"Freedom is not overcoming what you think stands in your way. It is realising that what stands before you is the way." Anon
Do you feel stuck or trapped in your life?
Are you focussed on changing your circumstances to create more freedom?
Society tells us that freedom is having what we desire, going where we want to go and doing what we want to do.
We think if we can just get more money, a better job....... you fill in the blank...... then we will be free! Of course this works for a while but then we usually want something else or more.
Doing what we want to do is merely a relative freedom of circumstance. It is a freedom that is based on life going our way. Sounds like a limited freedom to me.
On my adventure to find freedom I first tried to get what I wanted but soon realised I was chained to life going my way... I was trapped in my own thoughts and beliefs on how things should be.
So I went in search of the ultimate freedom that is available at all times and in any situation and it lies at the core of who we are!
When I was a child I had asthma and often had to fight just to breathe. I would very easily feel trapped and suffocated by life.
So at an early age I took up competitive running and it became a way for me to feel free. If there was any tension at home or uncomfortable feelings arising in me I would pop on the running shoes and hit the road!
Woohoo... ahh that's better! This is FREEDOM!
It kind of worked for a while and was a helpful survival mechanism for escaping the perceived traumas of childhood.
I ran and kept fit until I was at university but as a young adult I still felt trapped by western culture and trapped by a society that told me I had to live a certain way.
Oh no no no! That's not going to work for this little freedom fighter. No one tells ME what to do! I am off to pave my own path. So I headed off travelling in my early 20's and felt a renewed sense of freedom. Time to spread my wings and fly.
Woohoo... ahh that's better! This is FREEDOM!
It kind of worked for a while and was a helpful way to see how the rest of the world were living and to find out what was really important to me.
I returned back to live in Melbourne after a few years of working and travelling overseas. I had a well paid sensible hospital job and had saved A$50,000 in the bank.
To a young adult that was enough money to (mostly) do whatever I wanted!
Woohoo! This is FREEDOM!
I could put a deposit on a house, find a partner, settle down, buy what I wanted or I could follow my heart and keep travelling.
Yay I had ticked all the boxes of what relative freedom meant to me!
BUT there was something still missing.
When I looked around me, I was living a blessed life, BUT my mind was not free. I was living my life following and believing many of my thoughts. I was trying to avoid difficult emotions. I was chained to my desires and I could have a right ole' hissy fit when I didn't get my way!
I had heard many masters talk of an ultimate freedom that was at the core of our being. A freedom from the constant wanting that was keeping me trapped in needing life to go my way!
Yes please I want THAT kind of freedom!
So off I headed on my merry way in search of ultimate freedom!
Little did I realise that even the WANTING of freedom was standing in the way of true FREEDOM itself! Whether I wanted a ferrari or freedom. It was just another kind of WANTING I was chained to!
This changed when I met a master in India that stopped my search in its tracks!
It was like she whopped me over the head (not literally) and said "STOP SEEKING!"
She guided me to investigate the silence and freedom at the core of who I am.
Ahhhh! What a relief to just be here now.
To breathe in this moment. Exactly as it is. No matter how it looks or feels.
This powerful realisation is still rippling through any unmet darkness in my heart and mind.
Any perceived stuckness, restraints, hindrances and obstacles are now seen (sometimes after a little struggle! Ha!) as blessed reminders that true freedom is realising the vast eternal silence of who I am at the core.
Life is always moving to humble and awaken us to this simple truth. So rather than fight what what is unfolding we can surrender to the flow of life and be free!
Where do you feel trapped? What freedom do you seek? What thoughts and desires are you chained to?
A powerful practice to undertake the next time you feel trapped by life.
1. Allow the perceived limitation to be a pointer to freedom rather than an obstacle to freedom.
2. Allow the perceived block/restriction to remind you to breathe in this moment and see the stillness and freedom that is always underlying your current circumstances,
3. By all means go ahead and change your circumstances if your intuition guides you to but simulateously realise that ultimate freedom is always HERE and NOW.
4. Spend time daily focusing on the stillness and vast freedom that exists at the core of who you are despite your current circumstances.
Freedom is your true nature. Enjoy what is.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. What is freedom to you? What have you learnt about freedom? Please share these words with your tribe.
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