My thoughts as we flew to Japan


As you rock December, I wanted to share the 3 main things I was reminded of on our Adventure to Japan…

Picture this, we got up Tuesday morning at 3am, packed my truck with our insane amount of bags in classic Macdonald fashion and headed to the airport. We were preparing for a 20-hour marathon travel day to Japan for the Epic Launch of Zen Project 8 and Zen Fuze at Jeunesse University in Tokyo.

As I drove us to the airport, went through security, loaded the plane, watched Abbi handle a couple baby Hope meltdowns like a champ, ate many PFC approved meals from our MRFK (mobile readiness food kit), I just kept smiling through every moment, thinking how amazing life is.

This is our first international trip as a family since Hope was born. I remember the pain we felt a few years back when Abbi had her first miscarriage in Brazil and the moment we sat together wondering if she could ever get pregnant again.

Fast forward to now, and our family is rocking an incredible first ever trip to Tokyo, Japan. Here’s the pic we took when our adventure began, Hope is still learning how to master a selfie!

Macdonald Family in Japan

You see we all have moments in life when life hits us hard, when belief in the possibility waivers and the hope we hold onto begins to fade.

So as I truly have just lived one of the best days of my life, even on only 2 hours of sleep, I wanted to share with you my 3 top thoughts that came to me as we flew to Japan…

1. Find the laughter in every moment

We were on our first leg of our journey, Atlanta to Minneapolis, just a 2-hour flight before we boarded for Tokyo. Thirty minutes before we land, our extremely sleep deprived baby girl had a screaming festival of all time. As the entire plane was thinking “what the heck is going on” all Abbi, Hunter and I could do was smile and do our best to comfort Hope.

Eventually she cried and screamed herself to sleep and we started laughing. It was one of those uncontrollable moments, where everyone is looking for you to solve it and you’re helpless.

Many times, we put way too much pressure on ourselves and we forget to find the laughter in even the most stressful moments.

Here’s a pic of Hope passed out after that epic meltdown in her car seat. We ate some food, strolled the airport and got on our flight to Japan with her sleeping the entire time in her car seat.

Hope Asleep in the Car Seat

As you rock the Holidays this year, and those stressful moments arise, catch yourself and look for the laughter in the moment, it will immediately push the stress away and create a memorable moment.

2. Hug as many people as you can

We met so many awesome people on our Japan flying adventure. When we got through security in Atlanta, a sweet hearted lady came up to me and asked if I was Mark Macdonald. She shared how she is from North Dakota and she’s rocking the Zen Project 8 program and is connected to my dear friend Renita Brannan.

I immediately gave Verna a great big hug. It was a 60 second moment that connected me and Verna forever. That is what hugging does, it triggers a feeling of love, trust and energy. Just think about how much better the world would be if we all hugged more people.

Mark and Verna

So as you relentlessly take on December, make it a focus to shift your hand shakes, fist bumps and hand waves with some great big hugs! I guarantee you it will immediately shift your energy and the person you hug and you both will feel the positive shift.

3. Always have Hope

There have been many moments in my life where my hope began to fade, and as I felt it flicker something would shift and hope was restored.

If you know me, you know I lead with my heart and as I write this my eyes are swelling up with tears of joy. To experience an international trip with a baby girl we never thought we may have, once again reinforces my never-ending belief in the possibility. Everything is possible when you have Hope.

It’s why Abbi, Hunter and I named our baby girl, Hope. To always be a reminder for us and everyone we love in our life. This is my favorite pic from our marathon traveling adventure, Hunter strolling Hope through the airport in her car seat passed out from her epic meltdown on the Minneapolis flight.

Hunter Pulling Hope

So the next time you feel the flicker of Hope beginning to fade, remember this message and find a way to get the light shining again.

I hope this email brings a smile to your face. Thank you for being an amazing part of our community and most importantly always choosing to lead by example with your health and actions.

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