2021: Surrender & Understand

2020 broke my heart–over & over again.

I’m grateful for its blessings and challenges. Anytime I felt like I had an edge on it, I found myself drowning. Constant fear, paranoia and concern reigned my life. Life moves quickly and those fleeting moments are there for us to dance–living our authentic truth. I am unable to neatly describe to you the biggest loss; dreams, lives, loved ones–vanished.

This year everyone needed more than anyone had to offer.

In this moment of gut-wrenching defeat, I recognize the familiar warmth of the Sun rising again and reminding me to stay true to the course and lessons along the way: that I am a work in progress, that I have come far and that falling short of my best shouldn’t hamper the experience of living. That good-enough is okay; trust that people will be honest in their gratitude, affirmations and critiques.

If you don’t tame your ego, life will tame it for you.

Healing, learning and nourishing myself is top of mind as I remind myself that control is feeble, flexibility is king. Authenticity and curiosity are the sparks that power me, igniting my soul and connection to The Devine.

By doing the inner work of emptying the vessel, I hold space for Gods plans to take hold. From that space, beyond wrongdoing and rightdoing, as a mirror, I witness others find a reflection of their own light; embers catching flame as they inch closer to their own truth–beyond permission and training.

I remember the value of patience and compassion: The Journey is long, scary as it was and is for me. All of us move at different paces. Hold space with gentleness, I remind myself.

2021 is a time for deep inner work, by way of Surrender.

Clearing out the vessel and pouring into myself, so that I can show up confidently and compassionately when moments arise. In surrendering, my intention is to understand myself more deeply. This matters because I want to live a life built on hope and not fear of what may come. I know I can achieve this because I have walked a long journey and have made difficult decisions moving me further from comfort and closer to the partner, father, son and friend that I aim to be— my highest self.

We will grow, should we seek to. We will change, should we steel ourselves and move through the flame. We are capable— maktub–it is written, imagine the joy when The Guide & Infallible Teacher, the most glorified, witnesses you and I take up those lessons and grow, displacing fear with hope and moving into the fields of what is possible.

This is cultivated with self-love, inner peace, gratitude, expansion and an abundance mindset. The Path to wholeness is and should be individual. Strength here awakens relative thinking and stronger bonds.

The heart wrenching troubles of 2020 do not rest at the doorstep of 2021. Those we have said goodbye to do not magically return. The moments ahead of us, may we seize with compassion and excitement; the ability to stand in oneness with the self- in pain, in possibility and above all— in our personal authenticity; powering our highest self and others who bare witness to that flame.

Future marv and friends, I love you dearly. May we keep Hope- forging forward, recognizing security within ourselves and finding moments of courage to make decisions from a place of hope and not fear.

No matter how dark the Night, the Sun rises tomorrow.

Onwards & Upwards

Marv – New York, 1/1/21

God, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life

Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, later Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)

On the last day of every year I visit the year behind me and set intentions for the year ahead of me. These aren’t resolutions–they’re intentions for alignment and purpose. Visit older posts: 2019201820172016 ,2015, 2014 , 2013

Be yourself, that’s all you can be and you’ll be best at it.

Universal Suffrage

The fear of voter-fraud, is a baseless fear. Trump has a group pulled together to research it and they found the same: Trump commission did not find widespread voter fraud (source: AP).

Universal Suffrage is the universal right to vote in political elections for all people. Frederick Douglass made this case fiercely in his lifetime–in the late 1800’s.

No need for new words; Douglass does not mince his.

Please go and Vote. For more information on voting go to iwillvote.com

Every day is a gift. Tomorrow is not a guarantee. Every moment we experience today has wonder associated — breathe life into the moments today. Bring back consciousness and find yourself curious about what the moment has to offer.

There are sad times, happy times and times all across the spectrum. All of those moments are offering more than their emotional reaction. Dig in, breathe deeply and allow yourself to feel.

Today is a gift. This moment is a gift. Search for why.

Improving Organization

What does organization look like?

How can I step it up?

  1. Use centrally managed filing system
  2. Only keep the latest version on that central system, have an archive or keep things locally
  3. Create recurring time for exploration and deep work on the subject (Or your calendar will get jacked)
  4. Report to the people that care
  5. Have a checklist

New Learnings

  • More people means more questions
  • More reviews and approvals means extending timelines and documenting questions that have been answered

A friend of mine shared with me a Chinese Proverb a few years back if you want to lead anything, start by cleaning your own room. It’s similar to the notion of making your bed first. I agree that having a clean space is a big catalyst mentally.

Organized space –> Organized mind –> Organized life–> Organized work.

hit me with how you organize yourself

Organizing

What does organization look like?

How can I step it up?

  1. Use centrally managed filing system
  2. Only keep the latest version on that central system, have an archive or keep things locally
  3. Create recurring time for exploration and deep work on the subject (Or your calendar will get jacked)
  4. Report to the people that care
  5. Have a checklist

New Learnings

  • More people means more questions
  • More reviews and approvals means extending timelines and documenting questions that have been answered

A friend of mine shared with me a Chinese Proverb a few years back if you want to lead anything, start by cleaning your own room. It’s similar to the notion of making your bed first.

