Posts Tagged ‘inner freedom’
Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty…
are we there yet?
OK, we know that we don’t have enough freedom due to (among other things) an unrealistic perfectionist mindset, as well as because we’ve embodied societal norms that limit our behaviors. Now let’s do more than talk about this inner freedom thing. Here are a few things you can try.
- Mental strategies. When you encounter a limiting belief or a emotion, do some research on it. Google around, and learn about people (or perhaps cultures) who handling it differently.
- Emotional shifts. Sometimes it’s helpful, when we’re having a hard time, to identify which part of ourselves feels limited. For example, it could be that inner child who’s feeling wounded, or even a rebellious inner teenager. Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and see if you get a feel for it. Regardless of whether this is clear, picture sending love and acceptance to that constricted parts of yourself. Appreciate it. And tell it that you’ll give it room to express itself in the world more fully.
- Embodied moves. Beginning with the body can be a powerful way to create transformation. Sit up straight, close your eyes, and take some deep breaths. Usually limitations cause a feeling of constriction in a localized part of the body. As you breathe deeply, visualize sending the breath into that part of the body. Give it extra room for the sensation to expand – even outside of the physical body. Imagine that you can take up as much space as needed in order to feel expansive and free.
More ideas coming later. In the meantime – do you have means that you use?
There’s a strong relationship between freedom and permission. Can we fully express ourselves in the world? Is it okay to do this or that? What will happen if we do? What would people say??
Sounds rather Victorian, doesn’t it?
Well, my American readers will recall that we have Puritan roots. Perhaps our inner critics can be a bit… puritanical. Which is defined as “of, relating to, or characterized by a rigid morality,” or “rigidly austere.” Ouch. A little strict there – not a whole lot of room to move around.
The fear, of course, is that being “permissive” will lead to behavior that is a little too free-wheelin’. That we’d do things that are just a bit too unorthodox… and that we’d be rejected. Society has dictated the norms, and we’re following along. (Ironically, even we rebel, that can be its own norm unto itself.)
So how can we create more freedom? Stay tuned for part 3.
It’s easy in life to feel boxed in – by a job, a relationship (sadly), or people’s expectations of us – or by our own expectations of ourselves. We shoot ourselves in the foot because we didn’t do everything absolutely perfectly. How dare you. And since we’re grown, we have no one to send us to our room for being bad. Instead, we send ourselves to a small, constricted place, and confine our beings. We forget that “mistakes” are part of living – and in fact are how we grow.
My partner and I have developed a little thing we say. Sometimes we’ll look at each other, take a deep breath, and say, “Hi, human.” And the other will say back, “Hi, human.” It’s a way to remember that we’re each on our own journeys, and we choose to grow.
We’ll keep looking at what true inner freedom is and how to cultivate it. But for now…
Action: Meditate on the idea of finding more freedom. And perhaps try this exercise.