Archive for self help

A Bridge To Cross – A Future To Build

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There comes a point in everyone’s life that we need to cross a bridge.  For me, that time is now.

The past is over and done.  The future is yet to be seen.  All I have is right now…and I, for one want to make the most of each and every moment.

Therefore, I will close this heavy book I have been holding in my hand, and I will begin writing a new one with every step I take.  I will put one foot in front of the other leaving the old and familiar, as I cross that bridge into the future.

I do not know what is on the other side of this bridge.  Yet whatever it is, I will embrace it with all of my heart and soul.

Yes.  I do not know where I am going.  Yet I do know I will get there.  With God’s grace, it will be a wonderful place.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

cc:  danahee  February 19 2014

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The Power of Positivity – A Stunt Woman’s Perspective

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In the realm of Hollywood, there are two definites.  If you focus on the positive, your chances of success have just multiplied.  If you focus on the negative…your fears…you will fail.  Failure takes on a whole new meaning when you are performing a death-defying stunt!

“Today, I need you to stunt double this entry-way guard to Paramount Studios,” my boss told me on the set of the ‘Martin Short’ TV show. 

“Mike here will crash his car through the guard barrier rail into the parking lot.  You will then rush after him along the side walk here.  As you catch up to the car, you will pop up onto this fire hydrant, then throw yourself onto the roof of his car.  There you will hang on…pounding on the roof for him to stop.”

 “Sure…no problem,” I’m thinking to myself.  (“It’s fascinating you did not tell me of this very dangerous gag when you first hired me!”  “Ahhh well.”  “Welcome to my life.”  “You chose this career!” “Time to ‘man-up,’ Dana!”)

We rehearsed the timing between Mike and I, and we ‘dialed in’ the speed so that the car was in place beside me as I jumped onto the fire hydrant.  We both knew the timing was critical.  If I jumped too soon, I could end up in front of the car and under the wheels.  If I jumped too late, I would miss the only opportunity to grasp the open window sills for leverage…and end up on the ground.  Two undesirable choices, in my opinion.

The first time we filmed, there was an element of doubt in my mind.  Yet on action, I raced to the fire hydrant as Mike drove the car along.  The timing was exactly as planned.  Yet as I popped up onto the hydrant, I allowed my doubt to interfere.  “Maybe I’m I too early!”  I thought to myself. 

So I hesitated just a beat, and then threw myself onto the car.  Only now, my momentum had stalled out, and I landed too late.  I grabbed wildly for the roof before bouncing down onto the trunk, the bumper, and then to the pavement.  “Ugh!”

You can bet the next time the camera rolled, I kept my focus completely on nailing this stunt by committing my mind 110% to it’s success.  Success is much more fun than failing!  And in fact, success can appear to be much easier than the underlying difficulty in achieving it.

I love the power of positivity.  It helps me overcome fear.  It keeps me ‘on track.’  And it helps to eliminate some of the potential disasters on the road to success!

cc:   danahee   02/2014

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As The Snow Falls

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Standing outside just now, I watch my beautiful turkeys as they eat the corn and ‘coo’ among themselves

The silence of the falling snow drowns out the cries of my soul.  It’s sleek white blanket slowly covers the tears in my heart

Crystal cold air quiets my mind…if only for a moment or two

What peace it must be, to never feel the beauty of the snow.  Yet so sad this emptiness within

‘Good-by’ echoes in the frozen stillness of this winter wonderland

As I turn away,  I pray I pray that peace will prevail

Truly?  Is it better to go to sleep on an empty stomach?

Perhaps so.  Perhaps not.

cc:  dhee 02/2014

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Beware the Ghosts of the Past, Present, and Future! A factor in Improving your Life and Relationships

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Some time ago, I had ‘fallen’ for a man that I met at an event.  We seemed to really ‘hit it off,’ and we began pursuing our relationship with the intention of possibly becoming life partners.  The fact that his main language was Spanish, and my Spanish language skills very lacking, did nothing to make this pursuit easy.  The fact that he lived a completely different life in Mexico, and I lived in the States was a bit daunting.  Yet still.  We were both positive, strong people and we were optimistic about the possibilities!

Well, long story short, this relationship did not progress forward.  Yet I was stunned when he told me of something about myself, that I had never truly realized. He told me that he could not understand the way I presented myself to him; and he said that, “…the experiences of your past were like ghosts that came to you all the time…of fears, memories, worries, and even your ex-husband of over twenty years ago.”  In other words, he was basically telling me that I had emotionally weighed him ‘down,’ much like an anchor on a boat.

Considering that I spend the majority of my time thinking and researching ways to elevate the human spirit, I was devastated to hear this!  And the fact that I have done years of self-work, and think of myself as a fairly positive person…I was shocked to learn that he had made these observations about me during a time together when MY memory told me that this had been a wonderful, fun and uplifting time together!  WHAT?

