Horses Read People: My First Time Back in The Saddle

Horses read people.  

No matter how sure of ourselves we think we are, or we convince ourselves we are, horses know.  

I’ll never forget my first lesson after 15 years away from any serious riding. The trainer knew I had previous experience and she had seen me helping my daughter prepare for her lessons.  She felt comfortable enough with what she had seen to send me down to the lower barn to prepare a horse to ride.  

I was so excited and I must say, a little apprehensive. I had ridden for a long time as a kid and had been super comfortable in my skin back then, but now I was different. I was older now, and a single mother of two girls who needed me. You know how it is when you’re a parent. All of what you have goes to support your children, especially when resources are limited. I couldn’t afford to waste time, energy, or money, and I certainly couldn’t afford to get hurt. On top of that, this dream to ride again seemed extravagant.   

What was I doing even toying with the idea of riding horses again?!

On one hand I was energized and excited. At the same time I was feeling anxious and intimidated.  “This is kinda scary” I thought to myself …

and then I wondered where that thought came from. 

When I was 12 or 14 or so, I was fearless. I rode around barefoot in my  bathing suit, riding bareback and double, standing up and sliding off rumps in the fields at a gallop, and jumping off swimming horses into Crystal Lake.  I was the type of kid who would get on anything. I would be the first one on a young horse right after spending a few weeks of round pen work with a bag of feed in the saddle on the filly or colt’s back.  

As an adult returning to horses, I felt intimidated by the large animal in the stall with me. 

The horse was a male chestnut gelding that lots of kids at the barn rode.  His name was Fred, and much like his name, he himself was nothing fancy. He was just a simple and reliable citizen. But in that instance, there in the stall, just him and I, he didn’t seem like a willing partner.  I didn’t know why he was moving around so much. He seemed so unsettled.

had no idea that my own energy was affecting the horse.

 I spoke quietly at first and then I thought I should be more dominant so I tried being firm. The more I tried to be in charge, the harder my heart pounded. 

He sent every signal he could to tell me he wasn’t a happy camper, including short of pinning his ears (a sign of serious irritation from a horse). I just didn’t understand why he was so unhappy. I got him brushed and tacked up, but it wasn’t an easy or pleasant experience.  It seemed more like work than fun. 

Interestingly now, 15 years and many equine partners later, I reflect on that first adult experience with horses.  With my understanding and knowledge,  I recognize other would-be horse lovers in my old boots. 

When it was happening, I didn’t understands why Fred was anxious and irritated.  Never did I imagine at that point that he was reading my energy.  

By |January 17th, 2017|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

New Year’s Resolutions: 15 days later

Only 15 days have gone by since the beginning of the new year, and alreadyJanuary 15 Don't give up on resolutions! some are saying that the resolutions they made are unobtainable. I can hardly count the number of friends and family members who have given up on or lost track of the goals they set for 2017, and I know many more who did not set any at all simply because they thought that change was impossible.

In reality, out of all things, change is perhaps the most possible.

Change happens all around us. It happens every single minute of every single day. Over the course of a year, almost every aspect of your life will become different in some small way, whether you notice it or not. Maybe you will lose a good friend, or gain a new one. Maybe you will get new job, or get better at doing your old one. Maybe you will realize that you were right about something, or change your perspective on an issue that intrigues you.

You will change in 2017, this you simply cannot avoid. The trick is to choose the direction of that change. That is what making New Year’s resolutions is about.

As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, and the new you cannot not be built in 15. Shaping the change in your life will take time. You cannot give up now. If you abandon your resolutions, we urge you to lean into achieving your goals, no matter how hopeless it may seem. If you have already wandered off the path or abandoned it all together, we implore you to start your journey again. To those who have made no resolutions, it is not too late. Start now.

350 days of change and challenge await all of us.

Let’s make them count.

By |January 15th, 2017|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Purple is the New Red: Help Calm Your Christmas Woes

For many of us, the Christmas season is just as maddening as it is joyful.

From the rush to purchase the rights gifts, to the stress involved with making plans with loved ones, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can overwhelm us with negativity. A time for celebration, peace, and harmony, some years seems to be everything but.

How can we truly enjoy the magic of Christmas when a wall of stress and anxiety is constantly being constructed around us?

