The Many Flavours of Freedom

 

free·dom

– being able to think, choose, and act without constraint, or my simplified definition – the ability to do what you want when you want.

definition of freedom superimposed on ice cream cones

The focus of my work has shifted slowly, but surely towards freedom; no surprise really, as it’s one of my core values. I’ve found myself wanting to go deeper, into what freedom means to others.

I asked online and here’s what came back:

Freedom is. . .

  • the release of shoulds
  • being free to be yourself at every moment
  • giving yourself in service to others
  • feeling unconstrained
  • being able to choose how to spend my precious time
  • being able to still the turmoil in my mind

  • the ability to be myself in all ways, everywhere
  • knowing I am thinking my own thoughts, and not those of others
  • being able to speak my mind and do what I want, regardless of what anyone else thinks

  • doing only things I love and choose
  • having options, choices, and the opportunity to exercise one’s own will

Then there’s the more complicated, dictionary view:

Freedomnoun

1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.
2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
3. the power to determine action without restraint.
4. political or national independence.
5. personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.

So what exactly is it?

I asked some respected friends and colleagues this question:

What does freedom mean to you, and how do you nourish it in your life? 

Their words, and collective wisdom inspired me; so many flavours of freedom, each appealing in its own way and I realized the problem with freedom is that sometimes we take on someone else’s concept of freedom as our own.

Like letting someone who doesn’t know you pick a flavour of ice cream at random, you’re not likely to get what you want.

It’s why you might have the experience of constraint even when circumstances line up to produce the freedom you thought you were working towards.

So many options, grab a pink spoon and dip into the flavours below.

 

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