What Inspires You?

By Michelle May, M.D.
When I was a little girl, my Dad shared our Irish heritage and sense of humor with traditional toasts like “May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead!” I’d always wanted to visit Ireland and another Irish saying, “You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind,” inspired my husband and me to stop talking and do it! We decided that a 10-day hiking trip would be the best way to experience Ireland for the first time. We were not disappointed!
I was profoundly inspired by the beauty, the music, and the people. What inspires you? What places, books, people, or practices light you up? Do you make time for these in your life? Could you? What small step could you take today?

Mindful Moments from Ireland

I created a video to share some of my photographs of Ireland with you (I’m inspired by my new hobby, photography too!) in hopes of inspiring you too. I added inspirational Irish proverbs, blessings and toasts, and Irish music (with permission) by Tommy O’Sullivan, an amazing musician we met in Dingle.

 

Here’s my take on the wisdom of a few of my favorite quotes from the video—I hope you enjoy the video and share it with your friends!

It takes time to build castles. Great things come from persistence. This applies to mindful eating skills, fitness, relationships, and other important “castles” in your life!

Many a sudden change takes place on an unlikely day. This photograph was taken on the only day that we had to break out our waterproof gear we carried with us at all times. Expect the unexpected!

Questioning is the door of knowledge. Of course, a person who names her company “Am I Hungry?” would think questions are the key to wisdom!

Enough is as good as a feast. I’m sure this proverb came out of lean times but it is equally wise in our abundant food environment.

Unwillingness easily finds an excuse. Yes, we’re busy and tired, but when we start with a powerful intention, the obstacles fade away.

Seldom is the last of anything better than the first. Enjoy the bite you are eating instead of rushing through to clean your plate.

What fills the eye fills the heart. Focus on what you want and let it inspire you.

Hunger is a good sauce. When you’re physically hungry, food just tastes better!

A light heart lives long. Letting go of the things that weigh us down promotes longevity and joy.

You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind. Stop thinking about what you want to do and get out there and do it!

A life making mistakes is not only more honourable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing at all. – George Bernard Shaw. I love having permission to make mistakes, a necessary part of learning. And the photo in this video reminds me that even a mistake that seems to be carved in stone can be corrected!

Need teaches a plan. Our struggles often lead to creativity and problem solving.

Sláinte! (pronounced ‘slawn-cha’): This common Irish toast literally means Health!

It’s not a delay to stop and sharpen the scythe.Taking time to keep my “tools” sharp makes my work more efficient. On a day-to-day basis, this includes hiking, yoga, rest, connection with family and friends, and other crucial self-care activities. And this little bit of wisdom is the reason we went to Ireland!

One must pay health its tithe. Getting and staying healthy requires an investment but it pays huge dividends!

Two shorten the road. (In Gaelic, it is “Giorraíonn beirt bóthar.”) Hiking with my husband Owen proved the wisdom of this proverb; relationships just make the journey better!

May you get all your wishes but one so you always have something to strive for. This is my favorite because it reminds me that I am a work in progress, and never finished!

 

Sláinte!
Michelle May, M.D.
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