When I first began venturing into self development, I watched everything Wayne Dyer did after a therapist recommended his book: “You’ll See it When You Believe it”. His voice sounded like my inner voice, and the more I read the more I realized when we hang around others that are living connected to this place, it is easier for us to find it ourselves. And so it began, I devoured hours and hours of talks, audio programs and books to strengthen my own inner voice.

Dr. Dyer was quick to correct people who called him a Motivational Speaker (think Tony Robbins), but instead preferred the title “Inspirational Speaker.”

The word Inspire means to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence according to dictionary.com, but also to be filled with life itself: in-spirit/inspire. So I see inspiration as being filled with Spirit, with Source, and with our True Voice.

How can a speaker fill you with Spirit?

Through storytelling.

Broken Open Poem

Heartbreak opens onto the sunrise
For even breaking is opening
And I am broken
I’m open
Broken to the new light without pushing in
Open to the possibilities within, pushing out
See the love shine in through my cracks?
See the light shine out through me?
I  am broken
I am open
I am broken open
See the love light shining through me
Shining through my cracks
Through the gaps
My spirit takes journey
My spirit takes flight
Could not have risen otherwise
And I am not running
I’m choosing
Running is not a choice from the breaking
Breaking is freeing
Broken is freedom
I am not broken
I’m free.

~ Spoken by Alike (Adepero Oduye)
Written by Dee Rees

I heard this poem in the movie “Pariah.” I stopped the film, and needed a moment to digest the impact the poem had on me. Tears of soul recognition fell from my eyes as my heart opened. I felt seen and understood from the words I had just heard.

“I am not broken, I’m free”


This week I attended an event called Speaker Slam in Toronto, CA, which is like American Idol for Inspirational Speakers. The theme was ‘Conquered’.

Inspiration as a genre typically is attributed to church, a piece of art that moves us, or, of course, magnificent locations in nature. 

Inspirational speaking tends to revolve around repeated themes of
“you’re not broken”
“you are enough”
“don’t listen to the fear in your head”
“it’s darkest before the light”
“don’t play small”
“you are not alone”

You know, all the Pinterest and Instagram favourite posts that we share with our friends.

During the event at Speaker Slam 12 brave souls told their stories: Overcoming MS, overcoming sudden and debilitating diseases, sexual trafficking, being fat, being short, being too dumb, bullying, infertility, cultural/family expectations, poverty…

While us listeners have not been through those specific challenges, we all go through challenges. What connects us is the human experience. The ability to re-write our script by using our minds with an inspired will, rather than depressing defeat. Being inspired doesn’t mean life will get easier, it means your inner resources rise to meet the challenge. When our inner resources rise, we often find out outer resources arise as well.

When we really tune in, deep underneath the chatter and noise, there is a place where the noise can’t get in. It just can’t. It is like all the chatter is on one radio station, let’s call it Human FM, and then there is a station with only 1 channel, 1 clean, pure, connected to Spirit channel where we can hear our own voice. We’ll call this one Awesome AM. This inner space where inspired ideas arise is inherently connected to our Spirit/to God. Everyone has access, but not all people tap in or tune in, or know how.

What inspired me to write this message this week was my observation of the speaker’s messages. The most powerful messages were well-told, vulnerable yet empowered personal stories. Not so much the repeated messages of you are enough, and you are not broken, you can do it advice. Sure those were good concepts, but when we see someone else go through it, and come to the other side we BELIEVE it. I spent years of my own life fearfully trying to convince the world I was enough, until I found his inner place. Then, looking back, I see what a waste that was!

Years, days, hours and minutes lost to lies I believed. Lies that I somehow wasn’t good enough and in order to be liked I needed to figure out what people wanted or needed and become that thing. 


So boring.

There is so much more to life than that.

What if we simply believed those lies for so long we forgot we have the power to make a different choice?

We can be hurt, disappointed, traumatized, broken but that doesn’t have to be our story. Our story can be of our own creation. It won’t feel that way when the lies are louder than the possibilities, but don’t fight them. Dr. Dyer would say, “what you resist persists.” Just slowly decide you are open to more, you are open to getting clues from life, and pay attention. Inspiration is delightfully sneaky at times and will come to you in unexpected moments. You must listen, and you will be guided by this other radio station. You will.

I’ve helped hundreds of people access this place, so now I have evidence it really is real. It did not matter how bad their life was at the time or in the past, every single person was able to access their own inspired voice, and slowly create change in their lives by constantly tuning in to it. 

Whether it is time in nature, a loved hobby, meditation, writing, walking…there are ways that will work for you so you can hear life’s messages too.

You can do it!

(ha ha, I couldn’t resist)

My online program will help get you started: jennasmithcoaching.com/you-are-the-manual

Image: Sculpture Credit: “Expansion”, Paige Bradley, New York.