When you hear the word “freedom,” what thoughts and images does it conjure up for you?
The truth is, we are often tied down or held back by our thoughts, limiting beliefs or circumstances. We are often at the mercy of the voices inside telling us that we aren’t good enough or don’t deserve to have it all.
To me, freedom means the ability to live the life I want without falling prey to outside pressures putting constraints on me.
It means living a life full of purpose and fulfillment.
It means being authentically myself in an unabashed, all-in and no-apologies needed kind of way.
It is putting myself first, because if I can’t, who will?
I feel so fortunate to have been raised by parents who allowed me to fully express myself in the, albeit sometimes embarrassing, ways that I wanted to.
I was encouraged to be a freethinker, to stand up for what I believe in and to pursue the path that my heart has pulled me to follow.
There can be so many things that come to mind when we talk about freedom. I’d like to focus on the following areas and encourage everyone to explore their own ideas of what freedom means, and how we can cultivate more of it in our daily lives:
Freedom from financial strain
Are you living within your means? Are your income and expenses balanced or are you living paycheck to paycheck?
Financial freedom means having the ability to take care of your basic needs while being able to pamper yourself from time-to-time. We all could use a little self-love boost every so often.
Freedom from external validation
Are you listening to what you need and want? Or are you being influenced by other people’s opinions and perceptions of what is right or wrong?
Only you know what is right for your life. Know that you are living your truth and that you do not have to follow the path that someone else may think is better for you. It means trusting yourself. It is instinctively do what you feel is best for you. You let your desires lead your life course.
Freedom to speak your mind
Are you sharing your thought and feelings with others? Or are you holding back for fear that they will be ignored or, worse, made to feel unimportant?
Keeping your feelings inside leads to monkey-mind, where you go over the same topic in your head over and over and over until you have driven yourself crazy. Take it from me; it is so much better to get it out in the open. It might prompt an uncomfortable conversation, or it could bring you closer than you could have ever imagined.
I’ve certainly gone through times where I felt more constrained but I constantly work toward feeling more freedom in my life.
Being free may mean that sometimes we mess up, but that we will do our best to not make the mistake again.
Take charge of your freedom and start living a vibrant life!
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Apprentice Editor: Emily Bartran/Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: Courtesy of Author
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