In the past few weeks and months, the idea of freedom has come center-stage in my heart and thought process, as my ideas of freedom have been ‘challenged’. I have been led to examine and reexamine this singular question ~ “What does freedom look like, and what does it enable within?” So, on this “Independence Day” weekend (in the USA), it is perhaps appropriate to have a conversation about freedom, and what it means to us, collectively and individually.
The sense of physical freedom is perhaps the one that we can immediately relate to. For, if it were to go missing, or were to be taken away, we would immediately feel it. Our first sense of this freedom comes when we are born. Having been literally attached to our mothers for nine or so months, having been dependent on all our nutrition upon her, our first reaction to ‘freedom’ is that of crying! Some say that the cries of the newborn are cries of joy of freedom, while others say that they are cries of despair at being separated. Regardless, it is a complex reaction, for which most of us were perhaps unprepared. We weren’t quite sure what to make of our new found freedom. As we grew from infanthood, and learnt to ‘walk on our own feet’, went off to school and then into the world, our notion of physical freedom expanded as we learnt how to deal with it and use it.
While we we were growing in our physical freedoms, society and her ‘rules’ made sure to teach us that ‘with freedom comes responsibility’. If the exercise of our freedoms unduly infringes on that of our friends in kindergarten, we are quickly reminded. If the same happens with our siblings, our parents remind us of our ‘boundaries’. And so it goes in a lot of our relationships with others. The knowledge that our freedoms are not a license to ‘run amok and roughshod’ over others is often a watershed moment in our emotional lives. It is an important moment, which brings home the idea of mutual respect for their freedoms, and eventually grows us in the practice of our own freedoms.
How can ‘boundaries’ to our freedom(s) actually help them grow? One answer lies in the principle of concentration of our spiritual energy. Concentration or focus of energy can give us courage to declare our freedoms. If we decide to stop being emotional yo-yos, we declare our freedom from lack of focus towards our purpose. If we decide to stop being slaves to shiny object syndrome, we declare our freedom from material distractions. If we decide to stop being vassals of the aristocracy of the mind, we declare our freedom from lack of knowledge. It is in actions backed by these declarations that we can provide opportunity to give truthful expression to the love that resides in our hearts.
In that expression of loving freedom, lies the moment where nature and spirit emerge as one. Freedom lies in the roar of the lion, the sprint of the tiger, the flight of the bumblebee, the prayer of the mother for her suffering child, the beatific smile of one friend for another, or even the simple offering of a cup of water to the thirsty. So, no matter what actions we engage in – a roar, a sprint, a flight, a prayer, a smile, an offering – may we do it with a sense of spiritual freedom that we experience, and which gently shakes the world…
P.S. Join us in #SpiritChat on twitter, Sunday July 5th at 9amET/1pmUTC where we will discuss the ideas of Knowing and Growing Spiritual Freedom. Bring your declarations, share them with us, so we can cheer you and your freedom! In closing, I declare that, may all our freedoms serve to enhance those of others. Namaste.