“Freedom begins the moment you realize someone else has been writing your story and it’s time you took the pen from his hand and started writing it yourself.” Bill Moyers
Bill Moyer’s is quite an inspiring person. Definitely a good example of someone who is free – meaning he is living his dream. I chose the topic of Freedom because I believe that a lot us are confused about what that really means. I used to think that freedom meant I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Truth is this could cause a little bit of anarchy if not watched. Things change for the better as we get older, hopefully. Freedom came to mean something entirely different to me as time went on. I used to find discipline and structure confining – now I crave order. Realizing that within in the order there is a great freedom. By disciplining the mind so much more is possible.
When you think about it even physical bondage can not take away the freedom we create in our minds. Nelson Mandela is a great example of this – the man was incarcerated for 27 years and mange to get out with his mind intact and lead the country that had turned it’s back on him. Why – because his mind was free. He did not get bogged down with what was happening in the moment, he knew that his mental state was the most important thing. Freedom therefore is a state of mind and this is what has compelled me to find a method of becoming friends with it. The mind is a powerful tool, if left unchecked it can wreak havoc.
Things brings me to ask how do we lose our freedom? First thing that comes to mind is ‘attachment’. Attachment to what – everything our clothes, car, friends, significant others, a job, a title, money, the neighborhood we grew up in, screwed up ideas ( i know that’s subjective) etc… You name it we become attached to it. Next question that arises – I had so many of these when this was brought to my attention. If you don’t have any attachments to your loved ones or the things you do/have what significance does life have? We can still enjoy life without clenching on to it for dear life. Yes we all have goals, we need to get things done. All understood, but does it make or break the happiness that resides within. Some of us had good childhoods, some not so much. Mine was a mixed bag, but I had a great imagination and I got lost in it a lot. This gave me a sort of freedom – no one could take what I valued most because I kept in the vaults of my mind and the chambers of my heart. I have surmised from my experience, learning from folks wiser than myself and reading is that we all need to know why we are here, put first things first and then move forward. Even if you are not sure spend some time alone and ponder. Some of us have so much crap to wade through we get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. This in an of itself creates the ‘lack of freedom’. Simplicity is best, start with the little things – enjoy the things that are free – like for instance the air we breathe, the trees, children laughing, the company of wonderful friends – enjoying things for what they are now. Be grateful for what we have instead of worrying ourselves to death. I had been ill for a number of years and my ‘teach’ told me make sure after you do your practices you go out and take a walk. He knew how much I loved the woods. There are 400 acres where I lived and I got to know them very well during my residency. This practice helped my healing along. Clearing the mind of fear, past hurts and so forth. I’m not saying that we don’t need to process our garbage. That’s a must, but start with enjoying the simple things that life has to offer. Not as easy as it sounds you might say, but Mother Nature cures all that ails you. There is nothing like the ocean breeze with its negative ions to clear away the cobwebs. The woods – why those trees are the steeples of our planet. It’s my favorite church. Freedom is always at our beck and call. We were born to be free. I am reminded of what Joseph Campbell told his students ‘find your bliss’ . In this day and age there are literally thousands of books, discs and music that are available for our inspiration. We create our greatest dreams and our own darkest nightmares. The company we keep makes a huge difference. These days we have more opportunities than ever to create the lives we want. Freedom has a price – the price is perseverance, belief in one self, a great deal of faith and the spirit of a warrior.
Ciao for now