Liberation from You


Bob Marley (photo by Euli Frey)

Liberation. The word is inspiring and filled with history and meaning.

Look up the phrase “independence”  on Wikipedia and you’ll get a definition about countries, nations and states and self government.

Look up the word liberation, and you won’t get much. As a definition, three words, actually.

Why so much about freedom but so little about liberation?

I think it’s because when we’re in a prison cell, or in a dictatorship where we’re unable to travel freely,  we know it. Those things are obvious to see and easily trigger a desire to be free from them.

What is not so obvious is when we are a prisoner to our own mind.

Liberation: What we really want but don’t know it.

People can get comfortable living in a dictatorship. Prisoners can become accustomed to and even comfortable with prison life. “This is how it is. We just have to make the best of it” is how we might come to acceptance of these conditions. But we don’t deny the fact that we aren’t free.

Not so when it comes to our minds. We have the capability to live our whole lives imprisoned by our beliefs, thoughts and feelings, and believe the whole time that we aren’t. This is called delusion.

This is what we all truly desire: liberation from the things that keep us from happiness, health, and prosperity, including the inability to see them for what they are.  We seek liberation from unhappiness, unease, discontent, and discomfort. We want liberation from emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt, regret, and fear. We want freedom from bad habits, patterns of thinking that don’t serve us, and lack of self worth and self esteem.

At our core, we all seek liberation from what holds us back from what we want. What is required is liberation from being blind to the fact that the biggest thing that holds us back is ourselves.

The problem is that we can get pretty chummy with those things that imprison us. We can become so comfortable and so accustomed to living in fear, anger and sadness that we come to accept it as how it is.  This way of being can become so pervasive that if given the key to our own liberation, we will give it back and say no thanks. Then, we will blame something or someone else for our inability to step through the door.

True liberation, true freedom, is being able to see what is true and act accordingly. The truth will set you free.

The truth is that most of us will never completely  escape the emotional landscape that surrounds our humanity. We will be subject to  grief and sadness, anger and resentment, guilt and regret, unease and discomfort.

Our liberation comes from seeing this truth with stark clarity and exercising our freedom to choose how to respond. To be liberated from ourselves is to see clearly that we don’t need to be slaves to our emotions,  desires, regrets, or habits. We can at least acknowledge that the chains that bind us to an unfulfilled life are illusory, and like wisps of smoke, can be blown away at any time.

But it’s not easy. Most people need some help. The best that most can hope for is to achieve liberation from the heaviest chains, and only you know what they are.

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.” 

~Bob Marley, Redemption Song


You can hear the podcast of this blog at, or Soundcloud, or iTunes.


Being Grateful for the Things that Went Wrong



As we approach Thanksgiving, much will be written this week about gratitude, how to give thanks, counting blessings, how not to stuff yourself like a tick, etc.

I’d like to suggest being grateful for things in your life that went wrong. Things that didn’t go according to plan.

Now before I go any further let me say that, sometimes when stuff goes wrong, some really bad things can happen. It would be hard to be grateful for losing someone you love in a sudden terrible accident.

Still, many people that I speak with who have lost a loved one, often say that it was a wake up call for them; they realized that they were not being grateful by taking their lives for granted and resolved to live with more passion and love.

Recently, I was watching 127 Hours, the movie about Aron Ralston, the guy who survived a hiking accident by amputating his arm which was stuck under a boulder. Seems being grateful that would be really hard to do. Still, he gave a speech (he’s paid up to $37,ooo for speeches) “about how he did not lose a hand, but gained his life back.”

I had really bad back problems as a young man. Somedays I couldn’t get out of bed. But it got me into a habit of daily stretching that continues to this day that has kept me lean and mean (at least I think so). I’ve also been challenged by severe eye problems that necessitated shots in my eyeball. I asked the doctors “What can I do to keep this from happening again?” They said “Walk everyday.” Being grateful for those problems is easy because I walk daily and I love it. Better than a sharp stick in the eye.

Now when something goes wrong in my life, it’s a bit easier to ask myself “What is the lesson here? How can I grow from this?” Being grateful for the tough times is a little easier while they are happening even though the thanks sometimes comes grudgingly.

Can you look back and feel gratitude for:

  • The pain you’ve felt?
  • The disappointments you experienced?
  • The sadness you felt?
  • The loss you felt?
  • That time you got fired?
  • That time you got sick?
  • The times you got taken advantage of?
  • The time(s) you got dumped?
  • The time you were broke?
  • The time you lost your job?
  • The time someone told you the cold hard truth to your face?
  • The time you lost?
  • The time you failed?
  • That special once in a lifetime love who got away?

