Breathe In – The Inspiration Award

When you think of “inspiration” what or who comes to mind?

One of the people who comes to mind for me is my father. He was the first person who taught me about inspiration, and how to find it in unusual places. In his eyes a pile of trash on the side of the road could become a beautiful work of art.

This is a pic I took (moonvoodoo is my now defunct Da name) of some trash by the side of the road – it’s a slogan I dislike, and I liked that someone had thrown it away, leaving nature to deal with it.

My father was a professional artist.

When he was a kid, his teacher had noticed the scribbles he made in his school books, but instead of telling him off she had encouraged him to develop his natural ability and pursue the life of an artist.

His mother wanted him to be a bus driver, it was a respectable job, and to forget about his frivolous artistic ambitions because people wouldn’t respect him and he wouldn’t make a decent living from it – even though when he was a teenager during World War II he made quite a lot of money, which put food on the family table and bought many little luxuries for his mother and siblings, by sketching portraits of the G.I.’s who had come to liberate Italy.

My grandfather worked as a builder at the Vatican, but during the war he spent time in jail for repeatedly telling the Fascists to fuck off (he was a “capu tostu” = deeply ingrained hardheadedness), and my father as next head of family took over his role as provider. His experience earning money from his drawings made him determined to pursue his art regardless of what people said and thought about it.

My grandmother’s attitude was rather narrow and blinkered, but understandable considering they were living in the slums of Rome after having moved from the South of Italy where jobs were scarce. She never changed her opinion even after my father made it as a professional artist, bought her a nice house and made sure she was comfortably set for life.

So, what has any of that got to do with this… and what is this?

Rory, of A Guy Called Bloke, has gifted me with The Inspiration Award.

The Inspiration Award was created by The Eclectic Contrarian, and it “is a token of appreciation to blog authors who have inspired you, your blog, artistic influence and writing.

The rules:

  • You may use the picture above as you have received the Award
  • There’s no limit on how many or few you wish to award. Simply appreciate those who have inspired you!
  • I hope this is a blessing and everyone participates. But it’s not mandatory.

The “picture above” is this one below:

The story I told about my father… originally I shared it because of him teaching me to find inspiration in everything and everyone, including in things which may not be viewed as inspiring, or which may inspire a negative perspective and reaction in the eye of the beholder.

Negative muses can be just as inspiring than positive ones, sometimes more so.

But I could have said that in one paragraph as I have a just done. Why did I say more than was needed?

That’s a signature of sorts of my blog posts. I always write more than needs to be written… if I was just writing to share my stories, perspective, with others, but that’s not why I blog.

My posts are conversations which I’m having with myself. The more I talk, the more I listen and hear what I might miss if I didn’t say as much as I say. These conversations inspire me in a multitude of ways – sometimes I notice a blind spot, where I’m being narrow-minded and blinkered. Sometimes it highlights where my stubbornness is hindering progress, or maybe it shows me where my “capu tostu” is a blessing.

Being inherently hard-headed is rather useful for blogging.

I’ve been blogging on WordPress as Anupturnedsoul since March 2013. I was going to use Blogger instead but it had just been taken over by Google and I found it to be rather messy (if you think the WP glitches are bad… the Blogger glitches at that time were so much worse).

Before that I was on tumblr. Before that I had a previous WP. Before that I had a previous tumblr – that was my very first blog, and I was inspired to blog thanks to my niece who loved what I was doing on Facebook and told me to tumblr it.

I’ve learned a lot about blogging over the years I’ve been doing it. There are many phases and stages bloggers go through – many don’t make it through some of those. When I created this blog, I had not made it through some of those stages with my previous blogs… and I used that experience with this one. Still though, I’ve almost not made it through other stages and phases – but I did thanks to hardheadedness kicking in just as I was about to press “delete blog”.

Throughout the years I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many different bloggers, reading some wonderful posts, and have been inspired by the lives, experiences, perspectives and stories they shared.

Many of them are no longer blogging – some have deleted their blog, others have simply abandoned blog, a few disappear for months on end then pop back in for a “Sorry I haven’t been posting” post which may have a “but I’m back, now!” then they disappear again, a few have died.

This isn’t just on WordPress. I follow a lot of blogs outside of WordPress too.

Who I follow and why is random… although later on I sometimes realise it wasn’t random at all. I found them when I needed to hear what they were saying… sometimes it is positive inspiration and sometimes it is negative inspiration, both are of equal inspiring value.

When I stop following a blog… it may be because I no longer need to hear what is being said. That source of inspiration no longer inspires anything. That might sound a bit… but that’s the ebb and flow of life. People come and people go, sometimes they do that with us, sometimes we do that with them.

