Monday, August 16, 2010

A penny for your thoughts

Parenting is hard work, whether you’ve agreed to this enlightening journey or not, the road ahead welcomes a list of responsibilities challenging our subconscious and exercising every bit of patience.  Most parents would agree that we don’t want our children making the same mistakes as we have.  Among other things, the concept of money demands careful attention.  I’m no financial expert but after years of credit card debt and irresponsible spending, I was forced to make some changes.  I’ve joined and contributed to the millions of Americans living outside our means… blatant miss-handling of money has provoked a surfacing generation of entitlement, privilege, and compensation.  I want my children – ages 6 and 8 – and yours to avoid these financial setbacks and appreciate every cent they earn.   The school of hard knocks is a tough place to be, though failing can create opportunities of growth, why not raise money smart kids now.

I understand that times are difficult - families are still experiencing the effects of today’s recession.  In my opinion there is a detrimental need to teach our youth of money management.  Believe it or not, many U.S. schools refrain from teaching this important skill.  The discussion of money doesn’t have to be taboo, if we can instill traits of living within our means, forking money away for the future, and reaching a financial goal, we are equipping them with the tools of success.  Lately, I have made more of a conscious effort to continually discuss money - especially dinner costs, vacations and clothes. Hopefully through these routine discussions they will develop an awareness that benefits their decision making for the future. 
Fashion your technique around corporate strategies – many companies reward their employees for self initiative (losing weight, quitting smoking and 401(K)s) provide incentives.  Saving is tough; develop a model that works for you.  I reward my kids with a dollar-for-dollar match.  I love this lesson, it promotes saving through encouraging incentive and still rewards their hard work through occasional spending.  Help them manage their money – if you are a notorious payment skipper, set up a savings account tied to a debit card at your local bank.  That way you can transfer money on a scheduled basis.  It teaches them structure and paying bills on time.  As hard as it is, allowing our children to make mistakes and live with them builds character.  Don’t bail them out! Children much like adults need to learn - I’m living proof of that.  Have a wonderful week everyone, love and blessings.
Mark Nava   

Images: We Heart It

Monday, August 9, 2010


Time is something that we need to use wisely. No matter our season or frame of life, it is a non-renewable resource that we should consider with care. I have taken a discerning approach this past week to closely observe my behavior and weigh in the results of how I budget my time... to my dismay my time needed a healthy modification.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have taken and abused my fair share of time management tablets. Their tasteful representation is frequently misleading and often distracting. Today our world is continually attracting our attention: While a phone call is one thing - Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail persistently entice our thoughts. The more and more we are connected, a challenge begins to develop in effectively managing our time.
Many people spend their entire lives trying to be as balanced as possible. By focusing on our strengths in manageable goals throughout the day (1-3 tasks), we are allowing ourselves to be efficient and discover a refreshing perspective. I encourage you to take an inventory of your day and truly maximize its potential by making a conscious decision to better your life.
Here are some helpful ways to value your time to its highest potential:

-Reduce e-mail usage, check twice a day instead of every 35 seconds.  Quickly move to once a day, preferably the middle portion.
-Reawaken your passion: Focus on becoming the absolute best at your good abilities, and stop focusing on fixing your problems.
-Scheduling walks with your significant other/pet will invite your mind to dream and be creative.
-Keep it simple: Work hard and love your family

Remember, focus on the important

All the best,
Mark Nava

Images: We Heart It

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Head in the Clouds

Lately, my sights have lifted to an exquisite phenomenon… suspended in an ethereal realm of peace they are one of most powerful and beautiful compositions on earth. Their elevated presence intrigues the masses as a living breathing reality and provides our daily dose of therapy.  I have found clouds magnificence inspiring… not only its architectural makeup but its encouraging spirit to dream.
I have fond memories this summer traveling with my brother Jason. We passed some amazing country… our home in Colorado was lovely to see in the morning, especially before dawn. To see clouds kissed by the sun and welcoming a new day was liberating. My consciousness was clear and my mind was at rest.  During our return home, Utah offered one of the most surreal sunsets I’ve ever experienced. It was a remarkable display of tones and hues… I was speechless. All you could do was watch in adoration. 
I love sharing in this revelry, there’s nothing like dreaming in the moment and/or sharing it with someone you love. These are the occasions we remember; I hope you understand your potential today and to never stop dreaming. I found this quote by Grey Livingston that spoke to me: “Dreams are free therapy. Consult your inner Freud.” I hope all of you are having a wonderful week, be blessed and be safe.

