Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – What makes a person inspiring by Christy D. Birmingham.


Welcome back to Christy Birmingham with another post from her Women Inspire archives. Today Christy explores what makes people stand out from the crowd and be looked up to.

What makes a person inspiring by Christy Birmingham.

Inspirational words

Inspirational quote from Helen Keller. Image: ©2014 When Women Inspire

I was thinking about the question in this post’s title and wanted to share a bit. Here’s the thing about “inspiration.” Not everyone thinks the same people are inspiring. What inspires you may not inspire me, and so forth. Hence why you won’t read and respond to every post here (though I encourage reading all of them, of course!).

When I think of the quality called “inspiration,” I think of someone who acts or speaks in ways that encourage other people to behave in creative ways. The creativity is encouraged by watching or listening to someone. Inspiration flows from one person to another and that bond can last a lifetime or just a brief few moments.

For example, Maya Angelou has inspired me for several years and, while she unfortunately has passed away, her written words and videos continue to give me ideas for my own work and ways to reach out to help others. It is important to note that I truly connected with her words after I went through a period of depression and was looking for guidance outside of my immediate circle of contacts. That detail has helped me realize that a person can become inspirational to another person after they go through a life-changing event. In other words, a person who did not previously inspire you can one day do just that.

Idea and the light bulb

Aha, are you feeling inspired? Photo Source: Sputnik Mania, CC BY-ND 4.0, via Flickr

As well, inspiration is not solely about creativity. It is an influence that comes when your senses, emotions and intellect are stimulated. This invigoration could come from a person’s words or from watching a person do something amazing. The result is you feel empowered and energized, able to take on something new or go further with an idea.

As for the ability to inspire someone else, that in itself can energize you and so it is a circle that reinforces in such a positive way. The inspiration can lead to new business ideas, advances in technologies, scoring in a sports game and so much more. The possibilities of the positive energies are endless!

Here are a few quotes about inspiration from some notable women:

(♥) “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller

(♥) “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou

(♥) “What drives the creative person is that we see it all.” ~Wanda Sykes

(♥) “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~Anne Frank

What qualities do you think make a person inspiring?

©2014 Christy Birmingham

My thanks to Christy for another of her posts that explores the world of inspiring women.

About Christy Birmingham.

Christy Birmingham is a freelance writer in Victoria, BC, who has a BA in Psychology and has taken professional writing courses at the University of Victoria. She is the author of Pathways to Illumination (Redmund Productions, 2013), her first poetry book. Her work also appears in the Poetry Institute of Canada’s From the Cerulean Sea: An Anthology of Verse (2013) and the literary journals The Claremont Review and Tipton Poetry Journal.

Books by Christy Birmingham

About Pathways to Illumination.

Pathways to Illumination is the debut poetry collection from Canadian writer Christy Birmingham. The book follows one woman’s journey following the end of an abusive relationship. Read how she struggles to rise from darkness, a soul reaching for light, with words that weave hope and despair through the pages.

A review on Goodreads for Pathways to Illumination

By Rolly A… Five Stars.

I have been reading Christy Birmingham’s poetry and writings for the past three years. This is a work of art at its finest which paints a riveting story of a journey she has travelled filled with what was thought to be love, but resulted in pain, suffering much emotional trauma and eventually finding her way out to live with freedom and an amazingly positive outlook.

Through Christy’s book, we are able to live the fear, trauma and eventual healing we see in the closing poems. Poetry that touches the heart of the reader as it is written from the heart of someone who has been through a great deal.

The greatest blessing is to know Christy and the heart and willingness she has to share in hopes of helping others who suffer. It is my pleasure to call her a truly gifted writer and friend I admire and a person who many look to for strength, courage and support.

Never stop writing Christy, you have been given a very special gift and a gift which will bless many. 

Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productionshttp://redmundpro.com/book-store/pi/ (less)

About Versions of the Self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

One of the recent reviews for Versions of the Self

Versions of the Self plays around with the concept of different selves, not trying to pin down or define the self, but dazzling the reader with the many colorful possibilities of human existence. These lines reveal the pensive and imaginative mind of a poet who is rooted in reality but gifted with the talent of describing everyday events with fantastic flair.

The poems speak of moments in life that we can all relate to: the love of a child for their parent, the sudden yearning for a crush, the heartbreak of rejection, the self-confidence that comes from releasing fear. Christy provides fitting and beautiful metaphors for all of these, making it appear like each one is not just different side of the self, but a whole other world.