Yes, of course, I DO know that I have had the bad habit of always looking at the negative side of things first.  And yes, I acknowledge that in conversation, I DO often verbalize my very profound viewpoints of why something ‘won’t’ work, before then acknowledging why it could work.  But really!  I KNOW I am a positive person.  Right?

Yet there was the truth…staring me right in the face…with that little ghost hovering overhead snickering at me.

Fascinating.  How could there be such a diverse difference between two perspectives?  And more importantly, is ‘that’ how I truly am?

Well, this statement got me to thinking about how I go about my daily life and my interactions with others…when I am NOT in the spotlight as a keynote Inspirational Speaker.  Dohh!  Major dichotomy, right?

His candid remark helped me to realize that I DO still have ghosts of the past affecting my life, both now and for the future!  Wow!  Now what?  How can I set an example for others to think and be positive and live in the ‘present,’ when I myself allow these ghosts to slip in and out of my life at will?

Ever heard of the statement, “Back to One?”  It’s a film cue for actors and such when the assistant director yells to them to go find their beginning mark for camera, because they need to do the scene one more time.   And often, this scene needs to be filmed again, because the first one was not quite good enough!

Well, Dana?  “Back to One!”

Ahhh well.  Sometimes it’s one step forward and two back.  Only, I do now know that awareness of a problem can be 9/10th the solution.

And fortunately, I also know that I need to get to the ‘root’ of this particular problem, so that perhaps I can truly change my inner dialogue…which will then change my behavior.  No sense in just putting a band-aid on a gaping wound, by ‘censoring’ my behavior.  Better to do a full-blown ‘spring cleaning’…find that pesky ghost hiding in the closet snickering…and kick it out of my head once and for all.

Haiiii-yah!

Well.  Here we go again.  “Lights…Camera…and ACTION!”

Cc Dana Hee, 2013

ABOUT DANA

Dana is an Olympic Gold Medalist, Top Motivational Speaker, 3x Hall Of Fame Martial Artist, Award-Winning Stuntwoman (over 17 years stunt doubling the leading ladies in Block-Buster Films such as the Batman Movies, The Terminator films, Charlies Angels, Peacemaker, Alias and MUCH more).  More importantly, she is a Life Survivalist whom endeavors to Inspire, Enlighten, and Elevate the hearts and minds of people around the world.

http://www.GreatThingsArePossible.com

TO READ MORE OF DANA’S INSPIRATIONAL STORIES…CLICK HERE

Thank you for viewing my stories!  Love and light to all!  Dana Hee

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Olympic Day. A Gift To Give!

An Olympian With an ‘Olympic Day’ Perspective

Just yesterday, a very shy six-year-old girl approached me with downcast eyes and caved in shoulders. 

“Can I have your autograph please?” She spoke in such a whisper of a voice that I could barely make out her words. 

I was suddenly blind-sided by the familiar pain of childhood, and the memory of my mother’s voice in my ears of, “You are not good enough and never will be!” 

You see, this little girl reminded me of what I was like when I was six years old…abandoned, abused, and raised in an orphanage in remote Louisiana.

Now as a mature woman who has conquered extreme odds and risen from the ashes to hover in the clouds with accomplishments in Olympics, Hollywood Film and Life…this little girl reminded me that I have been given a great gift in life; that of self-confidence, self-esteem and courage. 

Greeting her with a smile I said, “My what pretty blond hair you have!” “What’s your name?”

“Sylvia” She replied quietly…still not meeting my gaze.

“Why do you want my autograph Sylvia?”

Looking at me for the first time with blazing blue eyes and a very slight smile, she replied, “One day, I want to be strong like you!” And she quickly lowered her eyes once again.

“Well, Sylvia, do you know what I think?” I asked her as I took the crumpled up paper from her hands and straightened it out. She shook her head to answer ‘No.’ 

“I think you already are strong Sylvia.” “You just don’t know it here (and I touched her head), and here” (and I gently pressed my fingers above her heart).

“You see?” I continued. And she looked up at me with a puzzled look in her eyes. “It took a LOT of courage to come up here and ask me for this autograph.”  “So this tells me that you ARE brave and very strong!”

“Really” she spoke in a much firmer tone?

“Really!” I replied and I signed the autograph, gave her a big hug and then handed the paper to her. 

She giggled as she took the autograph and clutched it tightly to her heart. Then with her head held high and a beautiful smile on her face, she turned and skipped her way back through the heavy mass of kids, teens and adults crowding around.

With a radiant smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart, I turned and greeted the next person in line.

Later, as I walked back to my car to leave, I realized that the most wonderful gift that I had been given in life…was to have the privilege to share a little bit of courage, self-confidence and self-esteem with those who needed it most.

