Freedom Blog

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What We Can Learn From Slomo

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

What We Can Learn From Slomo

Written by Steven Griggs |

"The Zone is all that is pure subjectivity. The Zone is composed entirely of subjectivity. Subjectivity is the part of the human experience that exists as happening right now to one's self"

"It goes without saying there was one Zone before Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity. Any disagreement among religions about the nature of the Zone is over some matter that stems from outside the zone and is simply irrelevant to the discussion"


Slomo lives in Pacific Beach in San Diego, "PB" if you have ever lived in San Diego. Slomo is a legend in PB. 

I discovered him through a film I saw about him and his philosophy at the Palm Springs International Shortfest last week. Check him out online:

He is an in-line skater and has a very unique style. He has perfected a very graceful glide. On one foot. And he does it for an extremely long time. When he does it he looks like he is in slow motion, hence the nick name"Slomo".

But Slomo is much more than a graceful, slow motion skater, he is a very spiritual man. He has discovered a way to stay, as he describes it "in the zone" while he skates and probably when he's not.

This is man who has found his bliss. He left a very lucrative career as a doctor approximately 15 years ago. He left behind all his cars, Ferraris, a beautiful home on a hill. He had all the money and the perks. But it felt empty. 

So empty that he left it all behind. He now lives in his studio apartment in PB and skates everyday. He exudes love and understanding. At first he wondered that maybe he had a mental problem, that maybe something was wrong with him. But he watched and observed himself and realized about a year later that this was real. He was ok and he was moving towards his bliss.

Slomo see the world as two zones. The Zone and the Non-Zone. The Non-Zone is the normal world , the Tick Tock world of objectivity. The world of the "Institutionalized man". 

Who is the institutionalized man? We are. This is who we would describe ourselves as if we were asked to define ourselves. We are the product of our culture. According to Slomo we are extracted from the Zone at a young age and pushed into the institutional, structured world. Where we are regimented and trained to conform. 

Slomo believes that if our lives were divided into three stages, it would look like this:

From early childhood to about the age of 10 our life is dominated by the "fundamental man". This is us at our most connected to the Zone. Many people living in the bush and in the countryside in third world countries are still very connected to the zone. The more  industrialized and modernized our culture is, the more dominant the institutionalized man.

For the next 50-60 years we exist wholly as an institutionalized man. Deep in the belief system of the ego mind and the material world.

Finally, toward the end of our lives we come back to our fundamental self, closer to the zone.

What is the Zone? 

Slomo says the "only inhabitant of the zone is the fundamental man. That this inhabitant is ancient, non-human and sexless. He has many names, not the least of which are "Christ"and the "Buddha". 

Slomo has it right. We are living in an artificial world, a world where we have subsumed real meaning for "things" and for position and power. We have created a world in which we have separated ourselves from our true selves in an effort to become more special and unique, which is ironic because you already are special and unique....

I recommend that you check out Slomo. You don't have to buy into everything he is saying, that is his truth. But I'll bet you'll learn some little thing from him. 

Just seeing someone in their bliss is amazing. Watch yourself to see your reaction. You may see the "training" we've all received in action as it rises up to "protect" you from these kinds of people. It may cause you to think for a second that he is crazy and weird.... but is he? Not really, he is just one of those people who live "outside" our safe, little world.

I know most of us, probably 99.9%, could never step into the life Slomo has created but just seeing him and knowing that he has taken that step and is living it, is amazing.

Check him out.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Are You Living In The Moment?

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

Are You Living In The Moment?

Written by Steven Griggs |

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”                                                                                                      Buddha

“I know that the purpose of life is to understand and be in the present moment with the people you love. It's just that simple.”                                                         Jane Seymour
We’ve all been advised by well meaning friends who tell us: “You must learn to be present “, “You have to live in the present moment”.

This is absolutely correct and being reminded is a good thing but usually the person “advising” us, while meaning well, probably has no real concept of what it actually means.

It sounds good and I’m sure they mean well but if you are telling other people what to do or how they should conduct their lives you are probably not really “living in the moment” yourself. You are coming from a place that may be a bit tinged by ego.

Living in the present is not easy, it is extremely difficult.

Our culture actually leads us in the opposite direction. We find ourselves either day dreaming of the future or reminiscing about the past.

When I say reminiscing I am being generous because usually when we look back it is not generally with a warm, fuzzy feeling, it is more often than not tinged with a little regret or remorse. We are mostly rehashing the past, not looking back with satisfaction and acceptance.

And daydreaming about the future is a handy way for our ego mind to assuage itself and vicariously taste the future without actually having to make the effort or take the action needed to make it happen.

Some may say they are not daydreaming or reminiscing but that is not necessarily living in the present. You may find that you are just cruising along on autopilot. Looking out at the world from the safe, familiar rhythm of day-to-day routines.

Living in the present is not automatic. It takes practice.

It is the conscious, and that is the key word, the conscious act of being in touch with what is happening right now, at this very moment, and keeping that feeling as long as you can.

It is paying attention.

Being here.

Right now.

It is the focused attention you put on your friend’s face as they are telling you about something that happened to them or some important issue that they are dealing with. It is listening with all your senses. It means turning your phone off and putting it away.

It means really hearing the words they are saying and diving deeper into the emotions that lie underneath the words. It is not waiting for them to stop so you can talk about yourself.

It is keeping your mind from wandering off into parallel thoughts that rise up as you listen. It is the ability to push those thoughts to the side and stay focused on your friend.

It is paying attention when you are walking down the street or hiking on a mountain path.

It is feeling the wind on your face, seeing the branches moving in the trees. It is noticing the animal tracks in the dust, the ants moving through the pebbles on the trail or in the cracks in the sidewalk.

