Posted by on March 17, 2009 in Family, Intimacy, Relationships |


Do you love your family?  Strange question you might ask.  I do.  For all the good and bad, ups and downs I love them unconditionally, wholeheartedly and with every fiber of my spirit.

Many times in life a lot of us do not look after family the way we should.  There may be some well founded reasons why families are not close or kind towards each other.  But all I know is that my family means the world to me.

I am one of six children and both my parents are deceased.  In birth order I am number four and today number three and five have already passed away.  I lost my sister (Carol Renee) when she was 27, in 1986 and my younger brother (Craig Alan) when he was 35, in 2001 and I can say to you all that I miss them dearly.  Not too many days go by when I don’t think of the fun and love that we shared with each other growing up in that small 2 bedroom house in Dayton, Ohio.

Austin Jr., Mark, Joyce, Craig, Bernadette and Renee
Austin Jr., Mark, Joyce, Craig, Bernadette and Renee

I have 3 children of my own that I am as proud of as any parent alive.  My daughter (Brooke Elizabeth) is getting married later this year and I am grateful that she has taken her time with this.  My eldest son (Mark Jr.) is married with one child (Tahlia) and my youngest (Michael Ashton) is just living life to the full, no responsibility and having fun.

Mark Sr., Mark Jr., Brooke, Michael
Mark Sr., Mark Jr., Brooke, Michael

My family at home today consists of my beautiful wife (Pamela Anne) and her daughter (Marina).

Pam & Marina
Pam & Marina

As you can see we are a blended lot with me and my children living in Australia and my three siblings in the United States.  But we are very close.

My number one passion in life is the love I have for my family.  Life is precious and I do not take it for granted.  It is a blessing to see the sun rise and fall each day and for that privilege I am eternally grateful.

Thanks for stopping by and having a look at my awesome family :mrgreen:

Warrior for Truth
Professor (things that make you go Hmm..)

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Smart Online Profit Systems Workshop

Hanging At the Smart Online Profit Systems Workshop

I have just spent the weekend as a Volunteer at the Smart Online Profit Systems (SOPS) event and I want to share with you what an absolutely fantastic time that I and the other Volunteers had.

Sean Rasmussen and Shaun Stenning, two of, arguably, the best Australian Internet Marketers today.

Sean, Shaun & Mark
Sean, Shaun & Mark

I am an Internet Marketer and what I was able to learn from this event was of great value.  These two men share Internet strategies and secrets that other Internet marketers don’t and they do this with integrity.  I was able to pick up tips and money making strategies, and apply them Saturday night after the first day.  All participants received access to software where they could build and host a website for free.  Now name me any other Internet Marketing seminar that does that.

I can’t say enough good things about the team of people I had the opportunity to work along side over the weekend.  They were simply awesome.  It is truly inspiring to work and learn from people who have absolute integrity and love in the work that they do.

I am fortunate to be in a position that I do what I love and love what I do.  I am not one who sits around and watches the news everyday and listens to all the doom and gloom that people are saying is happening in the world today.  Even in this supposed economic downturn and turmoil there are opportunities abundant today.  All you have to do is open your eyes.  That’s why if I’m you, I’m getting myself to the next Smart Online Profit Systems workshop in my area.

Kurek Ashley in Perth

Best selling International author Kurek Ashley spoke at the Smart Online Profit Systems event in Perth and delivered a very powerful and inspiring presentation.

Kurek Ashley in Perth
Kurek Ashley in Perth

Kurek spoke and gave examples of his ultimate success strategy to the audience in Perth so that we could see it is easy for us to apply:

  • Set Great Big Goals – I didn’t want to write a book, I wanted to write a world bestseller, and that’s what I did.
  • Educate and Resource your strategy – I studied other successful authors and worked out my own unique game-plan.
  • Take Immediate Action – when the goal is set, strategies and resources fall into place easily and there is no holding back.
  • Test and Measure – Around 1.9 millions book titles were for sale on Amazon alone on the day of the book launch. My strategic plan was to be ahead of the other 1,899,999 book titles so I began gauging responses on a smaller scale ahead of time.
  • Be Grateful in advance – the universe offers me only positive intentions and I am forever grateful.
    Follow Through – I engaged a team who are as passionate as I am about getting this inspiring and powerful message to as many readers as we can. We maintained sharp focus.
  • Grand Dream Goals – what’s yours and what are you doing?

