Keep Discovering More Things You Love To Do

My name used to be “HAVE TO” Freeman.  In junior high and high school, I lived my life in a way I thought I SHOULD to be well-liked, to be successful, to be one of the cool kids and, as I grew up, to be one of the cool adults.  I had a long “SHOULD LIST”for being a highly successful man and was determined to follow it.  (I still have this “SHOULD LIST” in the back of my mind.  But am much less determined to follow it these days.)

What is on your SHOULD LISTfor being a highly successful adult?

As I love to say in this blog, (along with the love and teachings of my parents and many others), Laughter Yoga, hatha yoga, creative writing, and countless miles of walking are some of the miracles that have allowed me to move from experiencing a life of disability to experiencing a life of radiant ability.

Part of the miracle of these activities is that I Love To Do Them.  However, none of these activities were on my “SHOULD LIST” for being a highly successful adult.

For example, I have been known to take fourteen hatha yoga classes a week at Pilgrimage of the Heart, the studio where I’m a member.

Do I do this because I wake-up in the morning and think, “Oh there are so many things I would rather be doing, but I better go to two yoga classes today because people say it’s supposed to be good for me.  I SHOULD REALLY GO!”

No, not at all!  I go to two yoga classes a day because I LOVE yoga, I LOVE the benefits I see from yoga, I LOVE the studio I go to, and I LOVE my teachers and my fellow students.

Yoga has become a miracle in my life because I have done it over and over again.  IN A WAY YOU COULD SAY I’VE ALLOWED YOGA TO BE A MIRACLE IN MY LIFE BECAUSE of MY PARTICIPATION IN IT

Another part of this miracle is that yoga brings me JOY AS I DO IT.

We can work hard at achieving health and achieving our dreams by doing things we think we SHOULD do.  The world is full of endless ideas, and endless things that have worked for other people.  People might tell us that we SHOULD do such and such to achieve such and such result.  But the only SHOULD that actually makes us do something is the SHOULD we tell ourselves.

Each one of us is ultimately responsible for finding the activities that we love to do, the activities that bring us both joy and the results we want.

I’ve found that it can be unsettling to pursue the things we love to do because it often challenges and can change our definition of what it is to be a highly successful adult.

As you move from your “SHOULD LIST”to your “THINGS I LOVE TO DO LIST,” I found that life can change and expand in unpredictable ways.  These changes can be exciting and at the same time occasionally daunting.

To keep in mind the direction I want to go, rather than “No Pain, No Gain”, my motto has become “FIND JOY, FIND GAIN.”

The journey from “No Pain, No Gain” to “FIND JOY, FIND GAIN.” is the journey from “I’m doing this because I SHOULD” to “I’m doing this because I LOVE TO,” the journey from struggling with your life to loving your life, the journey from being your own SHOULD-maker, to being your own MIRACLE-maker.

This journey can be a life-long adventure.

Have fun!

Game of the Day

What’s currently on your “THINGS I LOVE TO DO LIST?”

What is your next step to finding more of “THE THINGS YOU LOVE TO DO?”

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

Are you ready to take the first step?

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

How Can You Use The Money You Have TODAY To Create your Dreams?

Have you ever had the thought, “I HAVE TO WAIT to do what I dream of doing until I have more money?

Me too!  It’s tempting to wait until we have MORE MONEY, and then to go about financing our dreams.

The neat thing I’ve slowly discovered is that many dreams don’t require vast amounts of money.   This type of dream instead requires creatively using the money we have to turn it into reality.

For example, if you had asked me seven years ago how much I would have to pay to feel magnificently healthy in mind, body and spirit, I would have said, “Millions of dollars, if it’s even possible.”  And since I didn’t have millions of dollars, I thought, “I CAN’T have my dream of enjoying magnificent health.”

However, I discovered my dream of having amazing overall health through participating in activities such as Hatha Yoga, Laughter Yoga, Landmark Education and receiving massages.

AND THESE ACTIVITIES ALL ENDED UP BEING WITHIN MY BUDGET!

In fact, I now go to a yoga studio, Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga, which has a vast number of classes every week and amazing teacher after amazing teacher.  I pay $65 a month for unlimited yoga classes in San Diego, CA.  Yes, I said $65 a month, not $650 a month.  And the $65 a month is well within my budget.

Often our dreams don’t require so much money as they do our participation.  What makes my yoga membership an EVEN BETTER DEAL is that I go to between 10 and 15 classes a week.  The more I participate in my dream of amazing overall health, the better deal my unlimited membership becomes.  Amazing!