Some of my favourite poems were ones where the ‘self’ tries to see beyond her current situation and imagine the possibilities, as in this excerpt from “The Field of Poppies”:

I bend down to pick the red flowers at
My feet, and I wonder at a day when
Tears do not stain my cheeks.
I wonder how the words will sound,
I wonder who will hold my hand then.

These poems give the impression of someone young, optimistic, hopeful. The different selves can be separated by seemingly insurmountable gulfs, but at the same time these poems speak of a strong connection, not only between people but also with nature and even the stars beyond our world.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham/dp/0994094906

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham-ebook/dp/B00XQOH3IE

Connect to Christy

Blog: https://whenwomeninspire.com/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177834.Christy_Birmingham
Websitehttps://poeticparfait.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/christybis
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/christy.d.birmingham

If you would like to join Christy and the other writers and submit posts from your archives here is the link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – To Women Who Struggle in Meetings by Christy Birmingham


Time for another inspirational post from Christy Birmingham on the subject of confidence in meetings.. This might not be in a business environment but could also apply when part of a book group or other gathering.

To Women Who Struggle in Meetings by Christy Birmingham

When it comes to issues women face, we still seem to be many years away from reaching gender equality. I mean, is this really 2014? Yes, women still struggle in meetings with speaking up, and it’s interesting to find out what research reveals that men think of their female co-workers who sit beside them at the table.

Women at meetings

Photo source: By Nlpictures (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Common

Specific Struggles of Women in Meetings

What exactly are the struggles of women? Many females report finding it more difficult to speak out during meetings than in other business situations, according to a recent study summarized by the Harvard Business Review.

In that post, the researchers wrote that “some [women] say their voices are ignored or drowned out.” Who is drowning them? It would simplify the issue to say it is only men. In reality, there are many parts to the situation. It is likely that the seriousness of the business scenario, in which the managers sit and evaluate their employees based on their words and actions, play a substantial role.

Perhaps the women in the study also felt intimidated by their male counterparts and that is why they did not speak up more? Certainly it was not that they had nothing to say. Personally, I have felt timid around male personalities that are stronger than my own and have remained silent during situations when I had every right – now that I look back on it – to speak up. But, it seemed safer to say nothing and go with the flow.

As well, let’s think about who the managers are of many businesses. Unfortunately, the US corporate world is not balanced in terms of gender; there are not equal numbers of males and females in leadership roles in companies in that country. Yes, the corporate gender gap still exists. While this issue may hold true in other countries too, I am only focusing on the US here as that’s the focus of the Harvard study.

With gender inequality in management, it stands to reason that women might struggle to find their voices during meetings because they see mainly men in their company’s top ranks. Plus, I wonder about the stereotype of corporations being primarily masculine territory. I mean – is this imagery still going strong today in 2014? I had hoped not but now with these survey results I have many doubts.

And, it also occurs to me that women may fear sounding rude if they do speak up in a meeting. They may think that doing so will reflect negatively on their work done back at their desks. Therefore, rather than risk jeopardizing their jobs, they say little during the meetings.

Suggestions for Women at Meetings

Suggestions for women. Photo source: Beyond Access, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Flickr

Suggestions for Women in Meetings

Okay ladies, so now that we realize women aren’t speaking up as much as men in meetings, what are ways to improve the situation? Well, I think it all starts in the mind. Bring to mind images of successfully speaking up during the discussions. When you imagine a positive result, then you are more likely to achieve it. On a related note, rather than worrying what the men sitting around you at the table are thinking, impress them with a confident voice. If you believe in yourself then other people are more likely to do so too.

In addition, take on the approach of “practice makes perfect.” If the meeting is on Wednesday, take an hour on Monday and some more time on Tuesday to practice talking about a few points that will be relevant at the table. Perhaps you have suggestions for the company’s latest marketing strategy or a question that is relevant to ask. Practice saying it now and then it will be easier to say it when the meeting day arrives.

Also, look over the agenda, if there is one, for what will be discussed at the meeting to get more comfortable with the subject matter. Often the agendas are handed out to each employee or send via a bulk email. Doing research on the topics before the discussion begins in the boardroom may be a great way to think of points to say when at the table that ignite conversation and increase the female role there.