I’m often glad when people who have been following me stop following me… especially if the reason they were following was because of my posts about Narcissists. I like to think they are no longer in that place they were when they found my writing, they don’t need my blog anymore, they’ve moved on to a better and freer way of feeling.

Of course they could have begun to suspect that I’m a Narcissist… then getting away from me and my words is the right move.

If you’re into astrology… I’ve noticed that people often gravitate towards me when they’re going through an intense Pluto transit – undergoing a trek through hell of some sort which requires delving deeply into the uncomfortable dark and making friends with shadow.

I don’t follow everyone who follows me and don’t expect those I follow to follow me back – my style of writing and posting is definitely not for everyone, it’s a peculiar niche know as WTFuckery.

I go through periods of trying things out. I like to experiment, explore, challenge myself, see what happens if… If you happen upon my posts while I’m doing that and then later on I switch to something else or return to my regular programming… it can knock you for six, it’s not what you signed up for, you’re outtahere!

That’s fine, I get it… I might feel a bit hurt or pissed off or both but I’ll be fine once I’ve had a rant about it on my blog. I may be joking or may be serious, usually it’s a bit of both.

Everything is a prompt to a blogger… everything is inspiration!

That is not a Cherry

Recently I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing here and why – this happens every few months.

If you follow a blog regularly you might see the blogger going through a similar experience of reviewing and questioning why they blog and what they’re doing here.

I spotted a blogger doing that the other day – they were going through a version of that phase known as “Shit, people are reading my blog… maybe I should write for them instead of myself”. I’ve been through that phase several times… and written posts while arguing with myself about it. If people are reading your posts which you write for yourself, saying what you want to say, don’t change your blog voice for them – that’s not what they signed up for!

I could share loads of blogging advice with you but whenever I try to do that it goes a bit wrong… it’s more helpful if I stick to being unhelpful.

Besides the best advice is the kind you figure out for yourself while doing and learning while doing, because it’s the kind which suits you and what you’re doing.

So… enough of me, let’s focus on those bloggers who inspire me. I’m going to mention what inspires me about them, and link to a post of theirs which I liked:

Melanie of Sparks From A Combustible Mind – Melanie and I have been following each other for years. She’s raw and real. She’s not afraid to show herself in all her moods and frames of mind. That’s inspiring!

Just a Thought… – Sparks From A Combustible Mind

Scherezade of Scherezade’s Labyrinth – When I first blog-met Scherezade she was rather quiet, but then she came out of her shell like Aphrodite and revealed a depth of soul in her writing which is breathtaking. She has a way of seeing and saying which can hit a spot with a zap-wow. That’s inspiring!

America’s Worst Nightmare – Scherezade’s Labyrinth

Angie of King Ben’s Grandma – I’ve only recently blog-met Angie. I think it was through Rory. She gives great comments – she’s was a comment-artist, her style is unique, uplifting. She often says that she comments more than she posts, and wonders if her comments bother bloggers. They definitely don’t bother me, they’re energising and inspiring. Her posts are heartfelt slices of personal life being lived. That’s inspiring!

Missing That Drum – King Ben’s Grandma

The Reverist of Riddles & Reveries – The Rev is inspired by his muse. He writes posts like love letters, telling his muse of his love for her, wondering if she’s wondering about him, sharing stories of his life before and after their fateful meeting for her to read… is she following his blog, might she one day find it if she hasn’t already? His heart is a poet. That’s inspiring!

Sorry To Bother You – Riddles & Reveries.

I also find Rory inspiring. Even though he spams the reader with post after post, it’s never tiresome because each post is different, original, interesting. He’s had a very intriguing life, and continues to do so. He lives with passion and shares that passion through his blog.

He’s rather bull-headed… which is a positive, especially if you have a vision, a dream which you want to pursue and make real for yourself, and other people keep trying to push or pull you in another direction.

He had someone bullying him a while ago online, in connection with his blog… he soldiered on, and used that experience to inspire him creatively. That’s inspiring!

Thank you, Rory!


  1. GM, Ursula πŸ€“
    Thank you for the nomination!πŸ’™
    I love finding inspiration especially in nature. I’ve become enamored with nature more since having moved from the northern US to the further southern part. There’s so much to find here, I find myself stopping in mid stride to capture a picture.

    I enjoyed reading how you found a long term positivity from your childhood. Over time, I’ve learned to do that- I wont forget the stressful times, moments, days, hours, etc- but I gather what positive things there may have been during those times. Children of stressful growth periods either turn into Diamonds or become crushed from the pressure.


