Welcome to my Daily Inspiration - Daily Quote. See today's daily inspirational quotes below.
May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Friday, February 25, 2011

Questions for author Mary Anne Radmacher

QUESTIONS and Mary Anne Radmacher's ANSWERS

Question: Please could you explain the difference between Living with Intention and say living with Inspiration?

Mary Anne Radmacher's Answer...

My INTENTIONS inspire me to consider certain actions. There are many things in the course of my day that inspire me. My intentions are like a giant bulldozer in the middle of a wild, overgrown glade. My intentions clear a path and allow me to head in the direction of my longings, my passions. My intentions make it possible for me to lay down a road of clarity and goals, upon which I articulate the mission and purpose of my life.

How does one overcome the need for apathy and truly entice people to forgive?

The only way that I am familiar with is this:
to overcome my own apathy and forgive myself and others. It is my own forgiveness that I govern.


I have taken a leap of faith and made a possible life changing decision by resigning from my secure job in order to take time out to heal and learn more about myself and what path I need to follow to be fulfilled.

My question is: Even though I have done this and I have weighed up the pro's and con's, why then is my faith wavering and how do I remain calm and focused through this time without tipping the sails in my usual manner when things feel hopeless?

I ask myself, when faced with the "what if's" to consider what is real in the moment. And then I do one thing toward the thing, event, potential that is causing me anxiety. Then, like an insistent child, the anxiety seems quieted that I have "seen" it. Then I return to the matter of significance in front of me.

There is hope found in your desire to live a more meaningful life. The answers to your questions are often closer than you suspect.

I trust you'll embrace the healing that you seek in this time you have chosen for yourself.


My question is to Mary Anne regarding her new book. I will be turning 40 this summer and have been struggling most of my adult life with anxiety/self doubt. I have been successful in my career and family life, but feel like I have am not fulfilled inside, almost bored.

My question is: Is this book written to help guide us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and find joy in the simple things of life and helping others?

Yes. That one of the reasons for the book. Let me note I advocate service and help to self, first in order to be healthfully in service to others.

If you follow the trail of your own enthusiastically repeated stories, you will begin to rediscover the things that invigorate and enliven you. (For example-Watch what makes your speech speed up when you talk about it?)

In my own deepening understanding of myself I find my capacity to serve others is deepened as well. The better I am at self-care the more genuinely nurturing of others I am able to be.

Boredom is a real litmus test that you are, perhaps, not connected to the true intentions of your life. When my "ten things" are present in high proportion, then anything I do in a day is a simple joy. Watch and observe yourself. See what enthuses and energizes you. Listen for when your speech quickens and hear what stories are repeated at every opportunity. In discovering those things, the truth of what your core intentions are will begin to be clear.


My question is more a situation. I have recently found out that i have diabetes and to top that off my thumb joints and knee joints are painful due to severe arthritis. The next 2 years of my life will be spent in surgery or pain.

I have been feeling very sorry for myself due to all of the things I once could do I no longer can.

I have been searching for motivation, inspiration, hope, and joy. I am not finding it at this time.

What would you do if life was so intense for you?

I have faced physical disability. Financial duress. Severe illness. In those times I remain close to my own belief/vision/sense of my life. I've been in conversation with myself throughout the day: comforting myself, inviting and invigorating and reminding myself of what matters most to me.

When life has been so intense I've also remained very close to my trusted circle of friends...allowing them to remind me of various graces of my life. Pain is a difficult mistress. When I was seized up by rheumatoid arthritis and couldn't even walk a full block...I did what I could. I celebrated being able to accomplish even the smallest things. AND I made certain that I was as fully educated on my conditions and doing all that I could to take the best care of myself.

I find motivation and inspiration and hope in information.

In my own physical/health challenges I've dived right in to research and exploration of alternatives and options. I discovered that there was a world of information available. Learning about the systems of my body, how my blood works and the impact of nutritional choices on the quality of my health were all empowering actions.

