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Welcome to my Blog

This is the post excerpt.

Thank you for finding your way to my online space.

It is my goal to create a page that is worthy of your valuable time.  Being a transformational guide in funeral service has led me to examine and test different theories and beliefs about life and death.  This space is dedicated to the challenge of experiencing transformational change – changing from old normals to new normals as a result of change in our lives.  With hope and love at its center, we celebrate and honor the journey.  Blessings on your journey.

Mark…

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And Crown Thy Good With Brotherhood!

Its been a month since I last posted to my blog (sounds like a confession, lol).  I find it interesting because, for many years now I’ve been writing and posting daily.  What has happened, what’s changed??

What’s happened?  As you all know we are now engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation (belief), or any other nation (opinion) so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.   With your indulgence I reference President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.  It begins with “Our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”  It goes on to speak to what we the living need do, “the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave there last full measure of devotion”.  And it ends with, “That we here, highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”

As a child I was made to learn the Gettysburg Address by my father, as part of a school project.  It has always served me as a reminder of the cost of wars and political and personal differences to our society.  It would appear to me that we are still engaged in a great civil war, and I want nothing of it, It sickens me.  We’ve been there, done that, and what have we learned?

There are many references and historic truths to rely on and learn from. And while our actions have not always been perfect, our accomplishments and opportunities available  are impressive in this country.  We can weather the storm, we were born to do this.  In the anthem “America”, we were given this reflection, it goes, America, America, God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with Brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.  We are a country founded under God with the foundation of brotherhood.

As I add another birthday today to my own personal history (68), I weep for my Brothers and Sisters struggling, hurting and feeling the need to find something or someone to hold on to, and, I weep for those not recognizing and recalling the historic lessons and costs we have already endured.

What’s changed I ask?  “We forget” forget who we are, that we’re in it together, and where we came from as americans!  Take a moment this weekend to read our declaration of Independence, It was signed today, July 2nd, and ratified on July 4th.

“Blessing on your journey”

http://www.mkanthony.com

God bless us!

God bless us!

I’m sitting hear feeling very disconnected, upset and disheartened right now. Not because of my concerns about the worldwide pandemic, the rioting, or my fear of dying or anything like that. I’m feeling this way because people I love and care about have anxiety, despair and hate in their hearts and they can’t seem to find a way out of it. I don’t blame them, because the world that surrounds us is setting these fires in every direction. Those fires, ignighting fear not love.

I try my best to dig trenches around them and do prescribed burns to mitigate the damage yet, to little or no avail, or so it seems. I use humor, philosophy, authenticity, music, and just plain old love. It might look like my best efforts fail, or so it seems. Maybe it’s hopeless, maybe it needs to get worse before it gets better. 

I find myself praying every day for some sign, some relief from this pain. I’m disheartened, yet hopeful, always hopeful. 

For tomorrow will bring new growth from the dust, tomorrow will be a day unlike any other, tomorrow might be that one day that changes our world forever. I’m hopeful, always hopeful because I know this, Thoughts themselves are an energy, and it’s vital that we need to work on not holding on to the ones that will weaken us. 

“Blessings on your journey” 

Www.mkanthony.com

People get ready!

Last night, like every Sunday night, I have the privilege of spending an hour with singer-songwriter, Chris Wilson (www.chriswilson.us)  On Sundays, he performs Songs of Faith, an hour long live broadcast, and then again on Wednesday, I spend an hour with him at his live by request stream.  I encourage you to check it out!!  Last night his songs and message, revolved around the concept of discomfort.

With all that is surrounding us these days, many of us are finding more and more discomfort as we navigate this health crisis.  His premise which I share, is that discomfort is always the catalyst, the fuel, that motivates us to act, to move, to change!!  Without it, we have little if any movement.  In fact it’s essential, we don’t know joy without pain.  He went on to say that this little pause (little, in the big picture) is essential as it allows us to reflect and think about what is my personal relationship with God, my family, friends, work, social life and media, etc. etc.   We can experience something beautiful if we realize how essential it really is, discomfort is good.  Then he sang “People get ready”  written by Curtis Mayfield.

People, get ready
There’s a train a-coming
You don’t need no ticket
You just get on board
All you need is faith
To hear the diesels humming
Don’t need no ticket
You just thank the Lord
People get ready
For the train to Jordan
Picking up passengers
From coast to coast
Faith is the key
Open the doors and board them
There’s room for all
Amongst the loved the most
There ain’t no room
For the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all mankind
Just to save his own
Have pity on those
Whose chances are thinner
‘Cause there’s no hiding place
From the kingdom’s throne
So people get ready
For the train a-comin’
You don’t need no ticket
You just get on board
All you need is faith
To hear the diesels humming
Don’t need no ticket
You just thank the Lord
I’m getting ready
I’m getting ready
This time I’m ready
This time I’m ready
I’m getting ready
Getting ready, oh yeah
I’m getting ready, yes I am

“Blessings on your journey”

http://www.mkanthony.com

Farewell

Change –it’s the constant of our lives. With every stage of living, we lose people, places and things that we love. We may not lose them to death, but saying ‘good-bye’ to those who are leaving us, saying ‘until we meet again’, ‘farewell’ to places, things or those left behind as we journey forth -each is an event which is similar to death.  In each, we die, we end something, just a little.

Each event, each change is worthy of remembrance, gratitude, acceptance, and each deserves to be released. We must let go and move on; it is a part of living and dying, after all, there are many new people, places, things and animal companions just waiting for us to meet, and to love. New life, new journeys, stories, relationships, etc. emerge from that which leaves us. Think of a hillside after a forest fire. It usually springs beautiful flowers through the ashen laid hills of the burnt ash, it is a vital part of life’s cycle of renewal.

