Make It Easy

Imagine a person trying to do yoga while wearing boots, snow pants, a heavy winter coat, a stocking cap, mitts, and a scarf.   In addition, imagine that he or she is carrying a backpack full of fifty pounds of canned food.

This person would definitely be choosing to do HOT YOGA!

He or she would be exceedingly well PROTECTED AND PREPARED if a very sudden deep freeze and food shortage were to occur at the same time.

However, in the mean time, this person might well feel frustrated, awkward, and, quite possibly, even downright miserable.  Not to mention much of the benefit of doing yoga would be utterly lost because this person had chosen to artificially limit his or her flexibility.  And to make matters even more painful, this person would see the rest of the class doing yoga in comfortable, loose-fitting clothes.

This is an outrageous example, but how often do we limit our flexibility and joy in life because we are scared of being vulnerable?

All the winter gear this person is wearing could symbolize the extra layers of negative emotions and complexity that we sometimes carry around.  And the backpack of canned soup could symbolize our fears that there won’t be enough in the future to make our lives abundant.

My yoga teacher Brenna recently read a quote during class by an unknown author.  Part of the quote says, “…vulnerability…opens the door to love, grace, and the deepest forms of healing.  Your vulnerability, scary as it can be, is inseparable from your capacity for intimacy, creativity and love.”

This quote is at once challenging and wise.

I have metaphorically been the person I described at the beginning of this post more often than I care to think about.  I can tell you without a doubt that wearing all those extra layers leads to struggle and is just plain not fun.

But the goodness of this story is that we can gradually become aware of when we are metaphorically wearing extra layers.  Then we can search for ways to shed these extra layers so that we are free to enjoy life more fully. 

As we grow, we can learn to make our lives easier (and less sweaty).

Game of the Day

Think of a time when you noticed that you were metaphorically wearing extra layers and found a way to shed some or all of them.

How do you feel once you had shed the extra layers?

Where in you life might you be metaphorically wearing extra layers now?

What might it be like to shed these extra layers?

How might you go about shedding these layers?

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. 

Friday One Minute of Excitement

What could you tell yourself in one minute that could inspire you?

Click on the link to watch the video for a one-minute inspirational blast!

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. 

It’s A Miracle That So Many Things Went Right

Who here, like me, was born?

(Ahh Jason, I think that would be anyone reading this post.  I know you were trying to make a joke, but really it’s not that funny.)

Well, Mr. Joke Critic, my point is, hmmm, what is my point?  Well, I guess my point is that to be born is an extraordinary thing and something we all have done.  We were all present at the miracle of our birth.  Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!

(Ok, getting a little warmer Jason, but that fourth “Wow!” might have been a bit over the top.)

I’m really trying Mr. Joke (and Wow!) Critic.  Anyway, when we are born our lives start to happen.

(Wow!!! Jason!!! You must have a PHD!!! in the OBVIOUS!).

!!! to you too!  As I was saying our lives start to happen, and mine started to happen right away.  Oops! That’s obvious too.  What I mean to say is right away when I was born something SEEMED to go VERY wrong.

You see I was excited for my life to start to happen, so I decided to arrive a few weeks early and surprise my folks in the middle of the night.  I found out right away that what happens in the middle of the night is that people tend to sleep.  And this is in fact what my folks were doing, that is until I startled them awake.

Can you imagine waking up from a deep sleep to your baby starting to be born?

In the rush to the emergency room my umbilical cord got kinked like a garden hose for a period of time, but I imagine not for too long because I’m sitting here right now writing this.

(Now that was sort of funny.  Slowly improving with the jokes.)

Thanks Mr. Joke Critic.  So as the result of the happening called my umbilical cord being kinked, I was without oxygen long enough that there was some “damage.”  As I grew, it became apparent that I had a pronounced speech impediment and some fine motor coordination deficits.

(As well as joke telling deficits.)

Hey, enough from the peanut gallery!  As I grew, I noticed that I wasn’t like the other kids around me, that I wasn’t naturally good at sports or playing musical instruments.  So I choose to assume that SOMETHING WENT REALLY WRONG and that I was the victim of these circumstances that HAPPENED TO ME AND MY PARENTS when I was born.

I looked upon the happenings surrounding my birth with sadness and frustration for many years.  My self-talk was often sad and frustrated.

Through much internal healing and the love and wisdom of many people, my perspective slowly began to change.