At this point in the post, a reader, who we will call Cindy Louise, might say, “Hey, Mr. California Yoga Dude, that’s all fine and dandy about your yoga stuff, but I dream of owning a mansion. Please find me a mansion for $65 a month.”

I would say,  “You definitely have a great point Cindy Louise.  Those sixty-five-buck-a-month-mansions aren’t all they are cracked up to be.”

Then I would ask Cindy Louise what feelings she is seeking in owning a mansion.  After careful consideration, she might say in owning a mansion she is seeking the feelings of safety, beauty, peace and joy.   But at this point in her career, she can only afford an apartment.  Then I would suggest that she looks for an apartment that embodies the feelings she is hoping to find in a mansion by searching for an apartment building that is beautiful, that is on a quiet and peaceful street and an apartment where she feels joy as she tours it.

Granted the apartment that Cindy finds wouldn’t be the physical reality of the mansion she dreams of owning, but the feelings that her dream evokes can be present in the apartment she decides to rent.  And while she is renting, Cindy Louise can work towards her dream of earning enough money to buy an actual mansion.

If you’re up for an AMAZING GAME, start to see your money situation as an invitation to create, participate, and feel your dreams TODAY, instead of viewing your current financial situation as a reason to defer living your dreams until someday when you have more money.

Game of the Day

Think of a dream you have that you have been putting on the back burner because it seems to require money beyond what you can afford.

Is there an inexpensive way to afford this dream that you haven’t considered yet? (Like I found with my yoga membership.)  Have FUN asking around and THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX as you answer this question

Does realizing your dream require your increased participation, rather than simply more money?  (Like I also found with my yoga membership.)

If your dream involves purchasing something that’s really expensive (Like Cindy Louise’s mansion)  (And there’s no $65 a month deal insight), what feelings are you seeking in owning this expensive object?

While working to afford this expensive object, can you find a less expensive alternative that evokes feelings similar to the ones you are seeking in owning the expensive object?  (Like Cindy’s apartment.)

How can you use the money you have TODAY to create your dreams?

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

Do what you love as long as it doesn’t give you a stomach ache.

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. 

Tune Into the Language of Your Growth

As small kids, we naturally discovered that being incapable of an activity was often a temporary state.  We were incapable of talking until we learned to talk.  Just because at one point we weren’t talking, didn’t mean we would always be unable to talk.  As toddlers, I don’t think we even considered not learning to talk.  We just did it.  Our growth was very natural.  We didn’t question it.

To learn to talk, we discovered that we had to listen closely to what people older than us were saying and repeat it.  So we did! (Can you imagine how hard it would be to learn to talk if we had refused to listen?)

And not only did we listen to the older kids and adults around us speak, we PRACTICED speaking again and again until eventually we learned to communicate with language easily and naturally.

I started reflecting upon the determination with which small children learn because in a Bikram Yoga class a few months ago, I became so dizzy that I chose to sit out many of the poses.  But I remember that I kept listening to the cues the teacher was giving and thinking about the poses as the other students did them.

The Bikram experience got me thinking about how often in life I have not been determined to learn.  On many occasions, I have chosen to sit out activities because I felt incapable of them.  Not only did I sit the activities out, but I also tuned the teachers of those activities out and started daydreaming, instead of listening to their wisdom and instructions.  It was like since I didn’t feel capable of performing these activities, I put a blindfold on and covered my ears to see if that would help me learn.  It didn’t.  And further, I wasn’t benefiting from the teacher’s enthusiasm for the activity. I was rather saying, “I CAN’T” and then through my lack of attention moving myself farther away from “I CAN.”

After years of stubbornness and frustration, I’m discovering that learning a challenging activity begins with listening and watching and continues with trying.  Trying can be very humbling.  In yoga class, I’ve tried Crane pose for years and haven’t YET been able to hold the pose for a length of time.  But now I always listen as the teacher explains the set-up.  Then I make an attempt.   And someday I’m confident that I will be able to hold crane.

I’ve discovered that close listening to our teachers is not only a sign of respect for our teachers, but a sign of respect for ourselves and our growth.

Let’s listen to all the people who take the time to teacher us challenging activities as we listened closely to every word when we were little kids learning to talk.  Back then every word brought with it the opportunity for us to GROW.  And we LOVED IT.  May listening closely to all who have things to teach us bring us GREAT JOY again.

Game of the Day

What do you LOVE about learning how to do a challenging activity?

