Week 17 – I must agree…

To all

Mark’s note of this time of the course feeling like the “dog days of summer”, and that time when the weak fall away, but the individuals and teams with the burning desire just dig in a little deeper couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just been hard. That’s all.

What I find so outstanding is that, it seem, there is a somewhat predictable pattern to it. That would suggest to me that the experience of the human condition, regardless of background or gender or nationality or local is pretty common. In that I take great comfort.

Thanks to all that add to the collective goodwill that is the MKMMA!


Week 16 – Magical 3×5’s…

Blog post is a little late.

Has anyone else noticed their stack of 3×5’s changing right before their eyes? As simple a tool as these cards are, I have found them to be of the most profound influences I have felt, not to diminish at all the other top drawer resources we have received.

I was excited to feel the difference taking those few moments to review and read the cards we were asked to create to remind ourselves of things we had experienced and accomplished in our lives. It became a source of strength to realize that my life has not been without purpose and significant opportunities, to be able to have helped others and just generally discover that I’m in fact not a total putz. But here’s where the magic occurred. I’ve noticed, over time, that somehow  all the “life marker” cards began to transform into gratitude cards. Instead of the thoughts coming of “oh yeah, I forgot about that one – that was cool”, the feeling became “that was so nice. Thank you!”

Gratitude is such a powerful emotion and one, I believe, that prepares us for greater things. What were we told as kids – “Say please and thank you.” Amazing how things improve when you simply flip the order…

Had the opportunity to share an original piece of music with James Twyman who is mounting a peace effort into Syria. He was kind enough to mention it in his mailing and we posted a simple video on YouTube to support the song. It’s called “Forgiveness”. Kind of falls in line with our MKMMA journey.  Take a look if you like.

Hope you all have an excellent week!


Week 15 – “Dear Brené…”

Dear Dr. Brown – I just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for the sharing of your work and research on shame, guilt and wholehearted living. Your writing is most inspiring and has helped put some pieces together for me. I have been blessed to have had a number of discoveries and events fall into place that is contributing to my progress. Thank you again.

Larry Thompson

I woke this morning unsure of what I would write about this in this week’s blog. I have begun rereading Brené Brown’s book “Daring Greatly”. In the early chapters she addresses a common perception that we are living in a highly narcissistic world and that the sense of narcissism comes from the fear of not being perceived as “extraordinary”. How sad. She goes on to suggest that for the most part, we are living in a “scarcity culture”.  Do you ever find yourself considering, feeling, or worse, saying out loud any of the following deadly phrases: (From Daring Greatly)

I’m …

never good enough

never perfect enough

never thin enough

never powerful enough

never smart enough

never certain enough

never safe enough

never extraordinary enough

Let’s deal with the foundation here. In Scroll 4, Og suggests that we are clearly extraordinary enough. We are each so unique. That alone makes us extraordinary.  Harbouring any of these feelings for more than a fleeting moment will initiate the process of us manifesting them by simple virtue of natural, universal law. To return to the Bob Newhart skit – “Stop It!!”

Here’s the thing. My world is far from perfect – yet.  I was master mining with my good friend Phil Sykes this morning (who is a current MKMMA alumni  – do check out his blogs. He’s an excellent writer). We were chatting about happiness and Phil commented on feeling notably more happy now at the halfway point of the course. I must agree. I too am happier in many ways. I’m still very broke, still battling old blueprints and tapes, fighting self image challenges etc., but the future has never looked brighter. I’ve experienced miracles in the past, but I’m beginning to understand that many times the miracles we experience, while still gifts from God, are usually both answers to prayers/concentrated, emotionally charged thought and a natural response based on universal law. I don’t wish to discredit divine intervention, but I would suggest that even those experiences are based on laws that may reside outside of our current understanding.


Oh my – once again. Blessed beyond measure. I took a break from writing earlier this afternoon. Had a very fitful rest and woke up in that all too common experience of feeling the crushing weight of not getting enough packed into the critically insufficient 24 hours we each endure. I returned to Daring Greatly for a moment, picking up where I had left off only to discover the following… (Brené quoting Lynne Twist from The Soul of Money –

‘For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep”. The next is “I don’t have enough time” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of… Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to the reverie of lack… This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life…’

What I failed to mention is, that between getting up from that terrible nap and reading the section I quoted above, I sat to watch a movie. I’ve been a Disney geek most of my life and I discovered that Tomorrowland is on Netflix. It’s not that old a movie and that it’s on Canadian Netflix kind of confirms to me that it didn’t do well in the theatres. It’s directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and has a pretty decent cast. The movie has the requisite layer of Disney optimism for a “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” (Carousel of Progress) and a quick nod to a punk’d out “It’s a Small World” attraction. Weak in a few places, but totally uplifting and hopeful. I love that stuff. I wonder if it’s possible –  the thought of changing things for the better. I suppose, in that I thought of it as possible, then clearly, it must be. Invest the 2 hours and watch it. Don’t let the syrup and a couple of marginal green screen issues ruin it for you. It’s worth the time. There are some pretty clear MKMMA/Hero’s Journey concepts on display.

