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Inspirational Women’s Day

Of the many, MANY things I am grateful for in my life, having an abundance of inspiring women around me rates pretty high. Their gifts fill my heart, soul and mind.  {Allow me to state this: I am blessed to be surrounded by many men I adore and whom inspire…howevs, it IS International Women’s Day, so, I’m sticking with my sisters.}

Inspiration  = in + spirare (latin for breath). And it is sooooo important to breathe, isn’t it?

When I am a quart low of inspiration, these are the women I turn to. You see, I believe that inspiration is all around us. It taps you on the shoulder all the time – you just may choose to ignore it. Stated more prettily:

Inspiration is very polite. She knocks softly and then goes away if we don’t answer. –  Mary Pipher

So I am pretty intentional about going out and huffing it in when I need it, like a sleep-deprived travelling salesman at an oxygen bar. I fill up my lungs with the good stuff.

Some of my sources of inspiration, you’ll not meet on-line. And how they inspire me may not be of interest to anyone else. Like my Mom for teaching me that living joyfully is really the only sensible way (more on her teachings in The Joy Pages, over on the right hand side of this site), or my sister for showing me the grace in contentment.  Or my beloved clients for the bravery they show in their desire to step boldly into their best selves. Or my Mother-in-Law for epitomizing commitment. Or my Aunt for being a beacon of strength. Or my close friends for the meaning of unconditional love. Or my daughter for the reminder to slow down even as she grows at a breakneck speed.

Apart from my Future Self, here are my sources of inspiration that you CAN find on-line:

When I need to explore wholeheartedness, I breathe in Brené Brown.

When I need courage, I breathe in Lisa Chandler.

When I need to some wide-eyed wonder, I breathe in Teresa Deak.

When I need a shot of whip-smart sassiness, I breathe in Kelly Diels.

When I need a model of “no” AND of generosity, I breathe in Danielle LaPorte.

When I need to find soul-nourishing beauty, I breathe in Jamie Ridler.

When I need to know resilience and “never-too-latedness”, I breathe in Debra Eve.

When I need nice (ONE of my favourite four-letter words), I breathe in Carrie Klassen.

When I need to remember to savour AND serve, I breathe in Jen Louden.

When I need to find the middle ground between heart and mind, I breathe in Laura McGrath.

When I need to be return to the feminine essence, I breathe in Dara McKinley.

When I need to see the power in vulnerability, I breathe in Lindsey Mead.

When I need to be reminded about what wonders are available to all beyond the cubicle, I breathe in Pam Slim.

When I need to bring back the fabulous, I breathe in Katia Millar.

When I need to see the value in connectedness, I breathe in Tia Singh.

When I need some bombastic instigation, I breathe in Dyana Valentine.

Please do find them. Soak in their goodness, their teachings and then, breathe out. Energized and inspired.

Kind of like love and money, inspiration is meant to be shared. My request is this: take a moment to share in the comments which women inspire YOU.

And then, just because it will feel so damned good: tell them.



  1. Oh, Tanya! Truly I am honoured to be included with such a brilliant and inspiring group of women.

    Those I already follow are truly shimmering lights in this sometimes dauntingly vast space.

    As are you.

    And to add to this striking list, I am also inspired by:
    Yolanda Facio (@yolandafacio) of Red.Hot.Momentum

    Amanda Farough (@violetzombie) the brains and Beauty behind Violet Minded Design

    Erica Cosminsky (@cosminsky) of The Small Business Transcriptionist and The Invisible Office

    Annie Q. Syed (@so_you_know) and especially her Still Sundays

    Ronna Detrick (@ronnadetrick) of Renegade Conversations

    Karen Sharp (@karen_sharp) with her bold poetic voice on Trust Yourself

    These are just a few of the women who keep me inspired *every day*.

    Great idea, Tanya, thank you!

    Hugs and butterflies,

    • Amazing women here…thank you for sharing. Each and every one of them is now on my “get to know BETTER” list. You really do leave butterflies wherever you go, don’t you?

  2. What an immense honor to see myself on this list, by you, someone who inspires ME so much – thank you, thank you, thank you. xox

    • XOXO back at you. You’re my ever-present reminder that the blogosphere can be as homey and lovely as we want it to be. Cushions here, fireplace there, cashmere throws.

  3. Goodness, me. I’m with Lindsey – what an honour to be among these women, named by YOU.

    When I need BEAUTY and fill-the-whole-room open-heartedness, I breathe in Tanya Geisler.

    When I need “wordfood” and the elegance of language, I breathe in Chris Kay Fraser –

    When I need sweetness and thoughtfulness, I breathe in sisters Kimberly and Amy Sedgwick –

    When I need to feel in my body, I breathe in Lori Klassen –

    When I need to call myself “goddess” and mean it, I breathe in Zahra Haji –

    When I need full-blast generosity of spirit, I breathe in Mubin Sultan –

    When I need to be light-filled and stardust-covered, I breathe in Shamsi –

    I could go on and on and on…. what extraordinary joy to live a life so full of good women. Thank you for being you.

    • You = sweet + generous+ gracious + light. “Nice” barely covers the tip of the ol’ iceberg.

  4. When I need BIG LOVE I come to you!!

    Your heart is boundless.

    What a gorgeous list of celebration! Thank you for including me.

    • *sigh* Couldn’t have a list of inspiring women without you, Jamie Ridler. It would be woefully incomplete.

  5. Tanya,

    What a beautiful idea!

