Freedom Blog

Monday, April 30, 2012


No Limits | The Freedom Blog


“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” 
Swami Sivananda

“If you’ve got a job to do you gotta do it well….”
Paul McCartney

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if on the axis on which the world revolves, slowly, evenly, without rushing towards the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

Written by Steven Griggs |

I recently saw a picture of Oscar de la Renta going through the audience chairs at a fashion show, straitening the bows on the guest bags each guest was to receive. He didn’t have to do that, obviously he has assistants who could do it, but there he was, in the details.

This spoke so loudly to me. Attention to detail.

Focusing your attention is actually a form of meditation.

It is Mindfulness.

Focusing on what you are doing and it doesn’t matter what it is you are doing. You could be arranging flowers or cleaning a toilet, washing your car or rebuilding an engine. It’s not the task itself, it’s the attention and focus you put into it.

In doing the task with complete focus and attention to detail, you become lost in the task.  This is actually what meditation is all about, slipping into the gap, the gap between your thoughts.

It is the total opposite of what we have all become used to doing- multitasking. We try to do many things at once, but none of them very well. Our minds become scattered and unfocused.

Sometimes it may be difficult to focus on the task because your mind will seek diversion and jump to new thoughts.

So you have to watch and bring your mind back to the task at hand when it starts wandering off.

Soon, by watching your thoughts, you may even begin to see some of your negative or limiting beliefs as they float by.  

This gives you the opportunity to work on those areas and with time you will see how much control you do have over your thoughts.

So try to lose yourself in your tasks. Try to stay in the moment.

And remember, do it well and reap the benefits.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nature Reboot

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

Nature Reboot

Written by Steven Griggs |

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.
John Lubbock

“Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.
 George Bernard Shaw

“As you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged by a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.”
Stephen Graham

Do you ever have days where you are out of energy, out of ideas and out of desire to keep pushing forward? You’re just empty. Not to mention having no empathy, patience or room for any of the nonsense we are constantly subjected to?

I do. Today was one of those days. I just felt drained and tired. I’ve been involved in too many negotiations, too many meetings and way too much strategizing. I needed a break.

So I took a long walk. I went out into the wind. There was a bit of rain coming down. I just walked. I looked at the clouds, the trees, the birds….. I felt the rain on my face, the sound of the wind through the tops of the trees……and……

I remembered who I am.

We aren’t meant to sit in chairs, in offices or cubicles, in buildings under artificial light staring at glowing screens. We just aren’t. Not even for an hour let alone the 8- 10 hours a day that we do. We’re hunters.  We need to be moving not sitting. Acting not thinking.

For hundreds of thousands of years our ancestors lived in small tribal groups. We hunted in packs and lived off the land. We lived in forests or the grasslands, among trees that have been here for over 49 million years.

We were intimately in tune with everything around us. We could smell the weather. We could smell game or enemies. We could sense any changes around us. We were connected.

Although we seem to have lost that direct connection, that connection has never really gone away. We’re still connected it’s just that we have refocused our senses towards screens and cell phones. Towards short sound bites and superficial dialogue.

But it is imperative from time to time to remind yourself of who you really are.

Even if you grew up in the city or have never spent time outside camping or hiking, your ancient heritage is still there…. waiting.

Your deeper mind remembers who you are. It can take you back to those ancient days in an instant.

Have you ever noticed how good it feels to swim in a lake or the ocean instead of a swimming pool?

Have you ever thought about why it feels so good and natural to be sitting around a fire?

Or how much hungrier you are and how good the food tastes when you cooked it on that fire?

Get out. Walk in the wind. Feel your connection.

If you are in a city, walk in the park.

If you don’t have a park, just walk and notice the signs of nature’s persistence in the green weeds growing up through the cracks in the sidewalk or the growth in a vacant lot.

Feel it. Own it and remember the things we worry about aren’t real. They don’t really mean anything. Those problems and worries will end up being nothing. Not even a memory.

We are not outside of nature. Nature isn’t something that we have to deal with or control.  We are nature.

So relax. You are home wherever you are, connected to everything.

Just remember who you really are.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Work Your Passion

No Limits | The Freedom Blog
Work Your Passion
Written by Steven Griggs |

Chase your passion, not your pension.”                                                                             Denis Waitley

“ The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”                                    
 Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch

“When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn.”                 
 John Wesley

I have two daughters and three sons. The boys all have good jobs, work hard and support themselves and their families, although one son is still a bachelor and is living it to the hilt!

