The Freedom Within Us

Today marks ten years since the 9/11/01 terrorist acts in New York and Washington D.C. While I had moved to New York earlier that year and could tell my story of where I was on that day, what I saw, how I felt, etc., that’s not what this post is about. I’m choosing to focus instead on the freedom I have within me to just decide that I’m going to focus on the positive about this situation because I want to feel good today: especially today.

It’s a bit challenging here in New York every September 11th not to re-tell the stories, see the images and feel the pain that people felt that day. The ceremony at Ground Zero is broadcast every year on television here, people talk about it around the city, and there are numerous reminders on a day-to-day basis about “remember 9-11” on bumper stickers, t-shirts, posters, newspapers, and the like.

But I don’t want to remember the horror of that day. I can remember in a way that feels softer, more gentler, and kinder to me: as in looking toward the future, finding the positive that arose out of all of this contrast of that day.  Did it make people appreciate their loved ones more? I think it did. Did it bring people together in ways they probably wouldn’t have come together? It certainly did. In fact, even people who gather to tell those stories that I’m choosing not to focus on now are coming together in a way that connects them: and that’s a good thing.

We all have freedom of choice about how we react to any situation, what we say, how we think and how we feel.  That’s liberating! Isn’t it wonderful that the new tower is called the Freedom Tower? It’s a perfect symbol of how we’ve re-built from the tragedy, creating a beautiful structure that symbolizes one of this country’s core values as well as our individual freedom of choice.

I recently took a couple of photos of the new Freedom Tower last month with my phone, on a rainy day while passing by Ground Zero. I also had another shot on an earlier day in August from the Staten Island ferry on a more gorgeous day (on my way to a NY Yankees game!) You can see the Freedom Tower shining!

I decided to post those photos here as a reminder that we all have the freedom of choice: it’s within each and every one of us. YOU have a choice in how you live each day. YOU have a choice on whether you see the glass as half-empty or half-full. YOU have total freedom of choice in how you feel.  YOU have a choice in how you react to everything in your life, including how YOU feel this day. No one, no event, no situation can be the “cause” of how you feel. YOU choose. Granted, many of us blame others for our happiness,  yet someone like Viktor Frankl who spent years in concentration camps recognized that his attitude was HIS choice in his Man’s Search for Meaning:  “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” 

So when you look at the new Freedom Tower, can you smile knowing that you, too, can be just as tall, shining and brilliant as YOU choose to be? Isn’t that liberating? That’s freedom, indeed!

Following My “Feel Good,” College Football, The Iowa Hawkeyes & Law of Attraction for Fans

People who know me and/or who follow me on Twitter and Facebook know that I’m a huge college football fan and that I’m crazy about my favorite team: The Iowa Hawkeyes. While I’ve written about how  I Love My Iowa Hawkeyes,  I thought it was time to address a little football here, from a law of attraction perspective.
I normally don’t pay too much attention to the news that’s on tv, radio and the newspapers, unless it feels good to me. When it comes to news on college football, however, I’m an avid regular reader of blogposts, news stories, message boards, websites and viewer of football TV shows. I have a passion for my team and love the excitement of a new season, with all the possibilities it brings.

With that said, I have noticed that lately I wasn’t feeling so good about some of the writing and press that surrounds college football. I’m sure that it isn’t just unique to college football, but since that is the sports news that I’ve been following, that’s what I’m writing about today. I write this to provide perhaps a different perspective when looking at college football: one that emphasizes the positive, appreciates the fun, and looks forward in excited anticipation (as opposed to looking back on past ‘mistakes’). I know in my soul that following your “feel good” creates more to feel good about! What you focus on, grows and what you resist, persists. So here goes…

Pre-Season Predictions: When the pre-season favorites are selected by the various media folk, coaches and fans, I have these observations:

1.  Everyone has a favorite.
2.  Most people don’t predict the teams accurately.
3.  There’s a lot of emotion wrapped up in the predictions.

