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Let me start by saying that I am humbled by this award and by James’ kindness. Although I have been amazed at the support I’ve received since deciding to come here in March, James has impressed me not only with his words but with his grace. It’s a trait I admire and one not generally held by men (perhaps because they view it as a weakness). I believe it is a sign of strength, and anyone who spends some time with his words (his story) ~ The Way Home ~ will surely recognize it as such. Perhaps that is what endears him to me, that he has (as I have) suffered through the fire and come out ‘clean’ on the other side. Regardless, he is a gentleman and a formidable talent, and I am grateful for his presence and his belief in me.

Things about myself that you may not have learned from my blog.

1. I never give up. The rules apply to software glitches, Sudoku puzzles, and people.

2. The things I take the most pride in are the things I talk about the least.

3. My favorite movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life”. It isn’t just my favorite Christmas movie, but my favorite in general for it touches on the one thing we do not know – the affect we have on other lives just by being, just by loving.

4. I don’t like drama and so I tend not to share a lot about myself. The only exception is if it will help someone else to realize their own power.

5. I am 1/16 Cherokee Indian and go barefoot year round (except where it is deemed unacceptable behavior). 🙂

6. I’m an ‘evolved’ hippie, and try to live my life according to a few steadfast rules: (a) Never let a problem to solve become bigger than a person to love. (b) Where you are has nothing to do with who you are. (c) The worst thing to happen to you can be the best thing to happen to you. (d)This moment is my gift. (e) Be unafraid to live and unafraid to break rules that don’t make sense (the things that matter most – like love – are only made less when confined by rules).

7. I prefer the rural roads to the freeway. I love cantaloupe with pepper and drive (as a general rule) with one foot in the seat.

Pass this on to 7 other blogs you find inspiring and explain why.

Okay, this is difficult for me and part of the reason is that I don’t care much for rules that limit our ability to show grace, love or gratitude. But in the spirit of being a team-player, I will try.

Keep in mind that my choices are based on the things that inspire me, and sometimes that is more than words or use of grammar, but rather a feeling I experience when visiting any of these blogs and/or the people who share bits of themselves with us (me). Also, these are in no particular order (because love isn’t that way) so don’t ascribe any meaning to the comments or who’s first and who’s not. (REMEMBER: I hate rules.)

1. Sometimes inspiration is found in odd places. If for no other reason (although there are many, including his sense of humor and creativity), Dan inspires me with the shear amount of work he puts out every day (and I thought I was a little ‘over the top’). You can check-out Dan at ~ D.P. Bowman – Musings of  Poet.

2. Heartwinds by Linda Willows is a blog bursting with beauty, love and peace. Linda’s ability to marry image to words is phenomenal and her understanding of life and love keeps me coming back again and again.

3. I couldn’t even think of creating a list without including Wendell. While he may not realize it, his inspiration to me is in the form of his notes of encouragement, but I have read through the comments given to him and his in return, and know that his presence here is a ministry all its own. If you haven’t already, please visit him at Forever Poetic.

4. If you’re looking to be inspired, most often you seek out the person who is somehow managing what you are afraid to do. For that reason, I include Jane’s blog among those that move me ~ Jane Thorne Thoughts from a Writer & Medium. It takes amazing courage to follow your dreams, and even more to laugh at the mistakes you make in getting there.

5. Oh crap, I’m running out of numbers (time to break a rule). There are four women who inspire me with their postings, but even more by the beauty that I see within them. None are perfect and so they are! They inspire me because regardless what life hands them, they love. They are strong and amazing women, who surely have realized that their strength is their weakness and there is freedom in their flaws. Please visit Dee ~ Lililes Sparrows & Grass; Vanessa at Ordinary Life…Less Ordinary; Mary Rose at Lady Blue Rose’s Thoughts Into Words; and Jeannie at The Writernubbin. They are proof that truth is more than just words, and love more than you can hold in your hand.

6. Although maybe not inspiring in the ways we most often use that word, Dean inspires me to always be true to myself. Early on when I thought of leaving, he threw himself in front of the door, and every single day, his words inspire me with their mystery, intimacy, and wisdom. He’s a fabulous writer, and already a dear friend. Check-out Dean J Baker – Poetry & Prose Poems.

7. When it comes to inspiration, some writers have a way of expressing themselves that show us not only their talent, but their soul. Were it not for his light, I might not have ever found this place. If you’re looking for inspiration or answers that move you to question more, you’d be wise to visit Peter’s blog at Grandfather Sky.

Lastly, I wanted to say how extraordinary it is to find so many people who are searching for truth and a deep understanding of the unrestrained power of love.

Truly ~ my love,