Freedom, by definition, means to have the ability to think, do and speak without being stifled or held back in any way.
How can we get clear on what freedom really is? Thinking about the definition, it truly reflects all that we are able to do as a physical human, except sometimes the answers we offer for what freedom means, we include material things or even money. To truly feel free, we would be able to speak freely, act freely, think freely. There is quite a lot of responsibility wrapped up in that idea.
So what is required of us, as humans, before we can achieve freedom?
Here are my three thoughts on the Responsibilities (or laws) of Freedom.
We must take great care in the thoughts we think, the words we choose to use and the actions we take. Before we can do this, we must become aware, more compassionate people. Freedom, as suggested in the definition above, requires us to do no harm, even though it isn’t really suggested. In plain language, it is required of me to be the best version of myself, and that, my friends, is a constant and continuous work in progress.
You read. A lot. You find mentors who have come before you that have already taken the steps necessary to get to where you want to go. You absorb information and then regurgitate it. Colin has recently started what he is dubbing his Growth Journal. Why is this important? For one, I think it allows you to taste how the words feel coming out of your own mouth, or in Colin’s case, and mine right now, through our fingertips and onto our blog space. You begin to understand your own emotions and thoughts better when they’re staring back at you. Some of your best aha moments are in discussion with wise friends, and other times in discussion with your wise self.
Making progress means turning inward and reflecting on the ideas you had, and then interpreting other people’s ideas that are both the same and different from yours. When you have a bigger picture, or a more worldly, or more Universal view, you have a much better grasp of how everything you do affects everything around you. You say less, but you mean more. You soften. You’re more thoughtful. You seek more often than you speak. So when you do have something to say, it’s naturally more eloquent and kind.
I think of Freedom Of Speech, as you might have too, and I can think of numerous times where that ‘freedom’ is not always used for good. Freedom of speech shouldn’t be meant to harm others, if it does, you’re encroaching on the freedom of others, which is not living with the intention of being free. You can’t have something at the expense of someone or something else. That is exchange, not freedom. (An interesting thought….)
So, when you’re doing the work to becoming the best version of yourself, some pain will come up, some grieving will happen, some confusion will arise. Accept them all for what they are, write about them, and keep going. Meditate. Observe them rather than feel them. Go to a hot yoga class with the intention of understanding one of these areas better. Start a blog, or write a new post about a revelation you’ve had, like when I wrote about my coming to terms with the fact that I’d have to become estranged from my mother in order to live, Leave Your Suitcase At The Door.
Freedom does not come after a wish upon a shooting star or the blown seeds of a dandelion. To achieve freedom, there is work.
Recently, Colin and I sold everything we own, with the exception of our guitars, about two dozen books, our computers, a 96 bottle wine rack (that has got to go soon, we were going to buy a house and have a cellar, but that seems to be more like a 10 year plan instead of a 3 year plan now), our essential oils & diffusers and of course, our clothes. We literally created an abundance of space.
However, this space is both physical and emotional. Our things, these inanimate objects, had taken on value that had been weighing on us, mostly me. I’d given my couch set the value of my independence, ironically giving away my independence completely. Selling those couches stirred up emotions of inadequacy. Insecurity. Would I still be an independent woman without my couches?
Well the short answer, is OBVS! How ridiculous, right? Except, we all have done this. Something we have purchased at a time of significance can take on the responsibility of representing an emotion to you. I thought that my couches represented the truth that I was, indeed, an independent woman. What I had failed to do was the create space for understanding why, first, I needed to have proof that I was an independent woman, and second, why I needed to attach myself to that thought.
I needed to go back and do the work!
Next thing, was to understand that feeling successful and independent is important to me, so my new space would have to be created in order to allow me to express, seek and talk through my ideas about success. I began to talk openly about this on my social media pages, telling my story and receiving information back from other people who could put themselves in my shoes. My people were getting me. I was not alone.
So I kept creating space. Creating this space meant to be open to a discussion about anything and removing the emotion to become an observer. Talking about something with other people who can offer more information, a new narrative besides the one in your own head. Create space so that you have more of it to allow you the room to grow. Release what isn’t serving you anymore, which includes a bunch of couches you don’t need (we moved into a fully furnished beach house, if you’re just joining us here on our blog!).
In order to be free, to feel truly free, you have to remember to always be creating new space. Everyone’s space with be created differently!
The most important responsibility, is to keep doing, to continue to seek love and information. To keep learning, growing, expanding, purging, cleaning up, creating space, meditating, moving forward, sharing, being vulnerable, being of service.
Read. Not novels, those too, but I mean really read. Seek new information, other peoples’ opinions. Schedule ZOOM or Skype dates, or phone calls with people you’ve connected with that inspire you. We live in an age where anyone is accessible! Take advantage of that and ask a new person in your life what their take is on something you’re working on. Ask for advice. and then when you’re ready, remove what you don’t need and keep what you do to make it your own. Always take an inventory of your thoughts, your surroundings, your materials things, your vocabulary and your relationships. What is serving you? And what isn’t?
Being on the other side of worry, regret, and guilt from everything – truly understanding, or becoming to understand, what your reactions, thoughts, ideas, actions, words are all motivated by, creates an awareness that opens up an infinite space. I call this intuition. You learn to trust yourself in a way that gives you peace. You trust your first thought and go with it, because you’ve done the work in removing all self-doubt. You’ve created the space for intuitive thinking. You’re taking action that will move you forward without a second thought. This is freedom.
And when you can harness these three responsibilities, opportunities are absolutely everywhere, and you’ll recognize them, because you are aware of them at every turn. You see yourself differently, but you also see others and the world differently. You no longer blame, you only experience. You’ll fall down a few times here and there, we’re human. So, you start back at number one and get back to work.
When you live in a freedom mindset, you can live anywhere and do anything you desire.
We do. You can, too.