When one's health is compromised and pain and weariness are companions, it is a challenge to "rally" enthusiasm for learning and study. But when I faced serious consequences from some health issues, the better student I became, the better patient I was. I am participant in my health care direction, not simply a patient accepting the direction of a single health care provider.

Pain is a difficult companion. There's no getting around that. But, if pain is to be a companion, searching and discovering your own best ways to travel with that pain will lead you to the joy that you long to have. They are your paths, your ways and while my experience and the experiences of others may inspire you, ultimately it will be the choices you discover and make for yourself that lead you to certain joy in the midst of your challenges.


I am very down, stressed, I read your daily inspirations, I try to follow but sometimes I am so hurt, I don’t have the energy to face the evil people.

Why is there problem for me wherever I go? I am helping, don’t hurt anyone, go out of the way to help people, but people use me including my colleagues, friends and co-workers.

The day that a car drove past me and splattered mud all over my brand new expensive hand woven shawl ...something important dawned on me. The driver of that car didn't set out to cover me in mud. Didn't plan it. Didn't seize the opportunity to cover me with wet dirt. In fact, that driver was very likely unaware that they had even done anything to me. And yet - the truth of it was that my beautiful new shawl was drenched in dirty road mud.

It wasn't personal. It was not about me or toward me. I STILL had to deal with the consequences of cleaning the mud off me and my clothes. But I didn't take any time pondering whether it was "fair" or not.

Let me tell you a shift in conversation I continue to introduce into my thinking. When it appears that I have been taken advantage of I try to accurately observe, "I allowed that individual to take advantage of me." I ask myself how might I do something differently, next time, so that I might be able to report, "I was able to shift the circumstance so that I was able to speak up for myself and not allow myself to be taken advantage of?" The question remains the same for anyone, but the answer would be unique to you.


If we live with intention, where does fate and destiny come in? Do we need to leave some things to the higher powers at be? Or will those things fall into place with our intention?

What "falls into place" for me in my days, when I live close and with my intentions, is my joy. Living in accord with those things which are my closest intentions - means that regardless of the circumstances of the day, I have brought my best effort and truest qualities to all of my day. Consideration of fate and destiny is a substantial matter. I would say this to you - what you understand fate and destiny to be is peculiar to your own experience of it. Apart from my view of fate or destiny, my intentions really define the qualities of my daily experience...moment by moment.


Mary, how did you do it to become an inspiring, encouraging and motivational writer?

I reached deeply into my own soul and began writing at a young age. Writing helped me make sense of elements in my life experience that seemed to make little sense. Through writing I realized the truth of the sub-title of my book, "Rediscovering What We Deeply Know." I knew what I needed to live a resilient and happy life: the truth of it was deep within my soul. Through the practice of writing I was able to reach into and pull out that truth. And "how I did it" was consistent and regular writing and observing the events and experiences of my life. When I felt I grasped a thing for myself - I would then share it with others.


It has been said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. What is the road to heaven paved with? How about the road to Purgatory?

I've had this question posed to me with varying degrees of seriousness in the
two decades since I wrote the poem. With consideration I say that true intentions are not good or bad. They are yours or not yours. True to yourself or not true to yourself. So, of course, the road to hell would be paved with "good" intentions. Because intentions that are simply good but not passionately claimed by their adherent are illusions, like empty or shallow promises.

My intentions form the dynamic core of my most successful, enjoyable and productive days: that feels like Heaven in the moment.

Purgatory. It is an in between place, a place of transition. I believe my answer is the same.


How do you suggest to keep being positive when you keep getting hurt by people who know that their actions dictate a reaction but then state that they are not responsible for your reaction to their actions.

Jonathan and I really address this specific thing in our coauthored book,
"Simply An Inspired Life."