    • Hi, Scherezade πŸ™‚ Thank you!

      Oh yes, nature is a wonderful source of inspiration. I was watching a big puffy cloud yesterday, and there was this wispy bit at the edge which was curling itself up like a cat, wrapping itself back into the mother cloud. I rarely have a camera with me when I see things I want to capture, but the eyes in cahoots with the mind sometimes take better photos πŸ˜‰

      You’re doing a lot of that at the moment, especially with the move and the new job, being under pressure and turning it into diamond! Lovely to read your stories about your experiences and the ideas they inspire ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for finding my blog inspiring! Ditto. (sorry for the brevity, but as your childhood was different, so was mine (you’ve read enough about it to know) and I never have learnt to take a compliment (and this one is HUGE) well. I’m always looking over my shoulder to see whom the person doing the complimenting is ‘talking’ to. ) Yeah. Well we’re both survivors and I think we’ve done a magnificent job of it! ❀


    • Thank you, Melanie πŸ™‚

      You and your blog inspire me. That’s a fact.

      I can relate to having difficulty accepting compliments.

      I used to be suspicious of people when they gave me one as I associated compliments with manipulation, since most people only gave me compliments when they wanted something from me, for me to do something for them or be someone for them – such as when people tell you how nice you are it could mean they’re about to ask you to do something a “nice” person would do and because they’ve complimented you on being nice you now have to be nice for them and do what they want you to do or else they’ll take the compliment back and call you mean instead.

      When someone gave me a genuine compliment, one with no strings attached, I didn’t know how to deal with it, I’d get super shy and run away from them and their weird genuine compliment with no strings attached. Or I’d argue with the compliment and convince them not to give me one of those again.

      Blogging helped me be more accepting of compliments.

      Most people don’t compliment you in the blogosphere for any reason other than that they like what you did or said. Okay there are a few bloggers who use compliments to make themselves popular, and get bloggers to like them, but that’s their story. Yup, I’m still suspicious πŸ˜‰ But I’ve learned to accept compliments as a gift given, say thank you, appreciate the gesture, and… what I do with the gift afterwards is up to me. It’s rather relaxing to finally be more open to compliments.

      I totally get it when people run away if I give them a compliment or act awkwardly about it. I’m still not sure how to give compliments without sounding like a nutcase πŸ˜€


  3. Thank you! 🌻

    I cant call you Ursula because I just see the sea witch that steals voices. I know you chose the name because of your hibernating ability ( I am so envious!) but my my won’t see the bear.

    You dont steal voices. In my case, your words get the gears moving in my head and my thoughts go down roads I might have passed a bunch of times but never turned and traveled. I get very excited about the new places I see and the new thoughts I’m thinking…child like impatience… I want to tell you about how your thoughts and words moved my thoughts. You *give* me voice. Excited voice.

    You inspire me, and it really means a lot to me to read that my words are inspiring to you. So thank you again (not the sea witch)!πŸ’πŸ’Œ


    • Thank you, Angie πŸ™‚

      Haha! I’ve never seen the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, but I am aware of the sea witch being called Ursula in it. I do know the story. I actually think it’s a funny connection and quite like the association.

      The sea witch only took the mermaid’s voice because the mermaid went to the witch for a magic favour. She was willing to give up her voice to get what she wanted to pursue her dream. The witch did warn her repeatedly against giving up her voice, but little mermaid didn’t value her voice as much as she valued getting what she wanted. The witch also warned her about the danger, that if she got what she wanted she couldn’t change her mind afterwards without paying a costly price. And not having a voice made the mermaid have to learn to communicate in other ways, and it also showed her the real behind the dream.

      I have to admit that I never liked the little mermaid, she was very annoying and silly… but then again when I read it I was a human who wanted to live under the sea πŸ˜‰

      I’ve been thinking a lot about voice recently. “Giving” voice in particular. Partly because of Uranus transiting Taurus – Taurus rules the throat/voice in astrology. And t-Uranus is zapping my communication placements. I’ve been told a few times over the years that some of what I write in my posts “voices” thoughts and feelings which people haven’t been able to find words to express. I kind of didn’t really listen properly when people said that because I didn’t see myself that way and was uncomfortable seeing myself that way, worried about ego. I’ve shifted a bit and a penny is slowly dropping.