It’s time to break through that wall.

Only you truly know how to best succeed at this incredibly difficult task, but we have a tool that can help. A tool that will provide you and your guests with a calming aura that will diffuse their tension. It is not a fancy spiritual device or a harsh artificial chemical, but rather a creation of nature itself. For thousands of years, peoples from all across the globe have used lavender to relieve mental and emotional tensions within their lives. Lavender has a natural energy that lends itself to beings around it, creating peaceful atmospheres and calming minds. Christmas is supposed to be about love and tranquility, and this is what lavender provides.

This Christmas, use lavender  everywhere  you can.

Hang dried lavender like mistletoe, spray lavender water to give your tree a fresh scent, bake edible lavender into your holiday meal, give lavender essence as a gift to a friend or family member, or as your personal gift from Santa. Let its brilliant scent, energy and color replace the hectic and aggressive side of your Christmas.

Let purple become the new red.

We have everything you need to get started. Here at Inspired Living’s very own Beachwood Center for Wellbeing, we grow our own beautiful  lavender, and use it to create a variety of powerful homemade products. Click here to view our store page, and take a huge step forward in easing your Christmas woes!

Generosity In Hand: The Generous Hands Project

This Thursday will mark the 395th anniversary of the very first Thanksgiving dinner. Over these long years, many a tradition has come and gone, yet the celebration of  Thanksgiving has continued, and unified our country.

 No matter a person’s creed or color,  Thanksgiving symbolizes something that all of us can relate to; for we all have something to be thankful for.

Each of has people in our lives that have given their time, money, wisdom, and love to us. This holiday gives us the chance to express gratitude for what we have been given, and that is what we must do.

Sometimes we forget, that thankfulness and generosity go hand in hand.

Thanksgiving is a day not only to celebrate the generosity of friends, family and strangers who have gone out of their way to enrich our lives, it is also a time to extend the same generosity we have received, sending the warmth of love towards the hearts of others.

In 2013, photographer and Pastor Sean Bendigo took a series of powerful and inspiring photographs. He invited congregants of Madison Church and members of the local community to share with him expressions of what they were grateful for. He then photographed their open hands. Hands that are open not only to receive, but also to give. They symbolize the gratitude we hold so deeply, and must show as well as be thankful for. He called this collection The Generous Hands Project. Throughout this week, we will share these photographs with you, in hopes that they will inspire you to share.

To make sure that you receive the entirety of this wonderful collection, as well other inspirational writings and images, be sure to visit and sign up for our daily footcandles.

Have a joyous Thanksgiving, and remember to give as much as love as you receive.


Halloween Reflection: Oneness of Spirit

oneness of spiritWhy is it that many of us feel, or notice the thinness  of the veil between this life and other dimensions around this time?  We experience presence of a loved one in sight, shiver, or simply in memory? It happens because we are focused in enjoyment.  As so many of us are spending time together, preparing jack-o-lanterns and costumes, and fun festive foods we are celebrating and focusing our energy on oneness.  Not in an obligated way, but freely.   

We are ” with you in spirit”, we are “one in spirit.”  And together, in oneness of spirit, magic happens. 

What else could be accomplished when we notice this oneness?   Not by trying, but simply by intention? What would be created through the focus of energy on how intimately and integrally we are linked?  What would we gather together and focus on?

What would we choose to influence? What would we change?  Would we create world peace? Could we create a society  that is strong and stable where everyone –  I mean everyone -experiences joy, peace and abundance?   

I believe we can. I believe we will one day understand that the power of our heartfelt thought + Our understanding that we are all one = Heaven on Earth.   

No separation from Source, simply abundant joy and peace.  

Will you join me in creating this vision? 

LIKE and SHARE this vision in your corner of the world here on social media. This Halloween, Let’s get the energy of this world and the next moving in a unified direction. 

If you haven’t already, Join our mailing list at and get our daily inspirations – little reminders that our heartfelt thoughts create our reality.  

Let’s get the souls here on earth along with those that have gone before, sending the intention for oneness and a unified vision of Abundance for All.  For joy and peace, safety and security, healing and wholeness.  

Check out   Find inspiration in the stories of others in our magazine, The Streetlight,  and share your own! 

When we join together in spirit we create momentum. 

