07/28/15
"Inspiration lives in the possible." Mary Marcdante

Inspiration Lives in the Possible. Gnarly Trees, Dr. Seuss and Chainsaws

Gnarly Old TreeThe light on this twisted tree limb called to me from a distance. My first thought was what happened to it to cause such a crookedness in its growth. When I got close enough to really look at it, I had the strangest sensation of awareness run through me. Suddenly, just for a few seconds, it was as if I was looking at an gnarly old man crossing his legs while enjoying the view of the sky. Then it morphed into frog legs. And then I saw Dr. Seuss characters starting to appear.

And then, back to reality by the sound of a chainsaw across the street being started by the landscape team in the neighborhood.

Tree, Mary. Old tree. Branches. Blue Sky. Walk. Get going. You have work to do.

Right. Work. And then Dream Time. Maybe. If there’s time. And now yesterday’s moment is a memory and this morning I’m thinking again about that tree.

When an image is that strong for me, I’m always curious to revisit it to see if there’s a deeper meaning, message or metaphor for me. It’s a way for me to access ideas and insights and problem-solve.

Scanning through my iPhone photos this morning, there was that gnarly old man tree again standing with crossed leg and now he was smiling and reminding me to let go of preconceived notions, to enjoy the freedom of the moment, to see beyond appearances and truly feel the beauty, inspiration and creativity of the natural life that always surrounds us and lives within us…if we will only pause long enough to drop the judgment, open our minds and hearts and then take the risk to create from this space and share our creative expression with others so we can all feel more alive in this wild adventure called Life.

I flashed again on Dr. Seuss. One of the most creative minds and greatest teachers in my book. He lived just a few miles from me. The trees in his neighborhood are similar. What if the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch got their legs from Dr. Seuss pausing long enough to look up at his trees and let them talk to him? Wild. I know. But possible. Inspiration lives in the possible.

What possibility is calling for your presence today? It’s out there waiting for you to feel it.

And I’m here waiting to hear about it. Have a creative and beautiful day and let me know what you experience.

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

07/13/10

How to Use Enthusiasm to Create Your Future Now

Expectations are powerful indicators of your future. Positive expectations strengthened with enthusiasm help you to access your deeper desires and create a path for more abundance to come your way.

Let me share a great example:

When I was writing Day 6 of The Smile Diet in my book, Living with Enthusiasm: How the 21 Day Smile Diet Can Change Your Life, I was looking for a way to explain how you can increase your enthusiasm for an activity you’ve scheduled in the future to help maximize and increase the enjoyment of the experience.

I created the example of anticipating a massage that you would schedule a week after doing your daily reading for Day 6. I suggested doing a conscious 16-second savoring smile every time you think about the upcoming activity to increase the pleasure of the experience, but then deleted the story because of space.

Because of the synchronicity that happened two days later, I added it to a later chapter and still marvel at how Life is always giving us clues and gifts to help us live richer (in all meanings of the word), healthier, and more inspiring lives. Continue reading

03/30/10

“Eat Slow or Die Fast” with Dr. Bruce MacFarland (1923-2010)

Last week I was privileged to celebrate the life of a great friend, father, and a pioneer and leader in the nutrition and holistic health fields, Dr. Bruce MacFarland.

We were invited to bring a favorite food to share, which in my case, that day, because I was pushed for time, would have been chips and salsa, picked up at Costco. But as I thought about all the things I’d learned from Bruce over the five years I’ve known him including his infamous “Eat slow or die fast,” and “Don’t cross your legs or risk varicose veins,” I realized I wanted to do something to honor his health conscious ways (well, except for Kopp’s Custard in Milwaukee, but who can resist that!) so I decided to make homemade hummus with sliced carrot sticks.

I got out one of my favorite (and beautiful to look at) recipe books “The Raw Goumet” and made the Hummus recipe, which is good, but still kind of bland. I wondered what I could do to spice it up and asked the Ethers, “What would Bruce add?” Continue reading

02/2/10

You Are Wired to Be Inspired

“Have the courage to act instead of react.”
~ Earlene Larson Jenks

Did you watch the Grammys? So many amazing performances so full of mastery, so much audience enthusiasm for the art and skill of creating and performing music. Were you inspired? I sure was! And I still am. In fact, I watched all the main performances last night on YouTube, which, actually, surprises me.

When I stopped to think about what compelled me to revisit performances of musicians, excellent as they may be, whose music I’d never listen to by choice, I realized there was a great practical tip here for creating enthusiasm and inspired action. Can you guess what it is?

You’re right. When people give themselves completely to their unique gifts and share them authentically and enthusiastically with the world, magic happens. We’re all capable of creating that magic daily, but the challenge for most of us is first of all to KNOW what our gifts are, and then second, to FREE ourselves from our fears and give ourselves completely to whatever it is we’re doing and express our GIFTED SELF. Great performers have learned how to do this. We can too.

