A Spoonful of Inspiration (part one)

We are only human after all, and we lose energy and motivation from time to time. We momentarily lose our drive to work with passion. We lose of zest for the many good things that life has to offer.

Speaking from experience, nothing beats the power of prayer — the power of faith. Thankfully. But we are blessed too, to have people and things around us both big and small, which make our lives much easier, and provide us the needed push we need to conquer the many battles and obstacles we all encounter day to day.

I probably have more than a hundred small and big things. Here are just some sources of inspiration, which never fail to brighten up my day. Thank goodness for all of these:

Music of the Heart

I never tire watching this film because of its moving story. Starring Merryl Streep, Music of the Heart tells about the true story of Roberta Guaspari, who, after being left by her husband for another woman, moves to Harlem and who finds herself and makes a difference by teaching young children to play the violin. It’s a woman against the world story, as Roberta would later need to fight the state’s education department for cutting the budget on music education. To surpass the obstacle, she rallied her students past and present to a fund-raising concert, which was held at Carnegie Hall — with the most prominent international violinists on her stage.

There are two scenes from the movie I find most moving. One was when she coached her handicapped student, who felt hopeless about playing the violin because she wasn’t able to stand. Roberta says: You don’t need legs to stand. You need to stand from within. The second scene was just before the Carnegie Hall concert, where after so many weeks of practice and training, Roberta tells the children to do their best, but not to forget to play from their hearts. I was just so moved!

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

I never thought I would be addicted to this 70’s sitcom, which I learned from Oprah’s 20th anniversary DVD. I love watching this show so much that I went on a mission with my uncle in Minneapolis just to see her monument. I am inspired with the family-atmosphere the characters had both on cam and off cam. And who wouldn’t be inspired by her hat toss at the end of the show’s OBB? It has been hailed by TV Land as the 2nd greatest moment of all time — next to JFK’s assassination in 1963. All I need during a bad day is to play the OBB, and I know that I will make it after all.

A Piece of Sky from Yentl

I have never seen the film in its entirety. I tried to watch it once on television, but I found the movie a bit dragging, so I didn’t really get to finish it. But the very message of the movie’s final song, A Piece of Sky hit me. The words are very powerful, and the way the final frame was executed by Barbra Streisand (who directed the film herself) push me to continue fighting amidst many obstacles:

The more I live – the more I learn.
The more I learn – the more I realize
The less I know.
Each step I take-
Each page I turn-
Each mile I travel only means
The more I have to go.
Whats wrong with wanting more?
If you can fly – then soar!
With all there is – why settle for
Just a piece of sky?

My iPOD’s “Jumpstart Playlist”

I have a playlist entitled “Jumpstart,” which contains a number of songs that also never fail to inspire, both for their words and melodies: Free (Roselle Nava with Bukas Palad), The Power Inside of Me (Richard Marx), Reach (Gloria Estefan), Two Words (Lea Salonga), Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (the Sister Act 2 version), Burn and If I didn’t Love You (Tina Arena), Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles), Children of Easter Morn (Bukas Palad), Ocean Drive (Lighthouse Family) and of course — Breakout (Swing Out Sister). If I were to make my own CD compiling songs of inspiration, these would be the tracks.

Other Movies
I will have to admit it. I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, and quite a number of films (as well as TV movies and mini series) also never fail to inspire: One Fine Day, While You Were Sleeping, Ice Castles, Charade, The Cutting Edge, About A Boy, The Lake House, Anne of Green Gables, and Life Or Something Like It to name a few. The Back to the Future Trilogy is not a romance flick, but I also enjoy watching it endlessly for inspiration.


Group Pic — ralphguzman.org

Of course, the people I’m surrounded with are also the greatest inspiration: Family, Relatives abroad, True Friends during thick and thin.

Eating and Cooking
Of course! I turn to eating and cooking comfort food as a way of detoxification from stress. Haha! (to be continued)

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