11/20/16
Torrey Pines Razor Point Lookout Stars of Torrey Pines by Mary Marcdante

Mindfulness: Smile. Click. Laugh. Connect.

Torrey Pines Razor Point Lookout Stars of Torrey Pines by Mary Marcdante

No matter how much mindfulness training I do, my mind still notices what is different about other people I meet for the first time, most often their physical characteristics and then their language. But what’s equally true, is that when I’m at Torrey Pines, a smile and a conversation about the beauty of nature and what we’re privileged to be in the midst of transforms those differences into unique opportunities for connection and understanding. It turns strangers into stars for me. Stars of Torrey Pines.

Yesterday afternoon, there were three groups of people standing against the wooden fence at Razor Point Lookout gazing out at the ocean. On the right was a group of two young men and a woman, dark haired, sturdy looking, taking photos of each other. I asked if they had taken one of all three of them together so they could return in 10 years and celebrate their friendship. They nodded no, so I offered to take that photo. The man in the red hoodie handed me his phone. They posed, I clicked, and it turned into a fun photo session. Smile. Click. Laugh. Connect.

As I walked away, a couple standing to this group’s left – he a tall, thin yogi-type and she, a lithe brunette, said, “Would you mind taking a photo of us.” “I’d love to!,” I said, “Especially with that t-shirt.” (It said, “Heavily Meditated.”) We laughed and the man, who had a German accent said, “If you think that t-shirt saying is creative, you should go to Japan and see what they do. Sayings you wouldn’t believe.” Smile. Click. Laugh. Connect.

To move along the trail, I had to backtrack past a third group of four people. Wow, did they look alike. And like the others, they were posing for each other. I asked if they were family. Four heads nodded yes while one pair of eyes rolled noticeably. I asked if they’d taken their holiday photo yet and if not, this would be a perfect place to do it. They all looked at each other, the eye roller laughed and nodded no, and the mom handed her phone to me. They were full of expression and clearly enjoyed one another’s company.

Three groups, a total of nine people, from all over the world, and for a few minutes, we were all in the same community enjoying the park and each other’s presence.

I felt this warmth of connection and gratitude wash through me as I walked away. When I was about 30 feet back into the foot trail, I turned around and yelled, “Thank you so much! You’re my Stars of Torrey Pines! How about a group photo?!” Not knowing what to expect, I held up my fingers, 1, 2, 3, and yelled, “Go!”

Much to my surprise and delight, they rallied and gave me another first at the park – a spontaneous group photo of people unknown to each other, people willing to let down their guard with each other for a few moments, mug for the camera (instead of mugging each other) and welcome me as if I were a family friend posing them for the Holiday photo. Wishing that for you and your family and the world.

Smile. Click. Laugh. Connect.

09/24/15

Flying Thru Life Book Exclusive Offer with Zen Pilot Robert DeLaurentis

Flying Thru Life by Zen Pilot Robert DeLaurentisAre you dreaming big enough? My friend and coaching client, Zen Pilot Robert DeLaurentis is committed to helping people identify their impossibly big dream and go after it.

Robert has shown people through his recent record-breaking around-the-world solo flight in his plane “The Spirit of San Diego” and his new book “Flying Thru Life: How to Grow Your Business and Relationships with Applied Spirituality” that:  1) most people don’t dream big enough and 2) going after that impossibly big dream and experiencing it in real time is something everybody can do with the right support and actions.

I want to help Robert get his life-changing message out to more people. With his permission I’m sharing three of his 19 Insights from Flying Thru Life below and invite you to join me in purchasing his book. If you buy a copy today, September 24, on Amazon and register your purchase receipt at his website (link below), you’ll be entered to win some incredible prizes (scenic flight along San Diego’s coastline!) and receive for free a special gift poster of all 19 Flying Thru Life Insights. (If you’re reading this after September 24, 2015, with or without prizes, the book is still a valuable read and will be a keeper on your bookshelf.)

Here are three of the 19 Insights that will help move you through the turbulence in your life into calm air:

Ask for the help you need. Your all-knowing and 24 hour business consultant – Spirit (God, the Universe, whatever you call it) is waiting to assist you but you have to ask. You are the one that is holding you back. And you are the one that is in charge. See the challenges in your daily life not as some form of cosmic torture, but rather as opportunities to heal what you’ve been carrying with you for too long so you can fully express the joy that has always been a part of you. (p. 11)

Listening in the Silence. When you connect to Silence, you get something that is called perspective or altitude. Silence allows you to connect to your inner self, Spirit, and the collective consciousness, where you will find all the information you need available to you. (p. 67)

“I once asked Spirit for a plane so I could realize my childhood fantasy of flying. Instead, Spirit gave me a set of spiritual principles and practices. I didn’t wake up one day to find a plane in my front yard. But I was able to use the spiritual principles and practices I was given to triple my business. With the income from that business growth, my plane became a reality.” ~Robert DeLaurentis, Flying Thru Life, p.72

Reframe. You are not a victim. When you take the time to look at situations from a different perspective, things often become much clearer and much closer to reality. Compassion for everyone, including yourself is what shifts energy and results. No one is intentionally trying to hurt you or your business. People occasionally encounter tough times – and they do the best with the tools they have. By showing compassion in your thinking, communication, and actions, you can often turn a situation around with an outcome better than you could imagine. (p. 101)

I think you can see that Robert is on to something and lives the language that a lot of people give lip service to but find a lot harder to put into action. In Flying Thru Life, Robert will guide you through all 19 insights with personal stories, practical business advice, spiritual wisdom, inspirational quotes and photos that will help you break through your fear, release judgment, and inspire you to take the necessary actions you know you need to take to turn that impossible dream into reality. What are you waiting for? Join us in this evolutionary opportunity and adventure.