I think of performance artist Pink on that Cirque du Soleil style twirling machine and the flawless performance she gave. Did you wonder, like I did, whatever inspired her to take on a risk like that? In front of 25 million viewers?! Where did her courage to do that come from? How many times did she practice that routine to make it look so effortless? How did she not puke while she was twisting upside down, dipped in water, all the while singing her heart out, and then be able to stand at the end and not just walk but strut confidently off the stage?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qET6mlPb8uk]

TIP: I have an idea about what moves her that I believe moves each of us to inspired action and Gifted Self moments, which strung together become an Inspired and Gifted Life. I wonder if you agree?  I believe we are all wired to be inspired. And when we appreciate what inspires us, we are filled with a natural enthusiasm that gives us the confidence to move beyond our fears and share our Gifted Self into greater expression with the world.

Can you think of a time when you were totally and completely your most confident, inspired Gifted Self without worry or fear of what others would think or what might happen? When you were so present in the moment that all you were aware of doing – fully, completely, and enjoyably – was whatever it was that you came there to do?

TIP: Memorize a Gifted Self Moment and relive it often throughout your day to receive greater inner strength and motivation to act on what is important to you. This energetic space is where your manifesting power, dreams, and Creative Spirit live.

So what inspirations will you notice, appreciate, and enthuse about with others today to experience and share more of your Gifted Self with the world? Share your thoughts in the comment box and check out the inspiring resource below to help you.

RESOURCE:

Ever heard of a Virtual Retreat? This is a really innovative idea and will definitely nourish and nurture your Creative Spirit and help you discover and express your gifts with confidence and grace. I love this: “You will meditate, move, journal, visualize, laugh, and engage your whole body and spirit” all from the comfort of your own home and phone or computer. Get a couple friends together and share the weekend or a few hours together. I’ll be attending too.

Jen (author of The Woman’s Comfort Book series) is leading this bargain-priced Virtual Retreat with 13 other world famous teachers February 12-14. You can listen live or use the replay/download option at your convenience. Sign up by February 5th and get a major discount plus bonuses and ongoing support included. Check it out here.  Just reading the details will reduce your stress and make you smile. Add your 16-Second Smiling Breath and you’ll really relax.

NEXT ISSUE: How to get started discovering your gifts and strengths and a great new book for connecting more deeply with your Inner Voice (IV to your Creative Spirit) in challenging times.

Inspired by your presence…Mary

PS. Leave a comment on my In The Moment blog by Sunday February 8, 2010 about something in this post that inspired you, helped you, or triggered a new insight and you’ll be eligible to win a copy of Marci Shimoff’s best-selling book “Happy for No Reason” and my book “Living with Enthusiasm.”

08/16/09

Inspiration Salad Recipe – 12.7 Extra Years to Your Creative Life?

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

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Mix. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

07/21/09

Inspire Yourself ~ 7 Steps to Creative Napping

Have you ever fallen asleep at your desk or had an easier time falling asleep on the couch than in bed? Does your creativity need a boost? Could you use more enthusiasm? Nap your way to success.

The National Sleep Foundation reports some astonishing facts that validate the power of a nap:

* 48.5% of Americans report trouble sleeping

* 46% say their lack of sleep is due to job
stress and other worries

* 25% of the 1000 men and women surveyed believe that you cannot be successful in a career and get enough sleep.

Yikes! Well, the good news is new research reported in the Journal of Sleep Research shows that a 20-minute nap in the middle of the afternoon can be more effective in reducing fatigue and increasing energy into the evening than a cup of caffeine or more sleep at night. Your body is revitalized down to a cellular level with a nap, but not so with caffeine.

There are two types of naps – a stress-relief nap that focuses on energizing the body and a creative nap that fuels creativity, intuition and enthusiasm as well as revitalizing the body.

For a stress-release nap, set a timer with a soft ringer for 20 minutes. Slow down your breathing. Follow your breath in and out for the allotted time, maintaining a soft smile on your face to keep the endorphins flowing in your body.

For a creative nap, follow these steps:

1. Find a quiet place to rest. If you are at work and if there is no lounge or quiet room, as a last resort, you know where to go. Choose the end stall if it’s available.

2. Set a timer with a soft ringer and keep a pad of paper and pen next to you. (Just bring a pen if you use the restroom; you’ll already have paper.)

3. Before your nap, focus your mind on one item you want to accomplish, pose a question to your mind and then let it go. (Writing out your question helps clarify what you want.)

4. Limit the length of your nap to 20 minutes.

5. Tell yourself that you will rest for the specified time and awaken relaxed and refreshed.

6. Do a deep relaxation from head to toe, breathing slowly and deeply, following your breath just like you did in the stress release nap.

7. Upon waking, record any insights or answers that popped out during your nap.

If you already have a copy of my book, Living with Enthusiasm, reread pgs. 88-89. If you’d like more ways to tap into your Creative Spirit, turn your stress into success and feel more enthusiasm during your work day, learn more about how to do that with the Living with Enthusiasm Online Self-Coaching program. Try it for a month for free!