Although the boys all do well, not one of them is really working their passion. They are working a job. Yes, they make money and they get through the day. But they don’t love what they do and they are in danger of settling, of locking themselves into a dead end, soul crunching work rhythm.

It always starts out with the idea that you will work in the job until you find something better, something “you want to do”. The problem is, once you have a partner and children you begin to lose that flexibility. Now you have to bring home the bacon and outside forces (read-your partner) assert themselves. Now it is not so easy to just say “take this job and shove it”. You start to let go of that need for heat, for passion. The “real” world steps in.

This is where my boys currently find themselves. They have their passions. They know what they truly want. They just haven’t found a way to make the break yet.

But they will.

My two girls on the other hand have found their passion and are working it hard.

Since she was a little girl, my older daughter has loved animals. She just has a connection with them.

Since high school and through college she always worked in retail. She has always been given a lot responsibility and she never misses work. She never calls in sick and is a valued employee. But she was so tired of trying to manage a business where employees don’t want to work, don’t want to wait on customers, steal and generally create a wasteland in terms of work environment. She began to hate it.

So she decided to go back to school and become veterinary assistant. She recently completed her schooling and as a part of her degree was required to work as an intern (they call it externship) in a veterinary clinic, which she did for 8 weeks.

She loved her classes. She maintained a 3.8 GPA the entire time. She never missed a class even though she had to drive over 50 miles a day round trip to class.

As I watched her go through this process, I knew she was in her groove. I also told her when she began working in her externship that whomever she worked for would love her and offer her a job.

And sure enough that’s exactly what happened. The clinic she did her externship with loved her and she was hired full time. Now, besides making a lot more money than she did before, she loves her work. She can’t wait to get to the clinic every day. She has found her groove.

My other daughter has always loved fashion. She loves hair and makeup. She is a bit of fashionista and always dresses and looks perfect. All her girlfriends in high school looked up to her and she always had requests to help other girls with their makeup for the school dances and proms.

It became clear after high school that she would pursue a career in cosmetology. She is now half way through her schooling and absolutely loves it. She gets up early and heads off to school. She never misses class. She is already creating a following. She has a talent for it and people love her. She is constantly receiving offers to show up at events and photo shoots to do hair and makeup, which she does for free.

She is online many hours every day looking at makeup artists and stylists showing their newest techniques and ideas. She is obsessed. She will also be very successful.

So both my girls are in their grooves, living and working their passion. I don’t know how it worked out that way but it did.

The boys are a work in progress. I give them encouragement and always support them but I have to stand back and let them find their own way. And sooner or later, they will.

Are you where you want to be? If not, when will you be?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

Friday the 13th

Written by Steven Griggs |

There are good days and there are bad days, and this is one of them”
Lawrence Welk

“ The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

If you are afraid of Friday the 13th, you have Friggatriskaidekaphobia, which is the name for fear of Friday the 13th .

Maybe you don’t think about it but a lot of people do and it is more common than you might think.

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute of Ashville, North Carolina, over $800,000,000.00 is lost in business every Friday the 13th.

So for many people today is a day of bad luck, danger and possibly even death.

Personally, Friday the 13th has always been a good luck day for me, I don’t know why.

Where did this myth or superstition originate? There are many ideas on this. I’ve listed a few below, so take your pick:

1.       The number twelve has long been considered the number of completeness. So the number 13 was beyond the pale or the norm. In other words it was a little bit scary to people at the time. For example:

·         Twelve months of the year
·         Twelve hours on the clock
·         Twelve gods of Greek mythology
·         Twelve tribes of Israel
·         Twelve apostles of Jesus
·         Twelve successors to Muhammad imams

2.      There is also the superstition that having 13 people sit at a dinner table would result in the death of one of them. This perhaps relates back to the Christian story that the 13th member of the last supper was Judas. The Vikings also believed this.

3.      On Friday the 13th in October of 1307, the King of France, Phillip IV ordered the arrest of hundreds of the Knights Templar. He had them imprisoned and tortured. He was deeply in debt to them and feared their growing power. The Knights, who were sanctioned by the Catholic Church and operated under its protection, were betrayed by the pope at that time, Pope Clement V. Thus in Europe, Friday the 13th was remembered ever after as a day of bad luck.

4.      In ancient Babylon, in the code of Hammurabi ( circa 1772 BC), there is no number 13 in the list of laws.

5.      Many Christians believe that Jesus was crucified on a Friday and therefore Fridays are considered an unlucky day.

