The One Side of the Mirror Over Which We Have Control

A few days ago, I observed a guy asking for money on the street.  Part of his sign said, “I’m Ugly.”  I felt for him and those feelings, as well as the feeling that he had to stand on the street with a sign to make ends meet.

To varying degrees, I have noticed that we attract reflections of who we believe ourselves to be into our lives.

When we stand in front of the mirror, what comes back to us is an echo of who are.  If I suddenly put on a cap, the person in the mirror suddenly puts on a cap.  Likewise, if I change the way I view myself, the world will, in some way, mirror this change back to me.  This is the simple language of mirrors and of life.

We intuitively know this, yet it is tempting to focus on changing or trying to manipulate the reflection in the mirror instead of focusing on our attitudes towards ourselves.

After I saw the guy standing on the street with the sign, I started wondering how often I have thought and felt the words “I’m Ugly,” or “I’m Not Good Enough” or something of the like.  I never made such a sign but I felt it through and through.  At those times, it’s almost as if I held up an Agonizing Invisible Sign of self-doubt and pain.

But there is awesome news!  Want to hear it?  If we can create invisible signs of self-doubt and pain, we can also create Magnificent Invisible Signs of confidence, self-love and joy.

Imagine walking into a business meeting with the invisible sign, “I’m Amazing” or walking into a party with an invisible sign, “I’m Full of Joy and Confident.”

We are magnificent people.  We deserve to hold up magnificent invisible signs. And we deserve to see the world reflect that magnificence back to us.

Game of the Day

Today notice the invisible signs that you are holding up.

How could you rewrite those signs to celebrate your magnificence?

Notice people who reflect your magnificent signs and become their friends because you reflect their best and they reflect your best.


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Creating Freedom For Yourself When You Are Offered Advice

Can you relate to this?  Sometimes even if advice is offered in a kind and supportive tone, I notice that I immediately don’t want to take the advice simply because I don’t want to give the person who offered it to me a chance to be right.  At these times, I definitely don’t want to admit that they know more about a subject than I do.

And my desire not to take another’s advice is much, much stronger if the advice is given to me in a stressed or angry tone.

I notice that these reactions have little to do with the actual value of the advice I am being offered or the impact that it could have on my life if I implemented it.

When did this resistance to taking advice set in?  When we were kids in grade school, we took a great deal of advice as we learned to read and write. There were countless decisions on how to pronounce and spell words that needed to be made.  And we needed our teachers’ expert counsel to make them.  Think how our lives would be if we hadn’t taken any of this advice?

Our immediate reactions of not wanting to take advice are helpful in that they remind us that we are free not to take another’s advice.

If we ultimately have complete freedom not to take another’s advice, wouldn’t it also be useful to give ourselves complete freedom to choose to take advice, if it is useful to us, no matter who offers it or what tone it is offered in?

It occurs to me that we can create a way of separating advice from the person who offers it and then at our leisure deciding whether or not we want to implement the advice into our lives.

So I’m going to give some advice on creating freedom around deciding whether or not to take advice.  (Please remember that I’m typing this advice in a very kind and supportive manner:)

When someone gives you advice and you immediately feel yourself resisting it because of the tone or the manner of the person giving it, simply remember the advice and write it down as soon as possible.  After doing this, just leave the piece of paper somewhere where you can find it and let your feelings about the person’s tone or manner totally dissipate.

Once your feelings about how the advice was given to you have dissipated, go back to the piece of paper and consider just the words on that piece of paper, as if you are reading it out of a book written by an author who you have never personally met.  After reading the advice from this perspective, consider whether or not the advice is useful to you and something that you want to incorporate into your life.

Game of the Day

What will you do to create freedom for yourself the next time you are offered advice?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Super-Charging Your Creativity

We are so powerful that we can guide our creativity to create light.

(What the heck is Jason talking about?  Has he gotten all kooky out there in California?)

Ok guys! Please bear with me.  To understand what I mean let’s talk about rivers.

(Maybe he’s just gotten boring.  Who wants to talk about rivers?)

I hear you, the Voice in the ( ).  This blog is going to work and be interesting.  Please just pay attention.

Rivers don’t seem to run in straight lines except sometimes on maps or where they have been straightened with lots of assistance from humans.

(Ok! Everyone get out your maps and look at rivers. Sounds like a wild time! This blog is already quite a hoot.)

Excuse me!  As I was saying, rather than running in straight lines, rivers turn this way and that following the path of least resistance.  A river may go all over the map but except in the case of a flood, it stays focused between its banks.  When a river has a strong current, it can turn a turbine and produce electricity.

