Freedom is a State of Mind

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Ahh, FREEDOM. It drives us all.

Financial freedom. Freedom to do the work we love. Freedom from the demons of our past. Freedom from fear and self-sabotage. Freedom from the lashings of our inner critic.

We’re all seeking it, in some form or another, and to celebrate the second round of her ecourse The Freedom Project, my gorgeous friend Claire has asked me to dive deeper and share on what freedom looks like for me.

As a freedom-hungry Sagittarian soul who fled her corporate cubicle a little over a year ago on the quest for sovereignty, this is a challenge I’m more than happy to rise to!

Read on for my thoughts…


What does freedom feel like?

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“When I give up my ideas of how life has to go, then there’s freedom in every moment.” – Brian Andreas

Freedom feels like release. It’s unclenching, untethering myself from an outcome. Letting go. A sense of expansiveness. Being open, and light. Being wildly, authentically me – in any given moment. Speaking my truth, with love.

A stand-out, visceral ‘freedom moment’ for me…. has to be climbing to the top of the Swiss Alps, heart thrumming, drinking it all in, wondering if just maybe, my eyes were playing tricks on me. Everything felt so stupendously over-sized, and there wasn’t a cell in my being that wasn’t pulsating. Ba-boom. Ba-BOOM.

Words don’t really do experiences like these justice – the English language doesn’t seem to be able to capture the magnitude of this feeling – but I’m not sure it’s meant to. To do so would contain it, which is, of course, the opposite of freedom.

When you feel it, you just know it. It’s intoxicating.


How do you maintain freedom with a busy lifestyle?

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Freedom noun

1. The power or right to act, speak or think as one wants.

2. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.


What I’ve learnt is that freedom truly is a state of mind. True freedom means feeling radically empowered, knowing you’re responsible for the way you react, the way you feel, and the way you live your life.

There’s the external expression of freedom – jumping on the plane, escaping, making all the rules, doing whatever you please whenever you please – but there’s a caveat with that kind of freedom and it’s this: ‘Wherever you go, there you are.’ 

You can be surface ‘free,’ yet more mentally shackled than ever before. You can be doing the work you love, but feel trapped by the very empire you’ve built around you.

In my experience, it all comes back to choice.

And – most importantly – care and celebration and deep, deep gratitude for wherever you’re at.

I had to consciously choose freedom: yesterday. When I looked at the list of jobs to be done for my (soon-to-be-launched) program, there was a moment where my heart flipped and I sucked in my breath. Ok. The list is still pretty huge.

There were two doors in front of me. To walk into the first one would be to spiral into this:

‘I’m working on a Sunday when I should be relaxing at the beach with a good book.”

But the other glimmered with this alternate truth; a brighter, positive perspective:

‘I’m working on a Sunday, creating something I’m incredibly passionate about. And I’m answering these questions for someone I love, which brings a smile to my face. AND – I can do it at the beach.’

THAT’s freedom. Swiftly steering out of the Land of Limited Thinking, packing up my gear and planting myself on a blanket at one of my favourite beaches in the world.

Busy and free co-existing? It’s possible. It really is.


If freedom were a colour what would it be?

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There’s no doubt in my mind – it’s this one. It finds me, wherever I go. Ocean, sky, wide, free. Pure magic.


If freedom were a song what would it be?

Lately, I’ve been meditating to the song I walked down the aisle to, James Vincent McMorrow’s version of ‘Higher Love’ and there’s this part that goes:

‘I could light the night up with my soul on fire, 

I could make the sun shine from pure desire.

Let me feel the love come over me, 

Let me feel how strong it can be.’ 

And – I don’t know what it is about those lyrics and the tone in his voice – but I feel totally free when those words touch my ears. Free, covered with goosebumps and absolutely grounded in the moment.


What is the opposite to freedom?

Restriction. Forcing. Feeling pressurised. Living in a state of struggle. Being a slave to a story. Losing faith in the fact that whatever the Universe has in store for me, and whatever soul contract I’m here to fulfil, is far greater than I can possibly imagine.

Just like you can FEEL freedom, the same can be said about its opposite. It’s that one step too far, that one clouded thought, the slide back into old habits.

When we’re caught up in judgement, we’re imprisoned.

When we’re frozen in fear, we’re closed.

When we’re controlling the outcome, we’re confined.

This is different for us all… but again, we know.


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And now, a freedom-focused fill-in-the-blank for you…

I’d love you to answer this in the comments: I feel most free when ___________________________

And, once you’re done, don’t forget to head over to say a big hello to Claire and check out her ecourse. She’s a rare and sparkling gem and I completely stand by her work.

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37 Comments to “Freedom is a State of Mind”

  1. Yes! Soooo timely. So beautiful.
    It’s so easy to get sucked into being your own boss and coming from a place of restriction and pushing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We can get our shiz done AND feel expansive. Thank you!

    I feel most free when I affirm: Time is my friend.