Today we can still see the evidence of this superstition in our everyday life:

·         Many buildings do not have a 13th floor.
·         Many cities have no streets with the number 13 in them.
·         Many hospitals do not have rooms with the number 13.
·         Many airports do not have a gate 13.

If you believe Friday the 13th is a bad day, take heart. As I write this you only have 12 more hours to wait.

For the rest of us, Happy Friday the 13th!

Ending Cycles

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

Ending Cycles

Written by Steven Griggs |

Do you feel stuck? Whether in a project, a job, a relationship, or some other situation, there is a time for perseverance, and a time for letting go and moving on.”
 Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“There's a trick to the Graceful Exit. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over - and to let go. It means leaving what's over without denying its value.”
Ellen Goodman

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
Lao Tzu
I used to have a hard time with endings. I got very sad because I didn’t want things to change. I resisted because I found security in the consistency, the sameness.  This stems from my childhood which at times was a bit uncertain..... 

But later in my life I came to realize that this is the normal way of things. Every rhythm we are engaged in will eventually change or come to an end. Things run out of energy.

Most of us have had a pet that we raised and cared for in our lives. Then one day that pet dies. One day they’re here and poof, the next day they’re gone.  

Another example is relationships. We’ve all had friends that we’ve “outgrown”. It’s not that we stopped caring or loving them, it’s that the relationship became stale. It became more of a habit than anything. So you drifted apart and now really have nothing to say when you see each other.

Things must end. It’s hard to accept when you’re young but as you get older and experience more loss you come to realize that endings and death are a huge part of this life experience.

We need endings to have beginnings.

I have come to accept that life is made up of never ending cycles. Some are longer, some are shorter. But we are each on our own journey and being on a journey means things are always changing.  So try to look forward to the next chapter, the next phase or adventure. Make room for the new.

Yes, you can be sad for a moment, but don’t look at it as anything final or permanent. Think of it as more like a cleansing, a shedding of an old skin. And be thankful for the experience.

Who knows, that friend may show up again in your life and you can have an entirely new and great relationship with them.

Or you may find a new puppy or kitten to love and they will bring a new joy into your life.

So try to watch your own rhythms and look at your relationships and engagements in a more fluid way, more like an observer watching your life as it happens.  Recognize that when things run out of energy or no longer work it’s time to move on.

Be grateful you are here on this planet having these experiences. Recognize that change is a key part of this journey.  Next!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Change Your Mind

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

Change Your Mind

Written by Steven Griggs |

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading”
Lao Tzu

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Wayne Dyer

“To change your circumstances, you first need to change your mind”
Steven Griggs

I was thinking about all the self- help books out there that offer ways to change your life by implementing a new regimen or new approach. This could be around your relationships, your diet, gaining more control of your time, making money, etc. These are all great topics and there is a lot of good information out there.

But there is something missing. The one topic that is almost never addressed is what to do about your inner game. The real game. The majority of information out there addresses the symptoms of your life. The circumstances you find yourself in.

Some people love to swim in the soup of their circumstances. It’s easier and simpler to accept their circumstances and buy into it as their reality. They feel that life is happening to them rather than they are happening to life. As part of this process, they actually blame other people, the economy, companies, the government. Anyone but themselves. They simply do not and cannot take any responsibility for their circumstances. They capitulate and slip into victim hood.

To break out of this paradigm you must begin to take responsibility, to accept that YOU created your circumstances.

This is hard because it doesn’t resonate with your conscious mind. Your conscious mind can’t acknowledge that you attract everything thing you are and have into your life. It doesn’t make sense to it.

So begin by taking small steps in accepting responsibility. For example, when something “happens” to you watch how you think about it. Do you immediately blame someone or something? Can you see any part of how it might have come from you, even the tiniest bit?

“Well maybe if I hadn’t been so pushy, the waiter might not have been so grumpy and our food wouldn't have been cold”. Or “If I hadn’t been trying to make the yellow light, I might not have been speeding and gotten that ticket”.

Just a small bit acknowledgement that maybe this didn’t happen in a vacuum, that maybe you did have a just a teeny bit of responsibility.

Just try look at situations from a “responsible” viewpoint. Try saying “I’m totally responsible” for something even if you don’t really believe it at the time.

It may begin to open you up to seeing that “Wow, I really did create that situation” or at the very least you had some part in it.

To change your life, you need to change your mind. Start today.