07 Aug The Surprising Truth About Freedom
This is an except from Kimberly Kelley’s talk on July 4, 2021, The Surprising Truth About Freedom
Freedom . . . what inspires YOU to celebrate your freedom? Every 4th of July our Country celebrates this day in 1776 declaring the separation of the 13 original colonies from Great Britain rule.
And isn’t it wonderful that you can gather in groups not worrying about whether you’re practicing the right religion,
sharing your crazy ideas,
or worrying about stepping outside your home and being taken off to prison because you spoke your mind?
And because you live in America, you have little chance of losing your physical freedom . . . in spite of some really wild theories going around during the pandemic during the past 16 months.
No, what I’m talking about is the most important freedom you have, the one no one can take away from you and that is freedom of thought.
Former white house press secretary, Bill Moyers said: “Freedom begins the moment you realize someone else has been writing your story and it’s time you took the pen from his hand and started writing it yourself.”
It doesn’t matter what age you are, what income bracket you’re in, this is a spiritual truth for everyone.
And so, in service of expansion and connection to the Divine, here’s a little exercise you can use to take the pen away from your parents, your husband, wife, partner, kids, boss, and begin writing your story yourself.
Close your eyes and imagine waking up tomorrow with monetary freedom and no restraints . . .
Where in the world would you wake up,
how would you spend your time,
who would you spend it with,
what would your perfect day look like, smell like, sound like, feel like.
You can open your eyes. I have asked my clients this question in different forms and do you know 99% of them couldn’t answer it, much less create an image of it. They know they want to change something, but they never actually thought about or imagined their perfect day they just keep thinking about the thing they want to change.
So what they’re doing is re-creating the same unhappy day, reliving their same unhappy patterns over and over.
Why is that? Maybe it’s because somewhere along the way we stopped chasing our dreams, using our thoughts for thinking on purpose. We started living by default in the box someone else created.
Thinking is NOT remembering, it’s creating, looking to the future at all possibilities available to us.
It’s gazing off into the distance and saying, “I wonder . . .”
And we do that today because true freedom is about possibilities.
We have an endless train of thoughts day in and day out, and they send a constant stream of information to the brain.
Those thoughts – either hateful,
grateful, loving, and accepting – tells the brain what kinds of chemicals to produce.
Those chemicals are absorbed into each of our 60-70 trillion cells and its those chemicals in our cells that cause our emotional state and determine how we feel.
You get it? It’s the quality of our thoughts that determine how good or bad we feel.
So the good news is, if your thoughts get that whole chemical, emotional ball rolling, and you don’t LIKE the way you feel, you just have to do the one thing that no one can do FOR you, change your thoughts.
Even better, just change one thought at a time. It costs nothing, takes nothing away from anyone, and can literally happen in an instant.
THIS my friends is the kind of freedom NO ONE can take away from you and it really is that simple.
So, today, what would you like to be free from or free to do? We don’t need to dig into all the yesterdays, just today, right here, right now, what do you want to be free from? What do you want to be free to do?
- Free from negativity
- Free from stress and anxiety
- Free to travel
- Free to love whomever you want
- Free to worship God . . . or not
The Surprising truth is that Freedom isn’t being, doing, or having whatever the heart wants right now. It’s the POSSIBILITY of being, doing, or having whatever the heart wants right now. Feel the difference?
I’ll say that again.
Now let me ask you, what’s stopping you?
Another way to claim your freedom is to refuse to be sucked into the drama, circumstances and issues of other people (yes, even your family).
Because everytime we allow ourselves to be sucked into this vortex of negative energy it takes over our rational thinking, we lose perspective, we can’t see our options and we end up shutting down, defending our position, resisting, judging, and effectively creating our own prison.
I used to believe a different job, a new location, new friends, reading a new book, listening to a new speaker would release me from the bondage of my situation. But the truth is Freedom was always within my control, and it always will be.
Now when I feel when I’m getting stuck in a prison of my own making or getting up a good head of steam about something, maybe I’m getting angry, feeling vengeful or anything less than love,
I literally say out loud to myself, “I want to think about _______” and repeat the name of the thing I want to think about, sometimes I make up a song about it, putting my focus on that new thought until the noise of the other one fades away.
Man it feels so good to do that.
Today I’d like to share some ideas so you can take a look at your thoughts and challenge yourself to see where you can begin thinking on purpose to truly live a life of possibilities no matter where you wake up, no matter how you spend your time, or who you spend it with.
The truth is you can have the kind of freedom we’re talking about today in the relationship you’re in, just change your thoughts about it, you can find it in the job you have, just change your thoughts about it, where you live, change your thoughts, what you drive, change your thoughts, change your thoughts, change your thoughts . . .
So I’ll ask you again . . . where are you stuck in the emotional prison of your own making? Don’t you think you’ve all spent enough time there?
This isn’t a be all to end all, it’s just some simple ideas, to get you off your duff.
Take some time for fun and silliness. It’s freeing. Somewhere along the way we all got self-conscious, practical, serious . . . in other words, BORING! What does fun and silly mean to you?
hopping on the back of the grocery cart and riding it all the way to your car
getting involved in a play, or doing a Patch Adams clown gig in the children’s ward at a hospital as you blow bubbles and sing silly songs.
Look for opportunities to do good; don’t wait to be asked. Buy an extra hamburger and fries and stop to talk to a homeless person about his life, foster a dog or cat, volunteer at an animal shelter, or at a school or like Linda, Jan and Larry did during the early part of the pandemic . . . they got involved . . . they made masks.
Think of ways you can do selfless acts of kindness and service to others.
There’s always time for work. Build in time for play, even a half hour of walking when it cools down, ride your bike, kayak on the river, pickleball, heck, any sport. It releases all those yummy endorphins that help us to feel good. It’s all in what you make of it. Make it good.
Pursue new interests and passions. It keeps you feeling excited and alive. Take a class you always wanted to take. Build it into your life. Learn Latin dancing
take a mindfulness class,
Join a meetup group
learn a new language,
learn more about yourself.
Go for it, what are you waiting for? Permission? You got it Time? you probably have that, too. It’s simply about priorities.
So, now you know . . . you have choices. You can step out of the cell and create new rules to live in that open space we call life, and experience all the possibilities.
I don’t mean physically experiencing all the possibilities because I don’t think we have enough time on the planet to physically experience all of them, but we CAN use our freedom of thought to live that magical life of possibilities.
And today is the 4th of July, where we are once again called to re-claim our freedom, not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution — but from the prison of our own minds.
Make it your mission today to do SOMETHING to shake things up, to add more color and fulfillment to your life. Decide today to change your thoughts when they don’t serve you.
Reach out more and more every day with love instead of fear and feel the entire universe of possibilities open up, support you, and encourage you. Because the surprising truth about Freedom is . . . it was within you all along.
Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!
Kimberly Kelley is the CUL Spiritual Director and a Life Transformation Coach trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy. Kimberly-Kelley.com