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Finding freedom within and without

After a mournful Remembrace Day on the 4th of May, we celebrated Liberation Day in the Netherlands last Friday. The following questions came up as we were invited to reflect on the past and consider the present and future:

  • What has changed in the world – since the end of the Holocaust and the second world war 78 years ago?
  • Are we that much freer?

Imagine being told what to do all the time, even when you want to do something different. Over time, it would drive you nuts, wouldn’t it? External freedom means being able to make your own choices without anyone else always telling you what to do.

Paradoxically, freedom for eveyone also means to paying attention to your choices not hurting other people, following the rules, and trying to help make the world a better place. And, it’s not just about people – we need to consider all living things and make sure that they have the freedom they deserve too.

But what if it is not something outside of you that is restricting you?

Inner freedom is not just about being free from external limitations but also from restrictions that are inside us. These might be traumas, ways of thinking that we’ve learned, or patterns that we’ve inherited. To be truly free on the inside, we have to recognize these limitations, work on healing ourselves, and be kind and patient with ourselves. This means understanding ourselves, caring for ourselves, and feeling powerful enough to overcome the stories, behaviors and thoughts that might be holding us back.

For example, if you feel like you always have to please others, you might have to work on learning to say “no” and setting boundaries so that you can feel more free inside.

If this resonates with you, here are 3 tips to help you find freedom within and without:

  1. Take time to reflect: Reflect on what freedom means to you and how it shows up in your life. Take stock of your external freedoms and identify areas where you can cultivate more freedom within.
  2. Practice self-awareness: Become more aware of your internal patterns and conditioning. Identify areas where you feel stuck or limited and work towards healing and developing new ways of thinking and being.
  3. Engage with your community: Engage with your community to build a world that values and respects the freedom of all living beings. Stand up for the freedom of others and advocate for policies that promote freedom, equality and sustainability.

This blog is based on the Heartwork newsletter, 7th of May 2023. Would you like to read more inspiring content?

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