Inspire is a Verb

Inspire is a Verb – All-American Girl Teri Christensen

The National Anthem gets me every time, in the best star spangled, brass band, fireworks kind of way. I put my hand on my heart and cry gloppy grateful tears, but never more so than the day Teri Christensen put on her dress blues and knocked our country’s theme song right out of the park at Miller Stadium. Today being July 4th, I’m honored to introduce her to you. A Soldier with seventeen years of service, she’s deployed to Korea, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Iraq as a Medical Instructor and Chinook, Blackhawk, and Huey Mechanic and Crew Chief. Passionate about a purpose-filled life, she is a Registered Nurse working in hematology, oncology, and palliative care. And in her spare time, she’s a philanthropic Stormtrooper.  Yup.  As in Star Wars. How could we not have stars in our eyes over Teri? Read on…

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Contemplation…
What made you say “Hmm…maybe I’ll be a…”
…well now that I think about it, you do so much! Soldier, Stormtrooper, Nurse. I’m inclined to call you All-American Girl! What inspires you to take on these incredible roles? Read more →

Inspire is a Verb – The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award is a blogger to fellow blogger award; an invitation to spread the word about blogs offering great content. It’s a forum to meet and greet and share the wealth of inspiration.

My darling daring Liebster Award nominees, you are the most vital part of this post, so your names are going first.  I hereby dub thee infinitely inspiring and bravely blogalicious.  I choose you for reasons beyond the power of your blog.  You wield social media with love, to create powerful interactions through literature, music, and movement.  You are:

Alyson Grauer of Dreams to Become – engaging people via literature a’la On The Isle of Sound and Wonder, letting us laugh through commedia dell’arte and the ukulele.
AE Shapera of Phoole – encouraging us to get our groove on as a DJ at Ideal Clubworld Radio, teaching folks how to Make It Worth It in your book Easy Street.
Lisa Gedney Harris of Fashion Meets Poetry – bringing every woman’s personal brand of beautiful to the forefront in your upcoming book Unveiled Beauty.
Judy Victor of Leap Events – instilling empowerment, building community, and sparking unstoppable joy via lively events for women.
Rebecca Jo Malmstrom of Duckie Uglings – making the most of recycled goods and taking us beyond words into the cute-overload world of “Awe!”

My Inspiration Ninjas, here is your badge of honor. Wear it with pride and please keep writing, grooving, and moving. When we interact with you, we win. Read more →

Inspire is a Verb – Dancing Queen Judy Victor

“For me dance is the place that I find freedom.
I know that if people can let go, their soul can shine through.”

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Click the image to find Leap! Events on Facebook

Judy Victor is throwing a dance party for all of her girlfriends. And all of their girlfriends. And so on and so on and so on. For as long as I’ve known her, and long before that, Judy has been the Dancing Queen. She glows with it and we go with it. She makes it easy to celebrate the moment.

Judy’s terpsichoral zest coalesces on March 14th at the leap! all women dance party, when women from all walks of the Twin Cities will gather their girlfriends to get their groove on for fun and charity. A pretty groovy idea! I asked Judy to tell us about it:

Contemplation …
What made you say “Hmm … maybe I’ll throw an epic dance party!”?
Read more →

Inspire is a Verb – Style Maker Laine Sou Weinberg

“LIFE’S SHORT … dress cute every day!”

I hear Laine Sou Weinberg’s exultant words ringing in my ears every time I get dressed to go on stage. The KOKOON Boutique Without Borders tagline won me, hook line and sinker. Laine Sou is a style maker, and she made mine.

Back in the day, I wore black. Stealth mode. Flying under the radar, hiding my personality behind all-black all-the-time. It was boring and I was bored. Bored with hiding, bored with being invisible, bored to tears by my generic black pants and uninspiring black top. But I didn’t know how else to dress.

“Dress.” Laine Sou smiled with authority and swept her arm in welcome, inviting me into the KOKOON studio, where I was met with a hand-selected array of bright and beautiful designs. “Dress cute. Every day.” Instantly, I saw the light.

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LIFE’S SHORT! Dress cute every day!
Click the image for Laine Sou’s blog
Daydreamer Was Here

In that moment, I looked at Laine Sou and realized she believed I was bright enough to stand out in a crowd. She inspired me to say yes. Yes to me, yes to bringing my personality into play, yes to that first dress that changed the way I dress. Not just on stage, but everywhere.

