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Mark Divine: Hanging Out With Mark AMA

By February 22, 2022 No Comments

Today, Commander Divine is joined by his friend, Amy Jurkowitz, to answer questions from his followers on Facebook Live, as well as questions submitted prior to the livestream. Mark shares interesting insights on what it takes to be a great leader, how to cultivate compassion, how to start a mindfulness practice, and other suggestions on improving our mind, body, and spirit.

Key Takeaways:

There were several questions about leadership including the following:

@drpedre: What do you think it takes to really be a leader? What characteristics?

@pthompson34: What qualities and characteristics do you feel a strong leader obtains?

Mark broke down the top 4 characteristics needed in a great leader. 

  1. Self-Awareness: Great leaders need to understand their strengths and weaknesses, as well as a general understanding of human nature and how we show up in the world. 
  2. Self-Control: The next step after becoming aware is using that awareness to guide in self control. A great leader is able to show restraint and remain calm under pressure.
  3. Humility: It’s not about the leader. It’s about the team and the mission. A great leader knows when to step aside, and let the team take the credit.
  4. Openness: A great leader has an open heart and is inclusive of all people and listens to all points of view.


How does a leader confront other peoples’ views after explaining a decision made? 

Unless this is new information that impacts the decision, the decision has already been made, but it’s important to listen and thank people for sharing their perspective.


How do you show up when you really don’t feel like it?

Do something hard to change that feeling; that could be a cold shower or a hard workout. If that doesn’t work, fake it till you make it!


What is your evening routine 3 hours before bed?

  • Beach walk and/or aikido or acupuncture
  • Prepares dinner with his partner (sharing builds intimacy!)
  • Debriefs the day over dinner 
  • Reflective practice in bed
  • Pays close attention to sleep hygiene


Do you find that breathwork brings up anxiety?

If breathwork makes you anxious, you’re either doing it incorrectly, or you’re doing the wrong type of breathwork to activate a parasympathetic response. You need to focus on a slow inhale, and a slow exhale. Box breathing is a great practice for this!


I listened to the conversation you had with Dr. Fleet Maull. Interesting convo. Among the topics you discussed, I’d like to learn more about cultivating compassion for oneself and others, especially to overcome atmospheres of shame or hate.

When we have difficulty with others, it is often a sign we recognize things about them that we dislike about ourselves. We must first love and accept ourselves, flaws and all. We can also practice a loving kindness meditation. This is a great way to send kindness to ourselves and others. Another part of this is the practice of forgiveness. We must forgive ourselves and others, whether in writing, in person, or just in our minds. Forgiveness is crucial to healing. 

How to get started with meditation?

Joining a community with a qualified teacher is really the best way to go. 

If you must get started on your own, it can be extremely helpful to start with a practice like box breathing to calm the central nervous system first. Box breathing (deep belly breathing with a count of 4 in, hold for 4, exhale for 4, hold for 4, repeat.) 

Outlook on accelerated pace of digitization and decentralization?

We are changing at an exponential rate. People are starting to awaken. However, the direction the world takes is really going to depend on asking the right questions, and more and more people waking up. 

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