04/5/11

Inspired Action: Life is Always Guiding You. Are You Listening?

I am always amazed – although I shouldn’t be because it happens often enough to know it exists – when Life intuitively provides for the continuation of our joy, well-being and safety if we take the time to listen. And actually, even when we don’t listen, given the number of accidents and unexpected deaths around the world on a daily basis that don’t happen to us.

Life’s guidance shows up in so many unique, wonderful and surprising ways as I discovered again in a news report from Good News Network that is so good it’s worth repeating.

Tami Akanuma, 83-years-old, who lives in Miyako, Japan, saved her own life by following her dog Babu’s insistence on going out for a walk and taking a different route minutes after the big earthquake in Japan struck. Instead of going toward the beach as they usually did, the dog pulled her in the opposite direction up a steep hill and wouldn’t stop pulling, as if to rush her along.

Tami was surprised because the dog never wanted to go that way in the past. But she relented, flashing in the moment on a memory of an earthquake and subsequent tsunami 78 years earlier (78 years!) that destroyed the town in which she lived. Imagine! She was only five years old back then! Her intuition – her inner GPS that tapped into her life experience, along with her dog’s natural instinct for survival – and possibly even love for Tami – offered her information and guidance. Fortunately for Tami and Babu, she listened, took inspired action and started walking up the hill.

As Tami got to the top of the hill just minutes later, where an evacuation center just happened to be located, the woman turned around and saw a tsunami roar through the neighborhood below and wash away her home. According to Wikipedia, 339 lives were lost in this small city and only 30 of the 1000 fishing boats that support the livelihood of 57,000 people remain.

Every time I read one of these stories that shows the powerful guidance system that Life provides us for free, I feel excited, relieved, more confident, and determined to pay closer attention to my own inner voice, now lovingly referred to as Life’s IV – the energetic intravenous therapy that keeps me alive and well – when I listen and take inspired action.

One technique to connect to my inner GPS that I’ve found really helpful when I’m reading information, especially news information, is to notice the thoughts, memories, or messages that my mind gives me about my own life while I’m reading. These insights often come quickly – in less than a second – and disappear as quickly, but their impact registers in my body, usually from the area around my heart and up to the top of my head (also believed by some to be energetic communication centers, also known as chakras). Occasionally, they’ll show up in other areas of my body – my gut, my feet, an old injury, triggering cellular or muscle memories.

Some people dismiss this information as frivolous. Others are afraid of it so push it away. Some are so outer focused, they miss their inner guidance altogether. I’ve done all, but when I listen and take inspired action, I am always amazed by the results. What about you?

Life is always talking to you. Are you listening?

Read the story about Tami and Babu on Good News Network.

Share your thoughts in the comment box below. Thanks for connecting.

08/12/10

Inspired Action: Do You Have Inspiration Deficit Disorder?

“Success is not to be pursued;
it is to be attracted by the person you become.”

~ Jim Rohn ~

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This headline really got my attention this morning: Do You Have Inspiration Deficit Disorder?

While I’m not a fan of negative labeling, I’ve learned that most people are more apt to first pay attention to the problems in their lives and then how to solve them and wait for inspiration to arrive. If that’s you, stop waiting. What often happens is that we get stuck in retelling the problem instead of taking inspired action and creating an inspiring result.

For as long as I’ve been researching, speaking, consulting and coaching on how to stay inspired and enthusiastic through challenge and change, one of the most common “Yeah, but” responses I hear from people is that the idea of living an inspired life is a luxury to experience after you’ve slogged through the hard stuff rather than a necessity that will ease you through the hard times – and in some situations even prevent unnecessary hard times that we’ve self-created. What side of the fence is your mind leaning on? Continue reading

05/4/10

4 Things Mothers Most Want from Their Adult Children


Think about all the different ways you’ve appreciated your mother over the years. What kind of gifts have you given her? Preprinted cards? Flowers? Candy? Jewelry? Clothing? I’m sure your mother enjoyed them, but have you ever wondered what she’d buy herself under the same circumstances?

In a national retailers’ poll of mothers, 49 percent of mothers expected flowers; 13 percent said they wanted them. It’s presence, not presents, that count. How much time do spend with your mother? And how much of that time do you both enjoy? Continue reading

03/27/10

Are You Mining the Moment?

