Some enduring inspiration to keep you going

betty ming liu Inspiration 18 Comments

Are you a little too busy? Then maybe I have some inspiration to keep you going. With my daughter and I getting ready for our Paris vacation next week, we’re rushing through our to-do lists.

First the back story: My job is insane because the online news startup that I’m working for is preparing to launch next month. I owe my editors a bunch of stories before getting on the plane lugging a carry-on stuffed with snacks and maybe a few miniature bottles of scotch.

Meanwhile on the home front, contractors have been here painting the house, which means the rooms are a big mess. The guys finished up today — but not before I pulled my back moving furniture.

Inspiration: your new mantra

With all this happening, last week I missed doing my usual second weekly blog post. Darn!  So to keep myself from falling further off the blogging wagon, I’m here to share a thought that’s been running through my head. This is another one of my mantras: Everything I need, I already have.

This mantra calms me when I’m feeling overwhelmed and under-prepared for life’s demands. Maybe you’d like to try it, as inspiration to keep you going.

The person who told me this was my first shrink. This was back in my 30s, when I was trying desperately to succeed as a big city newspaper columnist and a wife. Then I got this bit of wisdom from my therapist. What a revelation to realize that I already have it all. Of course in the end, I bailed from both the job and the marriage — but only because I started to see what I really needed…

So this week, I know I have what it takes to finish (most of) my work deadlines. I am capable of running my own household (although the solo responsibility gets tiresome and to be honest, quite lonely). And let’s hear it for being single in Paris, the most romantic city in the world!

At first glance, the idea of already having everything might seem fake, especially in the larger context of human poverty and suffering. But I still think there’s a deeper message here about inner strength and hope.  For me, this is all about the ability to find that sense of self — and not let go.

So what do you think? Is this inspiration to keep you going?


Comments 18

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    If the quote I’m sharing sounds familiar, then you must be a long-time reader! I had this on my first blog. That was a few years ago. But I want the good energy of this mantra on this blog too. So here we are. Does it help?

  2. Well…certainly all the china I need I already have. All of my elderlly great aunts – one by one, as they died they left me the china. Never the money – always the china. I can hear them thinking “oh he’s gay – he’ll like the china. I have place settings for 200 in 6 different patterns. I’m afraid to give it away because grandmother told me “cast your bread upon the waters and it will come back ten fold.” So that would mean I’d have place settings for 2,000!!! This karma thing is a terrible problem.

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      i’ve had such a long day (it’s not finished yet). but finally stopping by here to say hi. how nice to see your comments and thoughts on this topic.

      toby, you always crack me up. i never know what you’re gonna write next. i’ve always wished to have lots of beautiful china — so that i can smash some of into little chips and use them as free-form tiles in the ceramic process. i’ve always admired end tables and things that are covered in broken china as a mosaic form. :)

      jenni, yes! hard times make us appreciate what we have. and i have to remember that — there is always enough.

      bria, you’re welcome. i am grateful that you took the time to let me know that you liked this post. that’s the problem with blogging. when people don’t comment, there’s the temptation to feel like a dud.

      thank you for the reminder, ingrid. the needs and wants are always tricky to separate!

      patty, we always share so much. thanks for the good wishes. and i can’t believe your baby boy has become a man. congrats!!!

      rosa and skye, you are all special. i love my blog and i love my readers. it would be awful if i missed doing more posts. the last time that happened was after my mom died. i was just so, so tired. what makes me happy today was that this post didn’t take that much time.

      or did it? if you asked me how long it took to write this post, the real answer would be 20 years. xoxoxox

  3. There was a time when life was very tough – with not enough money to buy dog food – so sometimes they ate spaghetti – which is entertainment enough. But the point is that my Angels always whispered in my ear: “There is always enough for today”.

  4. Betty: lovely post. Two things: I think the confusing thing about that mantra, that you already have everything you need is that people confuse it with “everything I WANT.” The trick, in part, is realizing that everything we want is not always what we need. We need work, and we need love, and you’ve got both.

    Which leads to the second item: love doesn’t just mean being loved, it means loving. So when you go to Paris, you’re going with someone you love, your daughter, and you will LOVE showing her and sharing the city with her. So you already have everything you NEED for this particular trip.

  5. I really like it too. In fact, i was drawn to it because I am feeling the same way right now. Have a great time in Paris, and tell Gabi the girls and I wish her a Happy Birthday. What a great place to spend it. BTW, Matt turned 21 last week — how scary is that!

  6. Betty,

    You inspire me with “everything I need I already have”……and no matter what you have on your plate it seems you find the time to write. Since lack of time has been my biggest justification for not writing I can now see that it is “time” to let that one go.

    Rosa Smith

  7. I agree with Rosa that you make time to write, even being so busy. It feels special, like you’ve made time to share with friends:)

    To inspire myself, I try to remember the scripture that says God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit od pwer, love, and a sound mind.

  8. Hi Betty!

    Hope all is well, and thanks for sharing! I feel like my life has been getting quite stressful, too, since I’ve been adjusting to being a recent college grad (everyone was totally right when they said I’d miss college!). But it’s definitely helpful to keep an idea like this in mind because, at the end of the day, I’ve got a great family and helpful friends to support me through the transition. Best of luck to you in these days leading up to your vacation, and I hope you have lots of fun in Paris!



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      hi courteney — so nice to see your cute little face on my blog! that first year out of college can be brutal on your self-esteem but when i look at you, i do indeed see someone who has it all. thanks for your good wishes and for sharing your good energy. xoxo

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    and here’s something from my friend barbara, who emailed me the following dining tips:

    Angelina 226 rue de Rivoli
    best hot cocoa EVER and they have a great food menu as well, but a definite must!

    La Fregate
    right on the Siene looking out to the Louvre. typical Parisian Bistro, but good location and one of our favorite places.

    Rotisserie den face
    2, rue Christine
    Paris, France 75006
    Must order the roast chicken and mashed potatoes. Absolute best! The waiters can be a bit Parisienne snooty though but food is so worth it.

    Cafe de la Paix
    very near the Opera and a place that we frequent when walking around. It looks fancy, but is not. Just old style Paris

    There are some Asian places that we love, but I know you said you didn’t want them…however, there is one fabulous Asian-fusion place called Kong and they filmed one of the last episodes of Sex and The City there. It has beautiful views of the city and river.

    ANd always for a very special treat is lunch at the Ritz bar :)

  11. Betty I am only today getting around to reading this post but I do remember these words of wisdom posted on your blog before. Just last night, as I was shopping for my new apt back here in the Big Apple, I was thinking to myself “Everything I need, I already have.” Hope you are enjoying the city of lights! <3

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