01/22/17

San Diego Women’s March Review

Keep democracy alive. Participate
Amazing. Brilliant. Courageous. Destiny. Extraordinary…I could run through the alphabet of superlatives to describe yesterday’s Women’s March in San Diego. So many of you posted about your experience on Facebook and I have loved reading every one. Thank you for inspiring me. This was one of those once in a lifetime moments for me.

I am still thinking about all the families who brought young children and the leaders these children will have the potential to become over the next several decades. They’re watching and participating and even if they’re not sure what it’s all about, they will remember it was important enough for their parents to participate and bring them along. They were making their history. And they could one day say, “I was there and now I am here and I am making a positive difference in the world for human rights. Look what we did. Look what we can do together!” #ittakesavillage


Another image that has stayed in my mind are the people in wheelchairs being pushed by their family and friends in an unending crowd of moving people while their frame of reference is eye level with most people’s waists and they are dependent on the kindness of others to make sure they are safe. People were kind and it was safe.

And I think of that story President Obama told about a town hall meeting he spoke at in South Carolina where very few people attended early in his first campaign. There was an uncomfortable silence when he finished speaking and then out of that silence a woman in the back yelled, “Fired up! Ready to go!” and slowly others start to follow. “One voice can change a room…it can change the world.”

In San Diego, 40,000 people got fired up and went. We marched, we sang, we carried signs about issues that matter and are at risk of being dismissed, denied, or repealed; we hugged, we spoke up, we cared, we participated (around the world!), we showed the world what loving each other, our country, freedom and our rights looks like and feels like — that is love in action — and we opened the door along with the rest of the marching world for everyone to join in.

And today, we begin again. Fired up. Ready to go. Again. Right? We hope and pray. But we need more than hope and prayers. We need action. Ongoing action.

I have not been as active a citizen as I could be. I’m still learning. I made a promise to myself that I would commit to minimum one action a day – email, letter, social media post or comment, photograph, phone call to my representatives (now in my contact list), a conversation with someone who may have a different perspective – to listen, to learn, to stay informed and to speak up on the key issues that matter to me. I may fail at times but I promise to keep getting back up. How about you?

What ideas and commitments will you follow to stay fired up and not just ready to go, but going, already there, and speaking up and sharing whatever is most important to you?

It’s a choice every day. And not always easy. In fact most of the time pretty challenging. Grateful to my circle of inspiration. Stay inspired. And invite others to join you. Our presence, your presence, does make a difference.

I appreciate you and look forward to walking with you on this journey and where it will lead over the next decade and lifetime.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

See more photos on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marymarcdante. Let’s connect.

#whyimarch #sandiegowomensmarch #womensmarch

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

08/15/09

Happy Birthday Julia Child!


Bon Appetit and Happy 97th Birthday Julia Child! And thank you Julie Powell, Nora Ephron, and Meryl Streep for keeping Julia’s spirit alive in the film Julie & Julia. It brought back a memory of one my life highlights…

Several years ago I had the good fortune to meet Julia Child, who was 90 at the time. She was still doing PBS cooking specials, had written 12 cookbooks and taught millions of people that cooking can be easy and fun. She came down from her home in Santa Barbara to promote her latest cookbook at a book signing at The Book Works, Flowerhill (a wonderful independent bookstore adjoining one of my favorite book-writing cafes, The Pannikin).

I stood in line with more than 300 people for two hours. When I finally reached the front of the line, I couldn’t believe how nervous and excited I was. My goodness, she was even larger than life in person. And very direct and clipped in her responses, which made me more nervous because after reading extensively about the challenges she’d faced in her life including breast cancer and the death of her husband, I’d been planning my question for days and began to wonder if she’d answer it.

As I got to the table where she was sitting, she looked up at me and sounding slightly impatient, said in her iconic voice, “What are you smiling about?!”

Feeling uncharacteristically embarrassed, I said, “Getting to meet you, Ms. Child. Would you sign this book for a friend and may I ask you a question?”

She nodded yes and began to write, so I crouched down on my knees to meet her eye to eye and continued, “How do you stay so inspired and enthusiastic, especially in difficult times?”

Arms flying into the air and sounding slight exasperated, she responded in her characteristic, slightly off-key trill, “Wellllll, I eat well, I’m passionate about life, and I love what I do! Now what else can I do for you?”

I offered my hand to shake hers and she gave me as hearty a handshake as someone 50 years younger. (Must have been from all that dough she kneeded over the years!) What a wonderful expression of enthusiasm and a confirmation that doing anything with enthusiasm, especially something you love, not only makes life more enjoyable, but helps you get through challenging times.

Here’s a short video clip recap of my experience with Julia from a speech I did at the Sharp Women’s Health Conference in San Diego. Bon Appetit!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjwv-lX9TtY]

07/21/09

Creative Napping ~ San Diego Living TV Appearance

Think a nap is just for kids, cats, or your annual vacation? Watch my interview with Renee Kohn from San Diego Living and learn more about the power of a “creative” nap for problem-solving and stress management.

Naps are a great stress reliever and can tap into your brain’s alpha waves that put you at your creative best and increase your enthusiasm for living.

The idea for my book Living with Enthusiasm: How the 21-Day Smile Diet Can Change Your Life came to me following a creative nap on a plane ride home after a speaking engagement.

Since that inspiring moment and learning more about how naps regenerate our bodies at a cellular level, I’ve stopped feeling guilty that I’m not being productive. By slowing down the brain and body, we’re actually revitalizing our energy to move faster, healthier and more creatively. When I start to nod during the day now, I take it as a sign that my Creative Spirit wants to talk to me and give myself permission to nap.

Watch the interview now and look for my next post on the 7 steps to a successful creative nap.

03/27/09

Inspired by Waves – Clark Little Wave Photography

On my way to Maui for a wedding a few weeks ago, I saw the most beautiful photo of waves on the cover of Hana Hou!, the magazine of Hawaiian Airlines. Turns out the photo was by Clark Little, a surfer turned photographer when his wife asked for a photo of waves over their bed. He said, “I can do that! I know waves.” Talk about bold and inspired.

For all the years I’ve walked along the Pacific Ocean at Torrey Pines Beach and been blown away by the wave patterns, I’ve wondered how to catch the light, the beauty, the spray, the moment of cresting, through my camera. Never in any photos I’ve taken have I been able to capture the magic and mystery in those waves that I’ve seen with my eyes.

And it shouldn’t come as a surprise. What Clark Little does to get those photos is beyond my imagination. Having been tossed around by a wave and having a near-death experience as a result when I first moved to San Diego has given me a deep respect for the ocean’s power. The fact that Clark Little is willing to be pummeled and risk his life for that magical moment in the water – well, that to me is the power of the combination of inspiration, passion and testosterone. I’m grateful I can appreciate his talent in a photo and was able to see original prints at the Hawaii Surf Art Gallery in Lahaina, Maui.

If you want to be inspired, go to Clark Little’s website and view the flash movie of his photos, watch the Good Morning America interview with him, and read the article in Hana Hou!, all on his site. His energy and enthusiasm are contagious, and his website is equally inspiring.

The inspiration you seek is seeking you. Happy Friday. Mary