I emphasize the word RESPONSE rather than reaction. I like to talk about a thing I call a "practiced pause." Just a few moments of pausing allows me to consider a circumstance and take stock of what the best direction might be. Reactions tend to rise from habit and unconsidered action. A Response is considered and thoughtful. And I have to say that in general I agree that
other people are not responsible for either my reactions or responses. My actions are my own and I am, singularly, responsible for what I see, say, feel and exert. Eleanor Roosevelt said, and I agree, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."


"Judgment and weariness are foes to service and generosity."

In service to others, traumatic memories of others are absorbed unwittingly through Limbic resonance.

How are we present and available for others? How do we cleanse ourselves of the weariness created by bearing witness to others in their strife and healing journey?

What a multi-layered and complex question. I struggled many years with wearing and bearing the pain of others. Bringing harm to myself by inadvertently taking on the trauma of another.

I began to consider myself a conduit, or a bridge. In service to another being a means by which they could lift their vision or be inspired. As a bridge I learned to help another heal, not by trying to heal them but rather to be a mirror that they would discover the means to their own healing.

In practical terms, when I am in a position of service to another or others, I take excellent care of myself, drink a lot of water, get plenty of sleep and I make sure, hold myself accountable, that I do not hold on to a burden that is not mine to bear.


I've always admired Mary Anne's wonderful art and the quotes that go with it. However, I haven't had the opportunity to read her books which I'm sure must be wonderful. I also admire the thoughtful and well connected quotes you put out every day - thank you for the inspiration.

Here's my question:
My blog is called Everyday Gyaan. Gyaan is the Sanskrit word for wisdom and I believe that wisdom and inspiration come to us in the everyday events of our lives. I wish to understand (and then be able to share with my readers giving due credit of course) how living with intention translates in to our daily lives?

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to add to my understanding.

When an individual is aware of their personal intentions, it translates in to daily life by enlivening our activities, heightening our contentment and satisfaction with our actions and attitudes. Some people confuse intentions with goals. I'll use this metaphor: intentions are the plans for how a house will be structured and built. Intentions build the structure of the house. Goals make sure the house is sheet rocked, painted, appointed and decorated.


I was sent an email every day now for a week. Your book and quotes were included in this. I had read, "Teachers or any professionals might be tempted to ask if their purpose on the planet might be a level deeper than originally thought. An initial thought is we are here to inspire many others. What if it’s really to inspire the few who will, in turn, inspire the many? Or, more to the point, to influence one who will, in turn, change the world. Today may be that day. Your one day to have that single most important influence on the life of another human being." I just wanted to ask you a simple question: What should I do if there is someone who has influenced me so much, and I haven't told them that? Should I?

"appreciate your friends."

Expressing appreciation to the significant people in my life is one of my intentions.

I take every opportunity to articulate to others the ways that they have blessed and influenced me. I hold sweet memories of making the opportunity to thank teachers who have influenced me. I encourage everyone to seize opportunities to tell people who have made a gift of knowledge or influence.


I am a single mom of six. I have only three living at home and three that come for the summer. I feel that my children do not appreciate anything, and they act as if the world owes them something. Do you feel that your book living with intention will help my children be more humble and appreciative of things?

I am uncertain if my book would inspire or help your children. I feel confident that it would inspire or, at least, offer comfort to you!

Being a parent is the most important and demanding job on the planet.

I am not a parent but so many of my friends struggle between their commitment to the role they hold as a parent and their basic needs as a growing human being. Not being appreciated for things that you do is difficult...regardless if it's behavior from a child or a friend. "Ask for what you want," has been a reoccurring theme in my life. Being honest about what is true for me, without blame toward others, is a sweet trick! I manage to do it often. Perhaps in my book you would be inspired to connect what is healthy for you and practice , without petulance or judgment, asking for what you would like. "I would relish and enjoy the opportunity to learn that you appreciate what I've done for you this week. Would you consider letting me know if something that I've done for you this week has been of benefit to you?" My friend Kathleen underscores that it is important that we REWARD the behavior that we want to see again. That would mean when one of your children actually SAID "thank you," or participated in a behavior that remotely looked like appreciation, you would acknowledge that, reward that with, "I want to let you know how much it means to me that you noticed I did this for you. Thank you for appreciating what I do."

