Monthly Archives: November 2016

Try to calculate the value of…

…waking up this morning.

or

…drinking a glass of water.

or

…walking to school, driving to your job, or strolling through a park.

or

…inhaling and exhaling.

or

…noticing the colors of the changing leaves.

What did you get?

Incalculable.

Exactly.

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Normal

Today we return to our original tempo and tone as humans. Gratitude was always meant to be our song.

We our wired to be awe-struck and wonder-eyed by the infinite givenness of universe. 

Today we celebrate this givenness…the seen and the unseen…the known and the unknown…the certainty and the Mystery. 

We must return to this as our normal state of being.

When the human spirit is rooted in gratitude, it becomes a channel and, subsequently, a river for love, grace, and peace. In other words, our posture today is the great predecessor to what will heal us and our world.

Take note of how little you try to judge, critique, change, or fix what is today. You simply just enjoy it for what it is and you reflect on the enjoyment.

May we repeat today all of our days.

We can do better than 1 out of 365.

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Episode 43: People of the Second Chance with Mike Foster

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Mike Foster is a friend of imperfectionists and second chancers.

For the past 15 years he has focused his work on helping people flourish in their lives by helping them be passionate about their not-so-perfect stories.

Mike is also the founder and Chief Chance Officer at People of the Second Chance. This non-profit organization is guided by this lofty ideal: that every person on earth deserves a second chance.

Currently, Mike speaks and writes on topics of identity, shame and how to turn our hurts and hang-ups into an unfair advantage. His work has also been featured on Good Morning America, Fox News and in the New York Times.

Mike joins us in Episode 43 at Let The Music Play as we talk about his book People of the Second Chance.

Make you sure follow his story on instagram and support the work he’s sending into the world. It’s full of light and healing those it touches.

As always, please remember to share this episode with those you love and those you lead! This episode and all others can be found in iTunes or at AshtonGustafson.com.

Godspeed in your music making…

Ashton

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Mr. Irfan

It’s time we start sharing moments of music in the midst of all the noise.

Allow me to start with a story about my new friend Mr. Irfan from Toronto.

I arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport yesterday evening. After making it through customs by answering questions about whether or not I had milked a cow in the last week or so from another country, I opened the Uber application on my phone, typed in where I needed to get to, and hit the button to be connected with a driver.

Four minutes later a new black suburban pulled up.

Driver: “Ashton?”

Me: “Irfan?”

I got in.

I asked him how his Ubering was going. Like you do… To which he replied, he didn’t use the service much, he owns eleven vehicles like this one, manages a team of drivers that serves a consistent clientele, and he just turned on the app since he was near the airport and on his way home. Quickly, I was proud of Irfan. I liked his style, efficiency, and humble pride.

We began to talk. We talked life. We talked about his family in Pakistan. We talked about Target, Wal-Mart, traffic, corruption, winter, mortgage rates, and skyscrapers. We were human. Together. ‘Neighborin’ as they call it on the am radio back at home.

Before he dropped me off I asked him what the chances were of him driving me back to the airport the next day. He handed me his Mr. Irfan card (which is brilliantly to the point) and told me to text him tomorrow with a few hours notice.

A little before lunch today I sent Mr. Irfan a text saying that my presentation should be done by 3:00 and that I should be ready at 3:30 outside of The Spoke Club in downtown Toronto. I asked if he would be available. Promptly, he responded, “I will.”

After my presentation I gathered my things and it was 3:00 on the dot. This was thirty minutes before I told him I would be ready. I sent a text to Mr. Irfan to say I was ready and that I would be waiting outside of the venue. “No rush.” His response? “Come down stairs. See you in one minute?”

As I walk out of the building, Mr. Irfan is rounding the corner. He parks his vehicle, opens a side door and the luggage door, and gives me a greeting waive I’ll never forget. I’m talking about a waive that was like Forest Gump’s waive to Lieutenant Dan when he was captain of Jenny #1. He was so happy to see me again. And so I waived back with equal joy. I wasn’t his client. He wasn’t my driver. We were friends.

I had just given a message to a group about how being faster than expected is better than being on time with your services and information you provide. Mr. Irfan was a perfect picture of this. I had also just shared with this group of real estate agents in Toronto that people would rather have a friend than a Realtor. I suddenly realized I would rather have a friend than a driver too. Then I thought about how all of Mr. Irfan’s actions were so small, hidden, and unseen…except to me.

We made our way through traffic and then Mr. Irfan pulled up to the terminal to let me out. He handed me my bags outside of his office on four wheels and then we gratuitously locked eyes knowing that there was more than an exchange of currency for services that had transpired in a day’s time.

I then asked to take my picture with him. Good people! I took a selfie with my driver turned friend! And now I’m sharing it with you. He was human, he was sharp, he was faster than expected, and I would gladly send my wife, mom, or grandmother to him if they’re ever in Toronto. How’s that for a review!?

Mr. Irfan drove off and I thought to myself, what a wonderful world.

#LTMP

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Mr. Irfan November 17, 2016 Toronto Pearson International Airport

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