Posted by: Mark, Transforming . . . | November 5, 2016

Please don’t tell my Atlanta suburban friends

It’s official. I am happy to report I’ve returned to city life. Almost 15 years of living in Atlanta suburbs and I moved into the city 6 weeks ago. I took a MARTA bus for the first time. I’ve taken trains to and from the airport and a few other times but never a bus.
True confession. I didn’t leave the apartment quite early enough and I saw the #27 pass me on Cheshire Bridge Rd. Ok. I’ll walk a block and catch the #30. At Woodland. Great. There’s one coming. But I was a half block from the bus stop so I got to see it, also from the outside, as it passed me. Two more blocks and I’ll get the #6 at Lavista. Finally on a bus. 
And who knew I could have loaded my Breeze Card on the MARTA app and saved a drive to the Lindbergh Station last night?
Already past the Five Points station on my way to the airport and I don’t have to pay for any parking!!! Yay! 
Now make sure you’re sitting down . . . 5 day trip, all packed in a carry on bag, including a suit for the funeral. I should have flown Southwest and then I could have checked a bag. I avoid those pesky $25 baggage fees as much as I can.
And by the way, I could get used to this public transportation thing. Let the car sit.
#itsmarta #letthecarsit 

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Posted by: Mark, Transforming . . . | November 5, 2016

Please don’t tell my Atlanta suburban friends

It’s official. I am happy to report I’ve returned to city life. Almost 15 years of living in Atlanta suburbs and I moved into the city 6 weeks ago. I took a MARTA bus for the first time. I’ve taken trains to and from the airport and a few other times but never a bus.
True confession. I didn’t leave the apartment quite early enough and I saw the #27 pass me on Cheshire Bridge Rd. Ok. I’ll walk a block and catch the #30. At Woodland. Great. There’s one coming. But I was a half block from the bus stop so I got to see it, also from the outside, as it passed me. Two more blocks and I’ll get the #6 at Lavista. Finally on a bus. 
And who knew I could have loaded my Breeze Card on the MARTA app and saved a drive to the Lindbergh Station last night?
Already past the Five Points station on my way to the airport and I don’t have to pay for any parking!!! Yay! 
Now make sure you’re sitting down . . . 5 day trip, all packed in a carry on bag, including a suit for the funeral. I should have flown Southwest and then I could have checked a bag. I avoid those pesky $25 baggage fees as much as I can.
And by the way, I could get used to this public transportation thing. Let the car sit.
#itsmarta #letthecarsit 

Posted by: Mark, Transforming . . . | September 29, 2016

The joys . . . and stresses . . . of moving. Ha ha ha ha ha

The city kid has finally moved back into the city after almost 15 years of the Atlanta suburbs. After all, I am a Chicago high-rise dweller at heart. From the first night here, sleeping on the floor so the cat wouldn’t be alone here, I knew it was time to move back into town. I’ve never lived ITP (Inside The Perimeter) since moving to Atlanta in 2002. It just feels right to be here. I’m on the third floor, living in a tree house. All of the windows give me views right into trees. And I think several of the trees will keep their leaves all winter. I love living in Atlanta!

I saw a sign for a new trail within walking distance of the new place. Today was the morning to explore it. Here are some videos I took while walking it. Great way to start the day with a hike of almost 4 miles.

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The laughter comes a couple of hours later. My “healthy go to snack” when the salt cravings kick in, is a jar of black olives. I must have been really tired the other night because I put a jar of what I thought were olives back in the fridge. Well, it’s a jar of liquid. There are no olives in the jar. Ha ha ha ha ha. I looked at the jar just now and realized that there is only liquid in it. I guess this move has been a little more trying on my body, And Mind, than I originally thought.  Again, the philosophy that runs my life . . . I don’t care if people are laughing with me, or at me, as long as we’re laughing.  And usually, it’s AT me.

Who wants to come to help me unpack? This is the big jigsaw puzzle game ahead of me for the next few days; how do I fit all of this stuff into a 2 bedroom, 2 bath place?

