Belinda Phillips | WHO INSPIRES YOU?




I am always drawn to people who inspire me – to be courageous, to be mission-driven, to follow my dreams, to see opportunities and to embrace them, to trust that my efforts will result in positive outcomes, to have faith in the power of love, and to live expansively.  

Yesterday was one of those days where I felt truly inspired – first, by my daughter, Alyssa, who had the courage to admit she was struggling and is blogging about her healing journey (at and @stressgirlnomore on Instagram) and second, by the creators of a bakery in Detroit known as Sister Pie.

My daughter is one of the most courageous people I know.  I have always been inspired by her commitment to showing up each day even when she’s dealing with overwhelming stress and anxiety.  Today, she showed up differently. She had the courage to give herself permission to take a scheduled break from her to-do list and enjoy herself.  We planned it the night before – a visit to Sister Pie.  

The occupational therapist my daughter, Marlee, is working with told us about the bakery.  His wife, Anji, is the office manager and pastry cook. I was inspired by her journey from graphic designer to being a major player in the success of the bakery.  I was inspired by Lisa, the founder of Sister Pie, who started the business in her parent’s home selling pies to friends and family and had the courage and determination to turn it into a thriving business in an abandoned and depressed Historic District in Detroit.  

The plan was that Alyssa, Marlee, a family friend, and I were going to head out early to avoid the big line we had heard about at the bakery.  After our morning rituals and chores, we piled into the car and headed out. I looked in my rearview mirror at Alyssa, curious as to whether she would be able to leave her stress and anxiety behind and take the break she had given herself permission to do.

I was happy to see that she seemed to be doing just that.

We drove into Detroit and got off the freeway at an exit we weren’t familiar with as we followed the instructions of our GPS.  As we got closer to the bakery, we observed buildings with boarded up windows on either side of the street. On the corner was a bright red sign that said Sister Pie so we turned down the street to find a place to park.  We were happy to find a parking spot about a block away.

As we walked toward the restaurant, we noticed that there were other businesses on either side of the bakery. I had heard that the bakery’s success had paved the way for other businesses to join in the revival of the area.  It was inspiring to see it with my own eyes.

We found the door to Sister Pie and walked in.  It was warm and inviting. My eyes looked around at the cozy seating and the counter filled with yummy looking pies, cookies, scones and more.  It was even better than I expected. There was a line that had already formed so we took our place in line.

We couldn’t decide what to get so we made a decision to get a variety of pie slices and cookies to go.  The person behind the counter helping us didn’t rush us as we made our choices. I was worried that the people in line behind us would be annoyed with the amount of time we were taking, but they weren’t.  The person standing behind us even suggested a cookie for us to try – rosemary shortbread cookies. I was skeptical but she insisted they were her favorite. She was right – they were delicious.  

Sister Pie has an inspiring mission.  It’s not just an ordinary bakery. It’s committed to the experiences of the people (staff, customers, and neighbors), the neighborhood, and the planet (with sustainable food-business practices).  It feels like hope, and love, and accomplishment, and inspiration, and yumminess, all rolled up in one lovely bakery.   

On the drive home, I couldn’t help but be inspired.  My daughter was courageously taking back her life and making conscious choices as to how she was going to live it going forward.  The founder of Sister Pie believed so much in what was possible that she created a wildly successful business against all odds. I need to remind myself that living an inspired life is possible, and yesterday provided me with the reminders I needed.

There’s something really special to living an inspired life.  While it may not be easy and it takes a lot of courage, it feels really good when you do.  And it makes all the hard work worth it.  

I would love to hear from you.  Who inspires you and why?

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