Monday, November 24, 2014

Turn tragedy to triumph. Turn anger into change.

...because momentary anger will not bring positive progress. 

A stance is needed. We need to be the ones who make it. With love. With a purpose. With each other.

Anger alone rarely creates positive change. What is needed is community mobilization through education. I don't mean just schooling but that isn't to say that 'higher learning' should be completely discounted. And I don't mean just black when I say community. The court system has never claimed to be just but a system that upholds law. Laws can be very unjust. Laws change as the people they govern habitually demand them to. Laws change when the people they govern fight laws which are unjust in the name of equality and integrity. Our anger as a collective will diminish over time. It has before and it will again. But collected efforts to make a positive change fueled now by anger and sustained by love will last and, in time, be the seed that makes things even better. Be angry. Then make a plan and take action that leads to positive change for us all. Together we can do something greater than any of us alone can.

#Hope #Faith #Love

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Faith is a verb... That is the secret of Faith.

"True desire in the heart for anything good is God's proof to You, sent before hand, to indicate that it is Yours already. That desire You have is the proof that it is already Yours. But faith without work is nothing. I've learned to say thank You in advance.  Anything You want, good, You can have - it's for the taking but You have to claim it, You have to say thank You for it. I've learned to say thank You in advance."
Many of us miss that faith is a verb - it is an action word. Faith is seen not in what You say but what You do. Our actions show what we truly believe.
One of the most frustrating things in talking to people, particularly folks who believe in a Higher Power by whatever name, is the idea that their destiny is chosen so they, we, no longer have to work for it - that it will simply appear as long as we "believe". That is foolish. Almost as much so as utilizing positive thinking to fix a problem (ie my tire is flat but if I think it isn't flat hard enough it won't be... get what I'm saying?!)
When we believe, when we have faith in an outcome we work as if there is no other option but that outcome. We become, what some folks would call, obsessed in doing what is needed to gain that outcome. Our faith becomes visible in our habitual actions. When we say thank You to the Universe for the results before hand, we are not doing it from a place of wishing but from a place of gratitude for the energy and ability to work it into existence. We give thanks for the ability to literally create our destiny. Whatever Your truest desire know that You are indeed capable of achieving it. Know that it may take Your whole freakin' life but if it is what You most want isn't that investment worth it?! Whatever You desire, wherever You say You put Your faith, let it  habitually show in what You do & in who You are. That is the secret to claiming the truest desires of Your heart, that is the secret of faith found in success.
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thank You, from me to You.

Good afternoon to You! Or good morning depending on where You are.
I first want to say a quick thank You for reading It has been a few years and I am proud to say that I have been blessed to share my thoughts via poems, short stories and random ramblings with You - and in turn have many of You write me to share Your thoughts, poems and stories with me.

Many of You who read this follow me on instagram (MarkSparksWrites), twitter (@MarkSparksinc) and on facebook and share even more of Your daily inspiration & lessons and there. Thank You.

This year has been an incredible one for me with many triumphs and some very pain filled moments. No different from You I am sure. The one thing that I am really learning as the year goes on is the power of three words, "let it go." There are so many things that are outside of our control that we hold on to as if we have control over them. We often learn the hard way that we do not. Things like the weather, how other people will act or react and our health - none of it is really within our control. Sure we can guide some things towards an outcome we desire - like our health - but we don't control the outcome. For instance, many a healthy person have woken up and been suddenly not so healthy.

No, this isn't an opus to stop working at being Your best but more a reminder that after You have done all You can to get to where You desire to be all that is left at that moment is to just let go. The result will be what it is. The outcome will be what it is. Once we have planned and executed that plan all we can do is let it go. This is the only way to really deal with the world. This is the only way we can ever truly find joy as we travel the long road of life, seeking to enjoy our walk and achieve our dreams.

I wish You joy, and passion on Your journey.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

My Purpose Has My Attention...

