It’s freedom we truly want. And fear. Freedom from attachment, freedom from anxiety, freedom from bad relationships, freedom from our habitual and negative states. We want freedom to create, to love, to speak up, and to be ourselves.
We were born free. Yet, dependent. Those who raised us either trained us toward freedom or toward an increased dependency on establishing our worth and self-hood on outward validation. We all experience suffering; this is the core teachings of the Buddha: We suffer but there is freedom from suffering. (The Four Noble Truths). We have the capacity to bring forth lasting states of freedom, and with this comes the love, the creativity, the adventures and the opportunities we want.
We can awaken to our freedom regardless of outside circumstances. That being said, freedom typically includes a transformation in our circumstances and experiences as well.
No matter what process you use to cultivate inner freedom, WRITING is a vital tool to explore, accelerate and integrate your increased knowledge. For example, journaling your questions and responses as you consult the I Ching for guidance enhances and better integrates its guidance. Research continues to reveal the many benefits of journaling and writing as part of our spiritual and psychological health.
Here are some explorations to consider on and off the page to cultivate and increase your freedom:
- Visit yourself everyday through contemplative and explorative writing. Such transformational writing allows you to write freely, even when you have a goal or subject in mind. Let the writing take you where it wants to, reveal to you what it can. Don’t insist or try to control the outcome of this writing. (You can work on the piece later if you are going to share it in some way with others).
- Be in conversation with the subject or themes you are exploring in your life. Don’t compartmentalize your life — open up to the bigger conversation and explore on and off the page, even into your dreams at night.
- Use the I Ching, the 12 Steps, the Lojong Practice (westernized version is the Shambhala practice), the Beatitudes, the zero point agreement as a guide toward freedom. (Or some chosen spiritual/creative tool to explore your capacities for true freedom). ( In my book, The Zero Point Agreement I offer a chapter on consulting the I Ching, which includes guidance on contemplative journaling.)
- Understand that any conflict or difficulty with another involves projections and assumptions on your part. (Living the zero point agreement).
- Spend time in nature everyday. Journal and contemplate while outside.
- Find and cultivate your community. Join in the conversation. Talk to strangers.
- Establish a meditation and contemplative practice that includes journaling and writing. The Awakening through Writing & Transpersonal States Series I offer (next one in September), is about awakening to states of freedom through writing, breathwork and contemplation.
- Put yourself and your writing out there. Share yourself.
We cultivate FREEDOM through consistency. Whatever we consistently show up for, shows up for us. As we become more free to love, to create, to be ourselves, and to be of service we recognize that a common thread in our practices and experiences is HUMILITY. So, in a paradoxical way we become dependent on others to express and experience our true freedom through humility. Like babes.