We won’t even talk about how much fun it was moving the piano the other night. That’s a whole story on its own . . .

Posted by: Mark, Transforming . . . | August 28, 2016

When you’re going through hell, just keep moving!!!

Three to five years ago I was going through a personal hell. I’ll share those details in another post. Today, I’m sharing a Big Win!!! For the past 6 to 8 months, I’ve been trudging through a mental fog that has kept me distracted from what matters and what is important in my life. Yesterday I received the benefits of moving through, feeling, and Clearing those limitations from the past 8 months.  Because I kept moving, day to day, moment to moment, and continuing my spiritual practices, last weekend a great sense of peace, focus, and clarity came over me after one of the processes in the Oneness Awakening Course that I was facilitating.  This entire week I’ve had more focus, clarity and ambition than I’ve had in a very long time.

Yesterday was a day with No Reaction to an event that could have caused a huge reaction for me. NO Reaction! Yup.  NO Reaction.

My first day to raft down the Chattahoochee River for a few hours with friends. Let’s “Shoot the Hooch”. I’ve wanted to do this for the 14 years I’ve lived in Atlanta so when friends invited me, I quickly said “Yes!” I trusted the bubble of white light I put around my car to keep my wallet, money clip and phone safely inside the hiding places within my trunk. Keys are in a ziploc bag to keep them dry so I’m good!!! Let’s float!

I gave my keys to a friend who dropped them in his cooler. We’re all good!!! Or so I thought. At the take out ramp, I hear his group coming out of the river and all I heard was “that brown little lunch cooler? I saw it floating away right where we all jumped in the river. Didn’t someone grab it?”

I had NO Reaction. None. For those of you who know me, this is a HUGE deal. I didn’t once start asking “Why?” or “Who’s to blame?” or “Why didn’t you have it tied to the raft?” or “How much time and money is this going to cost me?” or any of that? As my friend went into sentences beginning with “Why? Why? Why?” similar to “Why would someone let a cooler float away if they knew it was someone’s cooler and they saw it?” I kept repeating to him, and myself,

“It is what it is. And it isn’t what it isn’t.”

“It is what it is. And it isn’t what it isn’t”

And then I started looking at what my options were.  Uber home.  I have a house key in a lock box by my front door.  The extra key fob is on the piano.  I’m good.  Somebody at the parking lot where my car is parked will help me get an Uber or Lyft ride home.  I’m good.  I don’t know any telephone numbers for friends because they’re all in my phone which is locked in my trunk and I don’t have numbers memorized anymore.  I’m taken care of. I’m still taken care of.

Without having to consciously think about it, I stayed in the present moment.

I admit I was a little annoyed during the hour of my friend saying “Why? Why? Why?” so I just kept telling him . . .

It is what it is. And it isn’t what it isn’t!

It is what it is. And it isn’t what it isn’t!

Back at the parking lot, I tried the drivers side door to see if I might have left my car unlocked.  Nope!  So getting the phone from the trunk is not an option.  I joked with a group of 6 or 8 people getting ready to launch their rafts in the river that if they saw a small brown lunch box size cooler on the left side of the river just before the take out ramp to please bring it in.  The response? “Let me call you an Uber?”  Even though it delayed their start time, and I apologized for delaying them, another guy in the group looked at me and said, “It’s ok. I’d want someone to do it for me if I was in your situation.”

Key wasn’t on the piano.  I new it was on the altar, where I placed it earlier in the week to express my gratitude for how much I enjoy my car.

Back in Uber still making light of the situation, repeating . . .

It is what it is. And it isn’t what it isn’t!

If you’re going through a mental fog, or some other experience you’d prefer not to experience and call it your own “hell”, just keep breathing and moving through it.  Continue on your spiritual path, whatever that path may be in this moment. There is light at the end of the tunnel!  As I’m typing this, my friend is literally hiking the edge of the river because we both know the cooler is appearing and coming back to us.

It is what it is. And it isn’t what it isn’t.

