Who’s Your Shiny Inspiration?

“A wise man said, “The reason I see so far is because I stand on the shoulders of the giants that came before me.” Sometimes the giants are those people close to us, and people we see every day. Being so close, perhaps sometimes we don’t even realize their greatness. Or how their greatness gives us the boost to be great ourselves. Do you have friends, family, a beloved in your life that lifts you up, encourages you, hears you, supports you? If there is even one, you are rich. I am rich.” ~ Rev. Pattie Weber

This was posted on the Spiritual Center for Positive Living’s Facebook page yesterday (one of my favorite Facebook pages) and it has me feeling truly blessed.  Mama and I know some inspirational giants and I think they deserve to be recognized.

I certainly see greatness in all of my friends and acquaintances — it’s all in how you look at people — but a couple of people in my life radiate greatness in a extra-special ways.    They have light and sweetness radiating through every cell of their beings.  And I am inspired.

You’ve heard me mention cousin Velma and her dog, my cousin, Hannah.  Well, Velma is one of those peeps who makes you want to be a better person (or dog).  The energy and effort she seamlessly gives to others will inspire you too.

Velma and her mom (mama's Aunt Shirley)

Velma had a special birthday last week.  She turned 56 and she was born in 1956, so this will undoubtedly be an exceptionally special year for her.  Velma’s birthday is March 3, 1956 — yes, that’s 3-4-56 — extraordinary symmetry for an extraordinary woman.

This amazing woman is not only one of mama’s cousins, but also one of her best friends, confidant and inspiration.  She’s a wife, mom, sister to a 6 siblings (mother hen!), entrepreneur and ebay power-seller.  And she still has time to give of herself.

For her birthday, Velma wanted to spend the day doing things that make her happy.  Not an unusual birthday goal, but her choice of activities may inspire you.  Special Velma spent her special day handing out lunches to homeless families followed by an afternoon of karaoke at an assisted living facility.

I told you that you’d feel inspired!

Another light-filled being in our lives is my Aunt Lisa (mama’s dear friend).  Lisa is the embodiment of generosity.  She finds great joy in helping others — her family, her friends, her animals, her coworkers and her clients (cancer patients).

Aunt Lisa made sure she was with me in my last hours.  And, maybe more importantly, she was a comfort to mama as I was making my exit from my earth-body.  And it was Lisa, weeks later, who insisted on purchasing Timmy Elijah from the breeder to help heal my family.

Aunt Lisa with Timmy Elijah Love

A year ago, at the holidays, a friend of Lisa’s was having out of town family coming to visit and the friend was a bit stressed because her carpets were not “guest ready” (due to her pack of dogs).  Lisa’s friend felt she just had to be ok with the state of her carpets, as she didn’t have the funds to replace them.

Well, when Lisa’s friend went away for a weekend, Lisa grabbed the reins and hired a carpet company to come in and replace the flooring as a surprise for her friend.  Needless to say, the response was jaw-dropping appreciation!

Now you’re really inspired, right?

People like Velma and Lisa are earthly teachers and proof of Divine Presence.  We all have shiny, bright souls in our lives and I believe they are here to guide us to being better people, and pups.

I would love to hear about the shiny souls in your world!



  1. Lisa Maslack says:

    Awwww…Atticus..such a sweet tribute. It’s so easy to love you and your family and I hope you are looking in the mirror because people who give, often receive. Such is this case! I know you see that giving can come in so many ways-a wag, slobbery kiss, even a snort and it’s those things that you remember made you smile and touched your heart. So, I’m only returning the joy you have given me and made my life a richer one by having you, your mama, Timmy E., Wilbur and Bella in it :) Hugs and wags, Aunt Lisa

  2. Atticus says:

    Wow Lisa — what a sweet (and thought-provoking) comment… I suppose we often don’t realize our impact on others. I suppose that speaks to the idea that every breath, every action causes an equal reaction — in a good way! Mama and I feel blessed and are eternally grateful for friends like you! Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration and touchstone for all that is good in the world to us. xxxooo

  3. chrislwagner says:

    You are both truly rich indeed!!! Great post.

  4. Donna McCord says:

    Such a wonderful gift to have those “shiny souls” in your life, Atticus! And for your Mom, too. Both Aunt Lisa and Velma sound like amazing friends and natural givers…there really is so much joy in giving and seeing how it can change someone’s life and inspire them to turn around and be a blessing to others. So many of the shiny souls in my life are people (and furry angels like you, too!) that I may not really even know personally, but have inspired me, but for sure my mom is one of my favorites and I am so blessed to have her in my life!

  5. Trish says:

    Atticus, The FB status from Rev Pattie Weber was beautiful as was your post. We truly are blessed when we have our “shiny inspiration” in our lives. The people in your mama’s life sound incredible! I am fortunate to have many inspirational people surrounding me who enrich my life!

