Posts Categorized: Personal

What Women Inspire You?

As Benji and I work together each day to live our lives well and make the world a better place, I – quite honestly – don’t have to look farther than inside our own home.

Here, nestled within these 100+-year-old walls, lives the future. Here lives our tiny four-year-old daughter. I strive daily to illustrate and help her realize that girls can do motha-effin’ anything. Women! We are an amazing gender, and while I mean no disregard for the (sometimes) hairier sex, we women have to stick together. For many years we’ve had to prove ourselves to the world. That we’re capable, that we’re strong, that we’re smart, and worth just as much as any other human being.

I feel that. Definitely as a business owner and boss. As a spouse. As a mother. But it’s the latter that really puts the fire in me to put forth this upcoming Spring issue of Inspire(d) Magazine. We’re doing an inspiring women issue, ya’ll! And it’s going to be great.

And I need your help.

I’d love for you to tell me about your inspiring mother, grandmother, best friend, neighbor, mentor…you get it. Send me 300 words or less about what is so inspiring about this woman in your life.

Details:

  1. Please write it from the first person (i.e. “My mother is so incredibly amazing. She’s always found a way to put a positive spin on life and that has, in turn, helped me create a positive world for my family and community….” < that’s about my mom, fyi).
  2. It can be quite a bit shorter than 300 words if you don’t need much space, but no longer.
  3. Include one photo of the inspiring woman in your life, or one of you and her or another photo that best illustrates her inspiring qualities. Just keep in mind: I only have room for one photo.
  4. Include their full name and location and your full name and location. I would prefer that either the woman featured or the person writing the story lives in or has once lived in the Driftless Region.
  5. Deadline is January 30. No later! Email your stories to aryn@iloveinspired.com

We’ll print as many inspiring female stories in the spring issue as we can! Hopefully all of them. These personal stories will share the pages with a few longer pieces on some other inspiring women in the Driftless Region. I am so pumped!

Truly I’ve never been more excited about putting a magazine together (and I’ve made 48 of them!). It’s for Roxie, for myself, for all my best female friends, neighbors, and even strangers – ’cause women are freaking awesome! XOXO

Looking forward,

Aryn

Read the Winter 2016-17 Inspire(d) Online!

Winter is a wonderful time to cozy in and think about making life better. So we’re excited to bring you the new Winter 2016-2017 Inspire(d) Magazine, all about bettering yourself and your communities! Online today, and out on stands starting this weekend!

Here’s what you’ll get to read:

Forgiveness Initiative • Smithsonian Water/Ways in Lanesboro • Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness • The Walking Revolution • Sum of Your Business: Brenda Harris • Heard About It? Try It! • Wild Rice Chicken Soup recipe • DIY Envelopes! • Probit: Grace Peterson

Winter 2016-2017 Editor’s Letter

These are some tumultuous times here in our world. There are so many things folks are upset about, and rightly so. These problems are very real and concerns about the future are legitimate.

arynroxie_fall_winter16We’re not here to say everything is going to be all right, but we are going to say that this time is yours to shape. Just like any time. And just like always, Inspire(d) encourages you to start small, start in your own community, or even just start with yourself. Winter is the perfect time to look inside and work on being well and being a better person.

Where do you start? How about with a little (or a lot of) forgiveness? Sara Friedl-Putnam chatted with Luther College forgiveness expert Loren Toussaint, who has done extensive research on the mental and, yes, physical benefits behind being more forgiving of others and yourself. It makes perfect sense to us – holding on to negative feelings will only make us feel more negative. Toussaint shares some tips on how to start forgiving on a more regular basis – we hope you’ll give it a try (pg. 24)!

winter_16_coverInspire(d) newcomer Cerrisa Snethen covers the part where we make our communities better places – she did an fabulous job covering the amazing work of Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative. Come 2017 (which is, indeed, coming!), FFI has been bettering Northeast Iowa for a decade! We had no idea just how many awesome changes in the region were due to this many-faceted organization. See for yourself on page 50.

Speaking of communities, we’re pretty excited that Lanesboro, Minnesota is one of the towns hosting the national Smithsonian exhibit, Water/Ways, January 7 – February 18, 2017. Water is life – we need to protect it, conserve it, and respect it. Kristine Jepsen fills us in on all the cool details of the community-wide exhibit and its multitude of events. It’s going to be a perfect combo of education and fun (pg. 14)!

This issue’s Sum of Your Business feature, Brenda Harris, owner of the Acupuncture Center Decorah, fits perfectly with winter wellness. The three facets of the Center – acupuncture, qigong, and herbal medicine – are fascinating to learn about, and Brenda’s business story is great too (pg. 24).

And while we’re talking about wellness, we should also talk about staying well – I’ve included my go-to chicken soup recipe (pg. 48) – make this for yourself or your family when someone is under the weather, or if you’re just looking for a healthy, warm winter meal.

We were happy to have former Inspire(d) intern, now legit-design-pro Kristin Anderson create the paper project this issue. She came up with a fun idea for reusing your favorite magazine pages: Homemade envelopes (pg. 33). They’re super cute, and who doesn’t love to get a fun little piece of snail mail delivered to their door?

Okay, and winter doesn’t have to be all about looking in – you can get out too! Try some of our fun “get active” ideas – from silo ice climbing to Aerialates – on page 30! And, finally, don’t miss Grace Peterson’s wonderful probituary – we just love reading those interviews!

We here at Inspire(d) hope you enter 2017 with optimism, strength, and health. Make it the best year possible. You’ve got this.

Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

Electing for Change: Why Vote?

electing_changeyourworldaryn

By Aryn Henning Nichols

There are many boards, committees, and political offices that rely on local volunteers. And these positions do so much to guide how your community moves forward. Do you have opinions about things happening in your town? The answer is, very likely, yes. Why not get involved so you can make those opinions better known?

electing_votebuttonNot up for that? It’s cool! You know what’s super easy? Voting. Seriously – you can even get your ballot mailed to you (absentee ballots). And then – if you’re like me and aren’t sure about the lesser-publicized election contests – you can research each candidate and their platforms as you vote. Because it’s those contests down the ballot that often impact your lives and communities even more.

We are so lucky we live in a society where we get to vote – we Americans get a say in how our lives are run (even if it doesn’t always seem like it)! It’s pretty cool.

Looking for a quick and easy reference? Check out ballotpedia.org. Enter your address and it will show you a sample ballot for 2016. Then you can click on the people running and learn what they’re all about. Then click on through to candidates own websites to learn more.

It feels great to make educated decisions, and it feels great to know more about topics that are important to local and state-level constituents. You are one of those constituents! Let your voices be heard, friends. And not just every four years! Pay attention, share your ideas, and together we can all make this community, region, state, country…world…a better place!

XOXO – Aryn