• Tiny Biped Dreams (c) Mary Marcdante

    “No facet of nature is as unlikely as we, the tiny bipeds with the giant dreams.”
    ~ Diane Ackerman ~

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  • “When inspiration does not come to me, I go halfway to meet it.”
    ~ Sigmund Freud ~

    The past week was a whirlwind of unexpected inspiring activity, good fortune, and blessings that still astonishes me. I wish this kind of energy for you so below you’ll find a powerful 4 step process that can help shift feelings of unworthiness and “not enough” into willingness and allowing of bigger ideas, and greater resources and support into your life.

    A highlight was attending “The Four Masters” Conference in Minneapolis. I had four insights during meditations that created deeper breakthroughs in a few areas of my life that have been, shall we say, chronically challenging for me. I’m thrilled to imagine how this will impact my mindset and work in the next six to twelve months. What’s even more exciting is sharing these insights with you and how you might apply them to your life too.

    The first insight was about creating bigger dreams and accepting resources, support, and gifts from others. Can you relate? No matter how much success you’ve already had, if you don’t believe you’re worthy of something grander, no matter how much work you do or how many affirmations you say, you won’t see or allow yourself that grander experience even when it shows up right in front of your face.

    I’ve been offered many opportunities in my life, some of them so generous and grand that I didn’t feel worthy of them or was afraid I wouldn’t “measure up to the task,” or couldn’t imagine finding the funds to experience them or a way to pay back, or even pay forward, what was being offered. So I said no, or accepted less, and stuffed the disappointment by rationa(lies)ing to myself that the timing wasn’t right or saying, “next time,” instead of giving myself and others the joy of a definite YES! and allowing myself to be coached into the growth opportunity along the way. Have you ever been there?

    TIP: Give yourself permission to let go of feeling unworthy or that you’re not good enough. It is a waste of your precious time and energy. What is more helpful is this:

    1.  Notice the problematic thought (“I’m not worthy,” “I didn’t earn that,” “What will be expected of me?” “What if I blow it?”) and the subsequent feeling (doubt, fear, guilt, shame).

    2.  Inhale and exhale a slow deep breathe and ask yourself, “Does this thought make me feel better or worse?” The simple act of asking yourself this question will likely show you that it makes you feel worse. Take another deep breath and on the exhale, say, “I choose to let this go.” Repeat it until you feel your body relax.

    BIG TIP: What is truly good for you never feels bad.

    3.  Shift your thought to something that feels more empowering and expansive rather than wallowing in the bad feeling. The choice is yours. And that’s the key…the choice IS yours. No one else can shift your thoughts or feelings for you. They can create an environment, but YOU have to do the work of choosing to put your mind and heart where it serves you and allows you to give more of your good to others.

    4.  Create a good feeling mantra. Smile while you say it, which will help trigger endorphin flow in your body. Relax and repeat often. Here’s my newest mantra:

    “I am worthy and I am willing.
    I allow and I accept even greater good than I can imagine
    into my life for the good of all.”

    (What’s your favorite mantra or affirmation? Please post in the comment box.)

    In some ways #4 sounds so “I know that! Tell me something new” that it’s almost laughable to me, and yet

    If you’re still waiting for the next big dream, goal, or project to manifest and you’re feeling stuck, this idea of worthiness may be something to consider. Sometimes we need to hear something once more (or a hundred times more) to really make the shift we’ve been hoping for.

    What challenge will you apply this to in your life? If you want help, post a comment and I’ll reply. If you want more personal support, I am available for coaching.

    RESOURCE:

    While I was experiencing this amazing week, I was also doing the Enthusiasm 7-Day Mini Retreat that I mentioned to you last week. In case you were too busy to review it, I’m offering it again before the special offer price goes up because it definitely accelerated the good energy field I was in.

    Enthusiasm Mini-Retreat Journal & Guidebook – 7 Minutes a Day for 7 Days

    Once again I was reminded of the power of positive anticipation, the importance of planning good things into your daily calendar, and how journaling about a good experience (in this case doing the daily EnthusiAction) rekindles and doubles good feelings that you previously experienced, and opens the door to more good happening in your life.