Sometimes as people we miss the meaning of things because we choose not to be objective but instead take everything personally. When we realize that "the world doesn't revolve around us" we are free to see things as they are. When we let go of the self centered view of the world we are much less likely to be slighted by every seemingly hurtful thing that others do to us. That doesn't mean we don't have a right to our feelings or to protect our hearts but maybe it is in the name of that very same protection that we ought to let go of taking so many things so personally. 
We each have a purpose in life and that purpose drives us. Do not feel bad when someone else's purpose seems to drive them away from You. That usually has little to do with You. And often it isn't driving them away from You at all. But maybe it is and that's great too because it frees You to fulfill Your purpose. And find people of like mindedness with whom to do the same.
But that's just me...

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Control (the illusion).

Control is an illusion. We live under this illusion and allow it to cause us stress, to cause us anxiety and to cause us needless pain because it doesn't exist. Not outside of ourselves.

We cannot control the weather. We cannot control the time. We cannot control traffic or the actions of others. We cannot control feelings outside of our own, or reactions, or understandings, or compassion or behaviour or choices outside of our own.

This is where the illusion fuses with the reality. We can control only one thing in this world: ourselves and even that has a limit. We cannot control when we die, or when we catch a cold or when we cannot fall asleep the night before a big day when we are laying in bed knowing that we should really fall asleep.

What we can control is how we choose to interact with the world as we interact with the world. We can control taking habitual action towards our dreams. We can control treating people with dignity and respect - even if they don't like being treated with dignity and respect. We can control, with practice, our emotions. We can control, to a limited degree, our physical ability. We can control very little but that little can create so very much.

So today, before You get worked up or angry or sad or anxious about things that are out of Your control remember that the very feeling that You are feeling or about to feel that You don't want to feel, well You can take steps to control that. And that's no illusion.


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Friday, August 1, 2014

Self Love: The key to Loving Others (#LearningToLove)

So often, and with the best of intention, we seek to love others or more specifically to share love with others. Here's the thing: we cannot give something from ourselves which is not within ourselves. I mean we can try, but You know what Yoda said about trying.
We are best equipped to give to others what we have in abundance, what we habitually plant and harvest internally. That's one of the reasons self love is so important - it allows us to love others, and then in a relationship (Friendship or the intimate variety) amplify that love to bring greater joy, peace and all that other good stuff relationships "are supposed to" - You know, that love that we dream about, that we read about in story books and see in movies.
Self love is the key to loving others. Because we cannot give what we do not have.


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Monday, June 23, 2014

Timing (Or Some of The Lessons I've Learned)

I've learned that timing is more important that We often give it credit for. The perfect thing/experience/opportunity/person (exactly fitting the need/complete without need for improvement) can come into Our lives, be exactly what We desire but, if We are not ready, that blessing built to bring joy becomes the deliverer of pain. Timing may not be everything but it is a huge thing.

I've also learned that sometimes Our desire for what We desire trumps logic and slows Our preparation to be ready for what We desire.

I've learned that if We don't believe that We deserve what We desire, We set in motion (through conscious or subconscious means) ways to sabotage Ourselves. Whether through fear of pain, speculation of the worst, lack of trust, purposely pushing Our blessing away or some other method, We create a complex system to take us away from the simple task of humbly working on Ourselves to continuously be ready (& extremely grateful) for Our blessing.

No doubt I've caused and experienced pain learning them, and I wish that I could erase the former but I cannot. And that saddens me. Nonetheless, I've learned some incredible lessons over the past little while and am so grateful for them. Now it's time.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Speak Your Light (Spoken Word)

One of the greatest gifts we each can give 
& one of the brightest lights we can shine 
is when we, from love, speak.
Click here to listen to "Speak Your Light" on SoundCloud)

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Nothing. (Poem)

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Monday, June 2, 2014

A Workout Reminder of What's Possible. Train Hard. Train Smart. Train Often. Fuel Well. Believe In You!