You might be thinking “How can I possibly be grateful for ____?”

Well, did you learn something? Did you become stronger? More compassionate? Wiser? More honest? More loving?

Did you find some tough stuff within that you didn’t know you had that still serves you to this day? Were you able to draw out  some courage or cleverness that allowed you to get to the other side?

Were you humbled? Did you get closer to God or your fellow man or woman? Was all the superficial, artificial, surface glitter and glam stripped away to reveal the real rock hard diamond deep down inside?

If so, then you’ve got something to be grateful for,  my friend. Doesn’t mean you liked it, or want to go through it again, it could just mean that you can say “It happened, I got through it, and I got something of value from it.”

If there is anything in you that is good, strong, right, and true, anything powerful and bold, any small measure of grit and bad- assedness, I’m not sure you would have it without those experiences.

It’s called a re-frame. You pull that dusty old stuff out of the basement, that junk that has been sucking your self esteem and self worth out of you, and you polish it off, hang it up and display it like a badge of honor, even if you’re the only one who sees it. You say to yourself “Yeah, I was flat on my back, I was down and out, I was crushed, hanging by a thread, written off, forgotten, humiliated, burned out and close to dead but dammit, I did not die! I am here to tell the tale! Yes it was tough but I was tougher!

That’s what I’m talking about. Being grateful for every little bit of it. It means you’re alive.


The Shackles of Shame

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Shame. Say the word out loud and feel it’s intense power.

The root of the word shame is thought to come from an older word meaning to cover, as in covering oneself. When we feel shame, we cover ourselves, literally and figuratively.

Eve was said to cover herself in the Garden of Eden when she realized she was naked. She became ashamed of her natural physical form, the essence of her human-ess.


Eve After the Fall, Auguste Rodin.
(Photo by MichaelLovesArt)

When we are shamed as children we are uncovered and our error is exposed; “Shame on you!”  or “You should be ashamed of yourself.” Yet, like Eve, as children we are often shamed for what is natural to us, i.e picking our nose, touching ourselves, or hitting our siblings.

The affect of shame, either taken on by oneself or given to us by others, can be subtle but devastating and long lasting. We can stuff shame down so deep inside that it becomes covered even to ourselves.

Yet the effect, like the word, is powerful. The lengths we will go to cover and hide our shame can keep us from ever fully living life. It is very hard to be happy carrying the ball and chain of shame.

We can become bound by the shame of who are or who we are not, what we do and what we don’t do, what we’ve done or what we failed to do, where we are in life or where we are not.

We can become so bound by shame that we stop moving, stop trying, stop expressing, stop loving. We will go into emotional hiding. We will go to great lengths to avoid anyone seeing us for who we think we are. God forbid we are uncovered as a fallible human being.

The Antidote for Shame

The antidote for shame is self forgiveness. We can accept our humanity, which includes the experience of triumph as well as failure. We can make amends, write a letter, seek absolution, apologize and ask for forgiveness.

And we must be willing to fail again. We must be willing to acknowledge that living fully means often falling short of the mark (the original meaning of “sin”). But first we must be willing to uncover the shame to ourselves, then to another. This takes courage and a desire to be free from hiding who and what we are.

“Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.” 

~Brene Brown (click on the link for her TED talk on shame.)

Thanks for reading,


To hear a podcast of this blog, go to

The Story of The 2 Boxes and Releasing Limitations

releasing limitations

Let me tell you the story of the 2 boxes.

There are 2 boxes that exist in everyone’s life.

The 1st box represents a person’s actual limitations.

For instance, I will probably never play center for the Los Angeles Lakers.


Because I’m not 7 feet tall, and don’t play basketball.


That’s an actual, physical limitation.

And of course, everyone has this box in their lives.

However, there’s a 2nd box that exists in everyone’s lives – and this 2nd box represents a person’s PERCEIVED limitations.

This 2nd box is created by all the doubts, fears, and insecurities a person has.

  • “I can’t ever be relaxed and have fun…I have too much anxiety…”
  • I can’t make a lot of money… I just not greedy enough…smart enough…motivated enough…”
  • “I can’t be in a relationship…too many issues…too much fear…”
  • “I can’t ever be confident enough to speak in public…I’m just too nervous…”
  • “I can’t ever quit smoking…I just don’t have the willpower…”

The sad part?

The 2nd box is usually MUCH smaller than the 1st box!

Meaning, it’s often our own doubts, fears, and insecurities that hold us back from claiming the success we desire so much!

Meaning, you are capable of so much more than you think you are!

Meaning, you can overcome most – if not ALL – of the challenges you come across in whatever it is that you choose to take on.

