Monday, May 29, 2017

Perhaps It Is Them, And Not You...

"Perhaps its not
that they don't see your value
but rather, they don't see their own."
"How can I believe in us, if I don't even believe in myself?"
With his eyes filled with tears, he tried to explain to her all that he was feeling. And though he knew that he'd never be able to make her truly hear him, he spoke anyways. He shared anyways.

What he didn't know was how wrong he was. She heard him. She heard him long before any words came out of his mouth. She heard his pain & his desires as they poured out of him. She heard him because she spoke his language. She heard him because...

-"Learning To Love" by Mark Sparks

You ever notice that we're so quick to put people into one box or another based on the experiences of our past. Sure, this is a logical way to deal with the many people that we casually come across in our daily lives, but it might be a disservice to us and the people we could potentially enjoy long term connections with - whether business, friendship or partnership.

When we assume that someone who is doing something to us in a relationship with us currently has the same meaning as someone who has done the same or similar thing to us in a past relationship, we burden our present self with the pain of that past hurt and we block out the present person in the name of defending our heart against new hurt.
Of course, guarding our hearts from pain is logical as is being aware of people's habitual actions, but it isn't always beneficial to allow those views to captain our ship. When we guard our hearts from anything entering, we may keep the "bad" out but we also lockout the potential good, or great that wants to enter our lives.

When we are able to look at people's actions as a reflection of where they are on their journey instead of how they view us, we begin to free ourselves to truly explore our own hearts and desires and we allow ourselves the safety to be vulnerable enough to seek what we desire in ourselves and in others.

So the next time someone who you care about forgets something or slights you, remember that it may not be that they don't see your value, but perhaps they haven't quite yet fully seen their own.

Thanks for reading.
Until next time,

Join me on instagram: @marksparksinc
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Monday, April 24, 2017

Living In The Moment: The Art of searching less & finding more "special" moments.

Often on our journey we miss the beauty of the journey because we simply fail to see it. It becomes easier to stop paying attention as we start our day on our daily walk and interaction with the world but easier doesn't always mean better.

Our lack of awareness leads to many things, including missing all the wonderful moments we are searching for on our pursuit of happiness.

Many ancient practices for centering warriors and peaceful walkers alike focus on focusing in on the moment. Some call it "the zone", others "being locked in". No matter the name You give it know that its ability to multiply Your ability to produce results, peace and happiness are incredible and readily available to You. If, You choose, to create the habit of enjoying each moment. Seek less, find more.

Here's an exercise I've been utilizing over the past few months to help myself build up my habit of being in, and enjoying, a moment.

1. Sit somewhere.
 - I find a comfortable place to sit where I will be uninterrupted by internal or external forces that
need my attention.

2. Close my eyes.
  - Once I've found my spot I close my eyes to tune out the visual distractions around me.

3. Focus on listening.
  - Take in each sound You hear. How many are there? What are they from? Is there one that is particularly enjoyable to You? If so focus on it. Then switch your focus on the joy you feel. I let that good feeling grow about me.

4. Enjoy! 
  - Now, I focus on the joy I feel in that moment.

5. Attitude of Gratitude.
  - Once the moment has passed I give thanks for that moment. Sometimes this brings about another joy filled moment right away or sometimes I've got to sit a while and simply enjoy the moments in between.

6. Open my eyes.

Hope it helps you to remember how special the moments we are blessed with are.
Thank you for reading.
Until next time,

Join me on Instagram: @marksparksinc
For more info:

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Grandma's Relationship Guide M.A.P (Managing Arguments Productively)

"Because sometimes the hardest thing to do is the best thing to do..."

My Grandma taught me many powerful lessons. Funny enough, many of those surrounded building loving relationships with people and, ultimately, with my partner. One of the ones I am learning more and more about over the last few months is Managing Arguments Productively.

When You are wrong, say sorry and mean it.

When You are right, say nothing and mean it. 

We all have moments in our relationships where what we are saying is right and where what we are saying is wrong. If my track record is any indication, I am wrong or in the wrong far more often than I am in the right and I'm sure that an amazing someone would quickly agree. 

Regardless of whether we are right or wrong, our stance should never become more important than being loving to one another and being focused on one another's needs, desires and nurturing our relationship.

