Blogs and People Who Inspire
Happy 2016! I hope that you had a lovely Christmas season and that you’ve already shaken off your holiday hangover. 🙂 This is my first blog of the year. Instead of doing a recap of last year’s best events, I am going to start off by sharing some of the blogs and individuals who – by their example – inspire me to be the best version of myself. This isn’t a definitive list, but if you need to be inspired, look no further!
In random order:
Maria Popova and Brain Pickings
Maria Popova is… well, the brains behind Brain Pickings, a “subjective lens on what matters in the world and why.” Each and every time I read her blog, I am astounded by how rich, how well-researched, and how meaningful her posts are. This is no mean feat considering that she offers her nuggets of insight in weekly doses. Maybe that’s why her site was included in the Library of Congress permanent web archive in 2012.
All I can say is that you can’t read her posts in a distracted state. You need to focus to really be able to reflect on the message. Check out this blog if you’re into literature, philosophy, and understanding life and the world at large.
If you want a snippet of the type of posts she writes, read her list of worthy resolutions for the year. They’re inspired by “humanity’s most timelessly rewarding thinkers.” One of the resolutions – cultivate honorable relationships – is inspired by the poet Adrienne Rich, who once wrote:
“An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.
It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.
It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.
It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.”
Randall Collis and China Sojourns Photography
Taking great snapshots is one thing. Coupling it with thought-provoking content is quite another. I first chanced upon Randall Collis’s through a post about Tacloban in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. It resonated especially since the subject matter was about a very trying time in my country. I subscribed to his blog soon after chancing upon that post and have since been enjoying his latest updates.
His posts are the type you bookmark for sharing or for further discussion. It’s easy to browse the site but I daresay you’ll be compelled to slow down to be able to better appreciate the emotions and experiences encapsulated in his photos. Check out China Sojourns Photography if you’re into photography, philosophy, traveling, and life.
Want me to pick out a stellar post of his for you to munch on? There are several to choose from, actually. For starters, try Slowing Down The Perception Of Time.
Marketman and Market Manila
Whenever I come across someone with a keen interest in food, I invariably end up recommending the site Market Manila to them. It’s run by Marketman, a management consultant, world traveler, and food aficionado. Market Manila was started in 2004 as a means to help “two groups of people: new arrivals and interested locals who, like me, had no clue where to find ingredients, what local produce existed, where to get specialty food items, etc.; and secondly, farmers, market vendors, retailers, who had the foresight to seek out the best the Philippines has to offer and take the risk of selling these to nutcases like myself.”
His posts are perfect for those who delight in sourcing, cooking, and relishing food. Here’s a tip: read the comments at the end of each post too. His readers are informed, enthusiastic, and generous in giving out useful food-related information. Subscribe to his site’s RSS feed if you love good food, Manila, or both.
Since I’m a bit of a nerd and love learning how things are made, I’m going to suggest that you begin by reading his post about puto bumbong. It made me realize that I’m still missing out on the real thing, ugh!
Fr. James Martin, SJ
This is the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, built on the site where Jesus performed the miracle recorded in today’s Gospel. If you look carefully you can see before the altar an ancient mosaic of the basket with the loaves, flanked by fishes. Remember that the miracles happened in a real place and in a real time before real people. And remember too: Give what you can. Love how you can. Forgive as you can. God can take whatever you offer and multiply it.
A photo posted by James Martin SJ (@jamesmartinsj) on
I don’t recall how I was introduced to Fr. James Martin, SJ. He’s a very popular spiritual figure in the U.S., though; some even call him “America’s Chaplain” (a term he doesn’t feel he deserves). Anyway, I started following him soon after reading his reflection about physical healing and healthy desires. I think that reflection to be a perfect middle ground between the desires of the flesh vis-a-vis man’s innate need for the spiritual. Two thumbs up!
Follow him on social media for other such nourishing doses of wisdom.
A heads up for those who just stumbled upon this blog: I usually write about wellness and active living. Hence, it’s inevitable that I include at least one fitness celebrity in this roster. Jillian Michaels is an author, entrepreneur, and one of the leading wellness and fitness experts in the U.S. She also has hypothyroidism, a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, and heart disease (Mayo Clinic, November 10, 2015). Read: it’s super hard to keep fit if you have thyroid issues, and yet Jillian has one of the fittest physiques in the industry. If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is.
Follow her if you need to get back on track, fitness-wise.
Abdul Halim al-Attar (and pretty much all Syrian refugees who try despite the daunting odds)
— عبدالعزيز العودة (@Az_Aloudah) August 26, 2015
Abdul Halim al-Attar touched countless hearts when this photo of his went viral on the Internet. He was a Syrian refugee who ended up selling pens in Lebanon to feed his children. An online crowdfunding campaign has since collected $191,000. in his name. He currently runs three small businesses and employs 16 other fellow Syrian refugees. According to this Mashable article, his struggles are far from over, but the donations have been a huge help.
This Twitter account was created to help raise money for Abdul and his kids. As per the reports, it’s been super hard to get the money to al-Atta. The way I see it, however, is that as long as the money gets to him and as long as he uses the money to also help others, then we should all continue helping the guy. Let’s help when we can how we can.
I’d love to hear who or what inspires you!
Like it? Share it!
Comments are most welcome. Join the mailing list and receive the latest blogs on wellness, health, food, adventure, and travel.
Everything in this blog are my personal opinions.
Read my blog’s full disclosure and disclaimer here.
Health information from Mayo Clinic.
First image from Flickr user Rocky Mountain High.