There must be something in the air...I was asked to post on the topic of Freedom for two blog round-ups today -- very fitting given a recent dream of mine (more below). It's fun to get such a meaty topic to pontificate on! Today's post is part of Mike Routen's Personal Freedom Round Robin and Molly Mahar's ABC’s of Self Love Blog Crawl + Treasure Hunt. Molly's series is part of a broader program called The Fierce Love Course, an awesome offering to help you "activate your amazing."
On Freedom: The Counterintuitive Way to Fly
I'm a dream junkie.
There's nothing I love more than remembering a crazy dream and analyzing it the next day with my trusty Element Encyclopedia of 20,000 Dreams, discussing all the possible meanings with friends.
The other night after returning from Mexico during a series of otherwise scattered dreams, I remembered seeing an extremely vivid, three-dimensional Avatar-style cobalt blue butterfly flying straight toward my face. It was crystal clear and extremely memorable.
According to my dream book:
"To see a butterfly in your dream denotes creativity, romance, joy and spirituality. You may be undergoing a transformation or rebirth in your way of thinking. To see a beautiful colorful butterfly in your dream denotes the positive impression you hope to make at a future social gathering or in some aspect of your life. It may also indicate your love of freedom and a refusal to be tied down. For Jung, the butterfly was a symbol of the whole psyche -- as it was for the Greeks, to whom the word "psyche" meant both butterfly and soul."
What does freedom mean to you?
Freedom is defined as "the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint."
It is no small coincidence that my words of 2011 were Freedom and Fly. Hello dream! Freedom is one of my core values, and is a driving force behind almost every decision I make.
But freedom does not have to mean that you are self-employed, single, or a stuff-eschewing minimalist; freedom can mean many things:
- Freedom from shackles of the mind: self-doubt, fear, limiting beliefs
- Freedom from financial worry
- Freedom from shoulds and social-self constructions
- Freedom to think, speak and act with truth, integrity and authenticity
- Freedom to make decisions that serve your highest good, and that of those around you
In commitment we find freedom
"The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating -- in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life." —Anne Morriss
A fallacy of freedom is that we must not allow ourselves to be tied-down, lest we lock the cage on our ability to fly. However, as the quote states, oftentimes it is in those very commitments that we truly find freedom:
- Commitment to a giant goal gives us the freedom to pursue it even on our worst days
- Commitment to our friends and romantic partners allows us the space to speak hard truths in service of strengthening the bond
- Commitment to our values grounds us and roots our decisions in what really matters
- Commitment to living in the moment, gratitude and forgiveness gives us freedom from mental suffocation, as we learn to let go of worry, stress and regret and focus on the gifts in front of us instead
- Commitment to ourselves allows us to play big in the world, to create and serve others in our highest form
Freedom is the exhilaration that comes from our ability to fly, made possible by the commitments we make to what really matters in our lives.
What does freedom mean to you? What commitments allow you to find that freedom?
Reminder: I'll be doing a live video Q&A call hosted by The Young Entrepreneur Council at 8:30pm ET on February 22 -- would love for you to join us!