Today I celebrate the fact that the circumstances of my birth signaled THE MIRACLE THAT MY LIFE WAS STARTING TO HAPPEN, the miracle that I wasn’t without oxygen for a longer period of time, the miracle that I can sit-up straight and type on a computer, the miracle that I didn’t die at the time of my birth, and THE MIRACLE THAT I’M ALIVE TO WRITE THIS.

(Wow that’s a miracle AND it’s a miracle that you didn’t attempt another joke!)

Game of the However Long It Takes

***I usually entitle this section of my posts “The Game of the Day,” but this process is important to let take the time it takes.  It may take a short time.  It may take a long time.  It’s all perfect! ***

What has happened in your life that when you think about it you feel that, “Something went really wrong?”

Honor your view that “Something went really wrong” during this happening and at the same time put it aside for a few minutes in the same way that you would put a project aside that you are not presently working on.

Once you put that view aside, just ask yourself the question, “If there are miracles hidden in this happening, what would they be?”  (If no answers come to you or you start feeling sad, frustrated or angry, put this “Game of However Long It Takes” aside and try it another day.)

If you get some answers really think about them and appreciate them.

How can you use your answers to move towards understanding your happening in such a way that you can say, “IT’S A MIRACLE THAT SO MANY THINGS WENT RIGHT.”

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. 

Take the “What Has Been Amazing About Your Day?” Challenge

Some months ago, I started asking people the simple question, “What’s been amazing about your day?”  I have asked friends, family, people who check my groceries…  just about anyone I come in contact with could potentially be asked this question.  I’m excited by how this question inspires people to think positively and encourages them to contemplate the goodness of their day.  As you might imagine, I have gotten all matter of responses from people, most positive and some neutral, but none negative.

Here are six reasons I’ve found that asking this question is valuable.  (Now listen up.  This is your pep talk before I invite you to take the “What has been amazing about your day?” challenge.)

  1. “What has been amazing about your day?” is a great question to ask because the person you are asking either thinks of something amazing to tell you (which I found to be the case the vast majority of the time) or they say, “nothing.”  If they say “nothing,” you have an opportunity to ask them more questions and allow them to talk about their day, which they may have found to be somewhat disappointing.
  2. When you ask “What has been amazing about your day?”, the person you are asking might contemplate the question and be inspired by it long after your conversation with them is over.
  3. When you ask this question, you convey to the person you are asking your belief and confidence that they have experienced something amazing in their day.
  4. By asking this question, you can make small talk larger, or in this case more amazing.
  5. From a self-care stand-point, this question is phenomenal because you are empowering people to respond to you in a positive manner.  The more you ask this question, the more you intentionally surround yourself with happiness and joy.
  6. The more you ask this question of others, the more it is on your mind as you create an amazing day for yourself.

 So are you up for a joyful and AMAZING challenge?  I invite you to take the first ever (that I know of) “What Has Been Amazing About Your Day?” Challenge.  Here are the details:

 The Challenge

Each day for a week, ask five people the question, “What has been amazing about your day?”

Listen and enjoy their responses.

Have an answer prepared if they ask you the same question in return.

Post your results on this blog.

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.

What To Do About the News

Aside from the sports, weather, and the occasional feel good story, much of the local, state and national news seems to be often filled with arguing, violence and tragedy.

How does this type of news make you feel?

How is this type of news of use to you in your daily life and as a citizen of world?

Does this type of news influence how you act in the world?

I ask these questions, partly because I’m still not sure what to do about the news.

I confess that my approach to the news is to consume very little of it.  I have adopted this approach because the news often does not cover the part of life that I’m most interested in, the countless positive acts that people engage in everyday; the beauty of art, architecture and technology; and the wonder of nature.  I find that the more I look for this uplifting part of life, the more I find that it is in evidence everywhere.

So what to do about the news?  I have more questions:

How much news do we need to consume to be informed citizens?

If we are overwhelmed by the sadness in the world that often comes through the news how are we going to create a world of happiness, satisfaction and love?

How do we feel for all the people suffering in the world, and at the same time limit our exposure to the graphic details of the news?

We each have the opportunity to answer the questions I pose here for ourselves.  I must admit I don’t yet know how to answer many of these questions for myself, but I believe they are important for all of us to consider.

Game of the Day

How do you choose to relate to the news?

How do you choose to relate to the uplifting part of 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, or to book him to present to your organization, 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.