All the best, Mark Nava

Images: We Heart It

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The mind is such a beautiful thing to marvel in… brilliant composers from across the world have presented masterful literary work in knowledge and learning. When we exercise its ability through routine reading, we are enhancing our social, mental and spiritual health. Much like conditioning our bodies through strenuous activity, sharpening one of our greatest assets can promote steady focus and character building qualities.
Growing up as a child I never read many books, other than the random assignments in school, books were a pretty low priority. Thankfully the books I did read left a lasting impression: C.S. Lewis – The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Ramona the Pest – Beverly Cleary and Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. These tantalizing tales of adventure, friendship and mortality fostered loving stories of life. Now a day’s reading has become a regular routine…
As I’ve gotten older I find myself reading many forms of literature – Novels, American History (WWII) and newspaper columns currently fit the mold. By broadening my perspective in voice and written outline, my mind is continuously bending… absorbing humanities distinguished track record and lasting legacy. I encourage you to train yourself, establish the beneficial traits of learning and allow the time to grow mentally.

I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday ~ Abraham Lincoln
Books I am reading:

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (Amazing novel)
The Fashion Book by Phaidon Press
The Pacific by Hugh Ambrose
CRUSH IT! Why Now is the time to cash in on your passion by Gary Vaynerchuk
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Suess

All the best, Mark Nava

Images:  We Heart It

Monday, July 26, 2010

Choose Life

I love this image: their mannerisms exhibit an everlasting likeness between male and female companions.  Surmise to say this attraction bears frequent heartache and often leads to a path of isolation.  A season(s) spent in meditation can promote new beginnings... while the focus to understand one another motivates our existence.  Weapons of manipulation and insecurity overwhelm our potential - life has taught me to embrace my internal compass, following its direction intently and listening cautiously.  Only when the shades of vanity are lifted can there be a healthy perspective in partnership.  This theory applies to more than just our significant other, bonds of friendship suffer on a similar platform... we accept an ugliness fashioned around negative energy.  A debilitating consequence begins to develop, causing turmoil within our spirit, almost like a poison effecting every cell and the core of our being.  The truth is, we know better... a life spent with those who fail to acknowledge our gifts will never appreciate them.  We must choose individuals who add substance to our life, inspiring love and variety.  What will you choose... choose life!

All the best, Mark Nava

Image: We heart it

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sir Charles Hildreth - Photographer

The symbolism of fire entangles a powerful mixture of love, hate, and desire… its vivid color personifies a collectedness found in emotion and determination. Last night I had the opportunity to share in its flame, wandering the streets of Denver with my friend and photographer, Charles Hildreth (303 Magazine). Charles passion in photography strengthens an idea, surrounded in love and found in the emotions of life, his portraits decode life’s cryptic message. I admire his ability to discern and openly engage his targets with intensity… those who gaze upon his work are compelled to share in his reverence of beauty. While his images promote deep thought and reflection, the man behind the lens is nothing short of spectacular.

Follow his work as it happens:

All the best, Mark Nava

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Bolivian beauty - Dagmar Castrillo

I met Dagmar on our recent trip to Santa Monica California.  Her heritage is proudly rooted from "the rooftop of the world," Bolivia.  A country fixed against the majestic Andes in the lower west region.  Our introduction couldn't have been more pleasant.  I am compelled to share my experience with you as it has left a lasting impression on my heart and mind.  Dag's aura clutches a beautiful energy that is found in the traditions and love of her people, a remarkable perspective that captures those around her.
Her perception was constantly in tuned by her environment.  A conscience decision to view the world as it comes - enjoying life's simplest pleasures and reflecting in positive ways to soothe her soul.  As a people flowing with the waves of existence, often times I feel we discount this humble awareness.  I have learned through Dag's encouraging spirit to pause and absorb these moments in time.  Only then will we appreciate our place on this earth and the lives we impact daily.
While her vision towards life is something to be exulted, the understanding of friendship conjures a hunger within... we have all experienced people who epitomize the love of selfishness and greed.  I believe a character bound in kindness and devotion are few and far between - this treasure in closeness is sought for until our dying day and remains the struggle of our lives.  "To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world." a quote labeling the Bolivian beauty with reverence!

All the best,

Mark Nava