This is the last part, part four, of my series on the principle that has guided my own journey and now underlies every element of my coaching, teaching, and mentoring practice: Spiritual Freedom. (Learn more at http://www.annamariaback.com)
So, how can one recognise Spiritual Freedom?
As a wise friend shared, Spirit is the oxygen of the soul. For the logical mind, Spiritual Freedom can seem challengingly elusive because it is intangible. Some say spiritual freedom is an experience. And, as frustrating as this may be, unless you’ve had the experience…well, it stays intangible.
Instead of calling it an experience, I would offer that Spiritual Freedom is more of a state. The beauty of it is that there is no fixed formula. You decide what it means to you, what makes it true for you.
As I mentioned earlier, in my view (which is only one model of many), the antithesis to Spiritual Freedom is Fear. Fear of living, fear of being oneself, fear of standing up for and to oneself, and fear of not believing in oneself, to name a few. When it dawned on me that my life lacked Spiritual Freedom, I felt confused. A part of me felt guilty because, really, what did I have to complain about?! I was a free spirit. My life was pretty awesome and comfortable.
To me, Spiritual Freedom is having the freedom to choose, to be who I am, to take responsibility for who I am, to be curious, to operate beyond the constricting boundaries of expectations:
- It is what fires me up, what makes me want to take action, to change, to grow, to evolve.
- It is my main motivation in everything I do, who I am, and also why I do what I do.
- It is connected to instinct and deeper wisdom, inspiration, awareness, and autonomy.
- It expands my perspective, it keeps me on my toes as it brings self-discovery and evolution into focus.
- It provides me with the framework to having the courage to lean beyond my comfort zone.
- It makes me feel freer, agile, alive, inspired, and energised.
- It helps me fine tune my focus and have trust in turning inward.
Spiritual Freedom involves integrating spiritual practices in everyday life and not being held back by circumstances. It involves being aware of the systems I operate within, deciding who I want to be and how I want to show up.
During my ongoing self-discovery expedition, the following questions have provided direction:
- Am I owning my story?
- Am I living my values?
- Am I showing up fully?
Spiritual Freedom is about listening to our soul’s calling, giving our inner wisdom its opportunity to shine. Feeling contentment, fulfilment, and inner satisfaction. Being confident in who we are and what we have to offer, knowing that we are enough, knowing that our spirit is awake to express itself fully.
To no longer be defined or confined by story is also part of Spiritual Freedom. It’s about being free to own whatever is within you – that which follows you through life, and beyond – your inner core, your joy and freedom.
The three questions about owning my story, living my values, and showing up fully, have been a steady companion for some time. At times I have wondered if they are clear enough, and how and if they connect to Spiritual Freedom. One wise friend recently said, “They do for me. Upon answering these questions with ‘no– no– no’, it tells me why I’m not there yet”.
If your answers to the above questions are “no” – remember, it’s not about blame. It’s about acceptance, recognition, forgiveness, and appreciation. The beauty is, as there is no fixed formula, we all have access to those, and to the freedom they lead to.
My question to you is…is Spiritual Freedom present in your life? If yes, what does it look like? And if not, would you like it to be?