In this monthly series, we offer a guided theme to hopefully ignite and inspire your next 30 days – from one soul to another.
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“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”
We all want to feel free. And yet what feeling “free” really means and how we go about getting it, is different for each of us. So this month, I alongside our amazing guest editors will be writing and musing on the theme of freedom.
So, what does freedom mean to you?
Have you ever thought about it? I know I hadn’t until at one low point in my life, I was feeling anything BUT free. I felt trapped in a relationship I didn’t want to be in, a job that sucked the life out of me and dreams that no longer fit. It was horrible.
And so I got out. I left the relationship, quit the job and moved to a new city in search of a new dream. And for the first time in my adult life, I tasted true freedom.
However, we don’t all need to radically change our lives like that in order to feel free. Mostly it’s small micro-changes and decisions that move us closer to the life we want – the kind that gives us the freedom to be who we are, do what we love and enjoy the journey along the way.
Here’s how I define freedom in my work and life:
Freedom is my ability to walk through the world and be fully and completely me.
Freedom feels like a deep inhale and exhale.
Like standing on the shoreline, looking out at the vast ocean.
Or being in a redwood forest, moss underfoot, sun trying to peek through the canopy of leaves above, clean air in my lungs, the faint whisper of moving water.
It feels spacious, fresh, joyful and in the best moments, an innate part of my very being.
Over the years I’ve determined that to feel this free, ideally, I need to:
- Be grounded
- Be present in the moment
- Be healthy
- Have heart-filled relationships
- Work for myself
- Have time for stretching myself creatively
- Have spacious days
- Get into nature regularly
While all of this might sound simple or even easy . . . in practice . . . it’s much more challenging than it seems. This kind of freedom requires self-awareness, loving kindness and my full attention – every single day.
It’s so easy to numb out, skip the yoga class, pack your day full of meetings or overlook connecting with friends and family because you’re so “busy”. But it’s these very things that contribute to you feeling more free in your work and personal life.
Why then do we consider these things optional?
I think the greatest gift you can give yourself is to define what freedom means to you and what it actually looks like (practically speaking) in your day-to-day life. When you do this, you have a custom manifesto that will help guide you to stay the course (especially helpful when life veers waaaaay off the course, which it inevitably will).
So my friend, what makes you feel free? What do you need or want in your life, that will help you to feel more free? And how can you begin to usher those things into your life in small ways – today? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
I look forward to exploring the concept of freedom with you this month. If you’d like to share your insights, a-ha’s or anything else with us on social media throughout the month, be sure to tag us @TGWKmagazine.
Photo by Christine Chang