When you buy Flying Thru Life today on Amazon and register your receipt number at this special website link, you’ll be entered to win an epic flight with Zen Pilot Robert in his plane “The Spirit of San Diego” and fly over the scenic coast of San Diego followed by a luxurious lunch at The University Club on the penthouse floor of Symphony Towers. You’ll also be entered to win one of six of the new Amazon Fire ebook readers, plus you’ll receive these 19 insights in a suitable-for-framing poster you can download immediately that will help you make your seemingly impossible dreams possible.

For more information and to order your copies, click here: Flying Thru Life Special Offer.

In gratitude,

Mary

PS.  You may feel fear, doubt, and confusion on your journey to a more abundant life and want to give up at times but by applying the 19 spiritual insights Robert identifies in his book Flying Thru Life, you can navigate your life’s flight plan in a conscious, courageous way and land in your future with grace and ease. Check out Flying Thru Life here.

07/22/15

2,920 Days: The Power of Your Presence, Words, and Kindness

TOPS International Recognition Days with Keynote Speaker Mary Marcdante

TOPS International Recognition Days with Keynote Speaker Mary Marcdante

2,920 days. This weekend I had the privilege of speaking to 2000 TOPS members at their International Recognition Days on “Finding Your Genie Within.” So much energy and emotion moved through me – I felt anxious, excited, humbled, grateful… At the end of my speech, two women – mom and daughter – came up and asked if they could have their picture taken with me and then surprised me with a photo of the three of us from eight years ago when I spoke at another event. Eight years! 2,920 days of our lives had passed and it was important enough to them to stand in line for over an hour to remember and connect with me. What a gift they gave me.

If I’m really honest with myself and you, I share this selfishly and humbly to celebrate a personal milestone with you, but equally important, to remind you in your weaker moments that your presence and words are ALWAYS an opportunity for impact. Even if it doesn’t look like it on the outside, we all need each other’s kindness — and maybe even more for some us — our own kindness to ourselves.

If you don’t know me well you may not know that I suffer self-doubt and worthiness issues in my quiet moments, which is one of the reasons I speak on the topics I do – I need the positive reinforcement as much if not more than the audience. In my strong moments, I sense that I am a channel, catalyst, example, role model, and human post-it-note for others to experience the power, value, and beauty of their presence within themselves and their relationships, but oh how those weak moments can rise up out of nowhere and try to dim my light. And then out of the blue, Grace flies in through two beautiful human beings and says, “Thank you,” just like you do with your presence right now.

Thank you.

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 ~

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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

01/25/10

Creating Habits That Inspire Action

 

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Choose your words, for they become actions.
Understand your actions, for they become habits.
Study your habits, for they will become your character.

Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

~ Unknown ~

Staying inspired and taking action isn’t just about having a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). It also requires good – and sometimes seemingly small and inconsequential-in-the-moment – daily habits.

While I’ve been blessed with success in my life, I have to admit that breaking bad habits and creating new healthy ones for me is challenging more often than not. And as I’ve discovered from all the self-help and organizing books and systems on the market, it is for millions of other people too. How about you?

I still have to remind myself to stop doing certain actions and start doing other actions that you’d think I’d have learned as a child. One of them is putting my belongings back where they belong immediately after I use them. Like my car keys. And my cell phone.

This works…when I follow it.

MAJOR TIP: And that’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it? Making the decision to follow the steps we know we need to take to create and reinforce good habits and break unhealthy ones so that we do these things without even thinking about it and break through to reach the BHAG. Did you know new research shows that it takes less than a half second to make that new choice? A HALF SECOND!

Pause for a half second before you’re about to repeat that bad habit you already know you don’t want to do, think about the BHAG result you want, and make a different choice! After a half second the urge dissipates and making a better choice is easier. Repeated daily, this single action pays dividends for the rest of your life!

TIP: If I’m really paying attention to that IV (Inner Voice) Drip filled with smart thinking, I make that half second choice in the moment to follow that good habit. Difficult at times, and I’m not always successful, but the payoff is ALWAYS worthwhile, especially long term. As the great Jim Rohn said, “Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons.”

TIP: I was a smoker from the time I was 15 years old until age 32. I quit when I realized my animals ran away from the smoke and I finally noticed that non-smoking clients did that “whiff” test where their heads jerked and their faces frowned as I came within smell distance. Quitting wasn’t easy, but I did it and I use that success as a reminder when I am working on creating major habit changes like the way I use credit and where I spend my money and resisting fast food.

TIP: There’s this saying that I hear in my head occasionally (as in not often enough) when I’m about to deter from following a good habit – “How you do anything is how you do everything.” It’s a good reminder for me that small good habits lead to big good habits, higher self-esteem, and better results in all aspects of my life.

RESOURCE: To help you form better habits and change ones that aren’t working, I’d like to share a great resource with you. Definitely bookmark this site and be prepared to be inspired and take action after connecting with the brilliant Leo Babauta, the founder and creator of Zen Habits.

Leo has a lot of different posts on how to form better habits. The one that really called to me for this message is something we don’t often think of – what to avoid, which is as important as what to move toward.

13 Things to Avoid When Changing Habits

What about you? What your best tip for making or breaking a habit? What habit do you want to create or change and need help with? Post a comment and let’s make some new habits together. *Remember, if you post a comment, you’ll not only help other readers, you’ll also be entered to win in the monthly drawing for a free hour of coaching on any topic of your choice with me.

06/4/09

The Smile Diet Blog: Smile and Move!

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!