This picture isn't to show You what is possible for me but to remind You what is possible for Yourself!
I was a super skinny kid with a bundle of health problems. Of course that didn't stop that kid from working out but why would it seeing as he - I - overcame a health problem that was supposed to claim me before I was done with being a baby. YOU CAN build the body You desire & deserve but before You spend time figuring out 'how' You've MUST figure out 'why'!
Read "Why do I workout?" ( for a glimpse into part of why I do, then write Your own! And share it here to help inspire me and others!

If You are interested in finding Your passion & rewriting the rest of Your story. If You are ready to build the body You desire & deserve S.P.A.R.K.S Conditioning can help You achieve it. Let me help You navigate to Your goals. I promise You will not regret it.

We provide nutritional plans, online programming, conditioning camps and personal conditioning & training. Message me for details. And follow me on twitter @MarkSparksInc for updates, tips, inspiration and a laugh!

Mark Sparks
S.P.A.R.K.S. Conditioning
(Speed. Power. Adaptability. Refinement. Kinesiology. Satisfaction.)

*Owner of S.P.A.R.K.S. Conditioning
*Fitness & Conditioning Specialist
*Former Calvin Klein Man Of Steel
*Former National Champion

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dr. Maya Angelou. Thank You. (My Tribute).

#RIP #DrMayaAngelou

Wednesday May 28th 2014 We lost an icon. An inspiration. A Phenomenal woman.

As we remember Dr. Maya Angelou, let Us remember Her inspiring words in times where we are at Our lowest. I pray her words echo in those moments where rage looks to seep in, where despair hovers over Our hearts or where anger looks to block out the warming rays of love. Let us remember Her example and Her inspiring words.
when We do not want to go forward, when fear tempts Us to be still or when darkness threatens to blot out Our light.

When We fall for the umpteenth time let Us remember to stand up and give thanks that We can say "Still I Rise." When we fail let Us remember that there is so much that "we can endure, dream, fail at and survive." When we come upon things in life that We do not like, instead of complaining let Us remember that "if you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."

Let Us remember that "courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently," and that "making a living is not the same thing as making a life." Let us remember to continue to shine bright, to be a light and "be a rainbow in somebody else's cloud."

I pray that We are able to remember that forgiveness is "one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself" and that "love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."

Let us remember that it takes courage to dream and "the desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible." It is most possible when we care about others because "people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Know that "nothing will work unless You do" and that even as we pursue Our dreams that we never lose sight of what success really is: "liking Yourself, liking what You do and liking how You do it." I hope We remember that "surviving is important, thriving is elegant," and that We continually aim to thrive and "have enough courage to trust love one more time. And always one more time."

Thank You Dr. Maya Angelou for Your wonderful contribution and Your amazing inspiration. But it's no surprise, after all You were a woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that was You.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

falling (poem)

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Love: Acceptance Required. (#LearningToLove)

One of the most difficult tasks that love asks of us is to allow ourselves to accept & receive it, to actually believe that we deserve to be loved & that we deserve to be in love. We tell ourselves all the reasons why a relationship won’t work instead of working on all the ways we can to make it work because somewhere inside of ourselves we don't believe we deserve to be that happy
“It’s too good to be true,” is one of those phrases that we routinely hear and it always baffles me. I mean, I get being aware but the adage that “if something is too good to be true it probably is,” has turned us into a society that mistrusts each other and lost faith in the fact that love really does exist. Don’t believe me? When You see Kim Kardashian and Kanye West do You think they are in love or executing a publicity stunt? If it’s the former, that’s amazing. I fear, however; that most of us think it’s something other than love and that’s sad. It’s sad that we have become so cynical when it comes to love outwardly because it wreaks havoc on our ability to believe in love inwardly which hinders our ability to believe in love for ourselves.
What if we were able to believe in love, believe in being loved like we believed we were destined to get hurt?! What if? What would be possible then? What heights of joy would we be able to find when we decided to stop protecting our hearts and instead used that same energy to defend our right to be loved by opening our hearts to receiving love?
One of the most difficult tasks that love asks of us is to let go of our knowledge of failure born from our past experiences, suspend our cynical belief, and to give up our impenetrable hearts. Love demands vulnerability, respect, honest communication and trust but most of all love, in order to flourish, demands that we receive it openly


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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"Cause In Life Class Is Always In Sessions" Or A Lesson in an unlikely classroom.

