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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It’s About Time

 

It is time to disrupt your beliefs about time. 

disrupt your beliefs about time; image of antique clocks

1.  “I’m the one that’s got to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.” ― Jimi Hendrix

It’s time. . .to do more of what you want.

And feel how you want to feel in life.

Stop trying to live up to someone else’s expectations.

Stop comparing.

Start living YOUR life the way YOU want.

 

2.  “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” ― Mark Twain

It’s time. . .to stop worrying about the future and what might happen.

The future isn’t real.

It’s completely made up and you, my friend, are the author of that story.

Start saying something new for the life you say you want.

 

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What You Can Be, You Must Be

 

“What one can be, one must be.” – Abraham Maslow

What one can be, one must be. - Abraham Maslow

Imagine your life growing from a seed; one seed uniquely, divinely you, growing roots as an expression of you.

In a world driven by goals and results, it’s much too easy to forget that what there is to do is BE yourself.

What if that is your life’s purpose? Wouldn’t it be a relief to stop trying so hard?

What you can be, you must be. You cannot change your roots.

An acorn must become an oak tree, and you must become you.

When you resist, you kick the door open to suffering.

What if the only resolution you ever need to make ever in life is this. . .

“I resolve to become more fully myself.”

Say it out loud.

Write it on your bathroom mirror.

Your roots, like the roots of any tree, need care and nourishment to grow and bear fruit, and now is the best time to begin.

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A Love Affair with Yourself

 

Imagine a love affair with yourself…

“Suddenly, and for the first time, she was at the center of her own life, living it and loving it.” – Mary Balogh

You, at the centre,
a full-blown love affair with yourself.

That luscious, heady feeling…all for you.

Murmured words of love,
a tender gaze…just for you.

Imagine…

“If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair.” – Ray Bradbury

For now, give your intellect a rest.

Listen only to your heart,
let it bask in your fullest attention.

Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Your soul yearns
to be acknowledged,

a willing lover
whispering,
waiting for your embrace.

Wrap your arms around it.
And hold on for dear life.

Fire burns in your belly.

Your most desired feelings,
like lava, burning to flow freely.

Unleash their fullest expression.

Goddess sculpture, head back, arms up and open

Look back and remember.
There have been times you knew this love.

See it, hear it, feel it,
in that deepest part of you. . .
no one ever sees.

“Love affairs, in their beginnings, are all about the present.” – Kate Morton

The present, a most precious gift.

Breathe it in like a lover’s scent.
Not yesterday, not tomorrow,

only now.

And take heart

“Courage Is a Love Affair with the Unknown” – Osho

Trust that you are up to the task.

 

I Dream, Therefore I Am

It’s time to dream. . .

It’s time to dream.

collage of dreamlike image

“I have a dream…” – Martin Luther King Jr.

1.  “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do… Explore. Dream. Discover.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

  • This quote screams of regrets and someday thinking. Take a chance, swing out and be honest about what you want.

2.  “Dreams are THE BEST! The DayDreams, the Secret Wishes, THOSE Dreams we keep and cherish, hidden in the spaces between our heartbeats.” – Bif Naked

3.  “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” – Paulo Coelho

  • It’s the possibility, anticipation and taking action on the dream that provides a fulfilling experience, sometimes more than having the dream itself materialize. When your values are guiding you, satisfaction is pretty much guaranteed.

4.  “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

  • I’ve been working on my 50 For 50 list, things I’m going to do during my 50th year. It’s inspiring and kind of awesome to inspire yourself in this way, especially when you start early and have a breakthrough like I did recently!

5.  “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” – John Lennon

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14 Quotes to Fire Up Your Genius

 

Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius.” 

Einstein, Person of the Century, Time magazine cover

The man considered the epitome of genius said that. Which got me thinking about this quality or state of being we call genius.

gen·ius

– a natural ability or capacity; strong inclination: Synonyms: gift, talent, aptitude, faculty, endowment, predilection; penchant, knack, bent, flair, wizardry

So yeah, I’m with Einstein on this one.

Everybody is a genius.

You. Me. Everybody.

Right here, right now. Your gifts, your superpowers, your genius. Yours and yours alone.

Are you willing to declare what your genius is? 

I’ll start. . .

My genius is the ability to call bull shit on your someday thinking, rattling your cage such that you can no longer stand it and find yourself compelled to take action.

Your turn. . .

Start thinking about it right now, so that by the time you get to the end of the post you’ll be able to declare it in the comments.

And to get you fired up about your genius even more, a few inspiring words from our pal Albert.

 

14 Quotes to Fire Up Your Genius

 

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, expecting different results.”

Oh yeah baby, I’ve been quoting this one for years! Over and over, we take the same damn actions expecting not only different results but a transformation of epic proportions. Yeah, good luck with that.

Want new results in life? You’ve got to say and do new things. Not rocket science (sorry Albert).

 

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21 Quotes To Crush Your Someday Thinking

 

Today I am sharing my favourite someday crushing quotes; the ones I go to myself when I need a reminder that there is NO someday.

silver flying pig piggy bank

1.  “Make today worth remembering.” – Zig Ziglar

2.  “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

I’m with Steve on this one. Your heart really does know what you want and when you trust your intuition your someday thinking doesn’t stand a chance.

3.  “Someday is now.” – Gaddy Bergmann

4.  “Life’s greatest tragedy is not that it will someday end, but that most only live to follow directions and sometimes we end up totally lost.” – Alex Gaskarth

This one breaks my heart and it’s why I do the work I do.

5.  “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

You know how I feel about regrets right? Do what you need to do to NOT have them.

6.  “There are only 7 days in the week & “someday” is not one of them.”Rita Chand

Rita is someone who lives life out loud, going after her dreams in a way that leaves someday thinking in the dust. Who do you have in your life that inspires and motivates you to action?

7.  “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs

Whose life are you living? Parents, teachers, mentors – all can inspire but they can also pull you away from your calling. Start listening to your heart instead of the voices around you. It knows. Continue reading