FINDING FREEDOM

Sometimes I long for more freedom. Freedom seems so elusive. I want to find a way to have more in my life.

FREEDOM IS POSSIBLE

We often limit ourselves by not realizing that freedom is possible. Our conditioning may have told us that individual freedom equates with selfishness, that we are part of a whole and must sacrifice to the greater good, that society inevitably limits our personal freedom or that freedom is scary and unsafe to pursue.

Freedom is unequivocally possible! It is up to us to grant ourselves freedom. We can pursue our freedom even within the present context and boundaries of our lives. Doing so may involve releasing old attitudes and stepping out of our comfort zones, but the return we receive makes it all worthwhile. Best to start on the path to finding freedom with an attitude that it is within our reach.

How can we achieve freedom? We can identify the freedoms we already have — perhaps freedom to live where we want, travel, make time for leisure or create our home environment. We can make sure we are fully acknowledging and enjoying those freedoms. Then, we can identify what freedoms we want in our lives that are not there now. Start with just a few.

FINDING FREEDOM IS PRODUCTIVE WORK

Sometimes, freedom is limited by circumstances beyond our control — financial, physical or otherwise. In that case, freedom is not unreachable; it may take more time and work to realize it. The key is to reverse our mindset that freedom is not possible. This is not to disregard the limits many of us face. It is about freeing our minds from the belief that things cannot change.

Finding freedom is productive work because it makes our lives better. We define the freedoms we want. We create the lives we want to live. We do not accept the limitations that society places on our freedoms as absolute. We have to be willing in some cases to work very hard if we live in a place where freedom is limited by government power or poverty.

The important thing is to start moving towards more freedom. We may start small in terms of actions and changes we make. That is okay. Finding freedom requires our focus, discipline and strong intent. It is similar to pulling back an arrow in a bow and aiming where we want it to go. This productive work always gives us a return on our investment.

WHY FREEDOM MATTERS

Freedom allows us to act, speak and pursue happiness in a way that works for us. Each of us is unique. We have different needs and preferences. We are not a uniform community. Therefore, no one institution or person can tell us how we must live our lives. Some restrictions are necessary for the good of the whole; however, they are limited. There are still many freedoms available to us.

Freedom creates happiness. It allows us to free our creativity, pursue our dreams and live our lives in the manner that we want. Freedom enriches us, expands our minds and hearts and gives us peace that is not present when freedom is restricted.

It is in our uniqueness that we will create a better world. Individual freedom is essential. Many groups and individuals work towards securing that freedom for everyone. They must confront totalitarian governments, poverty, oppression and violence — all which restrict freedom in complex and significant ways.

WHEN WE HAVE OUR FREEDOM

Let’s allow ourselves to visualize having the freedom we desire — individually and collectively. Visualizing is a powerful act. It makes our desires real. We can see what we are working toward. Our desires come closer to reality. Our anticipation of what we visualize grows and encourages us.

Once freedom is ours, we realize we have released many burdens from our lives — both self-imposed and imposed by others. We are lighter and can turn our focus from things that drain us to things that fuel us.

Once freedom is ours, we are more truly ourselves. Our creativity is free to express. We like our lives more than we did in the past. We have more to contribute to the world and its greater good. Joy is ours.

Perhaps more freedom is possible for me. I see how my mindset that limits me. I am going to take some steps toward freedom.

photo: Bill Williams, cc no rights reserved, albumarium.com

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Writer and career/new directions coach living in the High Mojave Desert of southern California. Author of Chrysalis: Personal Transformation From The Inside Out

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Ann Vanino

Ann Vanino

Writer and career/new directions coach living in the High Mojave Desert of southern California. Author of Chrysalis: Personal Transformation From The Inside Out

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