One of the five main reasons living with enthusiasm is so important is because it increases your ability to enjoy yourself and your life. But that’s easier said than done some days because we forget that we have a choice about how we think about and express ourselves, which is one of the reasons why I subscribe to the Abraham-Hicks Daily Quotes.

Today’s quote really spoke to me about the importance of moving your mind from self-justification to in-the-moment appreciation, which triggers the release of your authentic enthusiasm through genuine joy bursts.

“Mining the moment for something that feels good, something to appreciate, something to savor, something to take in, that’s what your moments are about. They’re not about justifying your existence. It’s justified. You exist. It’s not about proving your worthiness. It’s done. You’re worthy. It’s not about achieving success. You never get it done. It’s about “How much can this moment deliver to me?” And some of you like them fast, some of you like them slow. No one’s taking score. You get to choose. The only measurement is between my desire and my allowing. And your emotions tell you everything about that. ~ Abraham

02/25/10

Inspired Action: End Unworthiness – The Good Feeling Mantra

“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

02/17/10

[Inspired Action] Enthusiasm Mini Retreat

“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.
~ Napoleon Hill ~

Yesterday evening at dusk in heavy San Diego evening traffic, I heard a screaming fire engine siren behind me.  As it became louder, I quickly veered toward the right side of the street curb along with a trail of cars in front of me. Within just a few seconds, the major thoroughfare was clear and a firetruck roared through the intersection.

As I watched traffic clear so quickly, I felt this odd welling up of emotion that initially perplexed me. I flashed on the thought that hundreds of people made an instant decision to act. Now, you might argue that it was to avoid a collision with a 28 ton piece of speeding steel, but you could also choose to think that people were inspired to action because their need to get wherever they were going was less important than helping an unknown person (or people) in distress get the help of the fire and life protection services in our community.

Perhaps because the relief efforts in Haiti or hard times that have affected so many have been forefront of my mind, or maybe because I am continuously humbled by the goodness of friends and strangers wherever I am, I experienced a moment of grace that still touches me even as I write. It’s these moments of insight and choice, strung together that create more inspiration, meaning and value in my life. What about you?

TIP: Journal 5 Minutes a Day on Your Immediate Surroundings

There are so many ways we lose our connection to our Spirit throughout the day, which leads to making unconscious, unhealthy choices and unnecessary stress and burnout.

Taking the time to reconnect to what feeds our Creative Spirit will always re-energize any project you may be procrastinating or a goal or dream that seems unreachable.

Over the weekend I participated in Jennifer Louden’s Virtual Comfort Retreat 2010, which included a session with Christina Baldwin, author of Life’s Companion Journal. She spoke of the power of capturing daily moments and journaling about them for 5 minutes as a way to stay connected to what’s real and true in your life, especially when we’re bombarded with so many media messages without even realizing it.

Use this information for both acceptance of what is and taking inspired action toward what wants to come into being in your life.


RESOURCE:
NEW! Enthusiasm Mini-Retreat Journal and Guidebook
7 Minutes a Day for 7 Days

I am so excited by what I experienced with the Virtual Weekend Retreat and want to give you a mini version that still has the impact but takes less time per day and fit’s anyone’s budget. The resource I’ve designed for you does all three.

If you ever find yourself wishing for both a quick-fix energy-builder and a long term solution to low energy, fatigue, stress, depression, anxiety or lack of appreciation in your life, you are going to love this new mini-retreat workbook I’ve created for you.

The Enthusiasm 7-Day Mini-Retreat Journal & Guidebook builds on my book Living with Enthusiasm. The retreat workbook and journal gets you in the daily habit of doing one EnthusiAction that increases your energy and productivity and adds more joy to your day in a relaxed and easy way.

It’s fun, and healthy, plus it creates a stronger connection to your Creative Spirit. Share it with a friend or group of friends if you want an even more enriching experience.

Treat yourself to a week of self-discovery, insight and fun. To find out more click on 7 Day Enthusiasm Mini Retreat Journal & Guidebook.

02/10/10

What Inspires You About Yourself?

“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