In How Would Love Respond?  Readers will find the strategies on how to achieve grand dream goals and empower themselves and those you love.  You are given the tools to make this easy to do so.  Don’t just take my word for it, read some of the magnificent acclaims from international best selling authors and achievers, and the huge number of readers who now have the book.

All in all the weekend was a huge success.  I had fun, met new people and really had a good time.

Warrior for Truth
Professor (things that make you go Hmm..)

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Why I Call Australia Home

Posted by on February 22, 2009 in Human Development |

People ask me from time to time why I choose to live in Australia and not the USA, my birthplace.

Well there are many reasons but I can say that two main ones are:

1.  Quality of Life
2.  Being treated based on the integrity of my character, not skin colour

I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio and my parents were originally from the state of Kentucky.  I had a reasonably normal childhood and am one of six children.

I left Dayton upon graduation from high school ready to see the world.  I joined the United States Marine Corps (USMC) after my 18th birthday in 1980 and was off to boot camp in September.  Boot camp was at Paris Island, South Carolina.  It lasted 3 months and boy was it tough!

From there I ended up being stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii – Marine Corps Air Station home, at that time, of the 1st Marine Brigade.  During my time there (1981 to 1985) I went on deployments every 17 months to patrol the Indian and Pacific Ocean region of the world.

It was during these deployments that I was introduced to Australia.  Let me tell you, the more I got to know about the people and culture the more I fell in love with the place.  I met a girl, fell in love and married in 1984.  At that time I had no idea, or comprehension, that I would ever be living in Australia.

My wife at the time was homesick and because of the courage, commitment and love that she showed me, I told her in 1985 that if she didn’t like the US we could always migrate to Australia to raise our children.  Well it wasn’t long after that that she took me up on my word so I had to follow through.  But I was sure hoping that she may change her mind before my contract with the USMC was finished.  She did not change her mind.

I am proud to say that it was one of the best decisions that I have made in my life.  Getting used to the relaxed working environment and the attitude of most Western Australians in the late eighties (“no worries mate, she’ll be right”) took some getting used to.  I have grown to absolutely love Australians and Australia and have been naturalised since 1991.

In the US I am categorised as a minority (African American), and I always had a feeling (perception) that I did not have or had the same opportunities that were provided to the majority (Anglo/Caucasian).  I can not say that I have been personally on the receiving end of discrimination, but I have felt its presence in the US.  And interestingly enough here in Australia too but not towards or directed at me.

What can I say about the quality of life in Perth?  Living on the coast, pristine beaches, having access to any occupation that I want to work in, or starting any business that I may desire without any undo hindrance – that is cool.

I like to tell the story of how my interaction with people flows when I travel from Perth, Western Australia to my hometown of Dayton, Ohio.  When I started my journey in Perth and then through Sydney, I would have unrestricted conversation and interaction with people who were open and inviting, as Australians are.  But when I would get to Los Angeles and engaged people as I did in the beginning of my journey, my interaction was not received at all by the majority and that really shook me the first time it had happened.

I can remember it clearly.  I had approached a middle aged woman (Caucasian) and said hello and asked where she was heading off too.  She looked at me strangely, clutched her purse and moved away from me.  Now you may say that I was just unlucky and picked a non responsive person to chat to that day but I took a step back and said to myself, “Welcome home Mark”.

You see, the United States of America was not built on equality or integration.

So that’s how I ended up calling Australia home.

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New Year’s Reading – Part 2

This post is a continuation of the last, “New Year’s Reading”.  I shared the first 5 out of 10 things I learned from the book, “How Would Love Respond?” by Kurek Ashley.