But most people let their self-imposed 2nd box create an imaginary barrier between them and their success and happiness!

The reality?

This 2nd box usually doesn’t exist!

So the next time you encounter a challenge on your way to doing what you really want to do, have or be, think of the 2 boxes.

Is your challenge created by a real limitation?

Or are you constraining yourself with a self-imposed 2nd box?

Now, there are many tools and resources available to help you begin releasing limitations and vaporize your self-imposed 2nd box.

You just have to be aware of these resources when you come across them.

Releasing Limitations Using the Moreno Method

For example, you can give me a call, and using the Moreno Method for Life Transformation, I can help you start releasing limitations that are holding you back.

I’ll ask you to make a commitment to yourself to take action on your dreams, goals and desires.

Afterwards, I’ll send you home with a recording to listen to that will begin to reprogram your mind for success at whatever you choose to do.

I’ll even call you to check in and provide accountability and coaching.

So if you’ve ever been frustrated that you can’t even get started down the road to doing what you really want to do, whether it’s gaining confidence, getting healthier or making more money, then that reasoning has just become a 2nd box limitation.

I want to help you vaporize that 2nd box so that it never stops you again.

Then you can now simply reach out and claim your success.

Questions? Want to talk about the possibilities that exist for you after releasing limitations? Click here to get in touch with me. Time to get out of that box!

To hear a podcast of this blog, go to episode #71


Hypnosis and Fitness

Today’s post features a video, “Hypnosis 101” with me and Lauren Herrera, owner and head trainer of  Pilates Barbell Club in Pasadena. Lauren and I have teamed up and made a series of videos about the mental aspect of physical fitness and training. Each video is based on a chapter in my book “The Ultimate Guide to Letting Go of Negativity and Fear and Loving Life.”

It today’s video, we discuss how we are under the influence of hypnosis by the media and advertising, which present unrealistic standards of what bodies should look like. Many of us are still be under the hypnosis of the negative words of others going back to childhood, in which we were called names or branded with negative descriptions relating to our bodies. Most of all, we are often under the hypnosis of our own negative self talk. In time, we come to believe these things are true, and they get in the way of our ability to accept and honor ourselves for who we are now.

If physical or mental transformation is to take place, it starts with healthy self acceptance and the belief that “I am ok just the way I am, and I can be better.” Much of my work with fitness and weight clients is helping them break free of the hypnosis of their own negative self image.

Lauren says “Do you know what hypnosis is? It’s a mind thing and as you know mindset has everything to do with everything. Achieving your health and fitness goals permanently takes a whole lotta programing in your mind to actually say: “Mission Accomplished.”

True that, Lauren! Click here to check out her excellent blog as well as get her free report “5 Free and Easy Tips to Supercharge Your Fat Loss.”

Of course, if you are ready to start de-hypnotizing yourself from negative self image and negative self talk, give me a call or contact me here.


The Futility of Comparing Yourself to Others


Today’s post is by guest author Leo Babauta, creator of the blog zenhabits. I’ve found that one of the most pervasive ways that people disempower themselves is by comparing themselves to others.

One of the biggest reasons we’re not content with ourselves and our lives is that we compare ourselves to other people.

Picture it: you see photos of what someone else is doing on Facebook and think your life isn’t exciting enough. You see someone else who has a cool job and think you’re not doing that great in your career. You see someone with a hotter body, and feel bad about yours. You see someone who has created an awesome business, and think you’re not doing enough. You read about people who are traveling the world, learning languages, going to exotic resorts and restaurants, and wonder why you’re not.

Of course, you’re comparing your reality to an ideal, a fantasy.

It’s not a comparison that makes sense. You can’t compare apples to apples when you compare yourself to anyone else. Which means it’s a dumb comparison — why would you compare how tangy an orange is compared to a beach? They’re not similar things.

Let’s take an example: I’m out running in the park, and I see someone running past me. Obviously he’s a faster runner, and better than me! Oh, that makes me feel horrible about myself as a runner!

Except I can’t compare myself to that faster runner, because I don’t have all the information. I don’t know:

  • How far they’re running (I might be running 12 miles and they’re running 2)
  • Where they are in their training plan (I might be starting out on my plan, while they’re in week 20)
  • Where they are in their particular run (I might be warming up, while they’re at the hardest part of their workout)
  • How many years they’ve been running (maybe I’ve only started, and they’ve been running for 15 years)
  • Their injury status (maybe I recently injured an ankle while they’re not injured)
  • What event they’re training for (maybe they are training for a mile race, or a bike race, and I’m training for a 50-mile race)
  • What else is going on in their lives (maybe they have nothing else going on, while I’ve been working hard, socializing, and moving to a new house and getting little sleep)
  • What motivates them (maybe I just like the peace of running mindfully, while they want to beat everyone else on the path)

Given these and a bunch of other factors I don’t know anything about, why would I compare my speed at this moment with the speed of another runner? They’re irrelevant to each other. We just happen to be both running on the same path at the same time, but that’s coincidence, and nothing else is the same.