    I also discovered that even 5 minutes of writing about something good can be a challenge to fit into my day unless it is attached to a contract or client. But the good feelings I experienced after doing the EnthusiAction and writing about it continue to inspire me to stick with it and plan it into my day. And if I start to put it off, I remember the good feelings and reschedule another time.

    If you haven’t already tried this, I encourage you to treat yourself and a friend. It’s priced for everyone’s budget and 10% goes to the Jenna Druck Foundation to send high school girls to this year’s Leadership Conference.

    To find out more click on 7 Day Enthusiasm Mini Retreat Journal & Guidebook.

    Inspired by your presence…

    Mary

    Mary Marcdante
    Helping People and Organizations Stay Inspired, Creative, and Healthy
    Speaker, Author, Facilitator, Coach

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  • “Who are you to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
    Actually, who are you not to be?”

    ~ Marianne Williamson ~

    In my program “Staying Inspired Through Challenge and Change,” I’ve asked the question “What inspires you?” to thousands of people over the years. I have heard many amazing and wonderful answers, however, have yet to hear someone respond to the group genuinely, without joking, “Myself,” or “My ability to write,” or “I am an awesome volunteer (mother, photographer, networker…),” or whatever strengths and gifts they embody that clearly inspire others.

    It’s easy enough to understand why: we’ve been trained not to talk about our strengths and gifts and sometimes even hide them so as not to appear conceited or arrogant or potentially diminish someone else who isn’t as talented. But here’s the good news. When we are inspiring to ourselves, we are naturally expressing our strengths and gifts because we’re being our most creative inspired selves, and that naturally inspires others with or without talking about ourselves. If you question this, watch the upcoming Olympics.

    Taking the time to discover our strengths and gifts becomes self-inspiring, especially in difficult times. When life has its way with us in a way that isn’t our way, we have the resources to bounce back and reconnect to the world in a “brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous way.”

    TIP: Answer this question several times over the next week: What inspires you about yourself? If you get stuck, other questions that can lead to the same answers are “What do you appreciate about yourself?” and “What do people tell you they value in you that makes you feel “brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?” Make a list of your top five qualities, strengths, or talents. If you’d like some help with the answers, here are links to two excellent assessments:

    1) Marcus Buckingham’s “Find Your Strongest Life.”

    2) VIA Strengths Questionnaire. There are two assessments available; one is f*ree. Millions of people have taken this assessment, which measures results based on what strengths will bring you the most happiness when you use them. I’ve taken it and highly recommend either profile.

    Once you’ve answered “What inspires me about myself?” then go and ask five people – three whom you know and love and two strangers or new people you meet at a networking event or in the grocery line. Notice the different conversations you have and listen for the inspiration that follows.

    RESOURCE: My friend and colleague Lynn Robinson has a new book that I think will interest you. It’s called LISTEN: Trusting Your Inner Voice in Times of Crisis.

    When you know how to listen to your inner voice in times of crisis, you’ll possess an unfailing source of wisdom that will guide you through good times and bad, moving you steadily through the inevitable crises of life and always towards your hopes and dreams. Put the principles of this remarkable book to work, and you will discover that bad times can actually be good times if you know how to listen to your inner voice.

    I also want to be sure you know that there’s a great opportunity if you purchase a copy of LISTEN: Trusting Your Inner Voice in Times of Crisis. A group of well-known business authors and experts, including myself, have come together, to offer valuable bonus gifts like e-books, audio programs, and tip sheets, to anyone who purchases a copy of Lynn’s new book!

    The promotion is one week only; it ends at midnight, February 14th. So don’t miss out! Purchase your copy of LISTEN: Trusting Your Inner Voice in Times of Crisis.

    Once you’ve purchased your copy, then visit Lynn’s Listen Bonus Page to claim your gifts:

    As always, I love hearing from you and I’m…

    Inspired by your presence,

    Mary

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  • “We are what we repeatedly do.”
    ~ Aristotle ~

    “It’s simple. Stop doing what isn’t working. Do more of what is working.”
    ~ John Reese ~


    We’re 20 days into January and I’m wondering how you’re doing with your New Year’s Resolutions and quarterly and annual goal actions? Are you still moving forward at a pace that is inspiring or are your wheels starting to spin a little more often than you’d like?