And when those rare moments that we are right happen, being right should never trump being loving, or seeking to joyfully and peacefully grow together. 

Sure what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong but I've learned, and am still learning, that if I am the latter, owning up to my mistake & apologizing sincerely is the best way to continue to grow and move forward together.

I've also learned, and am still learning, that when I am right, as rare as that may be, to simply let go of the need to win because winning a battle against my teammate, my partner, only results in a weaker team with wounded members.

Hope that Grandma's wisdom can help you as it has and continues to help me. Pray that your greatest battles are never against the one you love.

Thank you for reading.
Until next time,

Join me on Instagram: @marksparksinc
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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Poem - Cheers. (Ode To Women).

Thank you to You.

Hope you enjoy the attached poem.
And thank you for reading.

Until next time,

Instagram: @marksparksinc

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

"Hidden Truth" (A Poem).

A truth hidden that come to light, though painful, is the beginning of healing our hearts and our relationships... Or something like that. Hope you enjoy the attached poem.
And, as always, thank you for reading.

Until next time,

Instagram: @marksparksinc

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Be Yourself. It's Your Best Route.

How do I say this... ah yes,

Got your attention? Good.
Your vision is yours and realizing it is up to you.

Why would other people be better at finding a place that only you can go? Or creating a thing that only you have seen?

Your vision is your own. And to realize it you must trust yourself and you must commit to your process.

Worry less about how you'll get there and spend more energy about moving towards your vision daily, as you execute your plan while being authentic to who you are. That's your advantage.

Love yourself but push yourself. Be patient with yourself while calling yourself to live your highest standard. Believe in yourself and trust your process. Find your way by walking your path... Lovingly do you.

Thank you for reading,
Until next time - stay blessed.

Instagram: @marksparksinc

Friday, February 17, 2017

"0% Lucky. 100% Blessed."

Luck is fickle. Luck comes and goes. We have little control over luck and even less control of when it will strike or how long it will last. Luck is fleeting.

Pray more. Smile more.
Do more. Be more.

Being blessed is different. Knowing that we are blessed is different. To be alive, to have the opportunities we have and the abilities we have to build the vision that we dream and achieve the goals we set out to achieve is a blessing.

The difference between the two is that every experience is a blessing - either in the form of a victory, a step forward or a lesson taught in pain or defeat. Being blessed gives us more control over how we respond to the world, our experiences in it and the result from each interaction.

Being blessed also requires a level of gratitude because it eludes to the fact that we are chosen, that we are special and that we have been given a gift outside of our own power to work on and hone.

Luck is the maiden we lay in wait for, hoping that she'll come around one day to give us what we desire.

Being blessed & understanding we are blessed, takes work every day - another element we can control.

So while some will blame luck, good or bad,  for their victories and defeats I know that I am not lucky at all, I'm blessed.

Thank you for reading,
Until next time - stay blessed.

Instagram: @marksparksinc

Thursday, February 16, 2017

"I'll Never Call You My Bitch Or Even my boo cause there's So Much In A Name And So Much More In You."

"I never knew a lo- lo- lo a love like this/got to be something for me to write this/Queen I ain't seen you in a minute/wrote this letter and finally decided to send it..."

The opening verse to an incredible song "The Light" off the album "Like Water For Chocolate" by Chicago artist Common.

More than the opening stanza the words of the song resonate deeply with me and did so the day I began to see myself as a King in training and a man awaiting the arrival of my Queen.

"it's important, we communicate
And tune the fate of this union to the right pitch"

The power of communication is often underplayed yet rarely do we find any relationship that works that doesn't site good communication as a foundation of trust, love and the very relationship itself.

Communication, good communication, takes work but, like the song says:

"love ain't simple/Why can't it be/anything worth having/you work at annually."

Love takes work - self work and work on the relationship every single day. 

It's a reality that few fairytales and Hollywood stories highlight so we often for get that the beginning of a loving relationship isn't the end of working on that loving relationship and working on ourselves.

"I never call you my bitch or even my boo/there's so much in a name and so much more in you."

Part of communication is realizing that words hold great value and that what we say can help or hurt our partner, ourselves and our relationship.

