Are you free?
Before you jump in and say: ‘yes, of course I am free,’ I think it is worth looking at the word freedom with a little more care. Freedom at its basic is the kind of freedom written in the Constitution. It is our freedom to exercise any religion, our freedom of speech, and freedom without discrimination based on race, ethnicity and so on. One layer deeper than that, it is our freedom of movement – to be able to go anywhere we choose, when we want to. Incarceration takes this kind of basic human freedom away, and it typically does so, so that other civilians’ freedom can be protected. But, the freedom that I am alluding to here is a few layers deeper than that. It is the kind of freedom we feel and experience, regardless of the condition we are in.
In every coaching relationship I have ever engaged, the moment of greatest work is in finding out where exactly in our lives we are experiencing lack of freedom. For all the clients I have worked with this freedom I am speaking of is not one set by any outside force or power, although at times is appears to be so. This lack of freedom is an internal experience of the world. This lack of freedom is a self-imposed glass ceiling that keeps us stuck, feeling powerless, and often, operating well beneath our capacity and hardly scratching the surface of our true potential.
I am spending much time pondering on this, as this month I am invited to attend my Citizenship Oath Ceremony, the last step in completing my citizenship status in the Unites States. It has been a tremendously long journey. I have been in the US for 22 years and in many ways it has felt as if the most basic kind of freedom was taken from me. I believed that I was unable to exercise my greatest gifts and pursue my true happiness due to limitations on my status. In 2012, when I went from being on a Visa to earning a green card, I was, for the first time truly free to make a career choice that would lead me to greater fulfillment, and to make simple plans without the ever ambiguous future that lied ahead of me. I do believe that much of this ‘lack of freedom’ I experienced was actually real. I simply could not turn a job down without having the security of another one because without a Visa I would have to leave the States. In some ways, however, I could have been ok with that outcome and less attached to the need to be here, in the US. This is something I looked back on many times, and I always come back to the same question and answer: was it worth it? Was it worth it to wait, and work so hard, to make this part of my dream, to live in the US and become a US citizen, come true? And, the answer is always, yes. So, I do believe that the kind of lack of freedom I experienced was not fictional. It was real. I was in fact fighting for, and saying yes to, what I still believe has been a life-long dream. So, the limitation set by the green card were still, in the overall picture, smaller than the larger and ultimate freedom I was fighting for.
Within a few months of receiving a green card I took some faithful steps toward the unknown – to start a brand new career in coaching and leadership. I had no backup plan and I was only truly equipped with a dream. Since that time, I have coached literally hundreds of people into taking similar risks, turning big dreams, into tangible experiences in their lives. What I have come to see is that everyone has a similar green card story, although not literally. What I mean, is that everyone feels limited by a force – it is an idea of what one must be, own or acquire in order to move forward. It is a limited self-image that can be dismantled with an honest look at how often we let other people, or situations, take our power from us. I believe, in most instances, we give our power away, although we feel like our power is being taken from us.
This month I am also celebrating a second type of freedom. One year ago, on October 5, I chose to walk away from a painful relationship that was quickly destroying my soul. Sometimes freedom is not in going after anything, it is walking away from everything that is an obstacle to our self-expression. When we move away from relationships, habits and situations that impact our integrity and alignment to our true values, we are, in my view, fighting for the greatest of all freedoms.
Where in your life do you feel as if an external force is holding you back? How do you let this external force take away the power that is yours by birth-right? Instead of trying to reason that the force acting upon you is external to you, move from a perspective that the force is born from you. In every situation we can engage with, and be pulled toward the negative forces that hold us back, or we can choose to not do that. The cost, in the long run, is the attainment, or not, of the ultimate freedom that we all have an urge to experience in life.
Quoting one of the most inspiring authors, psychologists, and concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl, “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” He called this type of freedom, spiritual freedom. It is not imposed by anything, and in fact it can never be taken away from us, unless we consent to it.
The quest for freedom has been my life’s most central pursuit. In my 40s, I am coming to embrace that freedom is a daily choice. It is not something we just arrive at. We experience freedom every time we say yes to choices that align with our inner soul’s journey. We experience a lack of freedom when we say yes to everything else. I think of it as a diligent process of simplification. When we make things simpler because we say no to obstructing habits, activities and connections, we begin to touch this quiet and serene place of freedom more often. A life that is ‘simply’ true to our inner soul’s longings is a free life, and a life worth living.
Freedom in everything – I watch videos from Sislovesme
I’m not ashamed to admit it, sometimes I watch videos on the adult site SisLovesMe.
Because they have the coolest porn Actresses of our time. In all videos of young girls fuck their half-brothers. This is not family incest, because they are not native by blood. Every week there is a new video, I purchased the annual subscription and now 1.5 years watching their videos! They are full of lust and debauchery, pure art.
I know right away when I interact with individuals who experience this kind of freedom in their lives. They have a life-force within them that is tangible. The 80 year-old Bob Proctor, with whom I have studied and seen in numerous occasions speak and teach, has more energy than most 20-year olds I know, who are struggling because their life purpose is hidden so deep within them, they have no idea it is even there. Although, we like to believe that we can gain energy by drinking enough caffeine, this energetic life-force born from the spiritual freedom Frankl speaks off, we can only generate from within. It is not gained by anything outside of us. Simply speaking, if you want more of this life force in you right now, you need to begin the detox process – cleaning away the garbage that blocks your access to your soul’s deepest longings. This is not an easy thing to do, but it is, in my view, the only thing worth spending our time. Ending with a quote by poet Rumi,
“It is as if the king has sent you into a far and distant land with one specific task to accomplish. You could accomplish a hundred other things, but if you do not accomplish the one thing for which you have been sent, it will be as if you have done nothing.”
Honoring your soul’s purpose, and touching this ‘spiritual freedom,’ is your life’s only work.