11/13/2014 04:45 pm ET Updated Jan 13, 2015

Ultimate Freedom: How Bad Do You Want It?

BERKO85 via Getty Images

I'm the first to admit, I was born a rebel... my quest for freedom started young, and in all honesty, is still going strong today.

I'm pretty sure I am not alone in my longing for ultimate freedom. In fact, I'm beginning to think this unmet desire for freedom may be a silent epidemic in our society.

For many, functioning in a high state of stress has become the norm, leaving the experience of freedom buried deep inside as an unrealistic fantasy. It's quite the oxymoron to be living in the land of the free, full of people longing for freedom.

Our world is full of systems and structures that promise great rewards. We move thru pre-set patterns filled with expectation at increasingly rapid rates. We love our technology, which was intended to give us more freedom, yet somehow it has us locked into the fast track.

This longing to be free has me thinking...what is freedom anyways?

Is it the ability to fulfill any desire with no concern or responsibility for the impact on others?

Is it the lack of responsibilities and challenges?

Einstein's theory of relativity states that for every action there is a reaction. This basic understanding suggests to me that freedom lies in the choice point; not the ability to take any action desired at any given moment. So true freedom lies in the awareness of the impact of each choice. The mind bender is that being free to choose often doesn't feel free.

So the real question is... how can I feel free in this spinning world of choices, challenges and responsibilities?

In my quest for ultimate freedom looking at everything outside myself, fighting to change or control the external world, left me feeling hopeless.

When I turned within, and focused on my longing in silence and stillness, I realized the feeling of being "un-free" was coming from the stress within me.

In reality, when stress is running the show there is no freedom.

Stress results in contraction and tension in the body. When the nervous system is in fight or flight, the body contracts and thoughts, emotions, desires, and physical experience are all negatively impacted.

Stress is the biggest threat to ultimate freedom.

Take a moment to assess the backlash of stress in your life, recognize the ripple effect, and notice how stress has been clouding decisions, shaping beliefs, and impacting relationships. When stress is driving you, everything looks like a threat to your freedom.

Stepping into freedom starts with an awareness of core values, and the effect each choice and behavior has on all aspects of life. With every choice to battle stress, instead of battling people, relationships, and circumstances, we move into ultimate freedom.

Gaining this awareness starts with turning within. By un-plugging from technology and the external world, the brain and nervous system have space to clear out and recharge.

A natural system upgrade happens automatically in the moments we choose to align with stillness. Every moment counts, and longer stretches in a still space free from external stimuli provide even greater freedom within.

As the nervous system is relieved of stress, the heart begins running the show. As loving kindness and compassion grow and the reactive state of stress is reduced, freedom exponentially expands within.

So as you move into the holidays, I invite you to stay focused on your ultimate freedom.

Notice the effect stress has on your life. Stop when you feel stress taking over and breathe slowly and deeply until you feel free again.

Enjoy these visual moments of stillness as a mini break from your day to access an experience of freedom instead of stress.

INTO THE GOLD from LightWorks Creative on Vimeo.

You have the freedom to choose, do you want stress running your life?

Reclaim your birthright...Live in ultimate freedom!