“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
My Insightful Conversation this week was with the beautiful Marina Galán. Marina is a 3 Principles Practitioner and business coach who works with individuals, groups, and organizations worldwide. During our time together, I asked Marina what she was seeing that was fresh and new. She said that currently, the subject of “freedom” was very present for her. Marina said it started a few days earlier when she was having a cup of coffee with a friend who asked her why she was so “free” and if it had anything to do with what she knew.
Marina said that initially, the question startled her, but she was curious and asked her friend what he was seeing. He said that he had noticed a common theme in people who were grounded in the Principles. For example, he observed that we appear to be less attached to things or people having to be a certain way. We seem happy to let things go and improvise. He also noticed that we seem more willing to let go of preconceived ideas, beliefs, and concepts. We are more open to having a genuine dialogue, allowing ourselves to entertain different points of view. Marina reflected on what her friend had commented on and agreed with him. She did feel free.
Marina and I had a fascinating conversation around the subject of freedom. We chatted about everything from whether or not free-will exists, to the freedom to choose how we show up in life, to how freedom plays a role in how we parent our children. As we talked, I reflected on the myriad of ways in which I, too, have experienced an increase in freedom since coming across The Principles.
One of the most significant ways freedom has shown up for me is in the area of control. Before coming across the Principles, I innocently believed my feelings were due to my circumstances and the people in my life. As a result, I spent an awful lot of time running around trying to control them both. It was exhausting for me, and I’m sure very frustrating for the people close to me. What a relief it has been to know that my experience of life is coming to me via my thinking about my circumstances and the people in my life, not directly from them. There is so much freedom in knowing that my happiness and peace of mind is an inside job.
Like Marina, I also have sons. My two sons are now young adults. Looking back, I see how this understanding has brought a deeper level of freedom to how I parent them. I love to stand back and witness them for who they are. I have no desire to mold them into who I think they should be. They are magnificent human beings with everything they need inside them to make their own decisions. My job as their mother is to love them unconditionally and be there for them if they need me or ask me for my assistance.
Another area in which I am experiencing more freedom in life is in how I embrace the unknown. In the past, I was very fearful and felt the need to know what my future was going to look like. I used to spend a lot of time in my head worrying about scenarios that were most likely never going to materialize. These days I am happy to hand over my illusion of control to the Divine, knowing that whatever unfolds is precisely what I need for my spiritual growth. It also helps to know that, at my essence, I am resilient and can handle whatever life brings me.
Another habit of mine that I am finding freedom from is taking things personally. As a former people pleaser, I thought it was my job to make everyone around me happy, and more importantly, I wanted them to like me! Thank god I have found freedom from that old way of thinking. Now that I understand separate realities, I see that other people are free to think what they want of me. I also see that I don’t have to negate my own needs to make others happy.
I have also found a greater level of freedom from my insecure thinking. In the past, thoughts such as, “You’re not good enough” or “who do you think you are?” would have taken me down. I believed that they were telling me something about myself. I had no idea they were only habitual thoughts that have been around since childhood. With time they began to lose their intensity and began to show up less and less. These days, they hardly show up at all. But if they do, I know not to take them seriously.
Talking about the negative chatter in my head, I am also finding freedom from all the “have to’s, musts and shoulds.” It’s so funny how we make up all these rules for ourselves and then follow them like they are the law. We forget that we are the ones that made them up. These days I spend less time in my personal thinking, trying to decide what to do next. Instead, I pay attention to my wisdom. Wisdom is my authority. When I listen to my wisdom, there is a gentle knowing of which decision to make, which direction to go in, and what step to take next.
Another way in which I experience freedom is in how I respond to my feelings. I am far more accepting of whatever shows up. I don’t judge them as good or bad or try and resist or control them. I am free to feel them all — the good, the bad, and the ugly. I accept them as part of what it is to be human, and I am grateful that I get to experience such a rich and diverse range of emotions.
And lastly, I have found the freedom to be me, unashamedly me. I wasted so many years of my life believing there was something wrong with me. I tried everything under the sun to try and fix myself. I was terrified of being seen in case you noticed my imperfections. I was terrified of making a mistake in case it let the world know how inept I was. I was terrified of intimacy in case you saw how unlovable I was. What I see now is that it was all an innocent misunderstanding. All along, there was nothing wrong with me. There is such freedom in letting go and embracing the totality of who I am, warts and all.
With love and appreciation, Del 💕