A lot of times, we think of freedom as getting away from it all, going to the beach or mountains for a week and doing nothing. But that’s not really freedom, that’s called a break.
Real freedom is when we can break free from our conditional habits and thoughts. Think about it, if we were free from our conditioning, we’d stop people pleasing, striving, or doing things out of shame or guilt. All the should’s and have-to’s would go out the window.
Some people might be afraid their world would go to hell in a handbasket without such control, but the truth is, without our control, we would be present for the situation in front of us, rather than predicting, controlling, and manipulating events to keep from losing what we have or getting what we want.
But if we, just a moment, pause, close our eyes, and bring our awareness to our breathing, we’d find our thoughts slowing down and our bodies relaxing. In other words, we leave a space for sanity to return.
It’s only when our minds slow down do our hearts have an opportunity to be heard.
We may notice small things we didn’t before – like the sound of the birds, the smell of the grass, or the movement of a loved one in the kitchen. And by just noticing, without having a conversation in your head about it, you may receive a new feeling – perhaps, appreciation or gratitude or contentment.
When we slow down, we may also find emotions we weren’t aware of before, such as a sadness in our chest, or a tenseness in our shoulders, or perhaps just an overall tiredness in our bodies. Feelings we may not be aware of when blindly following the quick directives of the mind. But feelings that will lead to larger problems if ignored.
Freedom is being able to be with whatever is present and still stay connected to the heart. Your heart has solutions for what concerns you. It has answers for what would truly bring you fulfillment. And it has new perceptions that can heal old wounds.
Sometimes what we learn isn’t easy to accept, but it always has a sense of sanity and groundedness to it. No longer in our heads, the heart speaks the truth.
It may take a while to hear, and we may struggle to overcome what our mind tells us we should do or fear in order to really give ourselves permission to be honest with ourselves. But in the end, the truth is what feels authentic in our bodies and gives us courage to make new choices. Why? Because the truth we find is our own. And nothing brings us more freedom than feeling like ourselves.