Here are 6 through 10:

6. The more you develop yourself as a person, the more personally developed you become. Evolvement is our life’s quest.  If we are not evolving, we are dissolving.  Evolvement is not a destination; it is a continual process- our life’s quest.

7. The 3 P’s of Power – Perception, Perturbation and Procession. How we choose to see something depends on how we look at it.  It is our perception that makes an event appear good or bad.   An event might appear bad on the day it happened, but could appear good much later, when seen from a different perspective.  It’s still the same event.

Pushing through the challenges that appear to block your path of achieving your dreams and goals is the experience of perturbation.  Perturbation forces you to expand and reinvent yourself.  Moving toward our fear is where the real growth happens.  It’s where the real appreciation happens.

When you do positive amazing things for yourself and others, the more positive amazing things come back to you.  It’s not about the goal, it’s about the growth.  The ripple effect is like when you throw pebbles into a pond.  The ripples go all the way to the shore and then it reverses back.  The energy comes back bigger and better – it evolves.  Positive or negative, it will come back to you – you make the choice.

8. Plant positive seeds and pull negative weeds. Consciously put positive thoughts in, and weed out the negative ones.  Awareness is very important to hear these thoughts in our own heads.  When weeding out the negative ones, do it in a kind and empowering way.  If you don’t, it’s still negative and disempowering.  Be kind to yourself.

9. Live in the Light!  Whose responsibility is it to make sure you are empowered? It’s not your partner’s job, nor your parents; it’s not your boss’s job, nor the government’s!

It’s your job!  We are responsible for ourselves, and to make sure we are empowered.  From a physical point of view, if we want our bodies full of power then eating healthy and avoiding junk makes more sense.  You are what you eat, so make it healthy, empowering food.  Ill health in your body, relationships, business, etc. can wipe out goals and dreams with the destructive energy from negativity.  Be proactive, not reactive.  That is taking responsibility.  We can’t change others, but we can take responsibility to not let others disempower us.  Responding in an empowering way gains power, which makes you powerful = personal power.

10. Ten guaranteed ways to be and stay happy. This one is a bonus, as it is broken into 10 parts.  There are a lot more than 10 things, let alone 20 gems that are in this book.  I made my choice to apply them to my life, how about you?  Here is a summary:

  1. Physiology – change the way you carry your body and you will change how you feel – instantly.   Stand taller, sit straighter, breathe deeper, smile.
  2. Choose what you focus on – whatever the situation, focus on the positive side, you will feel great about it.  Focus on the negative side, you will feel bad about it.  The choice is yours.  To change the result, change what you focus on.  Every situation has both sides – if you say no, you’re not looking hard enough.
  3. Utilise the Law of Relativity – don’t get caught in the comparison trap.  Make comparisons with things that make you feel empowered, not disempowered.
  4. Stop telling disempowering stories – if it doesn’t serve you don’t say it.  Stay out of the “drama glue”.  Turn the negative stories off, replay the positive ones.
  5. Live with CDI – Consistent Daily Improvement.  If you commit to improving your quality of life by just 1% every day, then at the end of the year your life will be 365% improved!  We tend to underestimate what we can do in a year, 5 years or 10 years; yet we tend to overestimate what we can do in a day, week or month.  Reverse this and watch the results.
  6. Let go of your judgment, and have fewer rules – Judgment is the need to be right.  If you let go of that need, your life becomes easier and happier.  Conflicts usually stem from rules conflicts.  Choose your battles wisely and save your energy for things that will be life giving, not life taking.  Ask yourself, “Is it more important to be right or kind?”
  7. Be full of peace and free of stress – Stress in the body causes dis-ease.  Dis-ease of the mind creates disease of the physical body.  Stress is the result of having stressful thoughts.  Therefore, when you’re at peace, your mind is at ease.  The choice is ours to make.
  8. Be empowering about everything.  Let your light shine, it is contagious.
  9. Practice forgiveness on a regular basis – just because you feel someone has wronged you doesn’t mean you need to be the judge, jury and executioner.  Anger, jealousy, hate and envy all stem from the ego.  When you forgive, you begin to heal.  You reap what you sow, and the people will get what they deserve.  It is important to trust this. If you don’t forgive, you don’t heal.  Dis-ease leads to disease.  Forgiveness is not about anyone else, it is for you.
  10. Be grateful – Gratitude is empowering.  Being empowering attracts empowerment.  Count your blessings, so that they can continue to be added to.