From a law of attraction perspective, there are interesting analogies from these 3 statements:

1. Everyone has a favorite = setting an intention for the outcome you want.
2. Most people don’t predict the teams accurately = The intention didn’t manifest, so there was not aligning to the “feel good” about the situation and allowing the success in.
3. A lot of emotion = a lot of passion for the outcome, which means you really, really, really want your team to win. This can show up as “resistance” because all those emotions get in the way about how badly you want your team to win (e.g. disappointment, fear, worry, etc.)

Many fans will say that pre-season predictions mean nothing as there are usually so many changes from the beginning of a season to the end. Yet, pre-season predictions abound in the college football sports world: from fans, expert analysts, sportswriters, bloggers, and probably from your next door neighbor! Emotions soar, tempers rage and frustration abounds when one’s team isn’t “picked” in the pre-season favorites. Expectations rise, confidence abounds and pressure mounts when one’s team is picked to finish high. There’s a lot of emotion wrapped up in those pre-season predictions! (And I admit, I love reading who the favorites are!)

While the “experts” like to think of themselves as predicting accurately the outcomes of the games each season, I don’t think there are many (if any), who actually get it 100% “right.”  And while it’s not important to get it “right,” I do find it amusing that many “experts” get paid a lot of money to give their opinions and to provide expert analysis of the games—all for OUR entertainment.  When their predictions don’t line up with what manifests in that week, they come up with a new set of predictions (and explanations as to why it turned out the way it did).

From the way most of the sports people report, write and convey their predictions, .I bet they love their jobs! That’s great if they do, because it doesn’t matter if they get it “right,” as long as they’re happy.   Now THAT’S my idea of ideal work!

The fans are something else! Depending on where their team is picked, fans complain, rejoice, speculate, stew, argue and boast about the experts’ predictions. If it weren’t for the fans, the “experts” wouldn’t have jobs! Fans are what makes the passion in college football so sizzling hot. Fans are fun to observe and fun to be! Yet I am surprised at how many college football fans actually intend for their favorite team to fail. If you were to ask a fan of any team, “Do you want your team to fail this season?” I’m sure all would say “No!” And they would think that I’ve asked them a very silly question, too! Of course they don’t want their team to lose–that’s why they’re a fan!

But if asked how they think their team will perform this season, one finds all kinds of responses: undefeated, one or two losses, 9-2, 6-5, lucky to have a winning season, they’re “worried” about a particular game, etc. are sample responses I’ve read way too often. To all fans out there, I ask you, Where’s your faith? Where’s the expectation that your favorite team can rise above the “experts” predictions (which are usually wrong in many cases, anyway)? Do you think that the players have these same expectations? How would you feel if you knew the players on your favorite team felt the same way? It wouldn’t feel good, would it?

Does it feel good to you to consciously intend for your favorite team to fail? I bet it doesn’t! So why not intend more deliberately? It certainly will feel a lot better! And it might produce better results, too! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have the childlike optimism about each and every game: because we know that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE? In the game of college football, anything is possible! In life, anything is possible. You get to decide what’s possible when you set your intentions for your favorite team! Does it feel good to predict your team to lose? Heck, no! BELIEVE!  All will turn out “right.” Let’s choose our emotions that feel good. Even if your team doesn’t win, you will have had fun in the process and it won’t really matter. (Because it doesn’t really matter who gets it “right,” afterall.)

I have a lot more tips, techniques and examples I could write about this (afterall, I AM passionate about college football and the law of attraction)! But in the intention of making this a blogpost, rather than a book, I’ll conclude right now, as I write from Iowa City, Iowa – home of the Iowa Hawkeyes (who are now 1-0!). I realize that my post is typical as a Hawkeye fan: optimistic, hopeful, excited about the season and loyal to my team- win or lose – but always with the excited anticipation for a new season, each Saturday, a bowl game and more! Why not? Anything is possible! Go Hawks! May the force of “feel good” be with you!