A little while ago I was working with a colleague, a fellow actor who is a veteran to the craft, on a project in pre production. What I didn't know when we began working was that he'd serve as my teacher as we navigated the latest scripted material.

The lesson began once we reached the editing room - I headed there to see the work that had been done for the day and to learn how to do my job better. I also went over there, and I'm going to be completely honest, for some of that praise we so often hope for after 'a job well done'. Ha! Was I in for a surprise.

So I get to the editing room and there is my teacher (and here I was forgetting that in life class is ALWAYS in session), as I entered the room the smile on my face - you know the one you flash when someone tells you that you've done great work? Yeah that smile quickly left me. "You need to keep that cup away from your face - there's no sequence to it" was how our conversation began. "See there? That was a great moment, but You followed it up with overt celebration of that moment - go after it right there and you really win that scene." If I told You that I wasn't a bit deflated I'd be lying. I was getting a lesson in acting and I wasn't quite ready for it. My initial response was a prideful defense. Thankfully I opted to shut my mouth and shut down my defensive walls. Instead I listened as I watched. He peppered me with some more lessons - and some praise but by the end of the session I was a better actor.

Sometimes what we need to hear isn't what we want to hear but that doesn't mean we don't need to hear it. Having the right people around us - people that are better at what we do than we are in some way - is a great way to become better ourselves. And it is through open & honest dialogue that these 'chance' encounters to learn become life long lessons. But that is always up to us.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some pointers to go and annotate my script with.


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Monday, April 28, 2014

Donald Sterling: A Reminder For Us To Start With The Man In The Mirror.

So this Donald Sterling thing has brought about some very interesting conversation within my circle this weekend. Many things came up in the conversation and varying views were discussed but here's something that was agreed upon - we as people have become far too casual about things that we shouldn't be casual about. I wrote a poem about my time seeing jay-Z in concert earlier this year ("Jigga What") & on his hit about visiting Paris ("Ni**as in Paris") poetically outlining some my views. There was one incident that really helped to encapsulate something for me. Standing at one of Jay's shows I was surrounded by white faces. The only black person I could see (literally) was the person I arrived with. I am not small - almost 6'4" and 220lbs and my Brother is bigger than I. We were standing among a group of young men & when the parts of the song that required the chanting of the "N" word came on the young men around us did so jubilantly and with no thought or fear. I should mention, for effect, that they were significantly smaller than the both of us.
Flashback to my time in college. I rolled into a party where I was the minority and the song "Juicy" was playing. If You are familiar with the track You know the part of the unedited version where Biggie calls out "and if You don't know now You know..." well that was playing as I walked in and through the party. It was funny at the time for me to notice the non black guys notice me and quickly edit the way they sung that line and other, umm controversial, lines.
Times have changed. No doubt we've come a long way as people (all people) from the times where my 102 year old Grandma has told me about but we've still got a ways to go. And becoming casual about certain things now will not help. Nor will pretending that we are 'past it'. I'm not preaching 'pro black' by any means, nor am I against comedy, music or anything that plays on stereotypes for laughs, to evoke thought etc... I am saying that we need to begin to think more for ourselves. I am saying that we need to question what we see on t.v. and in the movies as well as what we hear on the radio. I'm saying that we need to apply some discernment to thinking that we are embedding into things that we are accepting as 'okay'.
To me it isn't ever okay to call someone names like "fat", "ugly", "stupid" even if they do call themselves that on a regular basis. That being said I must ask myself that if I am always using a certain word to describe myself do I give other people permission to do the same? The responsibility to change comes from everyone but it must start with one person. As Michael so beautifully sung:

"I'm Starting With Me 
I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself 
And Then Make A Change."

My aim each day is to be the positive change in my world that I want to see by being the positive change in my world I need to be. Cause, as cliche as it is, change around me must start with me.
And You.


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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Listening: more than just waiting to reply.