Have a great week. Strive every day to just get one more piece of the puzzle in place. It’s so worth it.





Week 14 – “It’s the most int’resting time of the year…”

Ok, I took some poetic and spelling liberties with the title.

It really is the most wonderful time of year. But this 2015 version, for me at least has also been interesting. It’s New Years Day as I write this. Fortunately for me that includes no discomfort from the night before. I don’t drink. Haven’t for 33 years. I guess that should be another gratitude card. There’s a possibility of seeing the new Start Wars movie this afternoon – I’ll consider it research as the next instalment of the Hero’s Journey. It wasn’t on the list of movies to watch, but I’m confident there will be a recognizable and compatible theme.

Christmas has come and gone. Little to no drama, though I do have my daughter who sometimes forgets that life isn’t an episode of 90210. Her nick name as a kid was Thea Trickle (theatrical). Still a work in progress. We’ll get there.

As I mentioned in a prior post, the last week and a half was turned with the passing of a friend. In addition to providing support and attention to his significant other, I was also drawn into service to conduct and speak at the funeral as well as play piano for the hymns and to conduct the graveside service yesterday. All of this, along with the need to keep an eye on my family members that are fighting some personal challenges has caused significant distraction from the day to day “requirements” of MKMMA, but has offered me a great opportunity to do field work – to apply and teach the principles to others and to serve. It’s time to turn back into self a little and get geared up for the second half of the course.

I’m finding the review of the big stack of cards of the most powerful things I do in the MKMMA program. It’s provides an opportunity to feel and express gratitude, a reminder that I am able, and that there have been miracles in  my life that I can now explain, at least to a degree.  Case in point…

A few years ago I received a call from a friend who was the Music Industry Arts program coordinator at Fanshawe college in London Ontario. It was mid August and they had a situation that required them to fill a position right away. I was asked to teach Engineering for the first year students. I accepted the position and was both excited and nervous with this new opportunity. A few days later I received a second call telling me they had made some other adjustments and that I wouldn’t be needed. I was very disappointed. I have deliberately left the crack in the hallway as a reminder that, a) taking out frustration on drywall, especially right over a double stud is both silly and painful, and more importantly, b) try better to just be  patient. I had never done anything like that before or after.

A little back story…

In January of that year, I had this odd desire to have an opportunity to learn and work on a specific piece of audio gear. It’s a large recording console called an Icon. Actually, it really isn’t a traditional console at all. Very little audio actually passes through it. The Icon is a control surface for software based recording and mixing. Basically a $160,000 mouse.  I had no idea where this desire came from, but it seemed like something I’d like to do. Ok, back to Fanshawe and the crack in the wall.

A week or so after the 2nd call, the bruise on my hand was pretty much gone and I got another call. “Can you teach 2nd year Engineering?”. And there it was. First year Engineering, that I was first asked to teach and then lost was taught in a studio that used a traditional analog recording console. 2nd year was taught on an Icon. The exact console I set as a goal to learn 8 months prior. Amazing.

One more quick story on the same line. While I was out west last year doing construction, I was also working on music. I had taken my whole rig out with me to be able to write and record at least outlines. The tune I included in my “twas the morning before Christmas” post last week was done out there. I’m not a country writer in particular, but this tune had taken on a country feel. I felt there was room for pedal steel so I reached out to a friend who I had used in the past to see if he could do the track for me. I’m currently having to produce this material with no budget and I asked if he’d be willing to do a pro-bono track for me, though I would certainly understood if he couldn’t. He declined and I offered my congratulations to him for taking his craft seriously and that he’d be first call as soon as I started having access to production budgets. However that left me with a tune without steel.

I had once owned a little Sho-bud student model steel many many years ago. I found the instrument fascinating both musically and as a piece of machinery. This was all prior to the MKMMA program, but I have studied the kind of material we are discovering together  for many years. I remember sitting on the edge of the bed one morning and saying out loud “I need a pedal steel so I can get this tune finished”. I made a call to a former student that I knew had this knack of coming across cool and unusual instruments. I explained that I was looking for a used steel that frankly someone just wanted to get out of their garage. I couldn’t afford to pay for a player, I certainly couldn’t afford a new instrument. “Leave it with me”.

3 hours.

3 hours later I received an email back. “I’ve got a little Sho-Bud student model steel here that needs a little love and I’m just not using. It’s yours. Come and get it”. The exact model I had owned 30+ years earlier.

Folks, I don’t understand the mechanism. I do believe there is a God. I use the traditional syntax for the Universal Mind. May not be PC. Don’t care. I’m beginning to see that there truly are laws set in place  that we cannot circumvent. Many we wouldn’t want to circumvent –  they are their for our benefit. Actually, I guess all universal law is there for our benefit. It can just be uncomfortable when we ignore or forget that reality. But it can also be wonderful and miraculous.

Have a great New Year. 2016 is shaping up to be a first year that I will be able to embrace with a new set of tools and understanding, with many ragged ends of information I have gathered over the years, now neatly packed into greater understanding and applied with commitment and faith.

Carry on…