I believe in free speech

My workshops and speaking engagements always begin with a title, a theme, and the main message to bring forth; and they also seem to take a path all their own. This blog is about one such moment. Most often, these moments are teaching me as much if not more than was taught to others.

At a recent lunch-n-learn on “360 Awareness and Mastering Oneself,” I opened up for discussion and asked the attendees to share what it is they see when they expand their awareness to see a bigger picture. When the comment shared was “I believe in FREE Speech, but I also believe in Mute, Block, and Delete.” The entire room of nearly 50 attendees was in laughter and in apparent agreement. In this split second I could see my entire presentation heading south, (everything I had hoped to bring forth, being derailed and discounted) I could see my need to pause, to tune into what was present and to regain control of the presentation and the room. In this moment I tuned into 360 awareness and the energy in the room to meet it and not resist it. So, in the most profession way, I took this moment to meet the group exactly where they were in this thought.

My entire presentation, according to the slides I prepared was tossed and I moved forward with all that flowed forth in the room. It seems this organization believed it was appropriate to tune out their boss when they disagreed with what was said. They believed it to be acceptable to block or avoid another when they did not like what was said or how they handled a certain job or responsibility. This blog post is a summary of what unfolded in this presentation.

We started by using a well known process called “chunking it down’ and began to give meaning and definition of the words spoken. Starting with what it means to believe in “free speech”. In summary, this topic brought up compassion, acceptance and respect. This topic also brought forth resistance, judgement, and criticism. This led beautifully into my introduction of Mastering oneself, which is one’s ability to control oneself by oneself and reach a state of inner peace and power. [More on this peace and power in another blog.] The conversation went deep into a better understanding of resistance, judgment and criticism. This is actually where the real inner growth happens. When we begin to recognized what we CAN change and what we CANNOT change, we grow immensely in our personal and professional development. Much of this lunch-n-learn was spent here, helping all to better master themselves and what they have the power to control.

Which led us to unpacking what is really happens when we chose to mute another, to block another, or to delete another. We discussed the need to separate the action or behavior from the individual. Many times we say,  I don’t like him, when in reality it is a specific thing that the individual said or did that we dislike. Most often, we don’t really know enough about them to really validate the words, I don’t like him. We discussed the importance of thinking our thoughts thru using 360 awareness and learning to harness and master oneself.

We talked about mastering oneself emotionally, physically and mentally and modeled examples of how that mastery looks, feels and is experienced. We created live, experiential situations for all to discuss in small groups. Everyone appreciated the reflection, as well as the exercise and the tools they gained. We also went into the power of asking themselves questions to use 360 awareness and step into mastering oneself.

When we can pause and ask ourselves more powerful questions; questions that can take us beyond the resistance, beyond the judgment and criticism, we begin to embrace our own mastery.

I believe there is an art and expertise that comes with the continual practice of asking bigger questions. In my own experience my ability to ask better, more appropriate questions continues to improve.

So the next time you are met with resistance or judgment in a team meeting, a staff meeting, or family gathering, why not look within and ask yourself a few powerful questions that just might have you seeing things in a whole new perspective. This is one aspect of 360 awareness.

What is it I am really resisting? What do I really wish to change? Do I really want that individual to think and see things just like me? Do I really want a world of clones just like me? What am I not seeing? What am I not open to? What do I have the power to change?

“Every experience of discord is an opportunity in personal growth.”

In summary this is what can unfold from that one bold, brave comment from the audience. We spent the last 20 minutes of our 90 minute together reframing their understanding and belief in the statement “I believe in free speech, I also believe in mute, block and delete.”

I believe in allowing others free speech, period. This means I can get curious as to why they have that idea and ask them to share more. It means that even if I do not agree, I can accept their point of view is right for them at this time. It means that I will respect others and never want to argue or fight over another’s opinion or belief.

When I say I believe in MUTE, Block and Delete….. These are things I believe I need to practice internally, not externally. In this human experience we learn to notice what we can change and what we cannot. We learn as within, so without. All change begins in me.

I need to mute the voice in my head that says I can’t. Or the voice in my head that tells me another needs to change. I get to mute that part of me that does not want to allow another their personal freedoms. I can chose to mute the things that keep me from seeing a bigger picture and embracing 360 awareness.

I get to block what ever thoughts, are not in alignment with my beliefs, intentions and desires. I can also block negative energy from affecting my mood, state of being and therefore my day. I also get to block past events and stories from controlling and effecting me today and tomorrow.

Last but not certainly not least in value or importance- I get t0 delete my old stories, paradigms and beliefs that no longer work in my current reality. As we grow and change so will our beliefs, so will our old stories and we will be creating new ways, new processes, and ultimately new habits. Just as we delete old files and software from our electronic devices, we must delete from our own psyche that which has become outdated and no longer valid in serving our highest growth and becoming.

“Deleting our old operating system and recreating, installing a new more updated version is the way of the future.”

It’s time we as a people, take notice of what we can change, mute, block and delete within ourselves and begin to BE more accepting, loving and compassionate towards others.

This was an empowering day for all.
Comment below if this story impacted you.
Message me if you would like to schedule a lunch-n-learn or workshop in your organization or business.
As always, be the best version of you and let

See a slideshare of the this story to use in your training or staff development meetings [slideshare id=141235430&doc=ibelieve-190418212511]