The Practice of Freedom

I have arrived, I am home. The practice of freedom.

One of the most important values that we can recognize and apply to our lives is FREEDOM. It is your birthright to be free.

But how do we do this while living within the bounds of work, family and financial obligations?

From my own experience of raising two boys, working and running my own business, freedom must be recognized and cultivated on a daily basis in order to help it grow through the use of mindful exercises.

What are examples of mindful exercises that develop our sense of freedom?

1.) Present Moment Awareness

Acceptance and commitment training works off of six facets, one of them is “present moment awareness”. In order to develop this one must make time each day to engage in a short activity that encourages all your senses to come alive. Mindfulness of feelings and perceptions is developed by stopping for a minimum of 10 seconds. In these 10 seconds, one observes and recognizes the presence of every feeling and thought that arises within you. Just notice and recognize with a curious attitude. You can do this anywhere, and anytime.

Stop and take 10 breaths. This cultivates a sense of freedom.

2.) Core Value of Freedom

We all value different qualities.

A value is not a goal or a destination but rather a way of being. By recognizing your own core value of freedom, autonomy, independence or stability you keep this at the “top of your mind”. Each decision you make is based partly upon embodying this quality.

Life is a gift. Learn to recognize the gift of freedom in each moment.

3.) I have arrived, I am home.

This is a practice of Zen Buddhism. It means happiness is possible. Freedom is possible. Right now. Right here. If you are interested in listening to a talk on this click here.

Creating a joy mandala is a meaningful way to notice the small things that bring you joy. Create a poster naming all your small moments of joy then be sure to consciously do one of these each day. For instance, first sip of morning coffee, smell of lavender in your garden, giggles of your children, the sound of the wind in the trees or fresh bed sheets. These are a few of my joyful moments.

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