Life is hard. All of us have our challenges and crosses to bear. We can be the victims of life or the ones who find ways to poke holes in the dark bubble to let the light in. I choose to be one of the light-seekers, but I don’t do it alone. I find inspiration everywhere and I tend to seek it out every day as well. I look to others who exemplify strength and resilience, positive attitudes and kindness. It’s how I find my strength.
It goes without saying that my greatest inspiration online are the writers on this blog. If you have time to catch up and do some reading, please take some time to get inspired by their stories. They have all shared their own sources for online inspiration for all of you to check out.
– Stacey aka WillowjakMama
Amy: My favourite online presence is @bodyposipanda on Instagram. This influencer is a young woman who has great self love and body positivity content. Her mission is to inspire young people to see their own unique beauty. Her honest and inspiring content supports my self-love journey everyday.
Stacey: I find inspiration everywhere and I tend to seek it out as well. Life has been really hard and I tend to gravitate to people who have demonstrated resilience and who believe that love and kindness is what can solve most of life’s problems. Author Jesse Thistle is my most recent inspo and I’ve just been soaking up whatever content he is putting out into the world. I look up any recorded or print interviews; listen to his narration of the audio version of his memoir From the Ashes; and I re-read sections of the book over and over. His personality shines on his Facebook page as well. I have been listening to a podcast from Gimlet Media with Canadian host Jonathan Goldstein called Heavyweight, for the last few years. Each episode is an attempt to work through someone’s “how it could have been, how it might yet be and what if’s.” I find it very therapeutic and funny and always need some tissues handy. For real life inspiration that happens on Facebook, I am beyond grateful that I found our Willowjak writer, Michelle S-B early in this pandemic. I participate in her monthly membership (Spirited Healing ‘In the Past Community‘) that provides an online community where “meditation, energetic clearings and teachable moments” have transformed my life to kick old patterns of thinking and bring me hope for the future. FB: @SpiritedHealing. For some lighthearted fun, from someone with a huge and kind heart, I follow @justinanderson on IG – his stories make me laugh and smile and I’m grateful he’s in the world. For strength in finding other women just trying to kill it with humour, hard work and great attitudes, I’ve been following @catandnat. Last, I have followed them for years and turn to BLOOM and it is a blog on parenting children with disabilities supported by Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (FB: BLOOMHollandBloorview).
Tara: I spend little time reading inspirational or motivational website or blogs. Most of my online reading is scientific papers to better understand my children’s diagnoses.
Steph: GoCleanCo has changed my life. I am addicted to watching their cleaning videos online. It’s been an absolute game changer for me during this pandemic. It has made cleaning fun for the first time in my life. Instagram: gocleanco Facebook: GO CLEAN CO
Nicholas: The only people I look to for motivation online are David Goggins and Jocko Willink. Both are retired Navy SEAL’s, David is an ultramarathon runner and Jocko is a motivational speaker. Both preach extreme accountability and discipline. Jocko posts every single day when he wakes up at the ungodly hour of 4:30. You can feel the energy through the same daily black and white photo of his watch. David uploads when he feels like it, but also has some serious energy and often leaves you feeling you should be out running an ultramarathon yourself.
Jake: Even when I’m feeling really in my head or I’m in bed feeling stuck in a funk, I find myself still going to one stupid show that always makes me feel comfortable and that I am in the safest of space, (and the most catty.) “The Wendy Show” with my favourite host, Wendy Williams, has never failed to bring me a bucket full of smiles and laughs (and tears). It’s a shady mess and has been criticized heavily, but Wendy is somebody whose life path has inspired me very much. I love her wit and charm, and I adore getting to hear about her amazing stories that she has experienced in life. She has also kept up her daily show during COVID and I’m in awe of her gracefulness through daily troubles. My opinion is that she is overlooked because of what she says about celebrities, but she’s the best at it in my opinion. Put the daily episode on if you want to feel goofy. If it isn’t for you, that’s okay too. All love!
Ms. Devine: I am a bit of a Pinterest buff. Depending on what is going on in my life, crafting with the kids at home or work, crocheting in the evenings, making new things from dilapidated furniture and scrapbooking are things that inspire me. Being creative and crafty is something I really want to do more of! On Pinterest I like Happy Hooligans who has great craft ideas for kids. Scrapbook and Cards Today who has a million and one ideas for scrapbooking spreads and cards. Craft Evangelist has everything crochet from how to start to more complex patterns that I dare not try!
Amanda: My friend Georgette is a Yoga and Meditation teacher and recently opened a business where she is the Director of Wellness. She speaks her truth and even though I cannot do one lick of yoga, her posts are always real and put a smile on my face. @readysetflow or @sanctummedwellness (in Dallas, TX). Phoebe Robinson: @dopequeenpheebs funny, real and passionate. Tabitha Brown: @iamtabithabrown – Vegan food and a very positive attitude and makes me smile. Lainey Lui – www.laineygossip.com I respect what she has done with her site and her writing is really good. // Michael K – www.dlisted.com He has many writers, but his posts are entertaining. Chrissy Teigen – @chrissyteigen I know she is a celebrity and all but some of her tweets are really funny and I enjoy her candor. Kathleen Newman-Bremang – @KathleenNB – used to write for Lainey’s site and is the senior editor at @refinery29 and has moderated film events I have been to and I am a big fan.
Allie: I love listening to Trevor Noah. He’s a funny comedian but he’s also super smart and compassionate. https://www.youtube.com/c/TheDailyShow His memoir is also brilliant – Born A Crime by Trevor Noah: https://www.trevornoah.com/store
Liza: @thebirdspapaya is my favourite Instagram account to follow for inspiration. She is a fellow Ontarian who is focused on body positivity, inclusivity and all things feministy. She also has a blog: https://www.thebirdspapaya.com
Deb: My fave has to be @ashenwrenceramics. She is a potter I follow on Instagram. Her videos of slip trailing pieces are like zen magic…and I have learned so much in the skill department from watching her wheel techniques and trimming instructions. Other than this, I honestly love reading all the other posters on our site. You are all incedible and diverse and keep bringing me back to what is truly important in life!
Lauren: Janaya Future Khan. Organizer, storyteller. Their weekly Sunday sermons help me disseminate the pain in this world and allow me to keep moving forward with my own learning and action by reinforcing my belief that connection and love are the foundations of change. — For Floral Beauty and Slow Art: Bumiel Flower and Marianne Eriksen Scott-Hansen.
Michelle SB: I have affectionately referred to Matt Kahn as my Internet Boyfriend for years now. I discovered him on YouTube when I was only just beginning my start into formalizing my spirituality, in becoming an ordained minister. Matt teaches what I live: that no matter what, love is the only way forward. He’s funny and deeply insightful. He is full of wisdom and I have never been more thankful for any presence online than I am for him. (facebook.com/mattkahn) (mattkahn.org)
Fancy: So it’s funny to say this but I have found a lot of inspiration on Tik Tok lately. I originally went on to see the funny videos of dogs that my cousin was sending me and ended up finding cooking, crafting and DYI tutorials. I even found an amazing cranberry sauce recipe that I made for Thanksgiving.
I’m trying my best to pay it forward by dealing hope and sharing stories & tips on caregiving and how to survive hard things. I blog a lot about single parenting my adult twin sons who both have autism, and the challenges we face in surviving the everyday challenges and planning for a future full of unknowns.