Freedom is a wonderful concept. We all love it, don’t we? It’s our true nature and our ultimate soul purpose. But to be really free doesn’t mean to do whatever we want whenever we want it, which is what the ego-mind makes us believe. I can think of many instances as a teenager when I’d fight and rebel against my parents to feel ‘free.’ Can you think of some, too?
But I wasn’t free as a rebellious teenager. My choices were driven by my unwillingness to be controlled, so I was going against something or someone, but also unknowingly reinforcing the ego-mind. How do I know I wasn’t free even if at times I got what I wanted? Because I wasn’t happy. Like a typical teenager, I lacked the emotional flexibility to deal with others without pushing or resisting, in an attempt to fight the egoic ‘sense of otherness’ I identified with—the authority figures I had internalized growing up.
If I catch myself going into rebellious or defensive mode now, I know my wounded child or teenager archetypes are kicking in, and I can stop where I’m going because I can recognize their patterns. I know better than letting them rule my life with a fleeting sense of independence based on fear or the need to be ‘right’ that simply reinforce the ego I want to transcend. True freedom requires mental discipline, self-awareness, and depth of experience. What do I mean by this?
You must show the ego-mind who’s in charge by ‘re-training’ yourself to see it as a tool, instead of blindly following or identifying with it. This requires being alert and observant, and completely honest with yourself. Otherwise, you’ll simply follow the monkey mind wherever it wants you to go—from desires to attachments and aversions, and back and forth.
Let’s suppose you say you’re going to do something you want: a New Year’s resolution, finish an old project, start a new career or business, or anything at all. The ego wants to keep you where you are, so your mind is going to try to deviate or stop you; you could say that the shadow of any decision is resistance. So you can either follow the ego-mind and start making excuses to dis-empower yourself with procrastination, or you can gently push yourself to do what you said you’d do, even if in small steps, and develop the discipline to follow up on your desires and goals.
Following up on your decisions (and the promises you make) builds trust and confidence in yourself, while following the mind gives it more power for the next time it attempts to stop you. This can easily become a self-defeating mental loop where you say, “I’m going to do this” and your inner bully quietly goes, “Why even bother? You know you’re not gonna… You can’t trust yourself… You don’t have what it takes… Nobody is going to care or support you…” And there goes your freedom, out the window, because you’re not willing to invest in what you want. Ouch.
Understanding and accepting all of who you are—the good, the bad, and the ugly—creates the emotional freedom needed to interact with life in a more conscious manner. There is simply no way to stop giving the ego-mind (and others) your power without looking within and discovering all the ways you do it and you justify doing it. In order to release the mental and emotional patterns that keep you trapped, you must be able to recognize them everywhere, in all their shapes and forms. They’ve become the fabric of your life!
Self-awareness yields self-love, and self-love spreads out as love and kindness toward others. But you can’t be free if you don’t let others make their own choices and accept them as they are, because you’ll become attached to how you think they should behave, respond, and so on. Your expectations will determine how you react and interact with them, which in turn creates a dynamic that binds you to what others choose (and are free) to do, since you identify with their behavior. Letting go is empowering.
Depth of Experience
Depth of experience. The mind is a factory of thoughts and desires. Each thought creates a new thought, and each desire produces another desire. Again, the ego-mind wants you to jump from one to another, never really experiencing it long enough to be done with and clear about it. This maintains an ongoing production of unfulfilled desires while also giving the mind free rein to continue jumping and pulling you along.
It’s the proverbial pattern that makes you believe that the grass is greener elsewhere and prevents you from being completely present in what you do. Again, you have to show the ego who’s boss and commit to fully experiencing what you’re going through, without hiding, skirting around any challenging aspects, or chasing a million different ideas or desires. The ego-mind wants you to believe you should be someone other than who you are doing something other than what you’re doing, so being really present in what you do brings you to a centered place of power and peace. This is true freedom.
Now, the question is, are you willing to do what it takes to develop the discipline, self-awareness, and depth of experience you need to be truly free? Then contact me today and get started on a journey of self-exploration and energy management to develop the emotional flexibility, insight, and direction of a soul-guided life!
© 2014 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.