Word of the week | freedom
At the beginning of every week, I choose a word that can help us create an intention for the days ahead.
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This week’s word was chosen through cards that I pick every now and then; I use Elena Brower’s Art of Attention cards every now and then after my meditation & asana (yoga) practice in the morning and it helps me see the day under a new light.
This time, I picked freedom (or freedom picked me?); it took me by surprise because for the past few days, I’ve had this word on my mind a lot. I’ve been busy with a cross-Atlantic move and launching this website, and been thinking about the freedom I have to enjoy those things and to decide.
Because I am free, I get to decide.
To decide how I manage my day, if I want to dress up or stay in my PJs, if I want to work from my couch or bed or desk or a library; I can decide where to live, where to shop, where to go for coffee, where to travel, what to have for dinner, what music to listen to. And when it comes to the big topics too, I am free; free to decide who to marry, where to move to, if I want to look for a job or create my own, if I want to have children or not, who are my best friends, what my hobbies are.
Freedom is an immense privilege, one that not everyone can enjoy on a daily basis or even in a lifetime - at all.
So you’d think all of us knew this.
You’d think we realised this every day, you’d think we woke up thinking about all the opportunities we have on our doorstep and all the chances we’ll have to eat, do, have, create, build, appreciate the things we can choose for ourselves.
But we don’t - I don’t. This freedom even scares me, these days. It does because I don’t know how to start using this beautiful untouchable notion that’s in my hands; I wake up in the morning and I think about the decisions I need to make; I get scared and worried; I want to hide away behind my fear of failing to make the right ones.
The day I picked the card, I realised during meditation that I was feeling guilty. Guilty to be on this new journey - moving to the US from France, starting my own business online, following my path as a yoga teacher, saying no to all the supposedly conventional things I don't want for myself; somehow, in my head, it’s a lot of freedom and I don’t know why I deserve it.
So, from being free, I become governed by my mind. Suddenly, I don't get to decide where to go for coffee anymore, because I feel guilty to weigh my options and decide. I don't move to, say, Sweden (why not) because I feel guilty to be able to decide to move to Sweden if I want to. I don't set up my business because I think of all the people who don't get to set up their businesses and why should I be so lucky, why me and why not them, really, why me?
Does this make sense?
How ridiculous is that?
I have all the cards in my hands and yet I just decide I won't play for fear I'll lose and for the guilt to be able to enjoy the game.
This week, I want to focus on releasing whatever is holding me back from feeling free: the guilt, the fear, the worries.
Now tell me, what does freedom mean to you? Do you feel free? physically, mentally, emotionally? Is there something holding you back from experiencing your freedom?