It is hearing the sounds of the birds in the trees or their calls in the distance.

It is feeling your heart beating, feeling each breath enter and leave your lungs.

It is smelling the scents on the wind, the smoke in the air, even the exhaust from a car.

It is all this.

It is the feeling, hearing, seeing and smelling of life around you.

It is simply being aware.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Best Way To Change A Habit

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

The Best Way To Change A Habit

Written by Steven Griggs |

“It seems…. as though the second half of a man's life is made up of nothing but the habits he has accumulated during the first half.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky

“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”                                                                                                                                  Samuel Johnson

A habit is defined as a repetitive behavior that has become automatic. We usually group them into good and bad habits.

We can all probably list some of our own bad habits and probably even some good habits.

Yes, we have things we do habitually like our morning routines; maybe an early workout, then a shower, shave, or you put on your makeup, then coffee or tea, then getting to the office or workplace, then lunch. On the weekend maybe a work-out (or sleep in), coffee, bike ride, NY Times on Sunday…. .

But I think these are really more like behaviors or rhythms, comfortable routines that we create, than habits.    

Because most of the “habits” we think we have, aren't really habits.

They are “Cognitive Scripts”. These are the scripts of how we believe things should or will play out in a certain situation. It is the template for a given situation based on our experiences from the past.

It allows us to comfortably exist in different situations by giving us a script or story of how the situation should play out… or at least how it is supposed to play out.

Because sometimes things don’t seem to fit with how we think they should fit. This is called “Cognitive Dissonance”.

We do not like dissonance.

So in order to keep our “reality” consistent we sometimes “alter” the conflicting conditions or reduce their importance in order to bring our reality back into “balance”. We do this by changing our belief about the conflicting condition or by denying the existence of the conflicting condition.

An example: Let’s say you desire something that is very expensive but after being unable to find the funds to purchase the item, you tell yourself that it wasn't really that great or you didn't really need it and so you change your belief.

Another example: You taste the grapes in the fruit section of the market. You know it’s wrong but you tell yourself it’s OK because you needed to taste the grapes to see if they were any good. You know it’s really shoplifting but again you changed your belief.

So you can see that what we are saying to ourselves, that is, what we decide to believe, right now becomes our script. We are writing out the script of our life. We are deciding everything- who we now are, how we are going to operate and what we now believe.

We are actually writing our own play or movie and deciding what character we are going to play.

So when it comes to old habits or really old beliefs, what are you going to believe? What do you want to believe?And what beliefs are you going to change to match your new script?

You do know your script…..? Right?

Is it the correct script? The one for the character you really want to play?

Not the old character but the new character, the one that reflects the real you?

Not the one with all the same old “habits” and routines but the new improved model, the one from the new script?

Habits and routines are OK as long as you remain aware of them and don’t let them define you. To keep them in check, every once in a while go off the reservation, do everything differently.

Change your pattern.

Don’t lose yourself in a haze of familiarity and routine. 

Change it up and keep refining your script.

Change your pattern. Don't lose yourself in a haze of familiarity and routine.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

You Don't Need A Plan "B"

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

You Don’t Need A Plan “B”

Written by Steven Griggs |

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”
Gloria Steinem

“Life is what happens while we’re making other plans.”
John Lennon

Personally I have a hard time with plans.

How many times have you made a plan, thought it out very carefully, made a “to do” list or punch list, only to have the thought crop up: “What if it doesn't work?

The immediate answer is usually: “We go to plan ‘B”.

Plan “B”? Really?

Doesn't having a plan B” mean that Plan “A” is questionable?

Aren't you already admitting that there is a huge problem with plan “A”?

At the very least it shows that you don’t really believe in the plan. And if you don’t really believe in it, isn't that really the same thing as not having a plan?

I’m not saying every plan is bad. But by having a plan you are trying to control the outcome.

You might say but that’s the point! You want to control the outcome!

You need a battle plan to execute your strategy! Everyone knows that you need a battle plan!

Except for one thing: Battle plans change immediately.

As Colin Powell said “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy”

But how do you accomplish anything without a plan? You need a business plan, a business strategy in order to understand the steps, in order to know what to do at the right time, right?

Step one leads to step two and so forth, right?

But that’s not what really happens. Step 1 takes longer to accomplish so you jump to Step 2, but step 2 is really not complete without step 1 so you jump to 3, but then step 3…… .  The dominoes never fall in lockstep.

Plus, I believe business plans are too slow. They are actually dangerous.

Anytime you have a business plan you create a framework based on steps. Like I said above, the steps may not all be quickly or easily accomplished, there will be hiccups. It also becomes a bit mechanical, checking off your progress, building the business step by step. You lose focus.

Business today moves too fast to have a written, methodical plan. Things just change too quickly.

I also think there can be a tendency to lose your focus. The steps show progress and become important, too important. You become wedded to and in some ways locked in to the steps of the business plan and take your focus off the real goal.

Oh, by the way, what is the goal? Are the steps or the framework the goal?

That is the crucial thing. Are you really clear about your ultimate goal? Do you have a clear intention about what you are working to accomplish? What you are going to achieve?

That is the key, having a clear intention, an emotionally charged connection with your goal.

Once you do, you won’t have time for a business plan you will be too busy making it happen.

You won’t need a list because everything will start happening too fast to write it down.

You will be light on your feet, sensing the changes, adapting and modifying on the run.

You can’t plan that!

So set your intention. Connect with it on an emotional level. See the end.

The Who, What, Where and How will show up on time. You will know what needs to be done when the time comes.

Once you really connect with the object of your intention, you won’t ever need a Plan “B” or even a Plan “A”.