And even if everything else were exactly the same (would never happen), how would the comparison be useful? It would be meaningless even then.

The only thing I should focus on, as a runner, is myself. Enjoy the run. Learn about myself as I run. Keep going, and in doing so, I’ll get better — compared to myself.

And that’s the only thing we should focus on in life — enjoy the walk, learn about ourselves, keep taking steps and drop the comparisons. You’ll love the journey even more.

 Leo Babauta is a simplicity blogger & author. He created Zen Habits, a Top 25 blog (according to TIME magazine) with 260,000 subscribers.

Are You and Your Body Friends?


Today’s post is by guest author Tarnie Falloon, Licensed Physical Therapist and Transformational Healer. Tarnie emphasizes mindful movement as a way to health and wellness.

Are you friends with your body?  Do you love, appreciate, and honor it just the way it is?

Last week I was talking to a woman who hated her body. Her sense of self loathing was so great that she could not look at herself in the mirror without feeling sick.  She could see nothing that was truly “good” about her body.

As a young girl her body had suffered a great deal of traumatic experiences. Due to this suffering she had learned to retreat to her mind. Her mind became her “safe place,” and she had disconnected from her body’s feelings as though it had “failed” her.

As a way of surviving traumatic events it is typical for people to “disassociate” from the experience, and we protect our nervous system by “checking out” from our body.  We retreat to our mind, which serves us initially to survive, but ultimately does not do us any good. Our lives will start to reflect this disconnection, either through health issues, relationship issues, work issues, money issues, or feeling like we are not living with purpose or meaning.

Many of us leave our bodies without realizing it- we don’t even know we are not living in each moment, and we honestly forget how to be present. When we are not present, and not living in our body, we are literally unable to take care of ourselves. It’s as if there is nobody “home.”

I know this pattern firsthand from my childhood. While I was growing up I had an alcoholic father, and a very critical mother (both of whom I loved). I had to disassociate from my body to survive. I did not start to really feel “at home” in my body until I was in my mid 30s. That’s when I started authentic movement classes. There is nothing like movement to bring us to the present, and living in our bodies.

Osho’s quote exemplifies the importance of our body relationship, he says:

Be loving towards your body, befriend your body,

revere your body,

respect your body, take care of your body – it is God’s gift.

Treat it well,

and it will reveal great mysteries to you.

All growth depends on how you are related to your body.

Learning to be present, being in our body, and accepting ourselves just the way we are is a sign of good health.  Being connected and grounded in our body is a way of saying “I am here, right now, and I am safe at home within myself.” As we befriend our body we allow for life to open in ways we didn’t know were possible.

I know this has been very true for clients I have worked with. I have one client that recently shared how she feels so much more present and safe within herself. She has new found meaning and joy in her life that she could not have conceived of before we started working together a year ago. “I am in my body for the first time in my life, and the changes have been amazing,” she said. “I never knew I could love what I do for work, and have the money flow into my life. My family is happy, and I am enjoying my life for the first time in many, many years.

It gives me great joy to work with clients that want to “get out of their head,” and “find what they are here for.”

People consistently call me saying that they:

  •  are ready to find their and meaning in their lives.
  •  want to heal their issues that they have been bumping up against for years.
  •  know that there is more to their life, but they just don’t know how to get there.
  •  want to deepen their life experience, and they instinctively know that deepening their body connection has the answers for them.

I will leave you with this thought to ponder today, “How can I be more loving towards my body today?”  and /or “How can I revere my body more today?”

I always enjoy hearing from you, and I look forward to your responses to this question.

Much love,


Tarnie Falloon, PT, MA is the creator of Body Freedom™, a unique transformational method integrating the body, mind and spirit providing proven techniques to transform your life. To find out more about Tarnie, visit her website at


Learn to Love the Fool in You

Hotei, god of happiness. Photo by Andrea Schaffer

Hotei, god of happiness. Photo by Andrea Schaffer

Don’t be a fool. You need to Look Good. It’s all about looking good and not looking foolish.

Here in Southern California, looking good is paramount. Not only in how you dress, but what you do, what you say, how you say it, who you hang out with, what you have, and how you have it. It’s gotta look good.

Chances are, especially here in So Cal, most of us don’t even realize the time and effort we put into looking good. God forbid that we come across looking like a fool.