(Wow! I’m fascinated Jason.  It is almost like you are reading from a dictionary.)

Now Mr. Voice in the ( ), please be patient, I’m setting up an amazing metaphor.

Anyway, the water flowing in the riverbed is like our creativity.  And the banks of the river are like our ability to focus.

Focus needs creativity so it doesn’t dry up into tunnel vision.

Creativity needs focus so that it doesn’t become an unorganized pool with little movement or current.

So I offer two super-charged creative questions.  How do we maintain both the flow and structure of our creative river?  And how do we use this strong current as power to create light in the reality of our days?

(Jason, why can’t it just be a super-charged practical question like, “What’s for dinner?”)

You know what Mr. Voice in the ( )?  I’ll take you out for dinner.  We can talk about light and rivers.

Game of the Day

What activities stimulate your creativity?

What activities focus your creativity?

How do you make these activities work together to create your river current?

What dreams do you want to turn on to light the reality of your days?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Know What To Do In Case Of Everyday Life

We move at many different speeds throughout the day from sitting at the computer going 0 MPH to driving on the interstate going 75 MPH.  In my youth, I loved moving slow and dawdling.  I became highly proficient at it.

Over the years, I have slowly (imagine that) discovered that in the course of daily life crisis situations requiring speed, calmness and focus often arise.  These crisis situations could be what we traditionally consider an emergency.  But much more often, they are situations that feel like a crisis as when we get exceedingly nervous as we give a performance of some type or produce a result.

Whether an actual crisis or an event that feels likes a crisis, these situations require speed, calmness and focus to manage skillfully at a time when we often feel least like being speedy, calm and focused.

 Crisis and crisis-like situations occur in the course of everyday life.  When I was younger, I avoided crisis as if it was a dirty fear-based word.  Now I realize that dealing with a crisis or a crisis-like situation is simply an opportunity that requires practice, just like learning any other new skill.

One way to practice for a crisis or a crisis-like situation is by intentionally speeding up and intensifying our lives for limited periods of time.  This way we can slowly build our Super Hero Crisis Preparedness Muscles.

Our exercise routines are a great venue for this practice. We can develop our physical fitness and our Super Hero Crisis Preparedness Muscles at the same time.

For example, just before New Years, I started taking Bikram Yoga classes several times a week.  Bikram Yoga creates a circumstance, which in many respects resembles the intensity of a crisis or a crisis-like situation.  A Bikram Yoga class lasts 90 minutes and combines a challenging exercise routine with a studio heated to 105 degrees.  I love this opportunity!  In the class, I learn how to move with the speed of the routine, as well as, how to focus and remain calm under trying circumstances.

It’s very important to select an exercise to build your Super Hero Crisis Preparedness Muscles that suits you and does not challenge you to the extent that you feel like you are in the middle of an actual crisis. For example, the sport of boxing would not be a good choice for me because I would feel very much like I was in the middle of an actual unfolding crisis as I got hit in the face.

Our Super Hero Crisis Preparedness Exercise Routine can be challenging enough that it demands our focus, calmness and encourages us to move at a faster speed than we are used to, but not so overwhelming that we injure ourselves or cause ourselves sickness as a result.

The fruit of building our Super Hero Crisis Preparedness Muscles comes when we are able to move into the crisis or crisis-like situations that daily life sometimes offers with speed, calmness and focus.  We can learn to approach crisis or crisis-like situations as opportunities to use our Super Hero Crisis Preparedness muscles.

Game of the Day

What would it be like to move into every crisis or crisis-like situation that daily life sometimes offers with speed, calmness and focus?

What exercise routine might you use to build your Super Hero Crisis Preparedness Muscles?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Take Responsibility For Having Spectacular and Fascinating Fun

It’s Friday as I write this, the end of a busy and productive week. I’ve taken full responsibility for my work all week.  Now part of me just wants to kick back and be entertained, to let the weekend play like a blockbuster movie before my eyes.

Wait, something seems amiss here?  I took full responsibility for my work all week, but now don’t want to take full responsibility for a weekend of spectacular and fascinating fun. Hmmm?  This is a little odd!

According to my dictionary, one of the definitions of entertain is to “receive.”   It’s easy to consider having fun to be synonymous with being entertained, having entertainment done in front of us while we passively receive it.  This may come from the idea that relaxation and fun are created when we do nothing.

From this perspective, we make the entertainment responsible for whether or not we have fun. A good movie allows us to receive fun, while a terrible movie prevents us from receiving fun.

