In spiritual circles there is a lot of talk about “being free”. It’s sounds great, right? I think it does. Whenever I hear that phrase, I think, “Yes! I want to be free!” and I instantly start having visions of myself dancing and spinning in open fields of wildflowers and swimming in warm, clear, blue, tropical waters fed by cascading waterfalls. And, I’ve actually had the immense Blessing to have done these things in my life. And in those moments I have felt very free, very connected to the present moment. Which, I’m sure, is why those visions come so readily when I contemplate that powerful phrase, “Be Free”.
But, the truth of that wisdom is so much deeper. And I think we all know that on some level. But, getting to the deeper places takes a bit more dedication. How do we embody our Freedom when the alarm goes off at 6am and getting out of bed seems like an Olympic event? And when someone in a crowded place bumps into us, really hard, and then keeps going like we’re not even there? Or when we are in traffic and it’s not moving and we’re really hungry and still have to cook dinner and reply to that one email and get that return in the mail before the cut-off date? The daily events of life tug at us is so many ways. Our attention can be stretched so thin by daily responsibilities that it’s like looking at the surface of the ocean and thinking that’s the whole thing.
So, let’s take one of those dreamy visions and make it a metaphor. Because, the truth is, Life is not the surface of the ocean. Life is the whole big, beautiful, deep, mysterious, tumultuous, expansive ocean. And that’s where we get Free. By holding the depths of the ocean in our being while traveling across the surface. And like anything, this takes practice. Which is where the phrase “Spiritual Practice” comes into play. And I use the word “play” very purposefully here. Because, as soon as you turn your Spiritual Practice into a line on your list of things to do, you lose all the magical depth of the ocean you want to swim and play in. So, like a child learning to swim, in order to “Be Free” we need to practice our play. At first, it may not feel super playful. But, like swimming, we just keep jumping in the water and practicing. And, one day, we are swimming and playing with the waves instead of getting caught in them. And, the ocean starts to feel like a friendly, joyful place.
I’m a big believer in baby steps. So, here is a sweet, simple practice that can make a huge shift in your Being over time. Each day when you wake up, put attention on your thoughts. See if you are starting your day with thoughts that are loving and supportive to your Being. If you have a habit of pressing the snooze button, go for it, but don’t use that time to fall back asleep… instead, take some time to stretch and repeat the following, “I am Love, I am Loving, I am Loved, I am Love, I am Loving, I am Loved”. Really feel into this. Take some long, slow, deep breaths. Surround yourself with a blanket of LOVE. You can spend 2 minutes doing this each morning. Practice this in the Spirit of Play. See what happens. I would love to hear your experience in the comments below.