This week, as we celebrate FREEDOM in the United States, we have the opportunity to explore and reflect upon the FREEDOM in our own lives. What does the Word of the Week mean to you personally? Often, the best way to know or describe something is to get clear on what it is not. Googling “FREEDOM, definition”, I find this:
the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved
So, as a kick-off prompt for FREEDOM, reflect on this:
In which areas of your life do you feel imprisoned or enslaved? Where would more FREEDOM just feel good to you right now?
Maybe you feel trapped in a relationship, a family, a job, a body, a set of genetics, emotional triggers, habits, beliefs, a diagnosis, or any type of stifling situation. Close your eyes and visualize the FREEDOM you desire. The state of being imprisoned is mostly one of our own making. This week’s Seven Steps guide us out of our self-imposed prison cells into the experience of FREEDOM within ourselves.
1. Notice your acts of free will.
As you go through your day, notice all the ways you are already acting with FREEDOM — even within the constraint of your current job, relationships, and to-do lists. As you notice the exercise of your free will, begin to choose with a greater sense of FREEDOM accordingly, consciously, and more intent-fully.
We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” ~William Faulkner
2. Ask yourself if more knowledge will help.
Sometimes we lack freedom because we lack knowledge. Not knowing is a convenient excuse and a way to stay stuck at the level of the victim. Think of ways knowledge could empower you toward more FREEDOM (and less imprisonment…)
Freedom comes with self-knowledge, when the mind goes above and beyond the hindrances it has created for itself.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurti
3. What are you doing with the gift of FREEDOM currently?
Are you wasting your resources and time on staying imprisoned or are you acting effectively and purposefully toward freedom? FREEDOM is a choice…or a series of choices. True, you may feel extremely limited by some aspect of your current situation. So, take baby steps and crawl if you must. A series of small steps will always move you forward.
May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” ~Peter Marshall
4. Consider the vast FREEDOM you experience in your mind and body.
We tend to take for granted the things we do so naturally…until they’re taken away. After not feeling well, you experience the contrast when you’re feeling better. After being in a cast, your happiness surges when the cast is taken off. These situations energize us with sincere gratitude for our health and well-being. The trick is to experience these feelings even without “breaking a leg”! When we exercise our brains and bodies from this place of FREEDOM, our brains and bodies change for the better. We see our brains and bodies as the vehicle for our soul to experience this life to the fullest.
Freedom is about being so truly, madly, and deeply attached to your own soul that you can’t bear – if only for a moment – a life that doesn’t honor it.” ~Andrea Balt
5. What are you afraid of?
Fear can be sneakily disguised in imprisonment. When we let go of fear, we find our wings to FREEDOM.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.” ~Aung San Suu Kyi
6. Where can you be more bold…in the name of your FREEDOM?
On the flip side of fear is our courage and strength. The courage and strength to say, “This is what I want…” or, “This is what I do not want!” We can never experience FREEDOM without taking the risk of boldness.
Freedom lies in being bold.” ~Robert Frost
7. What is your deepest desire?
Soul-driven desires aren’t planted within us for no reason. We wouldn’t desire it if we couldn’t attain it.
Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be.” ~Daniel J. Boorstin