We often feel like we are listening because we do not speak but that is only the beginning. We must immerse ourselves in the message being relayed to us. In order to understand another we must actually yearn to understand them, so much so that we are temporarily willing to put our need to be understood aside in order to understand. So much so that we put away our retorts and responses and simply absorb. Listening takes work & discipline but its relationship rewards are well worth the effort.



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Monday, April 14, 2014

Navigating Relationship Disagreements: A Way To M.A.P (Manage Arguments Productively (#TheArtOfRelating).

When You are wrong, say sorry & mean it.
When You are right, say nothing & mean it. 

Because sometimes the hardest thing to do is the best thing to do...
We all have moments in Our relationships where what we are saying is right and where what we are saying isn't. But being right should never trump being loving, or joyful or growing together. Sure what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong. If You are the latter, own up to Your mistake, apologize for real and move forward together. And if You are right, well let it go cause winning a battle against Your teammate only results in a weaker team with wounded members. Just sayin'.


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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Gift Of Kindness: A Present On Perspective.

I held the door for a woman today and she gave me a gift of perspective that was huge.

"Thank You," she said as I held the first set of doors for her.
"Are You going out this way or that way," I asked as I came to another set of doors.
"That way, but You can go ahead, I've got to put my hat & gloves on," she replied.
"I'm in no hurry - plus it's cold outside so I'll take a few moments inside," I said.
"You know," she started,"there are really some kind people in this world. I meet a few mean ones every now and again but I never go a day without meeting some really kind people."

We spoke some more, she armored herself up to brave the cold and then I held the final door between her & outside open. As she rolled through the door she stopped to address me one more time, "God bless you. Have a wonderful day."

I smiled a huge smile "how could I not?"

And with that she left my world but not without re adjusting my perspective.

We seek what we search for. That doesn't mean we don't see anything else but we that we will see most what we seek most.
Kindness is one of those things we must seek out everyday. I don't mean grand gestures or elaborate ways either but simple & caring acts of kindness. Smiling at someone and saying "G'morning" with sincerity. Holding a door for someone behind You, giving up a seat on public transit without being asked, calling a friend just to say You appreciate them. Kindness.

The gift of kindness. It blows me away how habitual 'small' acts of kindness can make a huge impact in our lives. Like shifting our perspective and helping us to see a little more of the kindness in our world. The same kindness we seek to add to it.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Power Of Decision.

"We decide where we focus and when we do we give meaning to what we choose to focus on. From that an emotion is created which fuels Our actions and from these actions we harvest a result."

The Power Of Decision.
Here's an example.
While laying in a hospital bed a doctor told a young man who was severely injured that he'd probably never run again, never compete again.  The young man was heart broken upon receiving the news as he adored competing, staying fit, being a part of a team and most of all the lessons playing sports & continually pursuing fitness continued to teach him. Instead of taking the words of the expert as gospel he decided to seek out a second & third opinion. Luckily he found a doctor & athletic therapist who were very familiar with achieving the "impossible". The young man signed on the dotted line and over the course of many months he paid in cash, blood, sweat & many tears. Several years later he was back to competitive sports and cashing in on his hard work that came from The decision he made in that bed: "I will compete and I will be faster & stronger than I've ever been". Sure he was "lucky" enough to find a team that could help him but his luck came from his actions, his search which was fuelled by his decision...
Decide. The choice is Yours.

Friday, March 21, 2014

You Are Incredible. (Likes Cannot Prove That). #TheArtOfRelating #LearningToLove


Tools do not create anything, they are just tools. We create things.
When the right tool is used they make a task simpler to complete. When the wrong tool is used the task becomes more difficult. Don't believe me? Well the next time You need to hammer a nail reach for a screw driver. 