Let us open the doors of our hearts and embrace all of our goodbyes and hello’s, let us carry them with us in our hearts and memories.

And let us be well, and fare well!!

“Blessings on your journey”

Www.mkanthony.com

Happiness vs. Joy

What’s the distinction between joy and happiness? Happiness shows up when you win the game, get an “A”, or win the lottery, and then it goes away. Joy is something more underlying. You ask, how do I have, or get happiness on a day to day basis? You don’t. The things we do day to day, we will not necessarily enjoy, but the bigger question is, do we have a sense that they’re apart of something bigger? That’s where the value of joy comes from. You don’t have to like everyday, but you do get to love everyday, You don’t have to like your children everyday, but you love your children everyday. We create this unrealistic expectation that everything in our day, or everything at work, or everything in our relationships, has to be amazing. It’s an unfair standard to put on a human being.

Sometimes, it’s us creating the unhappiness everyday. We make ourselves victims because of the narrative we create. Yet we have the power to change our narrative. You may have noticed that some people hate each other because of their narratives. If you hate all the people not like you, it can be the most wonderful opportunity in the world. You can continue to hate all these people, OR, you can choose to listen and try to understand what their motivations are and understand what they care about. I bet you’ll discover that their core values are the same as yours. Some of its narrative, some of its perspective.

Don’t seek happiness. The happiness will happen here and there. Seek Joy, and that comes from relationships and belonging and cause.

Joy, the final frontier!!

“Blessing on your journey”

Www.mkanthony.com

Hit the wrong button !!!!!!!!!*******

You know when you sit down and write this beautiful letter, post, business article, or blog, and you hit the wrong button and it all disappears??

When all your thoughts were perfectly aligned, and in fact the whole written piece was just brilliant? And then POOF!! It’s gone and you can’t get it back because in your frustration, and between the screaming obsentities to the world around you, you hit the wrong refresh button and the whole program shuts down and resets?

Well guess what, that just happened to me, and I don’t have the energy to try and recreate that beauty. In fact my demeanor right now is not beautiful at all, and I don’t feel like it!!

So, I instead, I’ll just have to reconnect with my internal beauty and navigate back to the perfection and love that I really am. I’ll have to find a way, just like yesterday and the day before, and the week before that, and the month before that, you get the idea. It is the way of our human existence and it seems that, that is what I was to write about today anyway. Love ya

“Blessings on your journey”

Www.mkanthony.com

What have we learned?

What have we learned? It will be interesting to see what happens, as we move toward removing the restrictions in areas around our country. For weeks now I have become totally comfortable wearing a mask, and maintaining distance in public. While I haven’t liked it, it has become my new normal. Going into the grocery store, I find the large majority of people wear their masks. In fact, I’m sure the ones without a mask probably feel out of place. Gloves are being used more frequently too, even while there are many opportunities to use hand sanitizer nearby. I find myself more frequently washing my hands, disinfecting surfaces, cars and phones and thinking about my family!

Soon we will be able to see what everybody else has learned. What will it look like when the restrictions lift? What will we do? How will we behave? Will we need to learn more? Probably!

“Blessings on your journey”

Www.mkanthony.com

Listening and Learning

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog because, I’ve not been writing, I’ve been listening. Listening for information, listening for clarity, listening for truth. What have I heard?, what have I learned? I’ve heard frustration, anger, uncertainty, restrictions, suffering, fear and hope. I’ve learned that in uncertain times we tend to lean towards fear more than hope and, I’ve learned that if we work together we can combat most anything.

We are living in a time of great uncertainty, with a virus that has never existed before, and that we have little protection from. This experience naturally breeds fear, and fear is a natural part of our human condition (fight or flight). Fear can move and motivate us to action, it can also shut us down, and kill us. Having our world change so quickly and dramatically is scary. The days of sheltering in place, working from home, wearing masks and gloves has provided us with a difficult transition. We are being asked to test our thinking daily, by living in a different way, and we are being asked to embrace transformational change, finding newness, oneness, joy and some peace, even in the midst of struggle. This event is shining a bright, (sometimes unflattering) light on who and what we are, and want to be.

We can do this!

“Blessings on your journey”

Www.mkanthony.com

Flying high

Back in my youth I had a fascination with balsa wood airplanes. The simple little fighter planes where you inserted the tail and main wings into a thicker balsa wood body. If you tilted the wings in a certain direction they would fly in loops, circles or wide turns.

On occasion I was fortunate to get the large plane, the one with the long wind up rubber band and propeller. This was the Cadillac of balsa wood flyers in my day. The long rubber band and propeller would keep the plane in the air for much longer and could, if not handled and launched properly, find its way into the trees or on to the cottage roof. My life back then had many moments retrieving things from the trees and the roof, it got to the point where we would leave the ladder out.

Like everything in life how we launch our day, idea, conversation, plan, business etc etc will create an affect. It can be a smooth flight or a bumpy one, “It’s all in the release”

I can remember the fascination and joy of having and playing with these simple machines. I try to bring that same energy to all I do. Sometimes it’s a smooth flight and sometimes not. My job is to keep the plane out of trouble but retain the joy and fascination of the flight. Giddy-up

“Blessings on your journey”

Www.mkanthony.com

True Colors

A good friend reached out to me yesterday wondering why I hadn’t been writing much lately. She sent me this Cyndi Lauper song which I find comforting today.

You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
Its hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small. But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

In the days, weeks and months ahead, don’t get discouraged or afraid of the darkness in this crisis. Take courage, Let me see your true colors, because that’s why I love you.

“Blessings on your journey”

Www.mkanthony.com