Bill Clinton has often said, "There is no more important job in the world than being a parent."

I add that it's the most challenging job in the world. That stands to reason that the challenge would swing to its other side: rewarding.

I have a friend who often says, "We must reward the behavior we want to see again." That "entitlement attitude" is present in lots of folks in the world. Apparently, your children are included! It is difficult for me to say if my book would help your children be more humble and appreciative of things. People have to want to see a thing before they are able to actually see it. I feel confident in saying that my books would inspire you toward greater humility and appreciation.

I agree with my friend - reward the behavior that you want to see. When someone in your family acknowledges something you did, bang that drum!!! Try something like, "It makes me feel so happy that you acknowledged the work I put into that meal. I really want to give you good nurturing food and it feels great to have you say something to me about that."


Very simply...how in the craziness of home schooling my children, raising them to be good human beings, taking care of the house, bills, cooking, being a caring wife etc. , do I figure out what my greater purpose is on this earth. I can tell myself that I am here to help my four children become caring, giving people, but it doesn't feel like that is all I am supposed to be doing to better the world.

Regardless of what I am doing or how busy I am... I am connected to my intentions. I intend to inspire and be inspired. Appreciate my friends. Laugh. Play. Practice wellness.

It's a lot like the question that busy people ask me about prayer. "You're so busy, how do you have time to pray?" My life is a prayer. I am never NOT connected to the Spirit within me. My actions are an articulation of the intentions of my life.

You better the world by doing your best at all you do. Dr. King was so clear when he said, "If you are going to be a street sweeper, be the finest street sweeper the world has ever seen."

Especially in home schooling - you are modeling so much more than just a math lesson for your children by the way you speak, how you present, the manner in which you create the learning environment. When a parent teaches a child to embrace a caring and giving lifestyle...they are giving a huge gift to the world. That is what I meant when I wrote, "When you have one friend, you hold the hand of the world." One person touches so many others... like ripples in a pond ever outward...you haven't an idea where your model of grace and goodness will reach. That's the legacy of parenting.


Do you think that our President dabbles in the Muslim religion and are you personally afraid of what is happening in our world nowadays?

Based on observation, not personal knowledge, I do not believe that our President "dabbles" in anything. It strikes me that he is diligent about things and takes any undertaking with commitment. I appreciate the amount of knowledge he demonstrates about the faiths held around the world. I respect that when he has addressed his personal faith he has used the word, "personal" with intention.

I do not hold fear about what is happening in the world. I am responsible for how I conduct myself in the events of my days and endeavor to not dwell in fear about anything.


Mary, you are doing a great work out there, keep it up!
Why do we have many who are hard working but remain poor, yet some others are not but get rich without being dubious?

That question is as old as the human race. The philosophers of all ages have addressed that question.

In worldly terms I am not wealthy. In point of fact, in impersonal monetary measures, I would be called poor by some. I've been growing, over the years, toward an understanding of "currency" that far exceeds the system of financial exchange. My abundance is not gauged by the balance in my bank account. Or what I own. My currency is the energetic exchange I invest in my life and the world on a daily basis. I look at my wealth and observe that I am willing to share from whatever I have. Generosity defines my abundance. My contentment in the labor of my hands and the work of my heart.

I'm familiar enough with percentages and odds to know that it's not mathematically likely that everyone would hold and operate from the same equation. And the presence of contrast in the universe holds that if there are rich there will be the contrast of poor.

At the end of this circular and large issue I come to this one simple conclusion - "Life is many things - but it is not fair." It's a less than emotionally satisfying answer to your query but it is the answer I have.