    Ps – the original higher love is a pretty pumping tune too ;)

    XX

    • As the wise sage Dolly Parton once said: ““Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” Bang on wisdom right there, Dolly. Loving your affirmation too, babe.

      PS: AGREE. Was listening to the original on the weekend actually. Steve Winwood for the… win. ;) x

  2. I remember a decade ago creating my own phrase that “disability is a state of mind”. For me it represented the shifting of attitudes to disability to a positive slant. If I meet an arm amputee or someone in a wheelchair, I immediately think about what kind of Paralympic sport they’d be suited to. That to me is a powerful shift of perspective. It correlates with freedom for me. Physically I can sometimes feel so trapped by vision-impairment and so I find other ways to feel the freedom. Like pulling my camera out in public even when strangers are looking at me because I’m not “supposed” to be able to take photos – my self talk says “why would I let their preconceived notions limit my enjoyment of this moment, this life?”. Other ways I feel freedom include making decisions that are true to myself; to eliminate the nonsense from our lives; to spend time how we want to; to NOT have a magazine-worthy styled home and choose experiences instead; to laugh affectionately at my disability; to travel the world (with my husband who enables this freedom); running free on a deserted paddock or beach (need less things to bump into!); and while it may seem counter-intuitive, to PLAN, research a new route on google maps so that when I walk it alone I’m familiar enough to enjoy it.

    • “Why would I let their preconceived notions limit my enjoyment of this moment, this life?”

      Wow. Every comment of yours here blows me away, but I’ve gotta say – this one has topped the list.

      Thank you for so generously – so eloquently – allowing us to feel how freedom feels in your body. I love how you mention perspective, because to me, that’s IT. The nugget. You’ve just shown me how YOU ‘choose’ and I sear I say this every time, but I am so, so inspired! x

  3. Woah this is such a poignant post for me to read right now. I feel most free when I get off outcome and get on purpose. When I release my need to feel certainty and just trust. When I step out of my head and back into my heart. Beautifully written as always Rach. The way you can put what I am feeling into words here is epic.

  4. Oh Rach, this song has given me goosebumps!

    I’ve recently accepted that it’s perfectly free-ing for me to sit down on a Saturday night or Sunday and werk (the word I’ve given to work that I love to do – hehe), because I am surrounding myself with things/people/projects I love and external restrictions and expectations need not apply. This of course applies to money, love, relationships, food… Do what you love and do what works (werks) for you.

    I feel most free when I remember that I always have a choice. Also – YAY for you writing more on the blog! x

    • YES YES YES! Fist pumping at that! I was having the same conversation with a friend recently saying that my spiritual practice right now is devoting to my work (werk) because there’s a message that needs to be born. I have a duty, and honour, to bring it alive.

      Hurrah to you for releasing expectations. For calling in more of the support your soul requires. You are such a shining light. xo

  5. I feel most free when… I am standing on top of a mountain, feeling the breeze on my face and the expansiveness of the space below me. And that’s where your post just took me to, Rachel. Thank you for bringing more freedom into my day :)
    And such a beautiful, high vibrational song – goosebumps!
    Jade xo

  6. I feel most free when…I am in nature, reading a book, meditating or working on my laptop. Just being outside in the fresh air and sunshine is so freeing.

    Great post Rachel, as always! xx

  7. I read your article this morning, went to a lunch time Yoga class (after a very long physical activity hiatus) felt like dying and as Savasana started so did James Vincent McMorrow’s version of Higher Love… Amazing!! Feeling very connected and very free! love x

  8. Rach, love your contribution to The Freedom Blog Tour SO much. Thank you darling. Your insights into Freedom gave me goosebumps, I’m with you – freedom is ALL the shades of blue that Mama Nature dishes up.

    Love, love, love!!

    Cx

    p.s freedom is also working for yourself and having a 20 minute power snooze. ;-)

  9. Absolutely gorgeous darling Rach. I felt every word you put to paper and my gosh, that song! You make me smile. Keep creating. Keep making. Keep loving and keep being YOU xx

  10. Thanks so much for this post. It really puts things back into perspecitve for me and gives me that little motivational positivity boost for the rest of the day.

    I feel most free when I am standing on a deserted beach, with my feet in the sand and water washing gently over them. Looking out into the distance where the wind is bringing in dark clouds. Feeling the cooling effects of the sea spray on my skin. I am so calm here, so at peace. No where brings me closer to the earth and universe. X

  11. Beautiful post, and incredibly relevant to little old me! I love that Brian Andreas quote, thank you for sharing. It truly can be a state of mind, can’t it? We have so much power up there in our little lightning machines.

  12. I feel most free when I am with my family, when I am surrounded by people who love and support me totally. I feel like my voice is stronger and clearer, and joy glows through my skin. For me, I am working on how to embrace this feeling of freedom not just when I am surrounded by certain people, but feeling whole and supported in the world at large. I’m working on unlocking those mental shackles and allowing myself to ease into the world, allowing myself to be vulnerable and open, and I love your examples about how to reframe those thoughts that can contain you.

