My dear friend and spiritual teacher, Mark Anthony Lord, is on his third chapter of soul work. His first was as a successful dancer, performer, and choreographer. His second was as a minister and founder of the Bodhi Spiritual Center in Chicago. Now, he has a portfolio career as a spiritual teacher and entrepreneur, providing on- and offline programs, coaching, and ministering at a start-up church called Cityside, also in Chicago.
You can cultivate the same
I knew when I attended my first service at Bodhi, I’d found a thriving community and my next spiritual teacher in Mark Anthony. His devotion to the Divine, his sense of humor, and his depth of knowledge were impressive. But what sealed the deal for me was when he danced – and encouraged us to do the same to the sounds of Motown (in church!). I joined his church and began taking classes with him immediately. To my great honor and delight, he has become a dear friend and colleague as well as my teacher over the last six years.
Mark Anthony is a member of a rare club: soul-workers who have the utmost faith in their convictions, turning down work that doesn’t align with their purpose and their passions. He’s managed to walk this road in spite of the vision thieves intent on blocking his way. If you’re frightened, feeling undervalued or undecided about which way to turn in your career right now, if your energy is zapped by the vision thieves in your midst, I hope you can find your own story – or the beginnings of your special narrative – in Mark Anthony’s story. I believe that you can clear a path in your own life and find or create the work you want – just like Mark Anthony.
Unlike most young performers fresh out of college, Mark Anthony didn’t have to seek out “B” jobs in order to make money. He started earning from his craft right out of the gate. He credits a doom and gloom drama teacher for his resolve. A true vision thief, this instructor told students, “99% of you will not make it as a professional performer.” Instead of buying into that collective consciousness, Mark Anthony’s internal voice said, “that is not my story.” What followed was a 17-year successful career as a professional dancer, entertainer, and choreographer.
After completing ministerial school, he applied – and was rejected – for what he thought was his ministerial dream job at the time. After getting the news, Mark Anthony turned to God and said, “I am not getting up from this chair until you show me what to do next.” The next 20 minutes was not unlike a miracle in slideshow form, revealing to Mark Anthony how he would go to Chicago and start a new type of church. Thirty days later, he and his husband Patrick moved from California to Chicago. Shortly thereafter, his vision became the Bodhi Spiritual Center where he was the founder and spiritual director for 11 years.
He generously offers these tips to those of you searching for purposeful work:
- Use this guide from Reverend Michael Beckwith to practice visioning. Try it for 30 days if you want to have a breakthrough.
- No matter who you are and what you are doing now, a purpose lives inside of you. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN.
- The vision you discover may not be exactly what you eventually create. Do not get too attached to the image! It may be pointing you toward more joy on the journey rather than joy being the final destination.
Thanks, Mark Anthony!