What inspires you? On giving back, living life and meditation

I am on day 17 of the 21-day Oprah + Deepak Chopra meditation challenge. My mom sent me a link the day before the start of the challenge, and just like that, I decided to be up for the challenge and to stick with it. There has been a couple days where I missed a meditation or two but was always able to make it up the next day. I meditate in strange ways quite frankly. I sometimes sit crossed-legged on my yoga mat with a lit candle, but more often than not, I find myself in savasana-style pose, in my bed right before I go to sleep or in my bath. I figured there were going to be days where I wasn’t up for the ‘traditional’ meditation sesh and I decided to be OK with that and do what felt right at the time. Meditating in the bath gets chilly and meditating right before bed (and usually around 11:30 at night!) puts me to sleep. Sometimes I wonder if I reap the benefits of this challenge because half the time I feel fidgety and my mind is going a million miles an hour and really, I don’t really sit THAT still…. What has changed though is my mind isn’t going a million miles an hour with worry or anxiety. It’s acting this way because this meditation challenge has helped me realize what I truly wanted to do in life, something I feel like I have always known but until now, had no idea how to access that desire. The meditation challenge has completely changed me. There was a switch that has been dormant in me for the past few years and a couple of meditation sessions switched it right back on. How crazy to think something as simple and easy as meditation would put me back in tune with my true desires!

It’s truly been a fantastic journey that has opened me up to my highest desires and which has gotten my mind buzzing with motivation and anticipation! This is great news and continuing meditation will help me stay grounded in my desires, which I believe remains important for any great success to come!

I still cannot believe how alive I feel right now. So much to do, so much to create!

A friend and I drove to Canmore on Sunday and I shared with her my aspirations. It felt so great to be open about what I’ve been up to and where I saw myself take my life next. She too is going through a similar phase and it was just pure joy to be able to share my goals and thoughts with her. To boot, the mountains were overwhelmingly beautiful as always. I always find that they give me the strength and courage to go on and follow my intuition, my gut feeling…their beauty is inspiring; always turn to nature for inspiration. It is where you will find true unspoiled beauty and true unspoiled beauty inspires, always… It was a quiet Sunday afternoon amongst the Rockies, a truly magical and inspiring Sunday afternoon hangout beyond words. What a gorgeous day!

All this new development in my life got me thinking of all things that inspire me. Books inspire me, nature inspires me, people who believe in living their dreams, not simply watching them from afar. People who are not afraid to take a risk; people who live life in honesty and who give back inspires me greatly too! I stumbled upon The Giving Keys, a company who employs those transitioning out of homelessness. Their concept is amazeballs! Or The Rocky Mountain Soap’s new toxic-free campaign! Wow! It’s great to hear of people coming up with new concepts that have meaning and that give back!! Bring it on world!

Meditation and yoga will never seize to inspire me; lately, even swing dancing has inspired me. What a great way to let loose, live a little, not be afraid to look silly and let go of one’s busy day! What a great way to be a part of a community too! It is rare nowadays to find a community of people who get together to dance, live and laugh. Might as well enjoy it while we can! Community is important! We are too disconnected!! Dance brings people together, it makes you connect and it makes you feel alive!!

Fashion has always inspired me. Being unique in how you dress, trying something new, the love for beautiful things, beautiful textiles, beautiful objects…candles, vintage suitcases…

As always my list can go on and on because the world truly inspires me. A crack in the sidewalk inspires me! The snow, the fog, the wind…

Tears of joy inspire me…reading about random-acts-of-kindness made my day. Read about it here. I really like the train story (the things we can do when we unite!) and the opponent’s cake story (wow, beautiful).

Anyway, enough about me….I want to know what inspires YOU? Leave your comments, pass it forward.

Live your life.
Claire

In love with Frances Ha

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Frances Ha 

Director: Noah Baumbach

Writers: Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver

Viewed: at CUFF 2013

Frances Ha will change your life: Frances Ha is the story of a contemporary dancer who is working towards being part of a dance company on a full-time basis. She lives in New York with her best friend Sophie with whom she is extremely close. They sleep in the same bed, say I love you to each other a lot, and have these big dreams of living these full and exciting lives. As Frances puts it, they’re like a lesbian couple minus the sex. Then one day, Sophie moves out, leaving Frances unable to pay rent by herself, which forces Frances to find a new place to live. She moves in with rich art kids with differing values in a beautiful apartment she thinks she’ll be able to afford better once she gets a part in the winter production of her dance company. When she doesn’t, she is forced to find other living arrangements and ultimately ends up living in a dorm room at her old college. As most protagonists would have fallen hard at this point, Frances chooses to make the most of each day. It’s the story of a strong woman who stays true to herself, joyful and full of light and decides to ride the wave instead of being engulfed by it. Frances is not perfect which makes her completely relatable to. She makes reckless errors along the way – like her weekend trip to Paris which leaves her completely penniless – or her stubborn decision to not take the office job proposed by her dance teacher in the meantime of finding a dancing gig. But these errors all ultimately end up being blessings in the form of life experience which takes Frances closer to her dream.

The film itself is filled with hilarious dialogues and quirky humour and the choice of black and white fits the story paradoxically well.  It adds this sense of mystery and playfulness. The film wouldn’t be the same in color. Frances Ha is one of the funniest and smartest film I have seen in years. Plus, don’t you want to find out the story behind Frances’ very short last name?

-Claire Miglionico