To call a Queen anything less is to diminish her worth and by nature our own. And when we begin to devalue our treasure, we start down a dangerous road and start towards the end of that relationship.

As a King, it is my goal to provide a loving and peace filled environment safe for the growth of my Queen, our relationship and myself. In doing that I must diligently be aware of my words, my thoughts and my actions to ensure they are congruent with what I aim to do and in line with what my Queen needs. And one thing she never needs, is to be seen as less than the treasure she is.
Thanks for reading.
See you next time.
Instagram: @marksparksinc

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"We Get What We Give."

Whether in the gym, in our work or in our relationships - we get what we give, more specifically we get what we consistently give, and not what we offer occasionally and definitely not from giving nothing.

Something For Nothing? What?

The idea of something for nothing, though a popular one, is not one that leads to us to giving our best and in turn being our best.

How can we expect the best from
 ourselves or in our relationships or from our work or from our workouts when our investment into them is mediocre at best?

To achieve our greatest vision for our lives takes the greatest effort from us in our lives. And our greatest effort must be consistent in all we do because how we do anything is how we do everything. And in order to make it a habit to give more than we hope to receive we must habitually practice giving more than we expect to receive.

But what happens when I give much to someone and receive little in return?

That's a valid thought and something that could definitely happen in our trlationships in particular, but so is the other side of that thought,

"What happens when I give much to someone and they give even more in return?" 

This is where the magic in relationships happen. The place where both people aim to so fully meet the needs of the other that no one is left wanting or, perhaps worse, feeling used.

The realization of our vision has a great cost and we must pay - in attention and the understanding that we reap what we sow.

Thanks for reading.
See you next time.
Instagram: @marksparksinc

Saturday, February 11, 2017

"Prove All The Haters Wrong."?

"I'm doing it to prove all the haters wrong." Why?

Why would you pour blood, sweat and tears into the very people who withhold love from you?
Why would you be motivated to continue to work day in and day out for the people who don't support you or have faith in you or believe in you?

So that we can rub our success in their face?
So that we can "show" them? Even if they don't really care?

Sure, proving them wrong might be a great way to start our journy but it isn't a very encouraging way to stay on our journey. I mean it turns the sweetness of our trek into something quite bitter.

Okay, sure, we all want to "show them" - those who didn't believe - a little bit, no doubt but love is so much more powerful a fuel.

Do it for the people that believe in you. Those who have faith in you. The ones who come out support you with their money, their time and their hearts.

Do it, whatever your "it" is to prove them, to prove you, right.

Thanks for reading.
See you next time.
Instagram: @marksparksinc

Thursday, February 9, 2017

If we see no issue, there can be no change.

In my relationships, it weirds me out when people choose to not acknowledge our truth.

When something isn't right the priority, to me, is to make it right. This becomes even more important when dealing with people I really care about.

I've been on both sides of not seeing the issue - I've been the issue and the one who sees the need for change. I've also been both at the same time.

On one side I needed a huge dose of humility and self knowledge. On the other side, I needed to practice loving patience and understanding.

On both sides I needed to make the decision that doing right was more important than being right, that my feelings were no more important than the other persons and that what I desired wasn't better or worse than what they desired.

I also learned that if our desires, needs and wans are fundamentally different that the "issue" may never change and that change would then have to happen - as most often is the case - within me.

I also have learned that change - in the form of growth - is for me to continue to seek, no matter the issue I perceive.

Thanks for reading.

See you next time.

Instagram: @marksparksinc

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Two Drops Of Oil. (The Secret of Happiness). A Story by Paulo Coelho.

A merchant sent his son to learn the Secret of Happiness from the wisest of men. The young man wandered through the desert for forty days until he reached a beautiful castle at the top of a mountain.

There lived the sage that the young man was looking for. However, instead of finding a holy man, our hero entered a room and saw a great deal of activity; merchants coming and going, people chatting in the corners, a small orchestra playing sweet melodies, and there was a table laden with the most delectable dishes of that part of the world.

The wise man talked to everybody, and the young man had to wait for two hours until it was time for his audience. With considerable patience, he listened attentively to the reason for the boy's visit, but told him that at that moment he did not have the time to explain to him the Secret of Happiness. He suggested that the young man take a stroll around his palace and come back in two hours' time.