    I’m finding I’m doing both. When I did my weekly check-in yesterday, I realized it was time to reactivate a 5-step process that I use in my stress management programs to help people reconnect to emotional intelligence and shift their energy. Amazing what happens when you take your own advice! Time slows down and life become richer and more vibrant. What is important shines and what is trivial falls away. You are in the zone.

    Here’s the process. Let me know how it works for you.

    1. Take a deep breath and focus on your body. You can do this standing, sitting, or laying down.

    2. Scan your body, noticing what you’re feeling, starting at your toes and work up to the top your head. Ask yourself, “On a scale of 1-10, how am I feeling?
    (1=Bad, 5 = Neutral, 10 = Fantastic! (Keep this simple for now.)

    3. Notice the number in your mind and feel the feeling.

    4. Ask yourself, “What could I think, say, or do right now to shift this energy up one point?”

    5. Do what your Inner Voice suggests and keep doing it until you move up a point. With repetition, you’ll notice that you’ll stay at higher levels longer and be able to increase your energy and good feelings more quickly.

    Repeat this process a minimum of 3x a day for the next 21 days and create a new
    habit that serves your health and emotional/mental wellbeing.

    If you want to turn this into a habit you do without thinking twice, record your answers like I do in an Energy Journal (Click here for a sample journal sheet in pdf). You’ll heighten your awareness and create a helpful self-discovery tool to find out specifically where you lose your energy and how to get it back quickly.

    I really want you to have an exceptional life, so please enjoy this journal as my gift to you. Click here to download the Energy Journal.

    Enjoy your time with your Self and let me know how the Energy Journal works for you. You can leave a comment below.

    Mary

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  • Who would have thought! I just finished the most amazing summer salad while sitting in the backyard daydreaming that I have to share the recipe with you! Julia, you’d be proud!

    I love experimenting with salad combinations — especially when it turns out well. It’s a great way to clean the fridge and feel more creative when I’m working through an idea for my writing or speeches and need more inspiration. I’m not sure what a dietician would say, but I did get in my fresh veggie juicing and psyllium husk fiber drink this morning, so I consider this salad a healthy treat. And it was made with enthusiasm which I believe adds 12.7 extra creative years to your life. (Okay, so I’m a little over-enthusiastic here after channeling Julia Child on her birthday weekend and visiting RealAge.com.)

    This salad serves 1-2 people depending on whether it’s an appetizer or main meal. It hit all my major taste buds. I wish I’d taken a photo, because it was awesome. Instead I’m including the recipe and the view I had while eating. I am so grateful for the beauty and abundance in life and how a simple salad and a sunny day can inspire me and that I can share it with you.

    What about you? What’s beautiful, abundant and inspiring in your life today? I’d love to know. Please feel free to share a comment.

    Inspiration Salad

    1 c. organic baby spinach leaves

    1 c. organic broccoli/carrot slaw

    3 organic baby tomatoes quartered

    A few slivers of purple onion diced

    7 roasted almonds (love the crunch)

    1/4 c. dried fruit (cherries, plums, blueberries,
    apricots)

    1 tbsp. sprinkled gorgonzola crumb cheese

    1 tbsp. gorgonzola creamy dressing

    Sprinkle of rice wine vinegar

    Sprinkle of salt

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Mix. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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  • One of the blogs I write is “The Smile Diet,” which keeps the message of my book Living with Enthusiasm: How the 21-Day Smile Diet Can Change Your Live” current with what’s going on in the moment around the world.

    Read today’s Smile Diet Blog entry about a great site and resource “Smile and Move.” Watch the video and take your day to the top!

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  • On Monday I had the pleasure of being interviewed on TV on the San Diego Living Show with Brooke Landau, who has one of the biggest and brightest smiles I’ve seen. We talked about my book “Living with Enthusiasm: How the 21-Day Smile Diet Can Change Your Life” and the importance of starting your day with the 16-Second Smile and different ways to use a smile to manage your stress.


    Brooke has healed from several health challenges including Lyme disease that temporary paralyzed her. She said that without knowing it, while she was recuperating she chose to consciously smile, not knowing about the smile research and said that it really did help with her attitude.

    CONSCIOUS SMILING WORKS to help you feel better, heal faster, strengthen your relationships, get more done and enjoy your life more every day. Why not try a 16-second smile right now with a big deep breath or two or three and feel your body relax.

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