The Key to Be Free


Yesterday night, I was in a taxi going home after running a 5-hour workshop.

I struggled to keep my eyes open. My brain felt squishy, and my body desperately called for a soft blanket.

Bone tired, but I was also at peace, alive, and happy. The workshop was a success.

Here is something no one knew:

I had never done a workshop on Freedom before.

I was so nervous that 3 hours before the workshop when I discovered I forgot the charger for my clicker, I exploded, sat down on the floor and bawled.

Like a crying baby, I threw a pity-party.

I whined: “This is so fucking hard. Why did I do this to myself?”

Thankfully, if you’ve practiced mindfulness for years, you can watch yourself having a nervous breakdown, allow yourself to feel the emotions, allow yourself a pity party for 3 minutes, AND THEN pick yourself up afterward.

That was what I did.

At first, I tried to keep it together, but a bigger part in me - I’d call it my soul - said: “Just feel it.”

When I was on the floor crying, my soul directly witnessed and smiled. She didn’t judge. She whispered: “You’ll be ok. You know why you do this.”

So after making space for the crying baby, I moved on.

I stood up from the floor, sat back at my desk, and continue the rehearsal.

Why am I telling you this?

Because this is what freedom is all about.

Viktor E. Frankl, Nazi concentration camp survivor, psychologist, and author of the soul-inspiring book Man’s Search for Meaning, taught us that:

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Here were the responses I chose:

- Allow my fears to be felt (I chose self-love.)

- Do the event anyway. (I chose courage.)

You can have everything you love stripped away from you. You can be punished for a fault that was not yours.

But there’s one thing that no one can take away from you: your power to choose your response.

Sadly, most of us spend our entire life reacting emotionally to situations.

When we do that we ignore our power to choose our response.

If you often react emotionally, you’re not alone.

I had done it for years. Until I finally realized that I have the power to choose.

To know you have the power to choose is the first step.

To learn to use that power is the second step.

Try this:

Become an observer of yourself. Keep a journal and note down situations when you react emotionally. This simple practice gives you self-awareness. Awareness beckons change.

Mindfulness practice such as meditation is incredibly powerful to create the space to choose the response.

Start small. But start now.

You’re a bird. Why spend more time in a cage that only you have the key to open?

Open that damn cage.

Spread your wings.

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I’ll run one more “Find Your Freedom” workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on February 17th. If you’re in town, I WANT to see you there. :)

Come join me to learn the 4 steps to break free and live the life you truly want.
Learn more HERE >>