Join us in creating a place to find good news – locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.  We are in the age of ascension.  We are growing in our awareness that it is time.  

It’s not something someone else can do for us.  No politician or government or boss or other authority can do this for us.   We must each take responsibility and imagine it possible.   Enjoy the vision.  Play with the thoughts of what it would feel like to live in an ascended world.  Where the Lamb could lie down with the Lion.  Envision your own life in its most perfect form.  Imagine what it would be if your perfect world and everyone else’s beautiful vision for their own lives were unified in Oneness. 

If you can imagine it, you can become it. 

In the words of singer songwriter Donald Fagan in I. G. Y – “what a beautiful world this would be. What a glorious time to be free.”

—Lynne Bryan Phipps

Design your life with intention: a step by step guide

Lynne Bryan PhippsDesign your life with intention: a step by step guide

I love designing!  I learned this at an early age when I began building tree houses by laying boards between branches.  My father had a rule that we could not nail the boards to the trees because it could harm them.  That was not only a great rule for the trees, it was also a wonderful creativity booster.  I discovered that depending on what game was on for the day, or how many neighborhood kids were playing, the tree house could become something different each day.  One day it became multiple tree forts; divided between avocado trees from which we threw rotten avocados at each other…Another day it was a  hide away  in the tallest tree  that separated me from the world.  Still other days the treehouse was a house with rooms and levels as complex in my imagination as the most amazing castle.

I’ve been a designer all my life…. and i’m realizing, that design is an approach to living as much as it is a profession.  The principles of the work of design apply to so much of what we do and how we do it.

 Designing is a powerful act.

It’s taking what you want to see in the world, and making it real.  concrete. bringing it into existence.

You want a dress that you can’t find in a store anywhere.  You’ve seen something like it, maybe the style in a different pattern. or maybe you’ve never seen anything like it, but you’ve imagined it.  Design is the work of creating that dress exactly as you envision it.   Or maybe its a space in which you can do your yoga.  You have a difficult time setting aside time for self care because there’s no good place in the house in which to do it.  Our homes have rooms dedicated to particular uses.  some of them unused most of the time, and the kids have their stuff all over the house.  Carving out just a bit of space should be easy but it isn’t; and then we have a million excuses for why even if we could, we don’t actually do it. looking at this set of circumstances is the first step of designing your life.

Designing is living intentionally.

It’s living bravely.  It’s rooted in the faith that things unseen are possible. It’s the belief that even if I don’t have all the skills to make something happen, I know someone who can help.

It makes life fun.

— Lynne Bryan Phipps

By |July 27th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Inspiriting People, Lynne Bryan Phipps|0 Comments

Ardmore’s ‘The Great Zambezi’

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg2016 saw a landmark event for Ardmore as Hermès, Paris launched our designed silk scarfs. This is the first time a South African design has been used by Hermès and we view it as an incredible honour. To commemorate this event, we are creating major works to parallel the theme of ‘La Marche du Zambèze’. The collection is dedicated to Fée’s homeland, Zimbabwe, where the Great Zambezi River forms its northern borders. View these magnificent artworks at Patrick Mavros, 104 – 106 Fulham Road, London, SW3 6HS, from Wednesday, May 18 to Sunday, May 29.

If you are interested in any of these pieces, click here!


This weekend’s yoga jaunt touched upon one of my favorite reads; “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. One of the fabulous four lessons is to not take things personally. It’s simple; makes a heck of a lot of sense. There is absolutely nothing to gain from taking things personally. Its ego centric, nerve wracking and puts us in a position of reading someone’s mind. EVEN if that person is acting with ill will that is their karma we can avoid welcoming into our psyche.

As I was laying in Savasana (if you haven’t tried this lovely corpse pose you haven’t lived; pun intended) I started to think of the sentence:

TAKE things personally.

The verb is powerful. It sounds greedy, doesn’t it? Sounds selfish. However by just changing the verb you can alter the sentiment entirely. How about this for size?

GIVE things personally.

The act of giving is so powerful. Give with your heart. Give without want. The best days I have aren’t filled with want or glutton. Those days where you just smile and make jokes and hold the door for someone, listen to someone, care for someone, watch a child…Find the twenty ways you can dial up silliness.