Relaxation and fun can be more substantial when we actively choose to take a portion of responsibility for our relaxation and fun.   From this perspective, we want the movie to be good and entertaining, and at the same time, as we watch it we can take responsibility for finding the good and entertainment in it.

Consider developing a relationship of mutual responsibility with your entertainment and if you find that you aren’t able through this relationship to find interest and fun in the entertainment, do something else that you find fun.

Game of the Day

What does taking responsibility for having fun mean in your life?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Rooting For a YES, Staying Strong If You Get a NO

There are at least two types of requests we make on a regular basis.  One is the “Almost Guaranteed YES” request.  We make this type of request and we’re practically certain that we will receive a “YES” in response.

A good example of this type of request is checking out at the supermarket.  When we get to the front of the line, if we have the proper payment, we are almost completely certain that the clerk will respond positively to our request to buy food.  There’s virtually no chance that the clerk will shake his head and make us put the food in our cart back on the shelves.

“Almost Guaranteed YES” requests cause us little anxiety because we are almost certain that we’ll get what we desire.

Then there’s a second type of request that can cause us ample anxiety and cause us to act in ways that are frankly funny.  This is the “Maybe Yes, Maybe No request.”  This second type of request can be much more tricky for us because when we make this request we’re truly uncertain if we will receive a “Yes” or “No” in return.

I’ve noticed that we may cope with this uncertainty surrounding a “Maybe Yes, Maybe No request” in several unproductive ways.

Sometimes we fall into the “I Don’t Care” mode when we’re making our request so that we won’t feel hurt if we get a “NO”.  This is a tempting tactic because pain is, well, painful.  However, when we numb ourselves to our desire to have our request fulfilled, we may well influence the person making the decision without meaning to.   For who wants to say, “YES” to a request issued by somebody who doesn’t appear to care if his or her request is granted?

Or we go in the opposite direction of numbness and become so anxious that we oversell the person that we’re making the request of.  We oversell the person on the importance of them saying “YES” to our request to the point they feel manipulated and as if they are not totally free to say “NO” to us.  This kind of pressure can produce all kinds of responses, but probably not the wholehearted “YES” that we truly desire.

Rooting for a “YES” is an art form because it involves staying passionate and excited about your request.  AND at the same time not overselling it.  I’ve found that striking this balance takes practice, practice, practice….

AND more practice…

Then what happens if the person whom you’re making a request of puts the two letters “N” and “O” together and says “no,” “NO” or even “NO!!!!” to you?

One affirmation that may help you to stay strong when receiving a “No” is to repeat to yourself, “Who I am is priceless.  YES!  I’m far more expansive than any ‘No’ I could receive.”

It’s also important to remember to say “YES” to the wholeness of the person who said “NO” to you, because it’s sometimes easy to be frustrated and bitter with that person. (This isn’t fun for either of you and also lowers the likelihood of them being excited and saying “YES!” to your requests in the future.   An affirmation you could say to yourself in regards to the person who said “No” to you might be, “YES! (insert person’s name) is priceless and far more expansive than any “No” he (or she) ever could give.

Repeating these affirmations, as well as, doing whatever relaxation exercises you find effective, will hopefully help the charge you feel around receiving a “NO” to gradually dissipate.

Once the charge dissipates, let the fun begin again as you make new requests.

Life is amazing and expansive.  There’re many people out there waiting to say “YES” to your requests.  Find them and ask for what you truly want.

Game of the Day

How can you root for a “YES,” and still stay strong if you get a “NO?”

*********************

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

 

Believe In a Key To Your Freedom

Is there an activity that is the key to your freedom?

I pose this question because I notice that every time I go to yoga, I free myself from a physical circumstance I once described as a disability.

Not only did I describe my coordination uniqueness as a disability, I believed to my core that I was a VICTIM of my disability.  To me my physical disability was an unchangeable FACT, just like there’s sky above my head.

It’s very human to believe that we are the victims of our limitations or circumstances because they can seem so permanent and insurmountable.  However, it is our BELIEF that our limitations are permanent that holds us captive, not the circumstances themselves. 

No government or judge or prison guard can set us free from circumstances that we determine that we are captive to.

Yet with every prison cell, comes a key to open it. 

A person is not obligated to find the key to his or her freedom.  I was living a fine and productive life when I was certain that I was disabled.

At the same time finding the key (or more likely keys) that free us from our limitations can be an amazing adventure.

Game of the Day

How are you finding the keys to your freedom?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.