For over a decade, I have received almost the exact answer each time… I want greater Peace and Happiness. And when I ask them what it will give them to experience Peace and Happiness every day, they answer . . . it will give me Freedom.
The consistency of these conversations has led me to recognise that within almost all of us is a deep yearning for personal freedom. Now by freedom, I do not necessarily mean doing everything we want without any consideration for others or without restraint. We need balance and we need self-control. The freedom I am referring to is the feeling of openness and authenticity. A feeling of being true to yourself, feeling expansive and in a state of joy and bliss. Personal freedom feels as if our guard has come down- we feel a sense of liberation. Liberated from our thoughts, our anxiety, our fear and self-protection. We are living through the Age of Freedom- a time where the citizens of the world are rising and demanding to be heard- demanding human freedom.
Freedom is a deep emotion that seems to call upon each of us. This is especially true for individuals who are more self-aware, spiritually evolved and striving for personal excellence. We feel free when we return to our natural state; when we break free from all the mental, emotional and physical restraints that keep us feeling stuck and contained. Anything that blocks our personal freedom creates a type of suffering in the mind. This presents itself as anxiousness, restlessness, negative self- talk, self- doubt or self- sabotage.
There are many things that block our freedom. And true transformation occurs when we realise that “pain is certain, suffering is optional.” (Gautama Buddha). We can choose to let go of many thought and behavioural patterns that block us from experiencing ultimate freedom. Some of the patterns that block our freedom include:
- Holding onto the past
- Fearing the future
- Predicting or anticipating outcomes
- Judging ourselves or others
- Lack of forgiveness
- Having expectations for ourselves and others
- Compromising our boundaries and people pleasing
- Denying ourselves form what we truly desire
- Martyrdom and self-sacrifice
- The need for safety
- Controlling ourselves, others, outcomes and our environment
- Doing ‘the right thing’ as opposed to living your truth
- Not feeling deserving or worthy to have your deepest desires
What would happen if we dump these patterns? Is this our key to freedom? Can we surrender our hidden agenda enough to break free from the shackles that imprison our spirit? Can we let go of Ego, fear, control and judgment?
What patterns do you recognize in yourself? How are you blocking your own freedom and what can you let go of?
“Breath by breath, let go of fear, expectation, anger, regret, cravings, frustration, fatigue. Let go of the need for approval. Let go of old judgments and opinions.
Die to all that, and fly free. Soar in the freedom of desirelessness.
Let go. Let Be. See through everything and be free, complete, luminous,
at home — at ease.”
— Lama Surya Das