What are additional ways to encourage women to speak up more during meetings?

©2014 Christy Birmingham

My thanks to Christy for a post that is helpful for anyone who feels they need additional confidence in a group situation.

About Christy Birmingham.

Christy Birmingham is a freelance writer in Victoria, BC, who has a BA in Psychology and has taken professional writing courses at the University of Victoria. She is the author of Pathways to Illumination (Redmund Productions, 2013), her first poetry book. Her work also appears in the Poetry Institute of Canada’s From the Cerulean Sea: An Anthology of Verse (2013) and the literary journals The Claremont Review and Tipton Poetry Journal.

Books by Christy Birmingham

About Pathways to Illumination.

Pathways to Illumination is the debut poetry collection from Canadian writer Christy Birmingham. The book follows one woman’s journey following the end of an abusive relationship. Read how she struggles to rise from darkness, a soul reaching for light, with words that weave hope and despair through the pages.

A review on Goodreads for Pathways to Illumination

By Rolly A… Five Stars.

I have been reading Christy Birmingham’s poetry and writings for the past three years. This is a work of art at its finest which paints a riveting story of a journey she has travelled filled with what was thought to be love, but resulted in pain, suffering much emotional trauma and eventually finding her way out to live with freedom and an amazingly positive outlook.

Through Christy’s book, we are able to live the fear, trauma and eventual healing we see in the closing poems. Poetry that touches the heart of the reader as it is written from the heart of someone who has been through a great deal.

The greatest blessing is to know Christy and the heart and willingness she has to share in hopes of helping others who suffer. It is my pleasure to call her a truly gifted writer and friend I admire and a person who many look to for strength, courage and support.

Never stop writing Christy, you have been given a very special gift and a gift which will bless many. 

Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productionshttp://redmundpro.com/book-store/pi/ (less)

About Versions of the Self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

One of the reviews for Versions of the Self

Versions of the Self is a collection of poetry that inspires and enthralls. Each thought-provoking piece is one to be savored. A variety of topics are explored, from nature (Painted Mountains) to simple pleasures (A Sundae Type of Day), from love to heartbreak. Ultimately, this collection is about relationships in all its forms. Christy Birmingham delves deep into the bonds of family (Tender Hands) and friendship, and she also examines the many ways love can go wrong (and right). But the most important relationship she writes about is the relationship we have with ourselves, or more specifically, with the many versions of ourselves that reside within us.

I have so many favorites within the pages of this book. In “Equality and Vision,” Christy honors women from our past, present, and future. Beautifully and delicately woven, “Introspection and Suffocation” resonated with me for many reasons. “Beauty, In Pursuit” examines our society’s relationship with trends and obsession with outer beauty. I could go on and on. If you love poetry, or if you are interested in branching out and reading more poetry, I would highly recommend this book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham/dp/0994094906

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham-ebook/dp/B00XQOH3IE

Connect to Christy

Blog: https://whenwomeninspire.com/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177834.Christy_Birmingham
Websitehttps://poeticparfait.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/christybis
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/christy.d.birmingham

If you would like to join Christy and the other writers and submit posts from your archives here is the link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – How I Found Inspiration in a Door Frame by Christy Birmingham


Delighted to share this post by Christy Birmingham which I thought was appropriate for the start of the New Year. We often set ourselves New Year resolutions that tend to fall by the wayside within a few weeks. Perhaps instead we should follow Christy’s approach to life ……

How I Found Inspiration in a Door Frame by Christy Birmingham

Limit inspiration? Never. Photo Source: Hartwig HKD, CC BY-ND 4.0, via Flickr

I had a thought today that sent shivers down my body. It came seemingly from nowhere, only moments after I had woken up from a nap on the couch. I walked into my bedroom and boom it came to me. The doorway.

I walked through the doorway and thought about how I have heard the way the door frame is used as a metaphor for open opportunities. You know many quotes about doors, I’m sure, but here are a few for you, just as examples:

“When one door closes, another door opens.” (Alexander Graham Bell)

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” (Flora Whittemore)

And then here is the boom that came to me. Doorways are limited. They have frames. Physical frames, usually of wood or steel, which fill the sides and top of the opening. They’re made large enough for most people to be able to walk through and they are sturdy. Some people are so tall that they need to bend down a bit to get through it.

