My journey at present is the pursuit of freedom. I feel very much locked into my life at the moment. Thinking that if I went on the perfect retreat or course, it would free me in an instant. The walls would dissolve and I would be free to speak and do what I want without concern. I’ve stuck to this belief for a while now, searching for the cure, but not quite finding it. I’ve found hints of it, but the dates never quite matched up, or the travel was too far. Always a tiny detail that would mean I’d have to put in much more time or money than I’d been comfortable with.
I’ve been dying to release my voice most of all.
Spending time in a job where I cannot speak the things I want to say. Silently imploding day after day. This week I cried and with the sympathy that came with it, I uttered some words that I couldn’t have said before; “I hate my job. I love the people, but I hate my job”. I felt a slight relief that the words were now out there, but nothing changed.
In recovery, I spent some time clearing up my bookshelves. Way too many books. So many still waiting to be read. I wondered if I would ever get round to it. Would I always be busy, having a million things to do? A fleeting memory came into mind of a book I had started reading recently, that then got forgotten as five new books were piled on top of it. I dug it out, and placed the newer books on my shelves. I commit to trying to at least finish this book before getting captured by a new one.
And there, within the next pages, was my answer. I’d been seeking an instant change. But when had I ever changed dramatically overnight? I am an introvert. A slow burner. I needed something to take time and slowly change my habits for good ones. Freedom was there, but needed smaller, gradual changes.
The book asked me to explore my levels of freedom in certain situations. I was to think of situations that limited my freedom. Work of course. I was to feel deeply what level of freedom I had here. I felt deeply silenced. Unable to move. Invisible.
Then I was to experience a time when I felt extremely free. My mind cast me to a Jimmy Eat World concert I went to a few years ago. After a couple of drinks and having the best location within the concert hall, I was loose, free, singing, dancing and so very happy. I was using my body, my voice, and I had a dear friend with me who accepted me 100%. This comparison really brought it home. But it’s not like I can go to the perfect Jimmy Eat World concert every day.
Freedom is available at any time, to anyone – and so is captivity.
The book encouraged me to find more experiences that give me this feeling. And there it clicked, I can become free. I just need to increase the amount of time I feel exactly that way, and reduce the amount of time I feel like I am in a box. Freedom will come naturally, and before I know it I will be using my voice and body more freely as normal. As it will become normal. It makes perfect sense. I don’t need to make a dramatic exit from my job tomorrow. I can just make tiny adjustments. Eventually, the Universe will catch up.
Homework: I invite you to think about your own personal freedom, and what situations make you feel free, and boxed in. Are you living your True Self?