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Real Talk with Judge Dawson

Real Talk with Judge Dawson

Get out of jail!

In the East Cleveland Municipal Court, I make it my business to see the people who are arrested and spending time in the city jail on a daily basis. When people from the jail are brought to my Court, it’s either for the purpose of setting a bond or to move their case forward. Many times I am told about the bad conditions of the city jail. I acknowledge that jails are not the most comfortable places in the world, in fact they shouldn’t be, but then I am always intrigued by the persons who come up from jail with a pleasant and cooperative attitude. I’ve determined that these people understand at least one of the principles of being a Cycle Breaker.

Cycle Breaker Truth: You can bring about the desired improved conditions in your outward life if you commit to improving your inner life. In other words, you have to free yourself from your mental jails in order to live a free and productive life. Here are a few steps on how to live out this truth and free yourself from mental jails and bondages.

  1. You Must Commit to Improvement: All of my workshops and seminars are based on the ideal that, in order to improve your life, you have to first want the improvement, and second, you must actually commit to making it happen. So many people make an attempt to improve their lives but fail due to their lack of commitment. Your commitment to improvement has to be a 24/7 concentration. There are no days off. I witness a lack of this kind of commitment to improvement on a daily basis. For example, when a tragedy strikes, people call me about the Cycle Breaker/Finish First programs we provide through my Court, and they specifically ask how can they get involved. However, when the hype dies down, no one cares to volunteer, no one is interested in self improvement and no one is concerned with helping other people change their lives. Commitment to improvement is a key to breaking free from your mental jail.

  2. You Must Develop Mental Discipline: In the workshops that I conduct at the East Cleveland Municipal Court, we have an exercise where we finish this sentence: “nothing great was ever achieved without __.” I love when the answer is discipline. In order to make positive change, or break free of your mental jail, you have to exercise the practice of discipline everyday. Start with something as simple as making the bed or reading a positive affirmation before you leave the house. Daily exercise makes all your muscles strong and the discipline muscle must be strong in order to be a Cycle Breaker.

  3. You Must Decide to Eradicate Your Weaknesses: In order to make positive change, you must identify your weaknesses. Once you identify your weaknesses, then you will be able to fight them and ultimately get rid of them. If your weakness is laziness, get up as soon as your mind wakes up (sometimes your mind awakens before your eyes open). If your weakness is poor physical health, resolve to walk during lunch. If your weakness is the opposite sex, make sure to stay away from that temptation. Whatever your weaknesses are, you must destroy them so that you can get out of that particular bondage or mental jail.

  4. You Must Tap into the Spirit of Greatness: We are all born to be great. In order to break out of your mental jail you must first realize that you have a birthright to be free. This freedom begins in your mind. Why do I specify mental freedom? I make this distinction because there are times when circumstances and CHOICES will lead to physical incarceration. If that happens, you have to wait that situation out, but freeing your mind is always possible by tapping into the spirit of greatness. Meditation is a good way to tap into the spirit of greatness. When you meditate, allow your mind to travel beyond your current boundaries. See yourself being in the places you desire to be. See yourself achieving the goals you want to achieve. When you realize, and tap into, your greatness, when you understand your right to mental freedom, you will never allow your mind to be jailed again.

Understanding that getting out of jail is as much a mental exercise as a physical one, I can now appreciate the people who come before me who, after spending time in the city jail, are pleasant and respectful. They understand that when your mind is free, no walls can hold your spirit captive.

East Cleveland Municipal Court’s Judge William L. Dawson is on a mission to help people to Finish First, live their best lives and be Cycle Breakers! To receive a copy of his newsletter reach out by: judgewilliamdawson@gmail.com, www.teamfinishfirst.com or www.Judgedawson.com.