Here’s my point though – they are limited. Doors are opportunities, yes, but they have frames that limit their size. We walk through them, yes, but we can walk through so many more opportunities when we stop limiting ourselves to frames on doors.

Instead, let’s eliminate those frames and just make it so that we walk through spaces, open spaces. Yes, this blog is a source of female encouragement, but this concept applies to women and men of all ages. Let’s keep us open rather than having boundaries.

Why limit what we can achieve in life? Even if you have never attended college, had a job that pays more than minimum wage or owned a home, you can still achieve what you want in life. Dream. Take away the boundaries of the doors to your mind. Replace them with open spaces through which you can walk and rise.

Say to yourself, “I will rise. I will seek. I will do.” Remember, no limits. None. You can do so much when you stop limiting what you believe you can achieve.

Let’s take life and make it all that it can be! Are you with me?

©Christy Birmingham 2014

My thanks to Christy for starting this new series of Posts from Your Archives off with such an inspiring message. Let’s make this a year of exploring the wide open spaces and being the best we can be.

About Christy Birmingham.

Christy Birmingham is a freelance writer in Victoria, BC, who has a BA in Psychology and has taken professional writing courses at the University of Victoria. She is the author of Pathways to Illumination (Redmund Productions, 2013), her first poetry book. Her work also appears in the Poetry Institute of Canada’s From the Cerulean Sea: An Anthology of Verse (2013) and the literary journals The Claremont Review and Tipton Poetry Journal.

Books by Christy Birmingham

About Pathways to Illumination.

Pathways to Illumination is the debut poetry collection from Canadian writer Christy Birmingham. The book follows one woman’s journey following the end of an abusive relationship. Read how she struggles to rise from darkness, a soul reaching for light, with words that weave hope and despair through the pages.

A review on Goodreads for Pathways to Illumination

By Rolly A… Five Stars.

I have been reading Christy Birmingham’s poetry and writings for the past three years. This is a work of art at its finest which paints a riveting story of a journey she has travelled filled with what was thought to be love, but resulted in pain, suffering much emotional trauma and eventually finding her way out to live with freedom and an amazingly positive outlook.

Through Christy’s book, we are able to live the fear, trauma and eventual healing we see in the closing poems. Poetry that touches the heart of the reader as it is written from the heart of someone who has been through a great deal.

The greatest blessing is to know Christy and the heart and willingness she has to share in hopes of helping others who suffer. It is my pleasure to call her a truly gifted writer and friend I admire and a person who many look to for strength, courage and support.

Never stop writing Christy, you have been given a very special gift and a gift which will bless many. 

Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productionshttp://redmundpro.com/book-store/pi/ (less)

About Versions of the Self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

One of the reviews for Versions of the Self

Versions of the Self is a collection of poetry that inspires and enthralls. Each thought-provoking piece is one to be savored. A variety of topics are explored, from nature (Painted Mountains) to simple pleasures (A Sundae Type of Day), from love to heartbreak. Ultimately, this collection is about relationships in all its forms. Christy Birmingham delves deep into the bonds of family (Tender Hands) and friendship, and she also examines the many ways love can go wrong (and right). But the most important relationship she writes about is the relationship we have with ourselves, or more specifically, with the many versions of ourselves that reside within us.

I have so many favorites within the pages of this book. In “Equality and Vision,” Christy honors women from our past, present, and future. Beautifully and delicately woven, “Introspection and Suffocation” resonated with me for many reasons. “Beauty, In Pursuit” examines our society’s relationship with trends and obsession with outer beauty. I could go on and on. If you love poetry, or if you are interested in branching out and reading more poetry, I would highly recommend this book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham/dp/0994094906

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham-ebook/dp/B00XQOH3IE

Connect to Christy

Blog: https://whenwomeninspire.com/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177834.Christy_Birmingham
Websitehttps://poeticparfait.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/christybis
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/christy.d.birmingham

The New Series of Posts from Your Archives.

The new series of posts from your archives is open. This series I am looking for posts from your archives that are at least six months old. The theme is LIFE in all its glory. Family, travel, short strories, non-fiction, poetry, history, food, recipes, pets, health, relationships, music, photography, art. As you will see you will have an opportunity to promote your work at the end of the posts but if you just wish to promote your books then that comes under a separate set of promotions.

Email me Four links from your archives of the posts you would like to share with a new audience… MINE.  Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Look forward to hearing from you.