I originally connected with them at yoga, but for three years now, we’ve been Inspire: four women who meet once a month for lunch with a main agenda of bringing something inspiring to the table. Might be a book, a podcast, a blogpost, a song, a poem, a photograph, a tee-shirt saying, a real-life story, whatever. I have other friends who I’ve known much longer and with whom I’ve shared many more life experiences; but these women, I cannot tell you how they inspire me and how dear these gatherings have become.
They are strong. And smart. And well-read. And brave. And dedicated to their families and to making this world a kinder place. And they agree with me on politics and religion! Oh, joy of joys! But like all humans, our little group has suffered its share of heartbreak. Two have lost children. One, a spouse. Several have lived through the pain of watching their adult children navigate divorce. Some of us have had cancer. And then there’s just the irritating weekly stuff.
We’re grandmas and Nanas. We love our children and grandchildren so much it aches. We love to travel and read. We sometimes laugh till we’re wiping tears. We’ve shared stories of our youth and aging and spouses who are sometimes under foot too much. We’ve told each other secrets–maybe even something that could have landed one of us in jail. She didn’t get caught, but if she had, we would have bailed her out. Or baked a cake with a file in it.
We met yesterday, and like always, I walked away with hugs and my spirit lifted. As I was walking out of Portillo’s, a man stopped me and said, “I just want you to know how good that made me feel to see you two hug like that. Too many people are afraid to show they care for one another, in public.” My heart soared. Three years ago, we set an intention for this group–to inspire. We have and we did.
Who inspires you? Here’s a short list of those who inspire us. Their musings have oft been fodder for our sharing:
- Michelle Obama
- Gloria Steinem
- Glennon Doyle
- Rob Bell
- Maria Shriver
- Dani Shapiro
- Marianne Williamson
Here’s a sample from yesterday’s meeting: