Friday, April 24, 2009

What I Learned From Prison Inmates: The Freedom To Choose

Before you dismiss the experience of someone in prison as the polar opposite of your is a quiz.

Are You In Your Own Prison?
• Do you identify yourself by what you do?
• How about what you did before the Financial Meltdown?
• Do the clothes you wear or the food you eat or the cars you drive define who you are?
• (Come on honest. Imagine if cleaning the sink and taking out the garbage were things you dreamed about.)
• Does regret, resentment or hopelessness limit you?

Did you answer yes to more than one question? If so you have the opportunity to get out of your own prison. Maybe, just maybe there is something you can learn from an inmate. You are not alone.

A Taste of What Inmates Taught Me.
The quote, "There by the Grace of God go I" now makes sense...

• A person living in prison is not one smidgeon less divine than anyone else.
• You can overcome your past.
• Listen. Deeply. Everyone has great wisdom to share.
• Every minute each of us have the freedom to choose "our own attitude."
• You can cook everything from burritos to cake with Ramen noodles in a trash bag and boiling water.

See For Yourself.
Here are three videos from the University of Santa Monica's "Freedom to Choose Prison Project."

USM Service Project: Part 1
USM Service Project: Part 2
USM Service Project: Part 3

The videos convey the majesty, dignity and divinity of the human Spirit that is essence of Spiritual Psychology programs far better than any words I could write.

The film version of the videos is a finalist at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

I recently worked with a part of our population that is underserved in the "Freedom to Choose Prison Project for women inmates."

My prayer is that we can break the cycle within these broken families. We need to knock down that revolving door at prison. Kids with parents in prison often end up in prison themselves.

Stay tuned for more of my lessons learned in prison next week!

Are you ready to get out of the way and let your dreams have a say? Ask Eli a question at or go to today.

Eli Davidson is a nationally recognized executive coach and motivational speaker. Her book, "Funky to Fabulous: Surefire Success Stories for the Savvy, Sassy and Swamped", (Oak Grove Publishing) has won three national book awards.

Eli is a reinvention catalyst, who can transform your professional and personal life from Funky to Fabulous with her ten, trademarked Turnaround Techniques that create rapid and remarkable results.

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