It is easy to put your life and health into perspective when someone else is suffering.
Last month, I met a woman of 28 with a baby in the Appalachian mountains. She had suffered through a turbulent relationship that changed her life: she had a baby and became a single mother. She was a traveling wanderer whose past was rooted in the Pacific Northwest. She came from a middle-class family in the mid-West. She had radical ideas about living on the earth. She spoke eloquently and had a compassionate, kind heart. She was a resilient soul who, after having experienced everything she went through with her 'co-creator' (as she deems her baby's biological father), she found the strength to bounce back and live life fully and simply by traveling to sustainable farms and intentional communities. She worked hard most days in the sweltering North Carolina sun with her gorgeous blue-eyed, brown-haired baby strapped onto her carrier backpack. I vividly remember her cultivating the earth and hitting a 10-foot long bamboo pole with a mallet to establish trellises for runner beans. She had a slim and lanky body, though she clearly possessed physical strength. She was full of ideas waiting to be tapped into.
I think back now and know she is a source of inspiration. Having experienced her being and getting to know her was just inspiring (though I didn't realize it then). My experience with her on that mountain farm helped me to realize and cultivate my inner strength. It is amazing how much people (and especially people who you unexpectedly cross paths with) can affect you and your whole life philosophy. My energy becomes renewed. My fears run away. Strength and passion is all that I feel.