“The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage.” Carrie Jones
As we start the month of July, take time to reflect on our freedoms. What a cherished and valuable gift that we so easily enjoy in America! We can celebrate freedom in all its forms. When we think of freedom, we might first think about the Fourth of July and our independence from the British in 1776. And of course there’s freedom of speech and religion. But what about “personal freedom?” The kind of freedom we achieve when we break free from ourselves and our old ways of being? How can we let loose of those things that hold us back from being who we are truly meant to be? For some of us this can be a difficult journey. But it’s the most worth-while one we can take. Along the way, rediscovery happens. Power is found from within and peace comes from breaking away from old habits and thought patterns. Bolder moves and choices are made with our life.
How, you say?
Well, let’s take a look at a few “tools” we can pull from.
Recognize habitual, negative thought patterns. Shift them into the new thoughts you’d like to create. Whether we want them to or not, or whether positive or negative, our thoughts are creating pictures of our lives. We can take a mirror to our life today and consider that our current life is a reflection of the thoughts we had yesterday, last week, last month, or last year. Also, most of the thoughts we’re keeping today are the exact same thoughts we had yesterday.
So ponder this. Are you tired of having the same thoughts? Wonder how you can change them? Only when we are in stillness can we become aware of our thoughts and begin to transform them. It is through mindful practice that we wake up! We’re no longer running on autopilot and completely unaware of our thoughts and choices. We can pay attention to our thoughts. Once we are aware of them we can practice self-compassion towards ourselves. Then our thoughts will begin to shift to more loving and nourishing thoughts.
Live for you! Do what makes you happy. We can ask ourselves “Does my life follow the mold of my parents, my ancestors, my society? Is it the life I desire for myself?” If not, we can take bold steps to follow our own unique path. Letting go of other people’s expectations and thoughts of ourselves, as well as any need to please others. Why be concerned with what others may think of us? Regardless of what we do, people are still going to have their opinions. So, why not do what makes us happy! No one else has to understand or approve of our lives. Only we do!
Take chances! Life isn’t discovered in the comfort zone. True growth happens when we take risks and challenges and do what feels completely uncomfortable and unnatural. Just on the other side of our fears and trepidation lies our strength and power. Facing our fears builds so much character and equips us for more greatness along our path.
Embrace life’s ebbs and flows. Life goes up and down! Even our inspiration and motivation changes. But…keep going. We can do something everyday, no matter how small, that inspires us and builds towards our dreams. If we allow life’s challenges to knock us down and keep us down then we have surrendered our power and freedom over once again.
Be authentic! No matter what, we can speak and own our truth. The cost of not standing in our authenticity is far too great than owning who we are at all times. When we deny, abandon, or reject parts of ourselves in order to please or make others feel more comfortable, then our self-esteem is effected. Nothing feels worse than when we walk away from an experience knowing we didn’t show up as our truest self! We can own who we are and share ourselves bravely with the world!
So, as we celebrate America’s freedom, we can celebrate our own personal power and freedom. Wherever we are along the journey is exactly where we’re supposed to be. But we can cultivate new tools to help navigate us with greater peace, power, love and freedom. There has never been an easy war to freedom. True freedom may come at a price, but we can choose love to win our battles.
May we soar like the butterflies that we were created to be!
~ Hugs, The Cassiano Team