"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.


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


The Power of Keeping an Energy Journal

“We are what we repeatedly do.”
~ Aristotle ~

“It’s simple. Stop doing what isn’t working. Do more of what is working.”
~ John Reese ~

We’re 20 days into January and I’m wondering how you’re doing with your New Year’s Resolutions and quarterly and annual goal actions? Are you still moving forward at a pace that is inspiring or are your wheels starting to spin a little more often than you’d like?

I’m finding I’m doing both. When I did my weekly check-in yesterday, I realized it was time to reactivate a 5-step process that I use in my stress management programs to help people reconnect to emotional intelligence and shift their energy. Amazing what happens when you take your own advice! Time slows down and life become richer and more vibrant. What is important shines and what is trivial falls away. You are in the zone.

Here’s the process. Let me know how it works for you.

1. Take a deep breath and focus on your body. You can do this standing, sitting, or laying down.

2. Scan your body, noticing what you’re feeling, starting at your toes and work up to the top your head. Ask yourself, “On a scale of 1-10, how am I feeling?
(1=Bad, 5 = Neutral, 10 = Fantastic! (Keep this simple for now.)

3. Notice the number in your mind and feel the feeling.

4. Ask yourself, “What could I think, say, or do right now to shift this energy up one point?”

5. Do what your Inner Voice suggests and keep doing it until you move up a point. With repetition, you’ll notice that you’ll stay at higher levels longer and be able to increase your energy and good feelings more quickly.

Repeat this process a minimum of 3x a day for the next 21 days and create a new
habit that serves your health and emotional/mental wellbeing.

If you want to turn this into a habit you do without thinking twice, record your answers like I do in an Energy Journal (Click here for a sample journal sheet in pdf). You’ll heighten your awareness and create a helpful self-discovery tool to find out specifically where you lose your energy and how to get it back quickly.

I really want you to have an exceptional life, so please enjoy this journal as my gift to you. Click here to download the Energy Journal.

Enjoy your time with your Self and let me know how the Energy Journal works for you. You can leave a comment below.



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.