To me, THIS was what ‘Olympic Day’ was truly about!

Dana Lynn Hee

(Posted on Facebook June 23rd 2010)

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If I Should Die Tonight, I am Grateful

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I am reminded this evening after I finish a wonderful BBQ that was shared  with the very old man, my neighbor…and sit quietly contemplating in the darkening skies….I am reminded of how grateful I feel about my life.

I am grateful I was born and then abandoned to orphanage. For worse would surely have come.

I am grateful for the insincere love and lack of love…for these experiences helped to wizen my heart to those whom I now know are not to be allowed into mine.

I am thankful, that I left my house an early age, for even though I endured humility, I encountered thankfulness and the bond of human nature.

I am eternally grateful to my Foster Parents, and the organizations that assisted in giving me assistance along the way, including the wonderful, stable, loving home with my Foster family.

I am appreciative of the lessons I learned from my younger days of love…searching for my dreams of a wonderful man.   For this taught me what is NOT healthy….yet gave me the desire for a true love and companionship.

I am eternally thankful that God allowed me to spare my life that one moment of dire distress…for he then opened up the world for me to new and wonderful opportunities.

That one, powerful experience, sent me on a journey of the unknown…the un-forseen…and definitely, the unprecedented.

My life?

Changed forever.

And now….as I sit (no…not wealthy or living high)…enjoying the cries of the peacocks and the children still playing basketball nearby?

I am at peace. For I have been given so much in life…that if I should die tonight. I will have no regrets.

Basically? I am grateful for everything. The good…the bad. The wise, the sad.

It is all good in the end. For it makes us who we are.  And what a blessing to just be.

I am very thankful.

dana hee

(posted on Facebook, April 2, 2011)

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Innovation and Visualization – Winning the Olympic Gold

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Dana’s shares her story about training and competing  for the 1988 Olympic Games!

Back when I was first training and competing in Taekwondo, I had discovered although I was stronger and faster than most of my competitors, I didn’t have the endurance.  And what good was it that I would win the first and second round in our full-contact fighting sport of Taekwondo, yet then lose in the third.  The truth of the matter is that I didn’t even have the mindset to persevere.  Once things got tough…my mind would overrule my body, and I would just quit!  And I knew that if I wanted to be an Olympic contender, I needed to change this!  So I decided to go train in upstate New York, with a famous coach, known for producing competitors with amazing stamina.  His athletes had that ‘indomitable spirit’ that I was lacking. 

During one of the first training sessions, we were doing a repetitious kicking drill which was designed to increase stamina.  Everyone had a partner holding a kicking paddle that we kicked as many times and as fast as we could.  At some point, when my endurance was failing, he came over and took the paddle from my partner and held it for me.  Each time I started to tire and slow down, he yelled at me to continue.  About the third time this happened, I snapped, and yelled back, “I’m TRYING!”  Well, he lowered the kicking pad, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Try…not good enough!”  “Everyone ‘try,’ not everyone ‘champion.’”  “Don’t ‘try!’”  “Just DO!”  And he raised the kicking paddle for me to continue with the drill.

The thing is…how do you ‘just DO,’ when you don’t know that you can DO?  How do you ‘do,’ when you don’t believe that you can do?”   Well, I learned the amazingly important answer to the first half of that puzzling question in another training session with that coach!

I learned this lesson during a long distance run.  One of the biggest elements to this coach’s training program was running. That was something I had been doing as little of as possible. I had discovered back in high school, that long distant running would make my heart start ‘racing’ 90 thousand miles and hour.  And then the racing heart would trigger an asthmatic reaction that would close off my lungs. But since I was there in New York to train and learn, and I was determined to improve, I went with the program as best as I could.

One of the runs he’d have us do was an extremely difficult one up and through a cemetery. It seemed impossible for me to do this run successfully, and on my last two efforts, I had been forced to stop and walk up the steepest hill. On this third attempt, despite my determination, I found myself laboring as usual as we began to climb the dreaded hill. About a quarter of the way up, with my breathing coming hard and fast, my heart started racing. A few beats later, the asthmatic reaction set in, and my desperate lungs began closing off further. Panic stricken, I came wheezing to a stop, bending over, trying desperately to get some air into my starved lungs. My coach, who’d been staying alongside me to encourage me, came up to me – I thought to help reassure me. Not!