#Facebook, #Twitter, #Instagram and the like are tools. 
Social media is a tool that allows Us to quickly and easily share & exchange information. When we utilize these tool for another purpose - say as the place where we build Our self esteem and self worth - they fail. When we post a picture for the purpose of 'getting likes' (which is the new version of getting approval) we miss the purpose of the social media tool and we do Ourselves a great disservice. 
We cannot control who or how many people 'like' Our pictures and if that is the way We are getting boosts in self esteem and self confidence then that is the moment we relinquish control of growing in those areas as well.
Do not live by the praise of people, 
or You will die by the blade of their criticism.
Who You are is wonderful. You DO NOT need approval or praise from anyone to know that. What You may need is encouragement to explore all the parts of You that make You wonderful and beautiful. What You may need is someone to help You find other tools to serve You on Your pursuit of Your greatest, most exceptional You. What You may need is support in remembering the fact that You are already amazing and that all You need to do is strip away some of the crap that You have been taught that You need in order to 'fit in' and be amazing. What You may need is to rediscover Your purpose & reignite Your fire to make it happen. What You DO NOT need is approval. Or picture likes. Or for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Fashion Magazines or the like to tell You that You aren't able to be 'good enough' without their approval because You are more than good enough, You are great.
You are incredible. All You may need is to rediscover that daily.

Here' 2 quick exercises to help You with finding tools that serve You:
1. We all need work in one aspect of Our lives. What is one area in which You are not shining as brightly as You can? How do You see Yourself with Your ability and experience and uniqueness able to actually shine in that area? What steps must You take in order to get from where You are to where You desire to be? Write them down! Step 1... Step 2... Step 3...
Done? Good. Now Break down each step into a nice chewable bite. Done that? Good. Now go and start the first bite. Today. Seriously.

2. Write down all the things that make You special. The silly things that make You unique that You do as well or better than anyone You actually know. What is Your most beautiful feature to You? What is Your second most beautiful feature to You?
Write them down and add to the list at least once a month. Why? Because You are incredible. 

Excuse me, I've got some more uncovering to do.
Happy discovering.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Poem - Chase Your Heart (I Will Not)

We're so close
Yet the distance 'tween us is still amazing
And I am all for the pursuit
But I'm far from signing up for chasing
Cause I understand if it'll happen
It's got to be willingly
So convincing of any kind
To get to "I do"
Simply won't do for me
Let's promise to be honest
Or as the kids say "keep it real"
And I promise I'll do many things
To show - never to prove - how I feel
So let's close the gap together
One joy filled step at a time
And we don't got to jump to quick to
"I'm Yours" & "You're mine"
Cause I've got no problem being patient
Plus I'd be a fool not to wait
So I'll happily pursue Your heart
But Your heart I will not chase.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Talent & luck: Overrated Variables in the Success Equation.

Talent, like luck, is an overrated variable in being successful. Whether in career, in the gym or in relationships few people can achieve the success they desire - whatever that means to each individual - without consistent and committed hard, smart work. Just showing up at the gym, at work or in a relationship is a great way to end up in the land of mediocre and mediocre has yet to be inspiring to anyone that I know of. I mean look at the pictures of physiques people post as motivation or the stories of relationships & financial freedom that people post as inspiration. Rarely, if ever, are these posts about the mediocre. I'm not saying that one has to aim to climb a mountain, have a six pack or own a jet to be successful unless that is YOUR definition of success. And if it isn't who really cares?! Why would You want to achieve what someone else desires?! I am saying that we each have a definite desire and we each deserve to achieve and live that desire in this life. In order to do so we need a few definite things, one of which is the understanding that people who are 'more successful' than us aren't so because they are luckier or more talented (even if they are more naturally talented than us) but instead because they execute a smart plan habitually (whether daily or even hourly). They set benchmarks and they work towards them one by one. They make it their habit to get great at their craft. Most of us do not achieve what we desire and deserve not because of a lack of talent or ability or luck but rather a lack of passionate, purpose driven, habitual execution of a plan which we routinely measure and manage. If we are to rise to where we desire and deserve to be then we must create habits that serve us in that aim. We must create habits that create opportunities or rather ready us to see and take hold of the opportunities we are blessed with. We've got to educate ourselves, push ourselves, surround ourselves with people who inspire us & call us to a standard that is befitting our ability and desires. And we've got to stop believing in the esoteric idea of success & embrace the fact that building what we truly desire has little, if nothing at all to do with talent or luck.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