 

Here’s an update around 9:30am- Yesterday, every time my friend’s raft came close to mine, he would loudly yell, “Hey Mark Buhrke.  Remember I have your nuts over here.” Pun intended. Today, he just texted me a picture of a Titleist 1 golf ball and informed me that he was laughing out loud by himself in the woods. Yesterday he had my nuts, and lost them with the cooler.  Today he’s at bringing my balls back to me. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

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Another update around 3 PM. I’ll let the following pictures tell the story.

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I’ll have my keys sometime this week and he has his keys and his wallet back. They got an innertube’s and floated down where one of the guys last saw it yesterday. It literally was floating in the same spot and had hardly moved. Thank you thank you thank you!

Posted by: Mark, Transforming . . . | July 18, 2016

Meeting my first Trans Man

Who would have thought? I’ve shared recently on my Facebook posts how I’ve enjoyed getting to know my transgender women friends. Hearing their stories and sharing each others’ “coming out” experiences has truly been another way to increase my level of compassion in the world. You never really do know the journey someone else has taken.

I told several people that I really want to meet a transgender man, ie. a woman who has become a man. I’m grateful for Sharon, Christine and Gabrielle and them opening their hearts and their stories with me. They’ve been awesome sharing their journey of man to woman transitions with me. They’ve even shared how I probably know some transgender men because it’s not as obvious when a woman becomes a man, because of the way the hormones work in the body.

Well, tonight is the night to watch one of my coaches from the gym perform in America Ninja Warrior! So a group of us went to a great restaurant near the gym. It’s always great to see friends who workout at different times so these events bring together the “morning people” with the “afternoon/evening people”.

As I’m chatting with two guys that I’ve known for over a year, I somehow bring up the story of my meeting my transgender women friends and that I’m still waiting to meet my first transgender man. To my surprise, one of them extends his hand and says “you don’t have to look far. What questions do you have?”

What? What? Are you telling me what I think you’re telling me? You’re a power lifter? I never would have guessed.

I kind of let it go and we continued our conversation. He said he could point me in the direction of some organizations where I could meet many transgender men and that one of them meets every October here in Atlanta. I’ve always thought of him as a very supportive guy in the LGBTQ community so I didn’t think too much more about it.

Well, I finally looked at him and said, “Am I hearing you clearly when you extended your hand to me a little bit ago? Or am I reading something into our conversation that isn’t there?”

Nope. He’s a transgender man. I am very grateful for this interaction and this opening of a whole new world to me.

I’m ready to learn more so that I can share more. I seem to operate in the LGBTQ world and also in the non-LGBTQ world. Sometimes I’ve been able to bridge the gaps between the two. I’m grateful for this. And I’m looking forward to sharing even more . . .

Feel Peace, and Be Transformed.

Posted by: Mark, Transforming . . . | June 16, 2016

My first time being smuggled into a gay bar, a sacred space.

Thanks for the memory Melody LeBaron. I was “smuggled” into my first gay bar between some friends since I wasn’t 21 yet. Still took me another 5 years of anti-gay therapy and a stint with Homosexuals Anonymous before I clearly heard my heart saying “Stop Fighting who I made you to be”. Glad I listened to my heart on that December night in 1986. I had 2 choices: make my suicide look like an accident or accept who I am, a fun gay man!

This is the beginning of a series of posts. I have no way of knowing how many posts it will become because this idea has been stirring in my mind for months.

I have tears of gratitude streaming down my face today (5:45am). I’m finally at Skate Farm in Floyd, VA preparing for 5 days of inline skating the mountains here. I’m excited and apprehensive, all at the same time. OK. 65% apprehension and 35% excitement. As I drove the last 10 miles yesterday, and experienced the hills in the car, I began to wonder “Just what have I gotten myself into?”  “Am I actually going to allow myself to skate DOWN these hills?  I can force myself up them, but how am I ever going to skate down them AND stay vertical???”

Then I was greeted by Dennis and then met the infamous Eddy Matzger. My Atlanta Peachtree Road Roller friends are right. I’ll love Eddy and my time with him.  I know that I’m in the right place on June 19, 2015.  I feel at home here, welcomed by a family, another “Tribe”, that I’ve just met.  I’ll write another post on that later.