Have a most outstanding day!


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New Years Reading

Posted by Pam on January 21, 2009 in Human Development, Mental Understanding, Personal Development |

From my last blog post, I was writing about my thoughts on the book I was reading. I thought about breaking up each chapter of the book, “How Would Love Respond” until I came to the end. The last chapter of the book has Kurek Ashley asking you to write down the 10 things you learned from the book that will have the greatest impact on your life. I like the fact that he gives you the choice – read the book and slowly forget the excellent messages gained or be proactive and take steps to actually apply the gems that were read and put them into action.

I actually made notes as I was reading the book as I went along, so when I came to the end, I felt like I had a head start!

The following are my first 5 out of 10 and I chose to do this because I chose how Love would respond:

  1. Life doesn’t always turn out the way it should, or the way we may think it should be. I have learned this time and time again, and realised that I am not alone on this. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be living in Australia, almost 18 years now! I always knew that I wouldn’t live in Michigan (my home state) forever as I don’t like the cold winters. I also thought that there was such a thing as a “perfect” life, and I was entitled to it. However, perfect is in the eye of the beholder. How you choose to see it is the key. When I reflect, I realise that it was “perfect” – meaning, very balanced. Perceived positive balanced with perceived negative. It may not have been the way I thought it should have been, but looking back I realised it was exactly the way it was meant to be.
  2. Replace disempowering thoughts with empowering thoughts. I’m not really into “New Year’s resolutions”. However, with the timing of this book, I made a conscious choice and decision to do this statement in #2. I made little notes in my diary, on my computer, on my mirror so that I am monitoring myself and my thoughts continually. I found that in the past, it didn’t last unless you were constantly reminding yourself. The title of the book is the perfect question to continually ask yourself, “How Would Love Respond?” Like training the physical body, we need to train the mental. Thoughts become things. This spills over to #3.
  3. Thoughts turned into Action produces Results. The formula Kurek uses is so effective: T >A=R. I have this written on my mind papers as well. Thinking is not enough, it is just the first step. Putting the thoughts into action is really the key. That’s where I find most people, including myself can really get stuck. Thoughts don’t produce results. Action does. It’s only the 3rd week of January of this new year, and it has proven itself over and over again. Consistency in doing this produces even more consistent results. Consistently being consistent = consistency.
  4. Everything in this life is borrowed. You have to give it all back. The only thing you get to keep is the love you gave, the love you received, and the experiences your soul got to have. Getting caught up in material things, work and/or time management can delay our journey of personal development. Focusing on achieving balance in what is important to us, our highest values will bring more quality in our life. Sometimes tragedies happen to wake us up and give us another chance to realise and take notes on what is really important in our life.
  5. Decide to live life above the line. Reponsibility and Result. Three things need to happen in order to do this: Firstly, make the Decision to do so. A decision is the starting point for all real change. This allows you to move forward. In order to make things happen, that is the direction to head – forward. Replace analysing with action. Secondly, is Commitment. This comes after the decision is made. This means you will do whatever it takes, with integrity of course. Excellence is the commitment to completion. Thirdly, is Investment. Take time to check that you are not using blame, justification and/or excuses (below the line). Choose to be responsible and ask yourself, “How would love respond to this?” Getting the best return for your investment of time is crucial.




Investment = I invest in me

Read the book today?  Walk in the park today? Watch the sunset today? Or wait until tomorrow, which may never come.

These are the first 5 out of 10 things I learned from the book. Stay tuned for next post to read the other 5.

Have a most outstanding day!


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