"The Only Place I Chase Pain Is..." (#LearningToLove)

This wasn't always the case. Luckily, thankfully,
I'm finally #LearningToLove

Relationships are places we go to amplify whatever we are feeling. When we seek them in search of something that we don't yet have or with something that we don't quite desire we end up causing ourselves - I ended up causing myself and others - pain. And when we don't learn to acknowledge this pain we end up seeking it instead of seeking the amazing & transformational power relationships are meant to have, and that is to amplify the wonderful array of feelings & emotions we are meant to enjoy. Without a doubt challenges will arise and are a part of every relationship but they shouldn't habitually bring pain nor should we - should I - expect it in our relationships. At least that's my conclusion. And why now the only place I chase pain is in the gym, or during hill runs or track sprints (gosh darn those things hurt!) and not in my relationships.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Poem - End the Pursuit (Chasing You) #LearningToLove

It's been a while
Since I've been chasing You
Do us a favor and
End the pursuit
Take me captive
Cause that'll set us free
Uncaged birds'll fly high
To our destiny
And maybe then
We will make the leap
To that magic place
We've only seen in our dreams
A living fantasy
You & me
Let's get together Love
Make some memories
A comfy place built on trust
That'll burn the pain away
Passionate blaze
Will melt our pride away
Build a house of love
To last for always...

It's been a while
Since I've been chasing You
Do us a favour and
End the pursuit

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Poem - Walls (#LearningToLove an excerpt)

" is impossible for the heart always finds a way out, a way back.  To try & figure it out would be to try and understand infinity, to attempt to quantify "forever" or "for always" which is an impossible feat. As much so as..."  
-"Learning To Love" an excerpt.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Poem - Jigga What? (Moment Of Clarity/Song Cry) or 'How I felt after seeing Jay-Z in Concert'

In my mind for awhile
No brother was any bigger
But I was all confused when I went
To see my brother Jigga
He had a bunch of white folks
Chanting out the word 'nigga'
My big brother broke my heart
Damn go figure
That my moment of clarity
Would come when I went to see Jigga
And I can't see 'em coming down my eyes
So I got to let my words cry
I can't see 'em coming down my eyes
So I'ma just let my words cry
Out that what I saw was bullshit
And I'm having a cow
Confused as hell
Trying to figure out how
We've gone backwards so far
And so gosh darn fast
Don't believe me?
Listen to rap music
Where I hear repeatedly on the radio
About 'niggers' & 'bitches' & 'gettin' ass'
Oh, and fast cash
So fast that we're taught
To use rubber bands as wallets
Cause it's made to quickly
Snap from our pockets
But now I'm stating the obvious
On one hand there's a president
Who is a 'minority'
But on the other we turn words of hate
Into the majority
A new form of slavery
With a new kind of master
And if we don't start paying attention
We're headed for disaster
For a terrible mess
For a repeat of history
Because the direction we are going
Leads back to where we used to be
Or maybe that's just me
My brother Jigga
Came to my home town
Sold out the ACC
And during his show
He confused the hell outta me
Now I'm searching for answers
Sad, working to figure out 'why'
But since
I can't see 'em coming down my eyes
I gotta let my words cry (words cry)
I can't see 'em coming down my eyes
So I gotta let my words cry…

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Show Up : An Underrated Key To Achievement.

Showing Up: One of the most underrated keys to achieving what You deserve & desire.

When I first got to college I remember a Professor telling our class that they took attendance even thought coming to class wasn't mandatory. They also shared that showing up would earn us 10% of our final grade. Another 10% would be earned by participating lightly in class discussions. So 20% of our total grade was directly related to just showing up. That meant that even getting 50% on the rest of the course breakdown (exams, assignments and tests) would result in an overall passing grade.

At first this didn't seem fair. Why should everyone receive 'easy' marks for simply showing up?!
I learned later why. I learned later the importance of simply showing up.

