Who inspires you?

We all have tough times when life feels rough or we feel stuck.

I had a tendency to withdraw during rough times.

When I did this, I felt alone and shut-off from the goodness and joy of life. It was hard to pull myself out of the rut.

What do you do when you’re feeling challenged or at low ebb?

While taking time to pause and reflect is helpful, getting stuck in life’s troughs is painful.

A practice that’s been invaluable for me is reflecting on people whose lives and journeys inspire me. I love drawing from their stories.

I remember that anything’s possible. If they can do it, so can I, if I choose to.

I have many inspiring people in my life, each one offering me a unique view of human potential and possibility. I’ve learned to turn my mind toward them when I feel stuck or down.

Who inspires you? If them, then why not you?

One person who continually lifts and inspires me to greater ways of being is Barbara Samuel, a local singer, vocal coach, and minister.

Simply spending time with Barb lifts my spirits. Her love and joy are infectious. Her life reminds me to be willing to stretch myself, and grow outside of my comfort zone.

Barb’s a woman of strong faith, who reveals the power of living life based on intention, vision, and courage. She faces life head-on, rising above challenge, recognizing anything’s possible.

While living what may appear to be a charmed life to many, Barb works hard, constantly remembering her life’s purpose of creating relationship with others through music, and to be all she can be.

She chooses to be a role-model for her grand-babies.

Barb spends herself consistently, uplifting people as she travels through life, leaving a ripple of joy and inspiration in her wake.

Barb shares the gift of her many blessings saying, “I just want people to be happy, to create a moment and a memory of joy and happiness.”  She does this on a consistent basis.

Life has a way of stretching and growing us past our comfort zones if we’re willing to embrace new possibility and challenge. It’s easy to stay within our own comfort zone, declining new challenge, creating regret for missed opportunity.

While fear stops many from living their greatest potential, what scares Barb the most is not seizing the opportunities life brings.

Barb reminds me that anything’s possible, and life’s too short to play small. She’s has the courage to say yes when opportunity knocks, even when it’s scary.

Barb’s life has been a journey of self-discovery, of finding talents and abilities she didn’t know she had.

Having grown comfortable with her role of lead singer in the Kelowna band, Sista B and the Boyz, Barb’s said yes to new opportunities that would frighten many.

She’s learned to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Last year, never having acted, Barb accepted the role of Deloris Van Cartier in Kelowna Actor Studio’s Sister Act. Her new talent was revealed, as she lit up the stage, to the delight of audiences.

Not willing to rest there, she’s now accepted the new challenge to share herself in Creekside Theatre’s upcoming Rock Me Baby. Barb’s growing yet again, as she shares more about herself and her journey.

Rock Me Baby is a celebration of Women and Music, showcasing the best of women’s music from the 1960’s to today. Each choreographed song in the seven sets of this upcoming production holds special meaning for Barb, as she feels it’s time to reveal more about herself and her journey with her fans.

It’s easy to play it small and safe, but then do we really live our full potential?

Barb joked in saying falling down while wearing high-heels is her greatest fear. In reality, what scares her most is not doing it; it’s fear of walking away from new opportunities when they arise, and the empty feeling that would follow.

We miss life’s opportunities when we stay stuck in our comfort zones. Fear of change and failure can stop us, but we lose out.  Yes, we could fall down, but if we do, we can always get up and begin again.

Barb Samuel inspires me to show up in life, to move out of my comfort zone, to risk becoming more, and to live a life of no regrets. She reminds me of the importance of one person showing up to say yes.

What talent or opportunity is waiting to express through you? What limiting stories get in the way?  Are you willing to face the fear and do it anyway?


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About the Author

Corinne is first a wife, mother, and grandmother, whose eclectic background has created a rich alchemy that serves to inform her perspectives on life.

Corinne, a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Health Science, is a staff minister with the Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna, and a hospice volunteer. She is an adjunct professor with the school of nursing  at UBC Okanagan, and is currently teaching smartUBC, a unique Mindfulness program offered at UBC, to the public. She is an invited speaker and presenter.

From diverse experience and knowledge, personally and professionally, Corinne has developed an extraordinary passion for helping people to gain a new perspective, awaken, and to recognize that we do not have to be a slave to our thoughts or to life; we are always at a point of change.

Through this column, Corinne blends her insights and research to provide food for the mind and the heart, to encourage an awakening of the power and potential within everyone.

Corinne lives in Kelowna with her husband of 41 years, and can be reached at [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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