02/22/14

Does Competition Make You Better?

Jimmy Sherburne, #2 Princeton Tiger Senior Guard, February 2014

How do you feel about competition? Do you rise to the occasion? Do you clutch? Do you encourage it or walk away from it?

“Competition makes me better.” Jimmy Sherburne, Princeton Tiger #2, Senior Guard (and adored nephew) playing in tonight’s game against Harvard. Go Tigers!

Back story: One of my favorite quotes and people, not just because Jimmy’s one of my five talented nephews, also because he shifted my perspective on competition. When he was 17 and playing high school bball against a college team, I asked him what he thought about playing such an experienced team and he said, “Competition makes me better. I like it.”

Profound answer for me.

I’ve never felt comfortable competing, often choosing to play smaller than my heart’s desire for so many reasons – fear of being perceived as a show-off, wanting others to like me, wanting others to feel good about themselves, early girl training in Catholic grade school, potential disappointment of losing anyway…

Now, when I feel that way, I think of Jimmy and remember that giving my best when up against any other person or team, makes us all better.

A rising tide lifts all boats. Thank you Jimmy!

PS. They play at 8 pm EST tonight, home game. You can watch on ESPN3.

Thanks for sharing!
11/22/12

Inspired Action: Holy Flowing Gratitude

Thanksgiving Day, 2012

Smile. Feel the softness of your heart. It changes everything.

In those moments when you forget it’s always a Day of Thanksgiving,
and you feel the burnt edges of life’s disappointments
crusting over the softness of your heart,
when you forget how amazing you and your life
and the people you love and this earth really are,
choose.

Choose, as hard as it may be, as soon as you notice,
to go to your grateful space and breathe.
Breathe in thank you. Breathe out thank you. Smile. Over and over.
Eventually, this holy flowing gratitude will wash over you
like waves cresting in the ocean. And you will feel blessed.

Really. It will. You will. I promise. If you will try.
Just try. Right now.

See. It worked didn’t it?
Feels good, doesn’t it?

What, no luck?
Well, not to sound like that overly-critical, annoying know-it-all
you’re trying to be grateful for,
which is why you’re even trying this in the first place,
but you know you didn’t do it long enough.
Must have some heavy lifting in there. Sorry.

Go back and do it again. And relax. It will work.

I know, you’re right, it may take longer than you like,
but if you keep trying, gratitude will arrive
and the relief you feel when it washes over you
will land you in such a deep state of grace
that tears of joy might even join your party.
Long forgotten memories, people you love,
happy places, recaptured dreams
will begin to flow back into you.

Smile. Feel the softness of your heart. It changes everything.

Happy Thanksgiving.
Love, Mary

Thanks for sharing!
03/12/12

Inspiring Your Present Moment…

“I see beauty all around, and I’m reminded once again…
Here and now I have all that I need.
Here and now this is where I am meant to be.”
~ Jana Stanfield ~

A sunset walk at Torrey Pines State Beach Reserve this past weekend and Jana Stanfield’s song “Here and Now,” inspired me to create a photo collage for you from my photos. It’s a great way to take an inspiration break at your computer when you make it a desktop background. [Right click on the photo and then click "Set as desktop background."] Enjoy!

Torrey Pines State Beach Reserve - photos (c) MaryMarcdante.com

Thanks for sharing!