Every summer, in the days leading up to and immediately following the Fourth of July, it is striking how so many of us become consumed with thoughts and hopes for freedom, both internal and external, as if Independence Day on cue each year opens us up to the possibility of living less inhibited, more free lives.
It is also funny, strange, and lovely that my birthday falls a couple days after the Fourth and that each year I gift myself with what I call quite intentionally a “day of freedom” or of fully letting go, wherein I grant myself permission to do whatever feels organically and in the moment the thing to do, without hang up, worry, fear, or judgment.
In other words, I allow myself to simply live, liberated from my garbage, a full-on full-out free creature. Imagine that!
(Side Note: I actually wrote about this as a quandary a couple years ago in another blog post on Freedom, where I questioned why I couldn’t just do this every day, why in fact I needed the excuse of my specific birthday–or why we collectively need Independence Day–to let freedom reign and stream through us. I basically asked why is it so darn hard to emancipate ourselves moment by moment from the bindings of our wild minds, thoughts, habits, karmas, and constantly fluctuating sensations?)
This particular year, freedom has taken central stage in a curiously softened and much more poignant way. Indeed, my usual allowance for freedom didn’t only manifest as me eating yummy, decadent, gluten-filled, buttery cake and drinking loads of fantastic red wine on my birthday night with my husband and sister, sans kids. Though this was really fun too!
The vision, presence, and eminence of holy freedom actually rang out in the form of a deep heart vow, in both words and profound feeling during the very quiet meditation portion of my day. It is as if nestled in my sweet body an authentic freedom vow sprang up and articulated itself like this: To continuously and repeatedly commit to letting go and living freely.
What is so special or different about this message, you ask? Because it became clear to me that I have been “understanding” freedom sort of falsely, as something out there.
What I came to see this go round is that freedom is not a thing to impose or grant upon our selves at all. Nor is it a ridding of or escaping from self-imposed rules, but rather a glorious practice, a daily, meaty, both earthy and celestial practice that can happen at any and every moment, and that is essentially already always happening.
Sound too far out?
What I mean is that the feeling of freedom, the light, buoyant-hearted, swinging, skipping, grooving, joyful, easy, celebratory feeling of freedom is always on the menu, always available, always in stock for us all. It is essentially a choice, an attitude or stance of body, mind, and spirit and is so utterly NOT about disconnecting, shunning, or floating high up and away from anything that ails or imprisons or limits us.
Freedom it seems to me is actually about being so honestly rooted, aware, and secure in ourselves that no matter what the problem or obstacle or issue is, we can live and feel totally free right there in the thick of it. In other words, a whole lot of freedom is about the let down, the relaxation, the grace and glow that comes from allowing and accepting the things we try so intensely to dodge.
Humor me and close your precious eyes:
1. Fill yourself with all the feelings that you personally correlate with freedom.
2. Let them swirl and sway and dance inside you.
3. Do this as often as you can.
4. Whenever you are crabby or sad or ashamed or bored to death or enraged by, or plain old sick and tired of all your stuff, PRACTICE THIS.
5. And let everything else be exactly as it is.
That’s all my musing for now, folks.
Do tell, what is freedom to you?