How free are we?

December 14th, 2011

This week I wanted to reflect on freedom. What is the meaning of freedom, to you?


For some people, freedom is being able to act and speak as they wish with no censoring, for others it means having enough money to own or do anything they want, yet for others, freedom is not being dependent on anybody else (emotionally, financially of physically). And the list could continue...

But today I would like to talk about the freedom to follow your personal path, regardless of society, culture and family expectations and conditionings. This type of freedom is one of the hardest to achieve, because more often than not, we have been so deeply conditioned by our surroundings, that we are unable to see our unique path, let alone follow it.

In fact, at a very early age we are taught how to think and what is expected from us, so when we grow up, it is really hard to step aside from this "impressions". This lack of freedom can cause a lot of suffering, because we are conditioned to BE a certain way and to DO or ACHIEVE certain things, even if they do not represent who we really are.

As we move into adulthood and start facing greater responsibilities and harder choices, we may start feeling the burden of all these conditionings more and more. We may become bitter, depressed, confused, frustrated, angry etc. But we do not see what is behind those feelings, we do not see the real cause, we may blame them on bad luck, on the world economy, on our partner, on our boss, etc.

The truth is, nobody and nothing is to blame for our lack of peace or unhappiness, not even ourselves! Remember this: NOT EVEN OURSELVES. If, from the very beginning, we were given the freedom to be and do what we really came into this world to be and do, the story would be totally different, but once we are caught in the roller coaster of acquired beliefs and conditionings, it is almost impossible to see past them.

Stepping aside and finding yourself is not so easy, but can be very rewarding. A lot of things can help you do that, things like spending more time "being" and less time "doing", for instance. Our societies and education value more what we do than who we are, and this is not right. Nowadays we are always running from one place to the next, working non-stop and doing, doing doing; this puts us in a situation were we disconnect ourselves from our true essence and forget the most important part of us, we forget to just BE.

Another important thing that can help us is to slow down. Because of the fast pace of our modern societies, it is crucial that we find ways to slow down, some of them are:

  • Practice Meditation on a daily basis
  • Spend more time in nature
  • Listen to music while doing nothing else
  • Practice Yoga, Tai-chi or other exercise that really helps you connect with your body
  • Eat slowly and mindfully (not in front of your desk, not in front of the TV)
Anything that makes you slow down and spend more time within, will help.

The key is to find your path so that you are not the person your parents wanted you to be, nor the person your husband/wife wishes you were, not even the person you think you should be, but simply the person YOU are meant to be. If you can free yourself from all the acquired conditionings, you should be able to little by little find yourself and find greater fulfillment in life.

Just some food for thought!

Have a great week!


*The Silva Method (VA, DC, MD) is offering a new seminar on: Create a life of success. Work and achieve your goals- December 18th, for details, check their website.

* There is a great documentary coming out: don't miss it!

* If you are into healthy eating, eating raw and medicinal plants, you may want to check out the new courses offered by Tera Warner, the first one of which is: Wild Edibles and All-Season Survival Skills, Registrations close on Dec. 31st and class begins on January 3rd. More info.

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