15 /// Dear Future Self – What is Freedom?

by | Jul 31, 2022 | future self, More About the Mind

Dear future self,

Just a moment ago, freedom was putting the laptop back to the side, to cuddle with a dog that was extra cute.

Eventually, it became, asking the dog to move a little so we can still cuddle, while I write.

To me, freedom is not something specific, it is being able to choose. In Buddhism, freedom lies in the moment between trigger and reaction and in the ability to react in that moment in the way we choose instead of how we are conditioned.

Most days it is in learning to hold myself, to be enough for myself.

Because addiction, or the need for outside validation, recognition, soothing is the opposite of being free.

Last week a friend came to visit and we had a long talk about addictions. I love these talks because they always draw me to blind spots, things I had not yet considered.

Alcohol, coffee, any kind of food were pretty clear to me: if you do it for pleasure it’s fine, but if you consume it because it serves a function, I don’t think it is.

And with that, I don’t mean the function of keeping us alive.

If we drink to relax, to feel more ourselves, to forget about our worries, it’s an indicator that we have work to do, to learn how to be ourselves without it, and to balance our lives so that we don’t need a drug to soothe us or to bring us pleasure.

If we drink coffee to help us concentrate and get us through a day, it again shows that our life is out of balance and we should do something about that instead of using a substance to mask it.

When we eat junk food or sweeties for pleasure or as a treat, it shows that we really need to rewire our brain to move from thinking that bad foods will somehow make us feel better, when really they are contributing to our overwhelm, brain fog, cravings, energy imbalances – it keeps us stuck in unhealthy circles.

Now, my friend asked me what I thought about using plants, and as an aspiring herbalist, it thought it was an interesting question.

I do believe plants are our friends and helpers. We can eat vegetables and fruits as medicine and we can use plant extracts, herbs, leaves, flowers to support our health and well-being.

We will always have to eat, though from childhood on I was fascinated by the idea that we don’t really, and that there are people who sustain themselves by just meditation and breathing.

So much more is possible than we allow ourselves to believe most of the time.

I’m moving towards creating a sacred kitchen, and can’t wait to try out a new approach to eating. I’ll write more on that soon.

Meanwhile, I believe we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. I think we can enjoy everything that this world gifts us, as long as we do it consciously.

We are the ones who can check if something is nourishing or just giving us a short high. If something is actually taking more energy than it’s giving us.

Freedom is never being able to buy or have or consume everything. We’re not free if we can eat as much as we want of what we want.

We’re free when we can be happy with what is, without needing anything external.

When I’m able to find pleasure in everything that I do and to make choices that serve myself and others well, then I feel free.

Yesterday I went to Göttingen, to take myself out to lunch and to get some things for my new, sacred kitchen. On the way back to the car, I saw a girl struggling with too many bags.

I asked if I could give her a hand and ended up carrying her biggest bag to her new home because she was exhausted.

Freedom is being able to take the time when someone needs you.

Dear future self, when do you feel free?

Dear reader, are there things in your life that you think make you feel better, when you know that they don’t? Can you liberate yourself from them? What do you do to feel free?

Sending lots of love and wishes for a beautiful Sunday,

Verena

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