“No one outside ourselves can rule us inwardly. When we know this, we become free.” The Buddha, Founder of Buddhism

Freedom! What does it mean to you? There are many actions being taken that are outside of us right now. Actions intended to restrict some of our freedoms. I’m reminded how significant July 4th is. More than my birthday (LOL); more than picnics, barbecues, and fireworks! The final wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4, 1776! The United States of America was birthed gaining independence from Great Britain. I know we study this in school but this year it seems to carry even more significance. Restrictions can feel limiting but do they affect how we feel within ourselves? This is where true freedom resides!

Think about the intent of the Declaration of Independence – equality, life, liberty, and justice for all! These are fundamental rights for each one of us and yet looking outward I wonder at those who would like to make them exclusive for some people. Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, reminds us that “Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice . . . No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out.” So true!

As I think about what freedom means to me I realize the blessing of being free to breathe, wonder, imagine, and create a life that I choose. Further, I’m free to make choices, live where I want; have a family, food to eat, water to drink, go to school, work, pray, help others, and so much more. Living in the United States is intended to support freedom and yet even here there are some who want to restrict others. Within us, during our quiet moments, we can access and feel our connection to All That Is and the interconnectedness to all life. This feels like freedom to me as well. It is a daily practice and true freedom has to be cultivated by each one of us.

I don’t take my freedoms for granted. Many have given their lives so that we can outwardly feel and be free. It’s up to each one of us to look at our lives and see if there are any internal restrictions/beliefs that we’ve created that block personal freedom. Also, if outward restrictions affect your life then choosing how you want to contribute to changing them is important. Deepak Chopra, Indian-American author and alternative medicine advocate reminds us that “Being free brings a lightness, a carefree surrender to all that is happening around you, and, above all, an acceptance of reality.” Let’s not take our hard won freedoms for granted. It requires being engaged and making conscious choices to maintain them. Over the holiday weekend I hope you are celebrating your freedom!

I am returning to Storm Wisdom on Tuesdays from 1p – 6p to see clients in person. If you would like to connect with me or schedule a channeled private session on Tuesdays to explore becoming more of who you are, please call Storm Wisdom (602)334-1204. I am also available by phone or Zoom on other days. To schedule go to victoriabarna.com.