O’ how I am not yet free, let me count the ways.
In the moments when I sit back and look at the number of dollars in my bank account and think to myself, we’ll get there. When the dollars are just enough, then… then I’ll be able to take the next chance. Take a trip. Take a walk. Take a deeper dive. Invest in the next soul opening moment. But only then.
In the moments when I notice that not a single man has noticed that I am a woman for the past thirty days. Or, if they did, that they didn’t dare show it. How I hold my light in, and keep it to myself. How I wait for just the right moment. And how I can fall into judging the very human being who might help me get a long-lost piece of myself back.
In the moments when I look at the home I live in, the location that holds me down, the dog I walk daily. This human life I have created for myself. The life I love. The life I’m in awe of. And the life I’m still contained by, on a daily basis.
The life that is far smaller than the whole of me – that can at times feel like a tight straight jacket around the magnitude of my soul.
I am no longer twenty-eight. I am now thirty-six. And you? You may be forty… fifty-five… going on seventy-eight.
Is it different?
How can it be that the strata of human existence are so unbalanced? Does it have to be the case? And does my freedom come at a cost to others? Sometimes? All the time?
What would it look like to live out loud?
Not for someone to live out loud, but for me – for YOU – to do it? Starting right now. Maybe it would be no different. Perhaps it’s just the WAY you look at it.
Not long ago, a mentor introduced me to the three levels of Freedom. I was struck by both the simplicity and the realness of her summary.
The first – freedom from – pits us against another.
Another person, object or institution. I want to be free of this ball and chain. Free from my addiction to tobacco. Free of the rules of this establishment. Free to do what I want, when I want, how I want.
The second – freedom to be with – pits us against ourselves.
Our shadows, inner ghosts and hidden fears. I want to be free enough of my own hang-ups to be fully present with another human being – in life, in love, in intimacy. I want to break through the glass wall that keeps us at arms length from one another and be able – finally – to fall into their arms without constraint. I want to be free enough to receive fully.
The third – freedom at a soul level – points to the freedom to be fully, inarguably and wholly ourselves.
Not the carefully crafted personalities that we manage day to day. But the expressive, expansive, juicy, fullness of our spirits, incarnate on this earth.
How DO we honor the depth and breadth our souls’ design while living in a HUMAN body?
On each of these levels, there is a question. There is also a gatekeeper – and a price of entry that must be paid. Carefully crafted, perhaps, before we entered this lifetime, as a way of ensuring our awakening.
Have ever you noticed that the very freedom you desire often relies on exactly the person, thing or type of surrender that you MOST STRONGLY resist?
This is by design.
This week I invite you to engage in your life as though it were a game. The object of the game is to make the most of the gatekeepers. Rather than resist them, take a look at what they may have to offer.
Learn, as they say, to dance with them in the moment.
Whether they be tobacco, or your open hearted lover, or your tendency to censor the most important things you are called to say, let this week be an opportunity to make a new move.
In your movement practice,
pay attention to the place of greatest resistance. For me, in years past, it was “jazz” style dance… and taking up a lot of space. For you, it may be cooling down after an intense practice – or warming up. It may be a style of dance or a type of stroke. If you knew without a shadow of a doubt that that gate keeper – and the resistance you feel to engaging with it – were standing in front of the doorway to your freedom…
would you challenge your self to enter?
choose person, situation or part of yourself to surrender to. This week, I say, don’t go easy on yourself. Choose the very one you have been resisting the most. Surrender doesn’t have to look like being walked all over. It starts with acceptance, and follows the next intuitive thought. Yes, that one. The one you’re trying to put out of your head. Start there.
I suspect, while the road may be a bit bumpy, it will be less awful than you’ve imagined. And maybe – just maybe – when you finally face the monster, you will find that its power has dissolved.
My mentors call this a “two inch cliff.”
Go ahead, take a step.
While dancing with freedom,