What is freedom?
This question has had me on a pretty wild ride for some time now. I use to think freedom meant having lots of money and cool planes, trains, and automobiles. That would make sense right? I mean those things definitely allow you the freedom to go wherever you want. However, I have discovered that freedom is not something we get from anything external, at least not long-term freedom anyway.
I have avoided many things because of my fear of loosing my freedom as well. It seems as though most of my life has been designed by my strong intention to BE FREE, and therefore ANYTHING that threatened that was nowhere I would be found. Things like intimate relationships, working for someone else, and anything that gave me any kind of rules or expected any level of commitment, all fell into the “RED ALERT AVOID” category.
But ask yourself…What does being free mean to you? We seem to associate lots of money with lots of freedom, but some of the wealthiest people I know are imprisoned by either a fear of loosing their money, their need to have more than everyone they know, the way they have defined themselves by the amount of money they have, a fear that no one really loves them for them, the huge burden and responsibility and guilt they carry to provide and take care of everyone, or an insecurity and semi-paranoia that everyone wants something from them.
What’s interesting is, we all seem to carry around fears, and we are attached to certain things consciously or unconsciously that on some level we are terrified to not have available because we associate it with a loss of freedom.
I believe that freedom is the result of feeling free all the time.
If feeling free is not unconditional, such as a place we can access within ourselves regardless of our environment, who we are with or not with, and regardless of our circumstances, then that means our freedom is conditional. If freedom is conditional, well that isn’t really freedom is it? How can you be free if your freedom is dependent on this, that, or the other?
For me, I have always been so afraid to live in a place with no access to a gym, let alone without having a car. These two things are huge safety nets for me. Funnily enough, on my quest for freedom, I have manifested a temporary situation where I am nowhere near a gym, and have no car.
When I decided to move to Australia, I knew I was on a mission to find my freedom. I also knew that my decission meant I was in for a wild ride. At this point in my journey I have just come to accept that what we want will come as a result of working through everything that holds us back from having what we want. I’m at a point now where I just have fun with it.
When I decided to move from Sydney to The Mornington Peninsula, where I am currently living and working in one of the most beautiful, nurturing, and magical places I’ve ever seen, I knew I would be walking into a situation where I’d be living and working at a retreat center, surround by nature, with no gym and no car. These were the two main thing that almost had me turn down an opportunity of a lifetime.
There comes a point in time when we get a chance to say yes or no to an opportunity that feels so in alignement with us, yet is laced with all our deepest fears. This is when I repeat the mantra “What’s in the way IS the way.”
If we can identify these opportunities, and say yes, we will get everything we want and more than we could’ve ever asked for. If we don’t see the opportunity, it will pass us by, and hopefully we will get another chance down the road when we are more ready.
I was ready to say YES to this opportunity, and to deal on my fears one day at a time as I moved through the transition. Right before I made the final flight from Sydney to Melbourne, I went to visit my grandmother. I went for a run one morning, and I stumbled across a park. I wasnt really feeling like running but I was feeling like working out. I knew I wouldn’t have a gym where I was going so figured I’d better start finding an alternative soon, so I looked around at the park with curious eyes, and my creative juices just began flowing rapidly through my body. Within minutes I was using rocks, hills, benches, poles, railings, and having one of the best workouts of my life! At the same time I was having SO MUCH FUN. I felt like a kid again, running up hills, jumping off rocks, pulling myself up on railings, climbing trees, and more.
A small boy about 4 years old saw me and came over. He seemed to love what I was doing so he started copying me and then began to show me his ideas. At first, I’ll admit, he annoyed me, ha ha…but within a few seconds I was able to see he was a blessing and showed up for a reason. So I began to watch him and listen to him.
I began getting all these ideas, about how important it is for adults to play like children, to let out their free-spirit, and to just have fun with movement again…just like kids do.
I had been wanting to create my first workshop to teach at the retreat, and that day the creation of my newest workout method and upcoming retreat was born. It’s called Transformative Playground – where adults can be kids again AND transform their bodies and lives a s result.
So, how does all of this tie into freedom? Stay with me…I’m taking you there now…
When I got to the retreat I was newly inspired by my innovative outside workout, and immediately began assessing the property. A couple of days after my arrival, I was having one of those amazing workouts once again and feeling so refreshed that I was no longer dependent on a gym, a certain park, a country or city, or certain equipment to get my weekly workouts.
Today, once again, I took off for a morning run in a direction I’d never gone. What do ya know…I ran by a children’s’ playground. Literally, it had slides, monkey bars, bridges, the works! So I cut my run short and went to PLAY! I did lunges in the field, swung across the monkey bars, did push-ups on the wobbly bridges, pulled myself up on the railings, and even slid down the slide It was a blast! I was making up new intuitive movements on the fly…just like kids do. I also had forgotten my water bottle, and of course…there was a faucet at the playground!
You see, being dependent on a gym means I am bound to places and circumstances that have the availability of a gym. I want to feel free ANYWHERE I am. Therefore, I am realizing, if we just let go of the things that imprison us, we open ourselves up to the abundance of resources available in every circumstance.
I was told by my life coach once, “Erin, if what you think you need isn’t available, then you must not need it. Look around for what is there with the intention of finding what you need.”
If we want real freedom, real abundance, real connection, real joy, real peace, real intimacy, we must be willing to use what resources we have available. As we stop focusing on achieving these things by way of collecting attachments with the belief that we will not have what we want without this, that, or the other, then we will find those things within ourselves.
Freedom is an inside job. Traveling the world to a bunch of different places does not represent freedom if you do not feel free. Afterall everywhere you go, there you are. Freedom comes to those who are aware of its depth. Freedom is a result of learning to be flexible and to feel ok in any situation.
When we are truly free, then nothing or no one can take that away from us.
Look, I am a work in progress, but this new understanding of freedom has opened up my world to so much. I hope you will explore what freedom means to you as well.
Hugs and Love,