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On Feeling Free…

3 months ago by

In the spirit of keeping things light and breezy this month, instead of delving deep into one question, I’ve decided to answer as many of your questions as possible and as succinctly as possible. Hope you enjoy this “rapid fire” version of my advice column! And sign up to be the first to read it each month here.
xo G

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What makes you feel truly free? – Penelope

Anytime I free my mind from the “shoulds,” I feel free.
I should have a kid, I should take that job, I should write that book, I should be skinny…
Doesn’t mean I don’t end up doing any of these things, it just means I don’t do them out of obligation and pressure.

Have you ever chosen to be free and ended up feeling even more trapped? – Anonymous

I don’t think so! But, I think freedom is a choice we have to make over and over. We have to keep in check with ourselves – meditation and journaling help – so that a choice made out of freedom doesn’t become a prison.

How do you find freedom when you have the constraints of an office job and limited money? – Nagurka

It depends on your definition of freedom. For some people, having the safety of a 9-5 job is freeing because they feel safe – which is not to be overlooked! When I chose to become an illustrator at 27, I also chose to have financial insecurity – but I made it into an art to live with less, and it felt VERY freeing to me.

How do I escape the guilt in always doing what I want? – Deavarga

Remember what Gabor Maté said, “If you feel guilty, THAT’S A GOOD SIGN! You’ve just done something for yourself.” I am paraphrasing, but this one helps me a lot! Ride your guilt!

Why does it take so much to trust our gut when we are free? – Monkey

Because we are exploring the world according to our inner intuition, and not the usual roadmap society gives us. Because we do things that look weird to those who pick a more conventional path. Because we haven’t been trained to listen to ourselves… but, we’re learning and that’s the most important thing, isn’t it?

How do you find freedom with food? And your own body? – Natalie

I haven’t yet. I am still very trapped in old patterns. So, I use patience, observation and self-love. And also, I dance naked in front of the mirror! We so often forget to take pleasure in our bodies.

Thoughts on finding freedom when circumstances (work or otherwise) are not ideal? – Anonymous

Freedom starts inside and then manifests in the choices you make once you’ve found it. Start by journaling, reading, meditating. Be patient with yourself – your life will change naturally. It all starts inside.

How do you liberate yourself from the looks of others (30 years old, single, without kids). It’s not always easy to do… – Alix

Find your people. You need to create your own support system – out of self-love and self-respect. If you don’t have that – make it happen, find people who love you for who you are. Then, you won’t care about what anybody you don’t care about thinks.

What does freedom mean for you, because we are never totally free. – Hera

Freedom is a work in progress – it’s a path, not a destination.

How do you feel free within a situation you have to stay in (such as, finishing university)? – Domika

Freedom is not doing whatever we want, it’s choosing goals and doing what it takes to make them happen. If you believe in your goals, then finishing university will feel hard, but the good kind of hard. That hard that is pushing you towards your dreams and your freedom..

Is freedom possible without money? And with kids, responsibilities and an agenda to achieve? – Cecilia

I don’t have kids, but I think if I did, I would make them part of my path to freedom…

7 comments

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  • Appreciate this perspective very much. There’s a wonderful phrase from somewhere – can’t recall? – about happiness arising from living in accordance with your beliefs. I think that’s very true – we create so much pain when we act in a way that is discordant with what we truly believe. Along similar lines, I think freedom comes from truly believing that our own happiness matters, and within the scope of our own life-worlds, we have the obligation to make choices that make us happy in a deep way. Feeding ourselves makes it endlessly more possible to be giving of ourselves in a way that benefits others. It’s just difficult for many of us to get to that place.

  • Freedom is a state of mind. The ability to be true to ourselves and to our principals.

  • grasshopper August, 18 2019, 5:17 / Reply

    Ca me rappelle mon sujet de bac philo “peut-on réellement être libre?” J’aurais pu citer Garance Doré! Très intéressant le lien entre liberté et culpabilité… libérateur!

  • BEAUTIFUL post today!!!!! Very well said and so glad to see your path of self discovery! LOVE!!!! :)

  • Sheila Yu August, 20 2019, 1:44 / Reply

    It’s real and true, same idea, thank you. XOXO.

  • To me, freedom means resting in Jesus Christ’s work on my behalf and allowing his Holy Spirit to guide me in his peace, love, wisdom, and ultimately, service towards those in my sphere of influence … vs. doing things for the purpose of earning God’s or any one else’s love. Freedom is not being ruled by my anger, worry, and laziness. Freedom is surrendering to the intimate love of God.

  • First of all, I can’t imagine how exhausting and taxing it must to be consistently share your deepest thoughts and personal journey with the world. But I’m so glad that you do. I come to your site for inspiration and new ideas, and I’m never disappointed. Thank you for sharing so much of your wisdom. It is a bright light in my day, and always so real and honest. Here’s to finding freedom in art, love, and life. xoxo JRS

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