    I’m going to try for a list with no repeats:

    When I want to remember that I can create my world with my own two hands, I breathe Elizabeth Fraser:

    When I want to remember to shake (and LOVE) my booty, I breath Jenn Hicks:

    When I want to remember how good it feels to have dirt under my nails, I breath Helen Tremethick:

    When I want to remember the surging ocean of my own creativity, I breathe Danette Relic:

    When I want to remember how to sing from my heart, I breathe Deanna Yerichuk:

    When I want to remember to sing along while washing the dishes and in the meantime remembering some big life lessons, I breathe Alex Hickey:

    When I want to remember that lunchtime is also an act of creativity, I breathe the amazing women of The Cooks Cooperative:

    I could go on all day!

    • Mercy me, what gorgeousness in this comment: “lunchtime is also an act of creativity”, “how good it feels to have dirt under my nails”, sing along while washing the dishes and in the meantime remembering some big life lessons”. You write good…you know that? {I kid, I kid} Readers, PLEASE go find Chris at She’s up to pretty damned inspiring things herself.

  6. ohhh, this is juicy! Thank you so much for including me. I am inspired by the single and connected mothers in my world, my mother Ellen Eisenman,, included. I am inspired by the woman who walks through my neighborhood daily singing to her ipod with the “HELP, I’m turning into my mother” t-shirt. I’m deeply moved by women taking risks (and names) and kicking booty in the work. One example is Susan Hyatt:
    There are so many more–thank you for bringing this to my minds eye. It’s a great way to start the day.

    • I know of Susan and love her energy and spirit…am looking forward to getting to know her better in the time to come. And thank you for “introducing” me/us to your Mom. Apples, the proverbial tree and so forth. It all makes sense, YOU creative booty kicker. XO

  7. When I need gentle caring and practical wisdom, I breathe in my mom, Olga Klassen.
    When I need beauty and generosity, and thoughtfulness, I breathe in Carrie Klassen
    When I need sensuality, body awareness and spirit connection, I breathe in Patricia O’Callaghan
    When I need a sense of adventure, I breathe in Megan Williams.
    When I need a good belly laugh and acceptance, I breathe in Tanya Kirouac
    When I need loyalty and solid grounding, I breathe in Cathy Mills
    When I need tenderness, I breathe in Angela Tamari.
    When I need a courage and self confidence, I breathe in Lori LeMare
    When I need openness and fiery passion, I breathe in Tracy Michaelidis.
    When I need to remember that I am and always have been loved, I breathe in Lorna Clutterham.
    When I need to believe in my journey and my work, I breathe in Tamara Franz-Martin.
    I am blessed with a large and generous circle of women friends. Thank you to you all for being who you are, and sharing yourselves with me! I’m honoured and grateful.

    • Lori…thank you so much for sharing these women with us. Am excited to find them and fall in love with their particular gifts. Thank you also for stopping by. It’s great to have you here.

  8. Guess I didn’t make the cut! LOL :)

    • You inspire me too, ACL. For knowing what you want and asking for it. XO

  9. Wow! What a wonderfully womanly way to welcome today! (too bad it’s not Wednesday…I was on a good roll there ;} ) You’ve supplied us with enough inspirational women to inhale, that I fear I’m in danger of hyper-ventilating! :) Hellloooo Teresa!
    I must say many of those who inspire me, too, are not online (my mom included) But here are a few gems: When I need a breath of puure love: Judy Clement Wall
    When I need to breathe in food and spirit love: Elena Rego
    That is certainly not all…but the day draws to a close!
    Thank you for this, Tanya. I intend to suss out the many mahvelous women listed here. xoxoxo G

    • Have fallen in love with Judy because of you, you connector, youuuuu!!! So will go find Elena…who doesn’t need food and spirit love? And hey, will you give your Mom a hug for me when you next se her? XO

      • Absoluutely! :) So happy you are enjoying Judy-Awesomeness too :) Happy to hug my mom for you. She’ll feel your love coming through xoxoxo G

  10. I am so honored and grateful to be on this list, gorgeous! And about 90% of the women on your list are on mine, too. I’m so excited to check out the others.

    Thank YOU for being a constant source of joy and inspiration.

    • Would love to know the other 10% and yes, go seek these women out and let them fall in love with you the way I have!

  11. What a special gallery of life force you have created here Tanya! Brilliant!

    • Isn’t it just? I had the pleasure of just opening the door. The fabulousness just flew on it, as it does. And here you are!

  12. I have been thinking of you and made a commitment to come back to this post and here I am, better late than never. Your presence in my life greatly enriches it Tanz!

    I still remember the first time we talked on the phone – when you started squealing with excitement and said how you’d been dying to connect with me, I fell in LOVE with your openness, incredible warmth, zesty energy and enthusiasm.

    You bowled me over with your HUGE heart full of love and instant acceptance and I’ve been a fan ever since :)

    I come to you for whip smart clarity, compassion and when I need someone to believe in me 1000%. Tanya. You’re a gift to me and the world. I love you so much! xo Tia

  13. This is beautiful! I began a similarish list in my latest post I published today… but I am still acquiring, and WOW is there an abundance (at times overwhelming abundance!) of beautiful, inspiring women out there! I can’t wait to get to know you through your blog even more…. Happy Inspirational Women’s Day (2012) to you! xoxo

    • Off I go to read your post!

  14. Thank you Tanya for including me in your fabulous list – so honoured to be in the company of so many awesome women!

    You are one of the most whole-hearted, courageous, sassy, generous, beautiful, resilient, nice, powerful, connected and all-around gorgeous women that I know!

    Happy Women’s Day darling!
    Love, K. xox

  15. When I need to remember my heart song, I breathe in Tanya Geisler. xo



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