How do you become free?
You find out where you're not, and release that. Or rather, negate it.
"I have to..."
"I need to..."
This is the language of the not free. It implies that we are missing or LOVE, WORTH, or FREEDOM itself. Or that if we don't do something, we might lose it. Which is actually kind of strange when you think about it, because those things are things we are all born with. In equal measure.
If equality exists somewhere in this world–that's it.
However, we are all born into different circumstances. When I am being a little poetic I like to call it our Soul Curriculum. And some of the classes we take will bring us to the very edges of what we are capable of holding... or even over.
They can cause us to become disoriented, turning away from the truth, and distracted by the illusion of falsehoods.
"I have to..." says I don't want to be here, but there is no way out.
"I should..." says this is something I feel obligated to do, but I'm not okay with it.
"I need to..." says there is no other way.
These are problem frames. They affirm the existence of the Ego.
It's like being caught in an ocean current and seeing no life raft coming your way. Wearing a life jacket that keeps you afloat, bobbing up and down, like, what now?
The lifejacket represents life doing what life does - it lives.
As far as my perception of reality goes, I'm not yet free Anne. However, I am committed to being on the path toward freedom. Finding these little prisons I live in, and discovering ways to dissolve them, so that I can expand a little more. Feel more alive. And I am freer than I was yesterday, and all of the yesterdays before that, as a result.
I know many, many of the tricks our minds play, and I've become pretty astute at spotting them in others given my line of work.
On my travels, I've found a few shortcuts to help with this process of revealing the tricks, negating them, and moving into more freedom. One of the most powerful ones is based in the language we use each day. It's one I use regularly, and looks like this:
I take my "I have tos", my "I shoulds" and "I need tos" and replace them with the following:
"I get to..."
"I choose to..."
Or, if I am feeling really powerful...
"I LOVE to!"
What this does is ask me to find a new way to relate to something that I am doing in my life. This is where mindset can really work its magic.
I might not choose to clean the toliet because it's something I take great joy in doing. But I do choose to do it because I love the freshness of a clean toilet. And I am dang well grateful to have a toilet, a flushing one at that!
Think for a moment where this can be applied in your life.
What about work?
I have to work because otherwise I'll have no money to live might become I get to do this work to bring in income while I discover the skills and knowledge required to commercialise my dream...
I choose to do this work because it expands me intellectually, it allows me to make a contribution in the world and it allows me take on the important task of providership for my family.
What about relationship?
I should talk with my partner at the end of the day to find out how their day was might become I choose to talk to my partner at the end of the day because I am committed to maintaining a stable foundation inside our home.
What about friendship?
I need to remember my friends' birthdays because otherwise I am a bad friend might become I love to remember my friends' birthdays because I love how it makes them feel when they are remembered (bonus... and so I choose to put in place a system to help me remember!).
Just like that, we've turned our problem frames into opportunity frames. Opportunity frames feed the Soul. Just like that, we've gone from being bearish on life to being bullish on life.
And heck, wouldn't you agree that's a much more alive way to live?
Don't expect perfection from yourself. This is a practise, not a one-and-done kinda thing. It takes awareness. Effort. Radical truth-telling to oneself.
And above all, commitment.
The freedom path is not for the faint-hearted. But you already know that. I guess that's why you're here.
"The final stage of becoming extraordinary is to embrace all the parts of you that aren't."
- Peter Crone
Want to keep yourself accountable? Drop me a reply and share with me one problem frame you're deciding to turn into an opportunity.
Thank you for showing up.
Keep showing up.
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