You see it is hard for us to achieve anything in any arena if we don't, first, show up. In no way am I saying that only showing up is going to get the work done but very few people who build a habit of showing up can do so without giving, at the very least, a small effort. And when we habitually show up and habitually put in, again at the very least, a little effort we get results that we desire. Results tend to mirror our effort and constancy. That's to say a little effort over a little time will yield a little of what You desire and deserve. The formula works even more fruitfully in our favour when our effort increases along with our commitment over time:

Amount of Effort x Amount Of Time = Amount Of Desired Results

It's hard to put in an effort when we don't even show up. How many great workouts have You had that didn't have a start? Or what work have You ever done well that You've not first started just to do?

Showing up is essential to learning to be better at whatever craft we are looking to be better at. Who's heard of a basketball player who gets better without going to practice and going through hundreds of repetitions (sorry Mr. Iverson).

The amount of effort we put in to something multiplied by the amount of time we commit to that same thing will give us the amount of our desired results. On the path towards getting what we most desire & deserve we will undoubtedly come up against many challenges and obstacles but if we don't come to them we never get through them and that means we never get to where we need in our souls to go. In order to make it through the toughest times we need practice, we need repetitions in dealing with, learning from and triumphing over challenges. And we cannot get our reps in if we don't show up.

Prayers for an amazing journey as You habitually show up in Your life to shine brightly and grow faithfully.


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Monday, January 6, 2014

Vision is like sight - where We focus is what We see.

Vision is like sight - where You focus is what You'll see.

Everyday our eyes take in millions of pieces of information - a ridiculous number of colours and their various shades as well as objects of all sorts of sizes and shapes. Through an incredible process we filter out all the things that don't currently matter to us and see what we need to see. Think about it - when driving how many things do we pass that we don't take in or even notice. Or on a route that we regularly walk think about all the small details (or sometimes huge details) that we disregard. I guess it's how we've evolved in order to survive - notice what we must and forget the rest.

In our daily lives our minds are also flooded with thousands of messages - ads from marketers, messages on social networks, texts, emails, phone calls, people and the constant stream of thoughts from within our own heads. 
It is a wonder that we are able to accomplish anything in our daily lives!

Just like our eyes, our minds (and spirits) learn to filter out the stuff that doesn't matter based on a filtering system that we are in control of, that is to say we choose what we 'need' to see. The problem comes when we stop consciously monitoring that filtering system that's when the things that shouldn't matter start to take the place of the things that should matter and we end up caring more about (and being stressed more about) things that don't really matter.

When I got into downhill biking I was taught to look where I wanted to go. This was a useful tip when navigating myself between trees and cliff edges that were inches to my left and right. I learned the same thing when learning to drive a car and again when learning to ride a motorcycle. Intuitively what we do when we see danger in our path is to look at it, stare at it and this paralyzes our ability to steer away from it. In fact it magnetizes us right to it. My first crash was a result of a very big tree being in a place where I didn't expect a very big tree. As I leaned a corner roaring down a mountain at speeds which made the "no fear" sticker on my helmet a lie, a tree 'popped out of nowhere'. Once I saw it I couldn't take my eyes of it (well I wouldn't, I could have easily looked to the right of the tree and made the needed manoeuvre to continue on my desired path). As I stared at the tree I remember very little except feeling like it was drawing me into it. After impact and once I was airborne I remember thinking that it was taking a mighty long time to hit the ground. That thought ended as I smashed into and rolled along the mountain floor. Several rolls later I stopped as my body slammed into some rocks and my bike hurled itself down the hill towards me. Bad crash, long recovery and lesson learned. Pain brought growth. Sweet.

Focus is our Creator given ability to filter what it is we see. Focus allows us to shape our experiences and to get what we desire in life. Vision allows us to plan, to see that which doesn't yet exist. Vision is where our faith gains strength. And that strength grows with focus.

Vision is like sight - where we focus is what we see.

I pray that You, continually monitor Your focus, Your filters and find Your way towards Your vision.
I pray that I continually do the same.

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