    • This is really beautiful Soph. What I love is that you have the ‘proof’ of feeling like that… so now it’s just translating it into those unknown, untested situations. You shall shine :) Joy glowing through the skin is an incredible visual, by the way. Mmm hmm. x

  13. Hi Rach,

    I read this post at 430am this morning as a full time athlete, training starts at 5 am each morning and I have implemented a meditation practice each morning before I go but today I just couldn’t feel connected during my breathing practices and I felt pulled to reading your post! Your words freed me from my thoughts of fear and self doubt and welcomed thoughts of hope and courage. One of my best rows yet as feelings of ease and flow allowed me to expand more and more, excellence is mine when I choose it. Now while I write this post listening to the song I feel connected and I feel very grateful to you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Have a beautiful day!

    Love,

    Amber

  14. I feel most free – when I am traveling.. on the move, my pulse literally feels like it is vibrating with the cosmos and my soul is on fire with a yes, yes, yes, THIS is what I love;
    + whenever I am in an expansive state of mind (meditating) and getting into the huge love bubble that this Universe truly is.. It’s so easy to forget and get caught up in other stories of how life works or what is ‘reality’, what kind of world we live in and what’s practical and what’s not. Especially when this comes from the people closest to you. It feels heartbreaking to not be able to share your joy or dreams with them. I feel heartbroken right now.

    BUT –

    I choose freedom. Some days it feels incredibly hard. Like the last few days – standing up for what I believe in, even just to myself and my inner demons, has been like a shroud of gloom covering true self, my ever-present joy.

    The sadness feels endless right now, but I know after every difficulty there is ease. And in my pursuit of freedom, and the Empire I desire to build, I know love conquers all, and Love will shine brighter than anything else.

    It’s just like that silver lining in the cloud – the fullness of pure sunshine waiting to unleash itself upon unsuspecting faces poised up at the dark sky. Hidden sometimes, but always, always there for us.

    I choose freedom, even when it’s dark and this darkness is my own. Thank you for reminding me to be brave and choose hope no matter what.

  15. Love this post, Rach!

    I have to say that I’ve been learning to think of freedom as a state of mind over the past couple of months. The ‘wherever you go, there you are’ reference resonates so strongly with me, it’s about appreciating and being grateful and present for the current moment.

    Freedom is making a choice and sitting confidently and lovingly in that choice. At the end of the day, we determine the limitations and the freedoms we allow ourselves, no one else.

    Thanks for this beautiful post (also, your photos from Europe make me want to hop a plane, stat!)

  16. Wow, I’ve never heard that version of Higher Love. It just takes you away on a blissful journey…simply gorgeous.
    I feel most free when I’m near the ocean or on holidays. There’s something about the ocean – swimming in it, looking at it, sun baking on the sand whilst listening to the sound of the waves – that just makes me feel calm, peaceful and free.
    The same goes for travelling. Waking up and having no commitments other than massages, wining & dining, exploring, adventures, meeting new people, learning about different cultures, relaxing, relaxing, relaxing :-). So freeing!
    xx

  17. Ok here it goes;

    I feel most free when the universe sends me little signs that prove I am on the right track. When this happens I feel ultimately free knowing that life is moving the way it should be for me as an individual. I trust the process entirely and enjoy the freedom this state brings me.

    Amazing post Rachel! xx

  18. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post! Loved every word of it. Truly inspiring. I am a big believer that anything we want (physically, mentally, or otherwise) can be achieved by having the proper state of mind. I also think that our society has a skewed vision of what success really is. The general consensus on success is that it comes when money comes. But I think success is truly being able to do what you want, when you want. Freedom, so to speak.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! That was a treat.
    – V

    “All that we are is a result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” – Buddha

  19. Hi, Rachel. After a 4-days Carnival holiday spent with my in-laws, having fun, chatting, dancing, relaxin… I noted that me and my family cam home with a heavy and bad energy. I was feeling pretty down yesterday and i could see we all were irritated, yelling at each other with no reason. I felt even worse for being able to see it but not change it. Then, this morning I decided to do something to change this bad energy and get back on track. I started writing a gratitude letter which always lifts me up and then came to your blog for meditation tips sinceramente I want to start meditating but don’t know yet how t. I am so happy to have found this post. Wonderful!! Thanks for sharing.

    I feel most free when I am thankful for everything I have in my life.

  20. I feel free when I travel, I leave everything behind with no worry or thought, I lost my parents a while back so I know life is too short but why dwell on what is completely out of your control, why not enjoy the greatness of life and experience adventure, I am 26 and have so much to see and do, life is about being positive and I choose to be happy and to be happy is to be free :-)

    I feel free when I feel the fresh air touch my skin, when I sit in complete peace on a cliff or hill over looking the sea or landscape.

    Love you’re blog lady :-)

    Hope everyone gets what they want in life xx

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