When I worked in corporate America I thought quitting my job, being home with my children and not being slave to someone else's dream was the definition of freedom. For years I dreamt of this "freedom" and thought of everything I could to taste it. In June of 2006, my wish was finally granted. My husband and I agreed that it would be better for our family if I stayed home. So almost three years later, here I am.
Yet, I've realized over these past two and half years that "freedom" is about more than just firing one's boss and being able to take my kids to the park at 10:30 a.m. on a warm Tuesday July morning. Freedom starts with a state of mind. I had to learn that the hard way.
Before I quit my job I created a vision board and I still have it. It's green poster board with the word "Freedom" written in glue and covered in glitter smack dab in the middle of the board. All around that word are images and pictures of things I desired in my life; attitudes and ways of being I hoped to take on and a level of financial stability I strived to reach. Once I quit my job, I was pretty certain that the things on my board would quickly come to pass. Not so.
Now I'm not suggesting that vision boards are not effective because they are in fact very effective….granted the right mindset is attached to the visions. And at that time, my mind just wasn't in the right place, so the majority of the things on that board never came to fruition.
I was still thinking and acting from a lack mentality. I was feeling inadequate and insignificant in many areas of my life. I was trying to build a business that my heart wasn't excited about and using my gifts to their best abilities. I was looking at my vision board daily next to my computer desk, watching The Secret over and over and spinning my wheels trying to figure out when my windfall of good fortune was going to come rushing in. It never came. I wasn't free at all.
To be honest, I'm still not free, but I am a lot closer than I was two and half years ago. And I've come to realize….wait, let me be honest. I've always known that my own thinking and the power of the mind plays an enormous part in my success, but I wasn't living from that place. I knew what I needed to do, I just wasn't doing it. I think we've all been there at some point in our lives.
I would shift my thinking temporarily, experience a tiny taste of freedom, and then slip back into my old habits and ways of thinking. The power of what was familiar was stronger than the power of what was possible. I hated it, but most days I didn't feel like I was strong enough to escape that familiar place of complacency and boldly step out to be and do something different. I was prisoner to my own fears.
I admit that I am a work in progress. I have a lot of layers that still need to be scrubbed clean before I can claim the total victory of freedom, but I feel like this is the closest I've ever been. And it all came down to a decision – the decision to stop trying to figure things out on my own and employ divine guidance before and during the process, not after what I've tried on my own has failed.
Since making that decision, I am learning more each day and feel that I am growing stronger spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I still have down days – in fact last Friday was a doozey. We won't go there. But even on down days, I feel like I'm handling them better than down days of the past. And that's a great thing.
Something that helps me, and I'd like to share it with you, is a song that I heard while attending Dani Johnson's First Steps to Success Seminar last February. As the song played in the hotel meeting room the words resonated with me immediately. I felt like someone had secretly tapped into my emotions and put my thoughts and feelings to song.
At the break I purchased the CD Isa & Nina Live at First Steps to Success™. The song is beautiful set to an acoustic guitar and is titled Free. I have shed many a tear as I've played it over and over and over and over again.
You can listen to a preview of the song and download it from Amazon for only $0.89. Trust me – it's worth every penny. The CD overall is very positive and uplifting, but I admit that Free is my favorite because it speaks to me so intimately. I hope that it speaks to you much in the same way that it spoke to me.
As I journey through my early midlife celebration, I am seeing more and more clearly how very important it is to be deliberate in our thoughts and step into who we are truly meant to be in order to experience the freedom of love, joy, happiness, abundant health, wealth, complete and total blind faith and just pure bliss.
I'm not there yet, but I'm well on my way to experiencing the freedom I claimed on my vision board three years ago. I now understand what it means to be free – not just in theory but truly free in thought, actions and deeds. I now make it my priority to do what I have to do to daily to get to that place I've so long dreamed of but am just now truly understanding.
For me "freedom" or being free means to walk boldly and confidently, and sometimes blindly, not knowing where the next step may take me, but trusting with complete faith that my every need will be met without fail. What does being free mean to you?