On Masculinity & Simple Minds

Humans are simple people. We tend not to disturb things that work for us and turn to crutches that can support us or ease the mental burden of navigating a very complex and evolving world. The result is philosophies/methodologies or ways of interpreting the world and our role in it that tend to stick–even in the good times.

Masculinity is one of those and it is adopted from Culture.

The Atlantic has written about the impacts of today’s version of Masculinity.

It’s important to note that Masculinity looks different everywhere we go. Even in America, the masculinity we know at home is different than our neighbors across the street, state, and world.

Masculinity, defined as a way of being, is influenced by our environment. Thereby we can reinvigorate our masculinity with new notions.

  • What words would you describe Masculinity with?
  • Does that sit with the type of Man you want to be?
  • Does it jive with how you want to show up in the world?

Is it strange to you if I describe Masculinity as: caring, loving, emotionally intelligent, emotionally supportive, strong, wise, thoughtful, calm, joyful, aware, learning, growing, serving

I wake up this morning 2 snoozes later and with more questions than answers. I appreciate my curiosity and thirst for understanding and today have trouble reconciling that with my lack of sleep.

Also my curiosity sometimes just looks like scrolling through IG & Twitter in bed–30 minutes flies by.

I slept 6 interrupted hours, but aim for 8.

Today is a new day. I’m going to focus in, get to work and make the most of it. I’m deleting IG & Twitter for the day to understand how that impacts my habits/productivity/ability to focus.

My aim today is to do good work and catch 8 hours of sleep.

Women’s Health

Michelle Obama, always The First Lady, has started a podcast. My favorite episode thus far is one she does with a OBGYN.

They provide deep insight into things that should be more common for us to discuss, but arent.

Women’s health remains wildly taboo and this episode can help turn the tide in that. It’s given me a lot to think about.

Beyond progressive views, Michelle Obama lays out why it’s important to remove the taboos and to engage directly on these subjects—and shares how she has done so with her own daughters, even in discomfort.

Take a listen

Black & America

My concern grows that we are not doing enough to consider the situation of Black Men, Women and Children in the United States of America.

Mental health conditions occur in Black people in America at about the same or less frequency than in White Americans.” (Mental Health America)

The fear that Brown people felt in the years after 9/11 are what Black people experience everyday –also from people whom have been entrusted to protect them: Police, Doctors, Legislators and all of us.

The public visibility of this and the lack of action produce more opportunities for trauma and fear.

We cannot expect a generation of children to watch this and not feel fear–to not experience this trauma and internalize it.We cannot close our eyes that our friends and colleagues today are experiencing these traumas and mental health triggers.

This is a moment that we need to highlight and tackle the Mighty Engine of American Racism.

“I’m not a student in your class. Your books are not going to save me.”

All BIPOC sit in the shade of trees planted by Black Civil Rights leaders and Black activists who laid the foundations for legal equity and opportunity for all of us.

I appreciate this TEDx for a nuanced expression of what the situation is and all that surrounds it. At its crux, it highlights that we need to get real with the past and use that insight to put freedom from Racist Violence at the crux of our movement for greater good and equity.

The first step to solving a problem is recognizing there is one.

Beyond refining, reorganizing and reconstruction the systems, we also need to normalize the conversation of Mental Health, Therapy and BIPOC seeking these things out. I’ve found comfort in spaces like HealHaus, a Black-Owned Yoga Studio in Brooklyn, an immigrant therapist of Color, meditations led by Black people and BIPOC on Shine App and The Serenity Project.

As a people, if you live in the margins you are familiar with struggle. Perhaps you are removed from it or you do not yet identify the struggle of Black People in America with your own. You should. And if you need to revisit history to understand how Black Progress meant progress for all of us, please do so–MLK was a gamechanger for immigrants of color.

We need to love & protect each other. We need to watch out for each other. We need to take mental health and self care seriously as we do all of this.

The struggle will be real–but Justice and a greater good is worthwhile.

Hang In There

It’s been 19 years since September 11, 2001.

19 years.

That’s my nieces lifetime, x2. That’s a lot of time. But it’s also just like yesterday. That day was scary–for those of us who were in New York, the USA and Across the world. We did not know where our loved ones were and had no way of contacting them to know if they were okay. It was troubling.

And it remains painful for us–particularly those of us who lost loved ones on that day.


September 6-September 12 is also National Suicide Prevention week.


Tough days, weeks, months and even years are difficult to escape. If you find yourself in that headspace where you are considering exiting the game– please hang on tight and please reach out.

You are important. You are not alone.

Let’s get where we’re going, together.

For so many reasons, September is a time of year that happens to be strife with depression, sadness, Suicide and alone-ness or loneliness. COVID-19 preparedness and social isolation measures only add fuel to this fire.

This is an opportunity for you to serve– to ease the burdens of others and to ease your own concerns.

Find yourself in service to others

Mahatma Ghandi

Hold on tight. Love & Protect each other. Let your cup overflow by filling in to someone else’s. If you feel shallow–pour into someone elses and watch yours grow. Love into others and the reward will be 10 fold.

Below are some tips for how we can reach out to friends and support those around us. It’s packaged around suicide, but really, it’s 50 ideas to help us better connect with and engage more meaningfully with people around us.