      I’m excited that you’re excited, genuine inner excitement is very inspiring! You have a truly unique voice, and it’s inspiring to hear it speak, sing, whisper, dance πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was going to ask you a random unrelated question and kept forgetting. Its 2:30am and Ben decided 30 minutes of sleep was enough for me at 12:15am when he bounced me. Interesting that my tired brain remembers when my more awake brain doesnt… Maybe everything is free-floating and bumping around, so some stuff just floats forward easier.

        Anyway, the question: what’s your opinion on Enneagram? I very recently discovered it. Of course I had to take a free test to get my “number”. It’s a 9w8. Do you have thoughts about this subject? I’d love to read them.πŸ‘
        Also, the little spark tree is in draft for. I even found a picture to go with the post. I’m having trouble getting the words right, so its waiting for me.


        • Cool, Angie, I look forward to reading little spark tree when it’s ready to show itself πŸ™‚

          Ha! I almost mentioned the Enneagram the other day when I was talking about the Self-Help and New Age movements taking Occult things and mainstreaming them. The Enneagram came out of the work of G.I. Gurdjieff and P.D. Ouspensky. Its original form is nothing like the current personality type system. It was more something to philosophically and mystically hmmm… about to bring enlightenment or some such mind expansion. Gurdjieff was very wacky in an intense way, and I came across the Enneagram through his and Ouspensky’s writings, and didn’t really understand a thing since it was all very mystical, convoluted, and weird.

          After it had been rejigged to be a personality type system, I went to a workshop by the guy who popularised it in its mainstream form (I remember not liking him at all, big ego type), and reading his book about it. I couldn’t figure out my type and didn’t like all the emphasis on positive and negative, and the whole get rid of the negative and become super positive stuff – that was a trend back in the 80’s & 90’s, to get rid of what was yucky about you and only be yummy. I found the system unhelpful, but I was in a dark place at the time and it just sounded like yet another voice telling me I was useless.

          In recent years I’ve checked it out again, but only superficially. I think I’ve made reference to it in a couple of old posts… can’t recall why.

          If I remember… I’m a 5w6… definitely a 5 anyway.

          It is an interesting system, especially the connections between types.

          As I see it, if a system appeals to you, hits a chord, rings a bell or drum, then go for it, explore it, and don’t be influenced by people like me who aren’t into the system.

          There’s just something about the Enneagram as it is now which bugs me and I’m not sure why. I could probably figure out why… it may be because I’m a 5w6 πŸ˜‰


  4. Hey Ursula, a terrifically well thought out and inspiring answer with regards inspiration to the topic of ‘to inspire’ creatively and wonderfully done. Bull headed appropriate in fact and astrologically it ties in with my Taurus πŸ™‚


    • Thank you, Rory πŸ™‚

      I know you’re a Taurus, which is why I used the term bull-headed πŸ˜‰ I tend to remember what people say about themselves in posts and comments, especially when I find them interesting = inspiring in some manner.

      If you’re up for more astro – Uranus, the planet of radical inspiration to freely pursue expression of the uniquely creative self, is transiting Taurus, so at some point, maybe already, it’ll be zapping your Sun and encouraging you. Taurus rules the throat/voice = speaking up for yourself and sharing your story.

      Sharing yourself as you are, openly and freely, requires a certain amount of bull-headedness, especially online, on a blog, where people can weigh in and perhaps try to influence you, try to steer you to go in another direction from the one you’ve chosen for yourself. It’s worth listening to what people say, and consider it, since people can often see what’s in your blind spot (I’ve found that particularly helpful, but that’s something I want to see – I’m a Capricorn, I like to chew on tin cans) but you must be true to yourself.

      I never think things through when it comes to writing posts, I just start writing and let whatever flows out, flow freely πŸ˜€ Then later on after I’ve published it, I might go – Oh dear, why did I say that!?! I shouldn’t have said that! – which is always fun πŸ˜€


  5. Thank you, Ursula! You have been equally inspiring πŸ˜‰ As a token of my appreciation, I shall bake you salted peanuts cookies this weekend πŸ˜€

    Btw, I always see that as a cherry like someone has taken a bite or it split open, though I know it’s not and couldn’t figure what’s it lol Last night while walking home I saw a sign Hahaha synchronicity ~ ah, you will see that in my new post


  6. […] AnupturnedsoulπŸ€“: when I got into the blogging game, this was the first blog I followed. Ursula always had thorough experience and knowledge on narcissism having lived within its confines growing up. I was able to share with her my also stressful childhood and over time we became great blog buddies. Reading her posts, taught me it’s okay to be vulnerable in writing. She’s always cheered me on and for that I thank her. If we don’t ever get a chance to meet, she will always hold a special place in my πŸ’œ. […]


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