Freedom is essential to our well-being, but how much do you value or even think about yours?
If you're not literally incarcerated, then you might be under the impression that you're free...
You may not even be aware that your freedom is challenged continuously throughout the day by other people.
With each surrender of your attention, energy and time accepting other people's expectations, regulations and perceptions without question or resistance, you're slowly building a prison for yourself.
Freedom Is The Act of Free Will
Every time we elevate the importance of someone else and devalue ourselves, a little more of our freedom is given away.
When told you should do this, like that, be this way -- whether through the media, social media or in person -- do you fall into line and do as you're told, even if it's not right for you?
Just because someone else wants something their way (which might be right for them) doesn't mean you have to accept it.
You Don't Have to Keep the Peace
I'm not just talking about the big society stuff, but the more potent and less visible restrictions which we buy into in our daily lives with friends, family, relationships, work, social networks, what we eat, how we look or spend our time.
Freedom is simply being ourselves and living authentically to what's right for us as individuals.
Of course not everyone around us will agree with our choices and actions.
They will definitely have an opinion about it and will most likely tell you one way or another if you try to change the status quo.
Challenge, though, is good, as it tests the merit of our beliefs and makes us clearer about what truly matters to us!
Respecting Our Unique Differences Equals Freedom
If we value our freedom, then it's up to us to demonstrate it and act with conviction and step out of the daily oppression of "other people" by exercising our free will.
This can be as simple and as powerful as saying "NO" once in a while and acting on it.
"No" has little impact, though, if not matched with the force of our belief and of course only with the possibility of a meaningful "No" can our "YES" actually mean something.
Only when we give value to our choices do they begin to reflect our freewill to be free.
I recently had to demonstrate this when I turned down a potential client who wanted to work with me.
Even though she was in need, my instinct told me that it wouldn't be right for me.
Everything I teach and write about is that we must listen to our inner voice and natural intuition to guide us and although I rarely get clients who are not a perfect match, occasionally I find that life likes to send me a resilience test of my beliefs.
It wasn't that I couldn't do the work; it was just that it felt as though she wasn't fully ready and that I would have ended up doing far more than my fair share in the relationship to get things happening.
This would have placed me into servitude; placing her needs above my own.
When it's the right time and the right match, it's easy and a pleasure and I love and enjoy my work.
My old belief was that work must be hard and my focus must be entirely on other people's needs, but I've come to experience that I work much better when my needs are being met and I'm happy, so instead I exercised my free will and trusted myself.
Freedom Is a Simple Choice
Freedom comes down to a simple act of choice to agree or not with other people; to be similar or different and we can be both, as long as we're being true to ourselves.
We're then free to deeply connect with other people in authentic like-mindedness, respect and mutual satisfaction.
The surprising joy is that when we live out the majority of our day in this awareness of our free will and with confidence of acting upon what truly matters to us; life gets a lot simpler.
We no longer need to put so much effort into defending or fighting to be noticed, or avoiding and pretending to be something we're not.
We can even relax, go with the flow, forgive and let something's slide in our daily lives without any damage to our freedom or loss of our free will.