starting something new going to keep me from completing my other projects?

And back to how I started this whole post, my hope for the Seattle Schools Teacher’s Strike is that the teachers keep their flame lit and cross the finish line reaching their goals and holding on to their inspired intention.

Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. Visit her website for more information. If it is an accountability partner you seek, Jenny offers life and spiritual coaching in person in Seattle and by phone. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Lit Up

Inspired by mom snapping morning photos of her cup of tea, my kiddos get in on the action. My kids inspire me to live deeply, laugh often, and drink lots of caffeine.

For my birthday, my girlfriend gave me tea. Each tea bag has its own unique quote attached it. Today’s gift: Inspiration is an unlimited power.

That indeed it is. So how do we keep tapping into that power within all of us?

We all have different methods, routines, rituals and things we do that kick off our inspiration. For me it’s relationships. I get so inspired for life just by connecting to another – through our words and exchanges the fire within get lit.

After connection I do need quiet reflection, processing time, to stoke the fire, if you will.

Driving in my car, on my yoga mat, walking the dog, in the shower, swimming laps – are all places I hear the whispers of inspiration.

It’s about creating space, your space, to hear and feel, so you can get up and dance by the fire.

Friday’s Free Refill: Movie Time

No school for the kids today. We are off to the movies. Movie time fills me up. I escape to another world. My creative inspiration gets a kick, I awaken to ideas, I am entertained.

So we will give this Lorax movie a try.

What movies could you watch over and over? Tell us about your movie list? What movies inspire and motivate you?  What was the first movie you saw in the theatre? What was your child’s first movie.

I will sit in the middle, one hand on each child and I will let the magical world of the big screen fill my cup.