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  6. Man, I have to say I’m jealous. I used to have people like this once in my life. One was my father and the other a great friend named Shannon. Both are gone now, but the memories I have of them are awesome. My dad is the reason I went off on my own and started my own business. He made me stop being afraid of failing, after he died no less, because I still had insecurities about it. And Shannon was always there for me and vice versa. She always put aside herself to be a good friend and when I told her she needed to stop doing that she just cried. No one had ever said that to her before. Those kinds of people are lacking in my life right now, sadly, but I’m glad that they’re out there.
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  7. I’m going to be thinking of “shiny souls” now as a way to capture this special kind of person. I actually read this post several days ago but didn’t comment at the time. Really couldn’t think of anybody in my life, even though I know for sure there have been people. I think I’m still wrapped up in thinking about Fretta and I don’t have as expansive a mind. But I was quite moved reading about such wonderful people. Goodness knows we need this kind of “shine” in our life.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing
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  8. I’ve always found that when people have friends in their lives like Velma and Lisa, it’s because they have shiny, bright souls themselves.
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  9. Atticus says:

    Apologies for the delay in responding Donna — heaven is a busy place for a doggie angel :)

    Yes, your mom is an inspiration! From the stories you’ve told us about her, I feel inspired by her through you. and congrats on your parents’ 65th anniversary! such a milestone. Blessed Easter to you, Donna!

  10. Atticus says:

    Hi Trish — you are one of those shiny, inspirational people too! I may have to do a second part to this post… we’re fortunate to have a lot of inspirational peeps & pups who motivate us to be better in our lives.

  11. Atticus says:

    It’s taken me far to long to respond to your honest comment, Dennis. I think there’s a time/space lapse thing going on between earth & heaven…

    We know how it feels to lose a loved one… actually not lose, just a different relationship after they transition. For mama, her dad & I were huge shiny inspirations to her. She misses our physical presence deeply, but in her quiet times she’s still able to commune with us. I hope you are able to feel the presence of your father and Shannon around you…because they truly are near you at all times. I know mama takes great comfort from this, although it also deepens the longing that we were still physically with her.

    I know you’ll find different peeps & pups in your future who inspire you :)

  12. Atticus says:

    Absolutely Judy — we all need this kind of shine in our lives! & I believe we all have them.. the perpetually smiling clerk at the store, the helpful neighbor, etc… Sometimes shiny inspirations are not necessarily those who are closest to us & I think that’s part of the beauty of looking for (and appreciating) these peeps in our lives.

  13. Atticus says:

    Appreciate the comment Sherryl & apologies for the delay in responding (busy life in heaven these days!). Grandma (mama’s mom) always says to look around at your friends, as they reflect you. nice!

  14. Jamie Leigh Himmelstein says:

    Hi Atti,

    Sorry I’m getting to this late…I must have missed the original post. What a beautiful post this is…and it gives me a chance to talk about my friends. I’ve waited my whole life to have the friends I have now in my life. They love me for ME, now…not 20 lbs lighter, or not with better hair…Me. Now.

    They hug me and say I love you, before I do and it’s music to my ears. And this last Thursday while I have been so sick again? Two of them ran around doing errands for me, buying me lunch for the weekend, making me matzo ball soup…and then another one yesterday returned a book to the library for me!!

    Plus my cousin last night says she’s going to send me a whole bunch of immunity stuff to help me stop getting sick!! Just awesome! :)

    I am SO blessed…Thanks Atti for letting me thank them yet again <3

  15. Atticus says:

    You certainly are blessed with great friendships, Jamie! Pawsome!! Your buddies sound amazing and inspirational. and to have such terrific friends says a lot about you — only a fab woman could have such fab friends. Kudos to you & your buddies, Jamie. and hope you’re feeling tiptop soon

  16. Martial Matthers says:

    I totally digg this, because I can relate to my like perfectly:
    “A wise man said, “The reason I see so far is because I stand on the shoulders of the giants that came before me.” Sometimes the giants are those people close to us, and people we see every day. Being so close, perhaps sometimes we don’t even realize their greatness. Or how their greatness gives us the boost to be great ourselves. Do you have friends, family, a beloved in your life that lifts you up, encourages you, hears you, supports you? If there is even one, you are rich. I am rich.” ~ Rev. Pattie Weber

    Thanks for sharing, I am totally inspired.
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  17. Martial Matthers says:

    Oh! I meant I can relate to my life perfectly..
    Martial Matthers recently posted..http://www. maxworkoutsreview.net

  18. Brian Kings says:

    I like your post. Sometimes we may have good things around and only realize their importance when we lose them. My shinny soul is my ‘big siz’
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