With celebrating Independence Day and returning from my women’s retreat, the question of “How do we become truly free?” has been on my mind. While many external circumstances seem to limit our freedom, I am increasingly struck by how much we “Imprison ourselves” through recurring thoughts, feelings and memories which is often called our conditioning. If Viktor Frankl could find meaning and choice in a Jewish concentration camp during the second World War, maybe we can too in spite of what may be happening in our lives.
So today, here’s an excerpt from my friend Paula Sims, whose babies died from her postpartum psychosis, and has been incarcerated in Illinois for the past 25 years. Listen to what she says with an open mind and compassionate heart. See what comes up for you and then practice the mindfulness exercise below if you’d like to explore this further.
“The other day while on a walk at the ‘Yard” I enjoyed the freedom of the great outdoors. I saw the freedom in a robin’s flight. I heard freedom in the rhythm of the rain As I stood under a tree. I felt freedom in the warm wind’s caress. It occurred to me that like the robin, rain and wind, I am also an expression of freedom.
Regardless of my circumstances, I choose to affirm my freedom. I experience freedom with my mind, body and soul. My unlimited spirit can never be bound by outer/inner conditions. One can’t bind peace, joy or love. I express my spiritual gifts with every thought of forgiveness, every moment spent with a friend/family and every word of kindness. As I share my gifts, I experience liberation, I’m free inside right where I am and it’s an awesome feeling…”
Now, here’s a mindfulness exercise about “liberating yourself” by not feeling stuck in negative or unpleasant thoughts, feelings and sensations. Practice it this week and let us know how it goes.
Best to you. Namaste.