For now, here’s more about the title and the background . . .

The last couple of years I would skate the Alpharetta Greenway, Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Beltline for a couple of hours without even drinking water. I was even called a name in Piedmont Park and I’ll gladly wear it: “The Dancing Roller Blader!” Well, last August I had been out for probably 2 hours, (without water. I know, how stupid.) when I saw this man standing with bottled water by the ramp to the Beltline Kroger. OK Angels. I get it. I get it. I’ll stop, turn around and buy some water.

As I approached, I started pulling out cash to buy water only to be told “Oh no. This is free. Just . . . come check out our gym, Iron Tribe Fitness.” Ha ha ha ha ha 9 or 10 months later, just how much did that “Free” bottle of water actually cost me Ben Davis?

Well, it cost me giving up my limitations in life and me living small and giving into small expectations of myself and giving up more and more minute aspects of my addiction to victimhood.  And it’s opened a new world Beyond Imaginably Magical!

Sure, it’s a gym membership that is costing me more than I’ve ever paid for a monthly membership before. Sure, it’s cost me buying inline speed skates that cost me double what my last pair cost, not to mention all the gear and clothing and accessories and wheels and bearings and socks and on and on and on that go with it. Sure, it’s cost me airfare and travel expenses and registration fees for inline marathons and Skate Farm “skate school”.

Yet, that free bottle of water is just one more piece of the puzzle of me living life fully and fully enjoying Every Moment of my life. I know there will be some “Oh No” moments these next 5 days as I fly down these hills at speeds I’ve never skated before. I also Know that there will be more highs and levels of living life fully, Enjoying Bliss, than I’ve ever allowed myself to experience before.  That free bottle of water has reminded me to Live, Experience AND Enjoy every moment, every experience of my life.

I have tears of gratitude streaming down my face, yet again, as I think about all of the people in my life who have opened up a space in my life that has allowed me to get here today. I am SO Grateful for them and each piece of themselves that they have shared with me, no matter how small it may have been. A Smile. A Kick in the butt, to keep me moving towards my goals. A word of encouragement. A business opportunity. An ear (and all of you know how much I can talk.)  A personal story of them sharing their innermost secrets that has inspired me in some way.  The list goes on.

This is the start, the beginning, of a series of my experiences with listening to that small, still voice inside.  You may call it your gut, your inner knowing, your angels, guides, Spirit, Higher Self, God, Allah, Buddha, LMNOP.  I don’t care what you call it.  Just take a breath or two . . . and listen.  You have all of Your Own answers inside of you, waiting to be revealed, on how to live your life Beyond Imaginably Magical.  That’s my current answer when people ask me how I’m doing.

So for today, take a moment and listen.  The more I exercise this muscle, the quicker it responds.  Take that breath or two.  Listen.  It could be words, or colors, or feelings or sensations or that “nudge” to get a free bottle of water or the “nudge” to click on a link or turn down a street you’ve never taken before.  You already know how “It” speaks to you and guides you through life.  Then, cast away any concern about what others think about you and follow that Inner Knowing, Your Inner Knowing . . . and Allow Life to Love you back as you experience your own life Beyond Imaginably Magical.

And Please share your experiences in the comments.  I want to hear them.

Feel Peace and Be Transformed . . .

Posted by: Mark, Transforming . . . | May 29, 2015

Keeping Commitments

It’s just after 9:00am on Friday morning. Yes. I have work to do in the office, commitments to keep to clients and it’s another day I’m grateful I work for myself, I’m grateful for my clients and for the flexibility I have with my schedule.

I’m getting better at keeping commitments to myself. I have some friends who say that they can set their clocks by how I arrive on time to appointments. This is one way of keeping commitments to others and to being respectful of them and their time. I realize that recently I have avoided keeping commitments to myself though. I am getting better and there is still room for improvement. A commitment I made to a friend last October is to share insights on my blog. My intention is to inspire others to keep moving in their lives and to keep their commitments that they’ve made to themselves. I’ve heard it said, “If you’re going through hell, just don’t build a condo.” I went through my own personal hell from 2009 to 2013 and I’m grateful I didn’t build a condo. Posting this today is keeping a commitment to that friend, and also to myself. Progress!

