Mondays With Mark

Looking for a spark of inspiration, a note of encouragement, or need a moment for self-reflection? Find all of our Monday with Mark moments here!

Be The Light

No. 66
Posted on 9/10/2018 by Mark Hutchinson
I have a challenge for you this week. Consider for a few minutes the quotes above and then commit yourself to be the brightest, best and most positive version of yourself this week. Easy to say. Hard to do. MLK Jr. helps us understand that it is by pursuing what is good within us that we have a positive impact on the world. That impact, however, is not limited to the world. It includes ourselves. Focus your energy on turning up the brightness of your own light and that bigger glow will follow you week after week. You’ll feel it and the people around you will feel it. Light draws together light and the light reinforces the light. Ueshiba sensei says it in a little different way. A bright and clear mind is not cluttered with angst, difficulty or hardship but with an...

Food for Thought

No. 65
Posted on 6/4/2018 by Mark Hutchinson
Some food for thought. I was teaching a kids and teens aikido class last week and was reviewing the concept with them that mind leads body. As part of that discussion I often draw a (poor) rendition of a person’s profile and then ask the class “what is that?” On this occasion I was met with blank stares and had to sheepishly explain that the squiggles on the left side were lips and the awkward protrusion above them was supposed to be a nose. Then a hand went up and the student correctly reported that this was, in fact, a person’s head. “Yes” I said, somewhat relieved that were we able to progress. The I pointed my whiteboard marker at the middle of the profile and said “what is inside?”. Another hand shot up… “an ear.”...

Your Origin Story

No. 64
Posted on 5/14/2018 by Mark Hutchinson
What is your origin? Super heroes (and villains) always seem to have an interesting backstory – their origin story. It ends up being important to know those key elements in their backgrounds because it creates more meaning in the current story being told. It adds depth, texture, interest and most importantly context for their decisions and hints about where they are going. Although most of us are not working with Hollywood or Netflix to monetize our own origin stories we do have them and they are very important. Without an understanding of your own personal history or your larger history including family, ancestors, communities, countries, etc. we lack some key information for understanding the direction we are headed and what it means. In order to form a line (conceptually)...

The Value of Hope

No. 63
Posted on 5/7/2018 by Mark Hutchinson
I was just thinking about hope today and how it plays a role in our everyday lives. It seems to me that hope often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves and gets pushed to the back of the crowd. In this very famous bible quote hope isn’t really in the spotlight but at least it makes it into the top three! Maybe since it doesn’t feel as immediate we think of it more as a “soft” idea. Pleasing, good natured, save-the-world sort of thinking that isn’t relevant to the challenges facing me right now. Or maybe it is more akin to a wish or a low-probability event so there really shouldn’t be too much time invested in it. Perhaps some would go so far as to say that hope is for suckers. Some have even said that hope is the main cause of human...

Realizing Recovery

No. 62
Posted on 4/30/2018 by Mark Hutchinson
Everyone gets sick sometimes. I was reminded of this last week when my daughter came home from school not feeling well. As a “high energy” child she is generally quite resilient and not much will really slow her down, but even she gets sick from time to time. As we followed the typical protocols for dealing with a fever over the next couple of days we had some conversations about being sick and what you’re supposed to do about that situation. Of course, the first step is prevention. We all work to stay healthy – and it certainly feels like work sometimes! Yet no matter how diligent, or careful we are, some type of sickness will find us eventually. So when that does happen, what do we do about it? The first quote above is so perfect because it goes to the...

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