I look forward to your emails everyday and often forward them to family and friends. Thank you for the contest and an opportunity to ask Mary a question.

My question for her is: Does you art inspire you to write or does your writing inspire your art?


When I am engaged in a concept that I have clear and easy words for - I want to create a visual that expresses the thought.

And also, when I "see" a certain beauty and create it...I want to articulate the form and color through words.

So IDEAS and CONCEPTS inspire me to COMMUNICATE and I communicate as easily in words as I do in form.


Mary Anne, I have been inspired by the quotes we have had the honour of receiving as daily quotes. You are a true beacon of light, like a light house to ships in the dark. Keep up the wonderful writings and thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with us.

Question: What inspires you and motivates you when your tank of inspiration runs dry or low? And, do you think one can heal cancer by merely altering your thoughts and mind set?

Natural elements and my profound friends revitalize me and fuel my tank of inspiration when I am "running on empty." Also - consistent, healthful practices and good, solid sleep!

I believe that our mind is a mighty force. That thousands of years ago Marcus Aurelius instructed that, "We go where our thoughts go." When people talk about folks who are overweight they say, "It took a long time to put that weight on,so don't expect to take it off over night." Our thoughts are also weight, in a sense. So I believe that the healing path for anyone afflicted with anything should begin immediately...that while one would be foolish to guarantee healing, without exception, one can safely say that the road of healing thoughts is certainly healthier and more effective than a mental road filled with anxiety and fear.


Do you believe in karma and if so, what would be its role in living your life with intention?

When people ask me anything in the realm of spirit that begins with "Do you believe in_____________," I almost always answer the same way. This way ...

I believe that I am accountable for the knowledge that I hold.
I believe that I am responsible for acting toward the greater good at all times.
I believe that regardless of the beliefs that I hold about eternal consequences, this day assesses me as to whether or not I brought the whole of my gifts, talents, abilities and vision to the course of my actions. I believe that God understands the compass of my spirit and recognizes the sound of my voice.

And borrowing from a wise person - I believe that if I act as if both would live forever and also act as if I only have this moment - I am in the right track for me.


Questions for Mary Anne Radmacher:
1) How do you stay motivated?

2) How do you stay focused and avoid the tornado called 'life' while still getting the most out of everyday life?

3) What is your biggest dream?

I stay motivated by reminding myself of my intentions; I post my life mission statement at the beginning of my month's journal and read it every day and I ask myself, "How do I want to remember this?" When I answer that question, I act accordingly.

My focus in the tornado comes from asking myself, "What responsibility do I have toward THAT tornado now?" If there's anything appropriate and immediate that I can do, I do it. If not, I do the next thing in front of me. My husband and I just had a chat about the numbers of "targeted completion dates" that I have in front of me right now. He said, "I don't know how the enormity of all that doesn't just drop you to your knees." I do. I do what I can, when I can, toward the completion of those targets. When I know I am doing my best, I am content with that. Sometimes my eyes spin a bit, but mostly I'm cool with it. I do what I can, when I can, with what I have. And then, the rest comes at some other time besides now.

My biggest dream is that my words will inspire heart, hope and personal responsibility in people around the globe long after my feet in these shoes aren't walking the planet.


As one of my favorite quotes is the one that ends with "live as if this is all there is" - how can those of us that are true optimists in life, and work really hard to live life to the fullest everyday teach others that we care about around us how to do the same? I am starting to believe that some people have the innate gift to do this, and others just don't - does your new book address the depth of that issue?

More than an innate gift - I think it's a matter of focus.
I've been playing around with this "play on a phrase," "Just get off your big fat past and get moving." Did that make you smile? At times we are weighted by what is past, or burdened by our anxiety about what is to come. "Can I do anything about THAT now?" is a question I ask when the past or the future come knocking on my NOW. IF the answer is, "YES," I consider doing it. If not, I get up and get moving with the plan of the present moment.

And yes! my new book addresses that issue (time and again).


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