I enrolled in an online course at Spiritual Living Institute, “The Grass is Greener”. We are going through the book “The Grass is Greener Right Here” by David Ault and he’s actually the instructor too. Today I read chapter 3, Cupcakes. It’s a story about celebrating everything in life. Yes. Everything. Buy the book and read the chapter for yourself.

What it touched in me today is the ever increasing gratitude I have for all of the events that have taken place in my life. Yes. Everything! As I mentioned, I went through my own “personal hell” a few years ago. I don’t wish it on anyone yet I’m so grateful for the place to which it has brought me today. I Am Invincible. Someone could hurt me physically. Yes. But other than that, every other experience I have in life is my choice. It’s up to me to determine whether it’s a good experience, a bad experience or the decision I really like, It’s Just Another Experience so BE with it and Fully Experience it for All the richness it has to offer me at this moment of my existence.

All of the suffering in my world takes place between my two ears in the stories I tell myself about what I’m experiencing. It’s so much fun as I’m detaching more and more from the mind chatter and I’m just observing it. We’ve seen the depictions of the good angel on one shoulder and the bad angel on the other shoulder debating over a decision to make. I’m detaching from both of them, laughing at how silly their debate really is, breathing deeply and moving my awareness down into my heart. More and more of my decisions are coming from that place, that knowingness, that intuitive guidance, that whatever you choose to call that feeling in yourself. And the more I make those, what seem like illogical, decisions, from that inner knowingness, the more magic appears in my life. Ah, other topics for future blog posts. I have ideas already forming for the blog series “What that free bottle of water (on the Atlanta Beltline in August 2014) really cost me.” Stay tuned.

Please share your ideas and your own stories of how you are keeping your personal commitments to yourself and how you are listening more and more to your own Inner Knowingness.

Namaste

Feel Peace and BE the Transformer

Posted by: Mark, Transforming . . . | March 22, 2015

Follow Your Own Inner Guidance, Your Own Inner Knowing

2015-03-22 5:37am

It’s 5:37am Central time. I am in tears as I wake up today. I wake up from a dream. The dream is of me telling some dear friends that I’m going to the doctor to, probably, confirm a cancer diagnosis. What a dream. Tears. Fear. Concern. All things I’m not afraid to look at and feel. I’m lying in the guest bed at my friends’ Michael and Mike’s house. What does this mean?

First insight: I’m clearing the energies of these fears and concerns for people who actually have gotten or will get the cancer diagnosis. I know I’m safe because I take care of my body. Well, except for the 2 sleeves to Ritz crackers that I ate last night at midnight while checking some overdue e-mails and Facebook posts. But I did intersperse the Ritz crackers with some raw snacks. Who am I trying to kid anyway?

Second insight: I have a commitment to keep to Adama who lives in Telos, whom I met last October during my trip the Mt Shasta. I’m remembering visits to Sacred Chambers where one of the qualities to empower is “Commitment”. I trust I’ll explain more about Adama and Sacred Chambers in another post. And if you don’t want to wait, comment or send me an e-mail and I’ll explain. Part of this insight is for me to start blogging the magic that has been happening in my life as a result of following Spirit, Inner Guidance, Knowing, the nudges of a more expanded sense of myself. Adama said he would offer insights to me and I committed to sharing them here in my blog.

And there it is, right under the surface. My own fear. Fear of what some family members will think, feel and say if I really post what’s on my heart. Fear of judgements from total strangers. Fear of being ridiculed. Fear of public harassment. Fear of disagreements. Fear of not having others agree with me.

As I write this, I am smiling. Maybe it’s time to look in the mirror and say to myself what I say to friends who are experiencing their own fears. I’ll say them here in first person since I AM saying them to myself right now. I AM saying them to myself when I share them with others because we are all One. We are just different aspects of this One.