Next time the blood starts to boil, change the thermostat. Take some breathes. Put yourself back in check and reboot to a softer side of perspective.

Don’t take things personally. Give things personally.

By |March 16th, 2016|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Lynne Phipps- Entrepreneurial Woman to Watch


11/4/13 PROVIDENCE, RI– The Rhode Island Small Business Journal (RISBJ) created the 2014 Entrepreneurial Women to Watch Awards to honor the most confident, tenacious, professional and sophisticated women industry leaders in Rhode Island. Out of a pool of over 400 applicants, Lynne Bryan Phipps stood out for her multifaceted accomplishments as an equestrienne, yachtswoman, ordained minister, founder of Inspirited Living, educator and founder of The Compass School.

In 2002, Lynne Phipps realized her vision for The Compass School when she noticed her children were not seeing the value in their education. “I saw a huge need, not only for additional schools, but for an education to be engaging and founded on the need to develop life-long learning. That education included a core, values-based education.” Lynne Phipps spent months engaged in conceptual work and, after finding an enthusiastic group of parents, teachers and administrators that shared her vision, received approval from the state to found a charter school. The Compass School is the top-ranked middle school in Rhode Island, the second-ranked elementary school in the state and has a waiting list of over 250 students.

Lynne said, “I am honored to receive this award because the state of Rhode Island is a supportive, nurturing environment, especially for women entrepreneurs. I had the dream and they helped me make it a reality.”


Ardmore Ceramics

Ardmore Ceramic Art was established by Fee Halsted on Ardmore Farm in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains of KwaZulu-Natal, where she lived after obtaining her BA (Fine Arts) Honours degree and lecturing at Natal Technikon. Here she met Bonnie Ntshalintshali, daughter of their housekeeper, whose polio meant that she was unable to work in the fields. Fee and Bonnie quickly developed a synergy and under Fee’s mentorship, Bonnie’s natural skills as an artist blossomed. Five years later, in 1990, Fee and Bonnie were jointly awarded the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award, the first such artistic partnership to be recognised. With this success came the demands of creating ceramics for their exhibition, so Fee offered other local women the opportunity to train at Ardmore, producing pieces to generate income for the fledgling studio.

Fee, through necessity, developed the exuberant exotic style that has made Ardmore ceramics famous. “I made tiles and if one cracked, I’d stick a rabbit or bird on the top to hide it,” she recalls. Their work broke from the ceramic conventions of the time: fired terracotta clay was painted with plaka paints, boot polish and oven blackeners. Glues and putty were also used. Later American Amaco paints and transparent glazes brought vibrant colour and fine painting style to the ceramics.

In 1996, Fee and her family moved to Springvale Farm in Rosetta in the KZN Midlands, allowing the artists at the Berg Studio in the Champagne Valley to explore their independence. At Springvale she established a smaller studio and gallery, and in 2003, the Bonnie Ntshalintshali Museum was created to honour Fee’s co-artist and friend after her tragic death from HIV/AIDS in 1999.

Monkey SculptureA few years later, Fee and her family moved to the Caversham Valley, relocating the studio and museum and building a spacious gallery and offices. This created a unique home for Ardmore and in 2009 she amalgamated
the Berg and Rosetta studios here.

Ardmore’s 25th anniversary in 2010 saw the launch of Ardmore Design Collection, which translated Ardmore’s distinctive imagery and styling into functional, superb quality ceramic and non-ceramic products including dinnerware, tapestries, furniture, fabrics for soft furnishings, and more. This new venture was made possible through a generous grant in late 2009 by the Business Trust’s Shared Growth Challenge Fund.

The artists from the Ardmore studio are given training, direction, materials, a studio and a guaranteed market for their work, supported by a skilled marketing and administrative team. Over the years, Ardmore’s artists have won numerous awards and exhibited widely in South Africa and around the world. Ardmore artworks feature in leading galleries and collections, including the Museum of Art & Design in New York, the Museum of Cultures in Basel, Switzerland, and the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The acclaimed auction house Christie’s has acknowledged Ardmore artworks as “modern day collectibles”.

Find Ardmore products in the Inspirited Living Home Collection

By |September 10th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Inspiriting Stories|Tags: |Comments Off on Ardmore