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. 

I Was Successful, but Shhh! Don’t Tell Anyone

Have you ever been successful at something and kept it a secret?

I pose this question because I have hidden many of my successes throughout my life.

On one hand, hiding our successes seems harmless or even like a considerate course of action.

On the other hand, we are often attracted and inspired by the success of others.  Take the Olympics for instance.  The Olympics inspires spectators all around the world to aim high, challenge their limits and go for their dreams.

Now can you imagine if the Olympics took place in total secrecy?  If this were the case, fans would not be allowed to attend.  The events would not be televised.  The results would never be released to the media.  Basically, no one besides the athletes and the organizers would ever know the Olympics took place.

It makes me sad to even consider this imaginary scenario.  Yet, we hide the personal Olympics of our lives when we don’t share our successes with others.  We succeed, but then by being silent, we miss an opportunity to inspire others to aim high, challenge their limits and go for their dreams.

So in this spirit of inspiring each other, I will share a great success that I realized recently.  During yoga class a couple of days ago, I was able to get up into a headstand against a wall, BY MYSELF!  This is a huge deal in my life!  Five years ago me doing a headstand was as likely as me getting hired by Santa to give a motivational speech to all the deer at the North Pole.  I was certain that I was never going to do a headstand because I was certain that I was disabled.

Then for the last four years, I have been attending yoga classes, slowly building the strength, focus, patience and confidence to do a headstand as well as many other poses.

AND TODAY I DID  A HEADSTAND BY MYSELF!  YAY!

When we share our successes with the intention of inspiring others to realize their own, we offer them an invaluable gift.

I urge you to proclaim the personal Olympics that is your life.  When you do this, you give others a chance to Dream of the Gold and Go For It!

Game of the Day

Share a success that you have enjoyed with at least three people today with the intention of inspiring them to

Dream of the Gold and Go For It.

The Imperfect Blog Post

One day a few weeks ago, my friend Carlos M. Santiago pointed to his head and commented that, “Bad days are in here.”  I immediately wanted to write a blog about his wise words, for I know that at different points in my life, I have created a great deal of misery for myself centered around an abundance of repetitive fear-based thoughts.  You know the kind of thoughts that set the body tossing and turning in the middle of the night.

I even came up with a clever title for this blog, “Good Days Are An Inside Job.”

But right now I’m not feeling so clever.  I’m feeling like I have a ton of work to do in the next few days, work that at this point looks more like a limitation than an extraordinary result.

I reckon that right now I’m creating a bad day in my head.  How can this be?  I went to meditation and a yoga class this morning.  This condition is simply not a good fit for me, as I am The Limitations To Extraordinary Results Guy.  But alas it is how I feel at the moment.

I realized just before writing this that the bad day I’m creating in my head stems from the desire to be perfect.  To perfectly plan out the rest of my Sunday, to write the perfect blog post, to have a perfectly perfect day.

How many times do you avoid going for your dreams because you fear that you won’t do something perfectly?

I had an amazing experience with imperfection earlier this week.  I went across town to donate blood.  While I was sitting waiting to donate, I remembered that I would be advised not to do any strenuous activities for the rest of the day.  The problem was that I was very excited about going to my regular hot yoga class later that evening.

 I was bummed until I figured out an imperfect solution.  I could still go to the yoga class and just sit or lay down and breathe deeply.

 A perfect solution?  Not by a long shot.  But this imperfect solution ended up being deeply rewarding.  I had an amazing opportunity to experience a yoga class in a whole new way.  I also learned that it feels better to be where the activity you want to participate in is going on than to be miles away feeling awful that you can’t participate fully.

So today, I am writing an imperfect blog post for you.

I give you this imperfect blog on a Monday because I want to encourage you to take action towards your dreams and not let desire to be perfect and fear of failure keep you from participating fully in your life.  The next time perfectionism starts to immobilize you and keep you from moving forward, just remember that imperfection is done with the project and on to the next, to the next one, while perfectionism has barely started on the first.  (This is a very imperfect saying and most likely not totally accurate, so feel free to choose another one to motivate you.)

Just figure out how to “Go for it!” (Note – I’m using a cliché at the end of my blog, very imperfect.)

The Imperfect Game of The Day

The next time you feel perfection stopping you in your tracks, follow this four-step process:

1.  Say, “Bad days are in here,” and point to your head.

2.  Say, “I create imperfect but good days, for good days are an inside job” and point again to your head.

3.  Say, “I’m going for it.”

4.  Go For It!