“I can’t control how others respond to what I say. If I follow my own heart, Breath, Relax and BE in the moment, I’ll have the discernment, the knowing of whether to speak or whether to keep quiet.” And besides, if someone doesn’t like what I have to say here, they can stop reading now. Said another way, “If you don’t like what I say, stop reading.” Yet, if you’re here, reading this, trust and know that there may just be a little aspect of what I have to say that your heart is guiding you to hear, guiding you to remember.

“What others think of me is none of my business.”

“Follow my heart. I have all my own answers within.” Yet, there is no “within” / “without”. It is just all One. We are each different, unique aspects of This One, here to experience different experiences along our journey to remembering this Oneness. There may be a more expanded aspect of myself, a future self so to speak, that is always standing there quietly, ready to guide me in any moment. That’s what I’m following now as I write this.

How many times have I followed this Inner Guidance in the last few years? Actually, I’m arriving on the anniversary of a major time in my life when following this Inner Guidance began to be almost a daily occurrence. Now it’s a Moment to Moment occurrence and my life is aligning and flowing so beautifully that I speak of it as Magic.

This isn’t magic. It’s how life is meant to be on this planet.

Aligned.

Full of Joy, Laughter, Knowingness and Peace.

Trusting and knowing that “This or Something Better” is always already here in my life. All I need to do is Breath, Relax, Allow and Be Aware in the moment. I am that multi-dimensional being Allowing all the beauty, grace, abundance and joy into my life. That beauty, grace, abundance and Joy is already here.

All I need to “do” is be aware of it and it appears for me to experience.

There it is again, as I write that last sentence; the sensation in my body, the chills, the surge of energy, the tingling in my head, confirming what I just said is accurate.

All I need to “do” is be aware of it and it appears for me to experience.

And even this transforms.

All I need to “do” is be aware of it AS it appears for me to experience. Beauty, Grace, Abundance, Joy and Peace.

There isn’t anything left of us to do anymore but Breath, Relax and Be Aware in the Moment. Experience the moment.

Enough for now. Please share your thoughts and leave a comment below. And please follow the blog.

Until next time . . .

Feel Peace & Be the Transformer . . .

Posted by: Mark, Transforming . . . | February 12, 2015

What’s the big deal about same-sex marriage anyway?

I’ll be honest. I’ve never really been very passionate about this whole gay marriage thing. What’s the big deal? Besides, without being married, it made it easier to come out of a relationship so why would I want to be married to a man anyway? I’m grateful I didn’t have to pay an attorney for the “divorce”. Then I watched a documentary tonight and I’ll be writing every one of my state and federal representatives in support of gay marriage. It’s time for Love to shine.

Bridegroom. A documentary about Shane Bitney Crone who’s same-sex partner dies . . . and Shane has no legal rights left.

http://youtu.be/pR9gyloyOjM

As I look back on my life, I’ve heard stories about people who’ve died and the surviving partner has had the deceased partner’s family come in and take things. And the survivor has no legal rights. Ok. Ok. But it never impacted me like this documentary has.

You’ve heard me say that we make all our decisions motivated by one of two things: Fear or Love. What are people so afraid of? Are they afraid of seeing two people of the same sex love each other? Really LOVE each other? What’s the fear motivating anti-gay legislation? What’s the fear motivating gay hate crimes? What’s the fear? Where is the fear still hiding within myself? How can I love myself more, shine more light from my heart, so that my own fear gets exposed, released and allowed to be transformed to even more love, and fuel an even brighter light? Shining a light in a dark room totally disperses the dark. Shining Love on fear may make it appear that the fear gets stronger, yet each time we love authentically, it softens the fear. It softens our own fear and it softens the fear of others. It allows a glimmer of love to appear through the cracks of fear.

Take the 90 minutes to watch the movie Bridegroom. Then make your own conclusions.

http://youtu.be/RQIIwddt3N4

Allow Your Light to shine brightly and bring more Love and more Peace into the world.

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