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Inspire is a Verb – Fashion Meets Poetry with Lisa Harris

My first meeting with Lisa Harris was less of a formal introduction and more of a collision, our opening salvo a mutual how-do-you-do a duet of “You look fantastic!”

We were backstage, behind a screen in a makeshift dressing room, in the midst of the Spring Fever frenzy that accompanies the KOKOON season launch. We spotted each other wearing the same hotly sought dress.

In a similar situation, a lot of women would get uppity about another gal zeroing in on her prized “back off its mine” find. Lisa saw it as an opportunity celebrate our multifarious differences, how we could each be beautifully unique, and we decided we should both rock the frock. Lisa looks at life that way. She’s genuine, and genuinely excited to see women clothed in their individual light. She’s a poet with a purpose.

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Click the pic for irresistible Lisa Harris’
inspirational Instagram feed.

A year later we reunited over decadent with-everything mochas and I interviewed her about her upcoming book where fashion meets poetry, Unveiled Beauty.

Read more →

Inspire is a Verb – Esprit de She

I just got another secret note.
“Shh….don’t tell anyone…but I absolutely must tell someone…you think I can, so I think I can, so I’m doing a crazy fitnessy thing…YAY!”
It’s the third note this week.

I get it. When I decided to get my fit together, the first steps of my journey were super-secret too. Slinking downstairs to the apartment complex gym at odd hours, when people were less likely to catch me leaping around in my grotty track suit. Shaking my groove thing to Moves Like Jagger and Sexyback, because I desperately wanted my sexy back. Hauling my carcass back upstairs and collapsing on my pleather couch in an exhausted nap during which I’d dream that, if I could keep going, little by little I’d stack up enough tiny victories to make a mountain.

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We keep going because we keep going.
from #47ThingsILearned

Those first steps were 3 years, 42 weeks, and 5 days ago. Umpteen jump-squats ago. At least a few sizes ago. A lifetime ago.  Read more →

Inspire is a Verb – The Mighty Molly Hutchins

I’ve been a fan of Mighty Molly for a while now, enraptured by her personal brand of kick-booty go-get-it. I follow her on Instagram and Twitter, where she regularly makes me laugh and occasionally terrifies me into trying something new.

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Molly kicking off 2015 right with her 15th 5K
at Commitment Day!

I thought I might’ve gone off my nut last November when, inspired by Molly’s adventures in 5K running, I registered for the Turkey Trot 10K. I’ve never been a runner, struggling along at about the same pace most folks use for a leisurely stroll. It was crazy, I was mostly unprepared, and I showed up in zero-degree weather to run further than I ever had. A few freezing moments after stepping off, I realized that quitting was an option that would likely result in my frozen carcass being discovered roadside, sometime in April. So I didn’t quit. After crossing the finish line, I made my way home, ate three turkey sammiches, took a 45-minute shower that used up all the hot water in the neighborhood, and swore never again.

The next morning, I registered for a 5k. Within a few days, I’d registered for a couple more. A month later, I ran the Polar Dash. Now I know I’m completely crackers, and I couldn’t be happier. Currently, I’m registered for ten 5Ks, one 10K, and two OCRs in 2015. A lot of it is Molly Hutchin’s fault.  I called her to tell her so.  And to say thanks.  And to interview her for this blog.  Here’s how Molly answered the Propellergirl Questionnaire:   Read more →

Inspire is a Verb – Michael Anderson

As a storyteller, I draw strength and learning from the world around me so I can share it with you. Longtime Ninja Michael J. Anderson speaks here to the duty of doing:

Michael goes the distance to train with the best, so he can be better. Here he is, going the distance in the parking lot of CrossFit South Metro.

“So I make it into the gym today for my session with Robert McKeeman only to discover that I am not the only special snowflake in the place. As I prepare myself to do some featherweight box squats, I look over into the corner where the real lifting happens, and I see Eric under a bar full of heaviness. To my horror, I look down and see that he is an amputee. There he is doing beautiful, heavy squats oblivious to the fact that he has just destroyed my next excuse.

I have been special. I got the E for Effort just for showing up. I made progress and got the “Attaboy!” just for walking into the place. I made the appropriate faces to indicate that I am trying and that it hurts. I even grunt like the big boys sometimes so it sounds like I am trying.
Read more →