Ascent 181 – First No of One Hundred

One of my takeaways from the Power Up Philly event was the challenge to go for 100 “No’s” in 30 days. Essentially to invite people to take advantage of what you have to offer. It’s a powerful exercise as, in the process of collecting the “No’s”, you’re bound to have a decent quantity of “Yes’s”.

I see this as applicable to many aspects of the journey. It’s a given that if you don’t ask, you won’t receive. The powerful part is to not be attached to the outcome.

I’ve been contemplating that which I want to ask for, to get to my 100 – or more – as soon as possible.

Today, as I was meandering across the Bronx on my way to my office, I had my inspiration. There is purpose in my current employ and the time that the commute consumes. I typically use my time expanding my awareness with audiobooks, connecting with amazing people, listening to an eclectic variety of music and being silent. It’s summer time again and, although I love my new Rogue, have better things to do than sit in it on the highway. Plus, my recent accident shifted my desire to be on the road unnecessarily.

My inspiration was to make a formal request to my boss to work remotely 3 days per week. As soon as I arrived this morning, I crafted a concise eloquent email with my request and sent it. Within 3 minutes, I had a reply consisting of one word – No.

I had my first “No”! Woohoo!

It is a blessing as now that is off the table and it’s cleared the space for the next opportunities to present themselves.

Now, I’m contemplating what to ask to collect my next “No”. Ninety nine to go!


Ascent 180 – Rise and Shine

Having reconnected with what is important to me, the next step is to take action. If nothing changes, nothing changes – right?

I have a rather nuts schedule during the workweek that has my free time a little on the low side. (Temporarily). I believe there is a purpose to everything and I suspect the purpose in this is to give me some powerful lessons to use available time to the best possible advantage. And, of course, this is true of any resources, including money and energy.

That’s not a declaration of scarcity – it’s a lesson in valuing that which you have. Why should you receive more if you don’t respect what you have already?

I was inspired by a recent conversation with my coach friend, Jen Macquarrie, on shifting habits and getting up a little earlier in the day to focus on that which is important to you.

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” ~ Jim Rohn

During the week, I get up around 5:20 to support my intention of getting a little time on my yoga mat and some meditation time, in addition to the usual morning preparations.

I wanted a bit more time for yoga & meditation, plus I wanted to invest a little time in my consulting & coaching. In order to do this, I needed to bring my alarm clock back a bit to 5:00am.

Today was my first day of implementation due to my getting home late from Power Up Philly Sunday evening.

There are opportunities to further tweak the activities to better suit my intentions. I absolutely must have that first cup of coffee as I do my prayer, gratitude, affirmations and connecting. My shower is a huge energy boost so doing that at the optimal place in the sequence would have a definite advantage.

Tomorrow, I’ll do my coffee & centering, yoga, meditation, food preparation, then hit the shower to get the energy spike to apply to the actions that feel most beneficial to me.

The interesting concept here is that these are all tweaks of activities I already do. Am looking forward to the difference in my results and energy. And further tweaking as I settle into my groove.

Ascent 179 – Keeping the Vibe Going

DSC_0562I’m still buzzing from the event over the weekend and all the high-vibrational energy of being in the space of such empowered spirits.

I’ve attended many events over the years and I’ve noticed how rapidly the ‘buzz’ can wear off after you return home, soon to be forgotten as you slip back into the daily grind.

I’m committed to not letting that happen to me anymore. I’ve invested time, energy and money, and I need some ROI. They delivered the goods – it’s what I do with the takeaway that makes the difference.

The key for me is to stay connected. To look at the photographs, re-read my notes, follow up with the other participants and take the actions I was inspired to take.

It’s an aspect of physics that the pressure on the outside can only have an impact when it exceeds the pressure on the inside. Thus, the way you maintain your mojo and keep the vibe where you want it is to keep your internal energy at a higher level than the energy & inertia of the routine that you’re aspiring to break free from.

I am clear on what I want and I choose that which supports me in evolving in that space. The people, energies, activities and surroundings – all that which is of that empowering vibration. And I’m fully willing to say goodbye to anything that is not conducive to said evolution.

This blog is named MarkAscends – and I’m cleared for flight.

Ascent 178 – Power up Philly

This weekend I had the honor & privilege to attend the Power up Philly event hosted by my friend and coaching mentor, Terri Levine.

I’ve seen posts about previous Power Up events and know first hand what it’s like to be at an event with Terri. When the opportunity was presented to attend this one, I jumped at the chance.

My friend and fellow yoga teacher/lightworker/worldchanger Lisa Mondello Morris seized the opportunity also, and we carpooled from Queens, NY to the Malvern, PA.


Terri had asked me to take photographs of the event, with emphasis on the energy and the interaction with the participants – a task I readily accepted.

She had selected the optimal space – BiZtract, which I wrote about in yesterday’s blog. You could feel the energy mounting as each participant arrived, got signed in, photographed and took their place in the room.

This was a small group of about 15 participants, which was a perfect size for deep connection and meaningful interaction.

The first day, the sessions were led by Steven Rowell and Terri Levine, who did an amazing job of describing the power of business consulting and how it can take coaching to an entire new dimension of possibilities. Coaching remains an effective tool in the repertoire and is supplemented with additional powerful tools and strategies to boost the difference and presence you can make.

