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MM# 13 – Can You Inspire Others, Really?

Three weeks ago I found myself on the ground crying and in pain.  I had just fallen on a sheet of ice.  I heard the familiar ligament snaps that I had heard doing the same thing 6 years earlier.  How could this be happening again?

I have been preparing for a race and a 2 week walking tour in May with a 20lbs pack.   I didn’t want to get up because as soon as I did I was going to have to face the recovery time – time I didn’t feel I had.

I needed a dose of inspiration.

One week after I moped around my home, eating a high carb diet of comfort foods, I went back to work.

Here is the conversation I had with six year old Brady who rarely interacts with his peers.

Brady: How’d you hurt your foot?
Jennifer: I fell on ice.
Brady: Did you cry?
Jennifer: Like a 4 year old.
Brady: (after holding my eye contact for 5 seconds): It must be really bad then.

Together we decided to make the sound of my foot breaking (using the instruments I had brought).  I told Brady that he was in charge and needed to lead the group.  He looked at his peers and gave them a nod. He started to play the sound of a cracking bone on a great wooden instrument with deep ridges, that when struck just right sounded like the ligament snaps I had heard the week before.  I was already starting to feel better.

The other 5 students (all ages 5 and 6) used other instruments to make the sound of 4 year olds crying and someone running to get help.

After a short period of time I suggested we move into feeling more happy.

Without skipping a beat Brady said to the group,  “like when you are 6.”

I definitely felt better and played along like a 6 year old who is happy.

How do you inspire others?  It is not by commenting on how well they are coping or dealing with something.  It is by giving a person the opportunity to demonstrate how they can still contribute to something greater than themselves.

I have been inspired by many of my clients, witnessing what they have been able to overcome,  BUT THEY HAVE FELT INSPIRED when given an opportunity to contribute regardless of their ability.

Finding inspiration for your self is very different than providing an environment where those around you feel inspired.  How often are people inspired when they are around you?

When we are inspired, we feel more motivated in our work and play.

Here is an inspirational video of a girl with NO fingers playing the piano (thank you Noreen Donnell, Blue Balloon, Music Therapist).


  • Delightful article, Jennifer.

    When someone like you works from the heart, and then writes from the heart, the spirit within me soars in response. What a wonderful way to start this day – with an article that brings home the message that we respond authentically, the world smiles or cries with us.

    My own tears this morning are not of pain, but of joy that there is you – doing this work with so much love. Thank you.

    • Thanks Jean. This meant a lot.

  • Great post on inspiration! So sorry to hear about your fall, but what wisdom Brady has passed on to you, to me, to everyone reading this post. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story!

    • Sometimes I feel selfish being in this business because of the HUGE reward. Our kids (and seniors and teens) are so great. Thanks Kat for posting.

  • Great site!

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