Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Freedom: Tapping into Our True Nature

Last week we talked about feeling burdened, and how some of us have the tendency to get ourselves trapped in unnecessary "obligation-thinking." This week I wanted to take it a step further and discuss the topic of freedom. 

Freedom is a tricky concept. First of all, it's entirely subjective---it means something different to every person. It's broadly considered a good thing, but some people who have the freedom to do whatever they want whenever they want, actually feel stunted, lost, bored, or unloved. And there are different types of freedom: political, religious, financial, emotional, physical, relational, etc.

Today, I'd like to focus on freedom as inner experience, an emotional/mental/spiritual experience. I'm referring to the way you feel when you're engaged in something you love and nothing else is nagging at you (from the inside or outside).

People experience this freedom in any number of ways, through walks in nature, dancing, singing, meditation, hanging out with  friends or family, creating art, camping, skydiving, etc. Sadly, some people only experience this feeling through the use of drugs, alcohol, or other addictive or compulsive habits. (Ironically, this way of accessing freedom is actually its opposite: a trap.)

The experience of inner freedom has a few common characteristics:
  • it's associated with peace, acceptance and allowing
  • It can feel exhilarating
  • it's free of obligation or burden
  • it's free of dependencies
  • it occurs in the moment, not in thoughts of past or future
  • it transcends human concerns
  • it feels spacious and generous
  • it can represent our true spiritual nature
This week, I ask you to consider your relationship with freedom, in all its definitions. Which freedoms do you enjoy, and which do you lack? Which freedoms might you enjoy if you were able to make some personal changes? Regardless of your circumstances, how can you tap into your higher nature and experience a greater sense of inner freedom in your life?