We went through several powerful group exercises where we each got to define who we are, why we’re there, our passion, mission and our why. This information was then utilized to demonstrate how connections and positioning could be effectively applied.

The energy in the room remained at a high point throughout the day. Often, at such events, by mid-afternoon, you’re dragging and watching the clock. Not here. Terri did a phenomenal job of keeping everyone engaged and focused, and keen to remain past the scheduled end time for the day.

Terri’s partner, Pete Winiarski, joined us for the second session and added to the energy & perspective being shared.


There were several hands on interactions and on the spot coachings that provided huge breakthroughs and awareness for the entire group.

There was so much content & information packed into this event. My awareness & perspective have definitely shifted and I already planning on attending the next event in September.

If you are ready to take your business to the next level, I recommend connecting with Terri Levine and attending a Power Up event. See you at the top.


Ascent 177 – The Coworking Space

This weekend I’m attending the Power up Philly event hosted by my coaching mentor, Terri Levine at BiZtract in Malvern, PA. As we have another day of the event tomorrow, I’ll blog about it when I get home to NYC.

My first experience today was to experience the BiZtract. It is a modern facility, hidden in the hills not too far from Philadelphia. When you walk in, there’s an instant amazing energy about the place.

Lots of open space, bright colors, glass-walled conference room, portable dry erase boards, work stations, meeting rooms, mirrors and some games.

Several of the walls in the main hall and the meeting rooms are a dry erase surface, which is a wonderful creative aspect. You can have a small team in a room, start defining the problem or opportunity in one corner and progress around the room to the solution.

The space was dynamic in that it could be rapidly configured to support the needs of the particular activity, whether the whole group, or if they split up into smaller work teams.

The conference area itself was a perfect space. Looking out onto the patio and the trees, I had windows running the full width of the room which maximized the natural light.

One full wall was dry erase which provided a huge area to capture whatever creativity was spawned in the meeting.

The BiZtract space was founded by Nick and Jason Porrini in September 2015 and our facility host today was Steven Rowell.

It was simply one of the most amazing event and co-creative spaces that I have attended and I look forward to sharing energy in it again tomorrow.

Ascent 176 – Namaste Restaurant

Namaste CafeI’ve driven around Hillside Ave in Queens several times and the bright yellow awning of Namaste Restaurant has caught my eye and I’ve made mental notes to visit it.

Today, I was off work and was running errands, was in the neighborhood and was hungry, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to satisfy the intention.

We parked nearby and entered the building. I was instantly impressed with the warm ambience of the place. There weren’t many people dining albeit the lunch period was over, so that made sense.

Prior to arriving, I wasn’t sure what the menu was about or what kind of food they offered. To my delight, it was an Indian buffet – which is one of my favorite foods.

All my favorites were there – Tandoori chicken, butter chicken, goat curry, pakora, basmati rice. And several additional new items.

We received an order of crispy roti bread, which was phenomenal.

The food was excellent and the service was outstanding. Normally in a buffet, you’re on your own and help yourself to whatever you want. Here, they asked you if there was anything you wanted more of and would bring it to you.

I couldn’t resist going back for a second plate of this delightful food. I did opt to skip the dessert.

If you’re in the area and are partial to Indian food, I highly recommend Namaste Restaurant.

Ascent 175 – To Read or to Reread – That is the Question

Four HourI’m in that interesting point between books. I confess that I’m a recovering avid reader. I use the term ‘recovering’ because I opted to embrace the Low Information Diet as recommended by Tim Ferriss in his awesome book The Four Hour Workweek. (Love the irony that a book I’m reading recommends not reading so much).

This practice has actually been serving me quite well as I no longer saturate my awareness with a massive quantity of information. Instead, I choose to be more selective and pick up the book(s) that speak to me in the moment.

I love the quote by Albert Einstein: Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.

I do feel there is some truth in this statement albeit there is a caveat. Slowing down the quantity of information consumed allows it to be better absorbed and utilized. Being more selective on the nature of the information allows it to give your mind and spirit the nutrition it is needing most in the moment.

Therefore, there are times when it is simply perfect to abstain from reading to allow information that you have already consumed to be assimilated.

Additionally, I’m not a good book multitasker, preferring to single-thread my reading and focus on one tome at a time. My only deviation from this is when I have a non-fiction book going and I have something at the other end of the spectrum, such as a good novel. Thus, each has a space in my journey and there is no conflict of information.

As I enjoy this period of intellectual coasting, I’m contemplating what is seeking an invitation into my awareness next. I do love experiencing new authors, topics and contexts, I also find immense value in revisiting certain books and reading them over. Examples of this are: The Power of Now, The Alchemist and The Four Agreements. I do believe there are certain foundational principles that I love to maintain at the forefront of my awareness. As my journey evolves, the time may come to lovingly release a book and allow something else into my space. When that time comes, I’ll simply know it.

I have half a dozen new books, both print and on Kindle, that appealed to me albeit none are really standing out for me right now. I may crack open one of those, I may reread a treasured classic, or something totally new may come out of left field. For now, I’m just going to let it all flow, see what presents on my journey and which book speaks to me at that time.