"However, I want to ask you a favor," he added, handing the boy a teaspoon, in which he poured two drops of oil. "While you walk, carry this spoon and don't let the oil spill." The young man began to climb up and down the palace staircases, always keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. At the end of two hours he returned to the presence of the wise man.

"So," asked the sage, "did you see the Persian tapestries hanging in my dining room? Did you see the garden that the Master of Gardeners took ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?"

Embarrassed, the young man confessed that he had seen nothing. His only concern was not to spill the drops of oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.

"So, go back and see the wonders of my world," said the wise man. "You can't trust a man if you don't know his house."

Now more at ease, the young man took the spoon and strolled again through the palace, this time paying attention to all the works of art that hung from the ceiling and walls.

He saw the gardens, the mountains all around the palace, the delicacy of the flowers, the taste with which each work of art was placed in its niche.

Returning to the sage, he reported in detail all that he had seen. "But where are the two drops of oil that I entrusted to you?" asked the sage. Looking down at the spoon, the young man realized that he had spilled the oil.

"Well, that is the only advice I have to give you," said the sage of sages. "The Secret of Happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon."

Thanks for reading.

See you next time.
Instagram: @marksparksinc

Saturday, February 4, 2017

"Hey Train Wreck, This Isn't Your Station."

We're not totally responsible for what we attract in life, but we are responsible for what we decide to entertain.

When people or situations (which are generally brought by people, so people) come into our lives that is when our choice begins - do we entertain what they are bringing or do we let it pass?

Do we hold onto the lessons they are teaching or do we let them pass?

One of the wisest pieces of advice I ever got was that just because a thing comes my way isn't a reason to engage it and that I don't need to engage everything that comes my way.

This decision to choose what I engage with, what I spend energy and other resources on, what I entertain in my life created a sense of peace and power that I was lacking before. Sure, I've got a ways to go and grow in order to really reap the benefits of the wisdom shared with me but being aware of this power alone makes me stronger.

We are not obligated to take on everything that comes our way. And it's okay to tell the train that we aren't their station.


Thanks for reading.
See you next time.
Instagram: @marksparksinc

Monday, January 30, 2017

Once upon a time I knew this woman. She was quite incredible, in fact some would say a wonder of a woman.

The thing about this woman was that she didn't quite believe in her own powers.

This presented a few problems for her and for building us. One was that she didn't believe in herself and those powers and another was that she didn't quite believe me when I would show and share how clearly I could see them.

And I understood where she created her disbelief - in her life her heart had been abused and lied to and used and disregarded. It was not treated like the jewel it is. Heck, she was not treated like the jewel she was, so she began to believe that maybe she wasn't one.

Even still, her radiance shone through without question.

So this woman had a fear of being all in because, well, because experience is a hell of a teacher and pain can be one hell of a motivator. So she played both sides and kept a foot out the door, "just in case".

That's where things began to fall apart.

You see, when one person is all the way in, anything but all in seems like, at best, a desire to get out. And even the strongest person can't stand in the face of being with someone who is continually looking for other options and fostering other options - options kept in part because her past conditioning. Other options kept just in case things don't work, or worse, in case things go as they have before.

Like I said? Even the strongest most confident person would only be able to endure that for so long and I am far from being that strongest or most confident person. I needed reciprocity. I needed all of her.

Days became weeks and weeks became months and months became years and through all this time nothing really changed. She kept her plans a secret, she kept her moves a secret and she kept her secret admirers a secret... well she tried.

I saw message after message of her back and forth and was told time after time of her lunch and dinner rendezvous. The thing is, I didn't care. Because I thought that it, like all things, would pass.

It didn't. And neither did her making plans with other people or building life for herself. And, oddly, the hurt began to grow and my drive to go above and beyond for this Queen began to subside. And, eventually, I simply had to leave in order to stay whole.

When I left she accused me of not wanting her physically anymore because she'd changed - not realizing that I was never attracted to her because of what her body, though banging, looked like.

I loved her soul. Truth be told, I still do. But love, sometimes, isn't enough. Especially when it isn't reciprocated.

An excerpt from "Learning To Love" by me, Mark Sparks.

Thanks for reading.
See you next time.
Instagram: @marksparksinc