To my surprise, he came up behind me, placed his hand on my back and started pushing me unceremoniously up the hill! Oh the indignity of it. He completely ignored the fact that I couldn’t even breathe, and that I was close to passing out or getting violently sick. “How insensitive!” “How unbelievable!” As I stumbled forward from the pressure of his hand, I became angry and started moving forward on my own. As I put one foot in front of the other, muttering angrily to myself, trying to pull away, he kept pace, with his hand resting on my back as a reminder that he was not going to let me stop. Fuming with anger and indignation, it was with surprise that I discovered I had reached the top of the hill, and that I hadn’t passed out. Although my breathing was still labored and wheezing, I discovered that, if I could just keep putting one foot in front of the other…I could keep going!

That revelation sounded off in my head like a trumpet from heaven. As my coach pulled ahead and let me continue on my own down the hill that thought pounded in my brain with each forward footstep. I realized that I had been thinking, “I can’t make it,” “I can’t do this.” “I’m going to pass out!” Yet, once I had taken my mind off of those negative thoughts, and focused on something else…I had discovered that, “Hey,”  “I could do it!”  “I could keep going.”  From that time on… every time I began to think, “I can’t,” and want to come screeching to a halt… I would force myself to keep taking just one more step…and I would replace my negative thoughts with positive ones!

Throughout my Olympic training I used what I had learned with that coach, as much as possible.  In theory, it was easy to replace the negative thoughts with positive affirmations.  I just substituted “I can’t,” with “I can.”  “I won’t,” with “I will!”  What made this difficult is that I found it much easier to slip backwards into what I already knew – those negative thoughts – than to convince myself of something that I couldn’t actually ‘picture’ in my mind.  It was really hard to stay positive, when one half of my brain was saying, “I can,” while the other half was saying, “What makes you think that!?”   And I knew that if I wanted to be an Olympic contender…I needed to get both of those halves working together as a whole!  I desperately needed to solve the second half of that question of how do you ‘just do,’ when you don’t truly ‘believe’ that you can do…before I entered that competition ring at the Olympics!

Our United States Taekwondo team arrived in Seoul, Korea two weeks before the Games, to do the final, most important training before our competition was to begin.  Unfortunately, I had sustained a back injury at the Olympic Team trials a month and a half beforehand.  And although I had tried all kinds of modern medicine, sports medicine, and holistic remedies, the injury had gotten progressively worse.  All of the doctors agreed, that the only thing that would help, was rest.  But, there was no way I could do that, and have a chance of winning!  By the time we arrived in Seoul, the pain was excruciating.

During our third practice in Seoul, we were doing a kicking drill where each of our teammates held a kicking pad at different heights, and one by one we would run the gauntlet of pads, kicking and screaming like banshees.  When it was my turn, I started out kicking ferociously.  “Hey…this was the Olympics…I was going to do this!”  I was doing fine, until I came to the very last high kick.  As my foot reached for that pad, a lightening bolt of pain shot through me and dropped me to my knees in tears and agony.  As my coach and teammates turned aside, I gingerly picked myself up, and limped off to the side.  It was obvious to all of us, that my Olympic dream was over before it even began!  I was devastated!

That night, I agonized over this dilemma.  This was the Olympics!  I couldn’t just give up!  I have sacrificed so much to be here!  Yet, what could I do?  If I didn’t train these two weeks, I knew that, even if I could compete I would feel unprepared…and I knew that ‘mental’ negativity would interfere with my determination.  Later that night, after hours of torturous twisting and turning in bed, I came up with a plan of action…or in-action as it turned out.  I would practice by visualizing the things that I needed to work on!

So that’s what I did.  For the remaining days before our competition, while everyone else practiced physically, I practiced mentally.  I would find a quiet place, sit, meditate and visualize my attacks, and my counters. I saw myself executing everything with perfect precision and timing.  I saw myself winning match after match!

As the morning of my competition dawned with my back rested enough to compete, I felt it in my spirit that I was ready for competition.  I felt good!  I felt confident!  Then…as I began warming up…that old fear of failure started creeping in again.  Who did I think I was?  What made me think that I was good enough to do this?  As we were called to enter the competition area, I frantically searched my brain for the answer to that question,

Suddenly realized that I had lots of reasons to think that I was good enough!  I had practiced physically, and I had practiced mentally!  I had the strength, the speed, the training and the endurance.  And that’s when it hit me, that I had the answer to the second part of that question of, “How do you just do, when you don’t believe you can do?”  You build your confidence and self-esteem through preparation!  And I WAS prepared.  I had done everything possible to be prepared for this exact moment!  I WAS good enough!  So I told myself, “Be not afraid,” and I took that final step into the competition ring!

When my first match was halfway over, I knew that although my body was not 100%, my positive mindset made up for it. As I faced my toughest opponent (Chinese Taipei) in the semi-finals, I knew in my heart, that I was good enough to win.  When my hand was raised after my final match to let everyone know I’d won the Olympic Gold, I smiled to myself, because I realized that I was, indeed, a winner.  I had faced my fears, and overcome the limitations of my mind!

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