But in fact, we are all fools. Deep down inside us, there is something about us that is potentially embarrassing; even thinking about makes us cringe.

It might be something you did long ago, or last year. Some major screw-up, or failure; some perceived missing of the mark (the meaning of the word sin, by the way). We got our heart broken, got taken advantage of, fell on our face. Perhaps it was something we failed to do. It might be something we do now, that we try to hide with the utmost effort. There are things we want to do, but dare not, for fear of looking like a fool. There is probably more than one that comes to mind.

Think about the incredible energy that goes into looking good in an attempt to hide the fool inside. More importantly, think about what it is costing you. The obsession to look good keeps us from

  • taking risks
  • playing full out
  • being fully self expressed in our words
  • displaying our passion ( you gotta be cool)
  • falling in love and loving
  • displaying our true emotions
  • being authentic

Sometime I meet people that I think are so cool and real and genuine, I want to blurt out “Wow, I just met you but I can tell that you are a totally awesome person and I really like you!” Of course, I don’t, because it wouldn’t look good and I would come across looking childish and foolish, at least to most people. But it’s the fool in me that wants to say it.

The image above is the Fool card from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. It is a young man, standing on a precipice, seemingly oblivious, his head in the clouds. He’s got a rose in one hand and his worldly possessions in the other.

According to Wikipedia:

The Fool is the spirit in search of experience. He represents the mystical cleverness bereft of reason within us, the childlike ability to tune into the inner workings of the world. The sun shining behind him represents the divine nature of the Fool’s wisdom and exuberance, holy madness or ‘crazy wisdom‘.

 We are all on the Fool’s Journey, and it is our “holy madness’ that makes us do things we may consider foolish or unreasonable in the name of love, hope, inspiration, creativity and idealism. Our looking good is what stands in the way of our bliss, found in the unrestrained desire to experience this fleeting life. The inner workings of the world, the mysterious forces that moves us to inexplicable action,  do not follow a protocol, rules, social mores or conventional behavior. They flow through us and from us, like Yoda’s Force, and allow us to tap into the power of our own divine nature.

How do we come to love the fool inside? What can we do to integrate our desire for acceptance with our sometimes foolish nature?

  • Forgive your fool. Cut it some slack. Are there good things that came out of your foolish behavior? Wisdom, at the very least?
  • Be aware of the pervasive desire to look good at all costs. Just open your eyes to see it on a daily basis. Then be ok with it: it’s the design of human being.
  • Let your fool out to play. It might be trying your hand at karaoke, telling a silly joke, revealing a vulnerability or expressing a long held feeling or emotion. Take a risk.
  • Make a distinction between being child like and childish. The Fool revels in child like abandon and wonder, in marveling at the awesome mystery of the world.
  • Everybody plays the fool sometime. There’s no exception to the rule. Get over it and accept this essential part of you.

Bless the fool within you, without it you are less human, a robot following the programming that seeks to control you. It’s there for a reason; be confident enough, courageous enough, and big enough to celebrate it.

To listen to a podcast of this blog, go to the Ted in Your Head podcast, episode 31.

If you liked this post, please leave a comment and/or share it with your social networks using the buttons below. Don’t worry about looking foolish.


Is Your Self Expression Waiting to Get Out?


One Sunday when I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was sitting with my dad in church. As a kid I always had a stuffy nose and my nose was kind of running while I was sitting there. I didn’t have a kleenex  and I didn’t know what to do.

I know this is kinda of gross, but I was a little kid, so I wiped my nose with the inside of my hand and wiped it on my pants. Then I became really uncomfortable and my nose was still running. I started to get more and more miserable  by the second as I wiped my nose again with my hand and wiped it on my pants. I was beside myself with shame and embarrassment and I wanted to cry. I guess I spoke up or my dad noticed and he offered my a hanky, which I accepted with relief and gratitude. “Why didn’t you say something?” he asked me. I didn’t answer because I really didn’t know why.

Now I know. Read more

Mastering Your Inner Game

MM900234752I’d  like to share a great article with you by Dan Kennedy. In my opinion, all success starts with mastering what goes on in your head. As a hypnotherapist, most of my work with students, athletes and business people involve helping them to master their inner game.

Thanks to my friend Craig Valine, Marketing Performance Coach & Strategist of the Los Angeles area Glazer Kennedy Insiders Circle chapter (, of which I’m a member, for permission to share this article with you today.


By Dan Kennedy 

We’re going to talk about the inner game of building your business. I believe that the inner game is simply all-important. “The inner game” is a new term for a classic idea explained many different times, many different ways by virtually every success educator, and even philosophers.

In the book Think and Grow Rich, Read more