What Does Freedom Look Like For You?

I resented that red flashing light on my company Blackberry.

I hated that having a company phone was mandatory. I hated the way it made my stomach lurch, wondering what was lurking in the next email. It was pretty much always stress. I worked in that sort of company, where everything from printing out a piece of paper to organising a meeting with the head honchos was urgent in the way you might expect urgency on an A&E ward.

Most of all, looking back, I hate the way I gave it so much of my attention. I hate the way I cared so much. I hate the way I allowed myself to buy into other people’s anxiety and stress about what really mattered. 

I didn’t know better back then. It was the only way I knew to be. 

And that’s what the desire for freedom started out as. 

Freedom from that red flashing light. Freedom from anything that anyone else told me was mandatory. Freedom from the stress and anxiety. Freedom from sitting in a strip lip box all day.

Freedom from office politics where the most interesting way people could find to pass the time was to bitch and gossip about other people. Freedom from micro-management. Freedom from destroying the rainforest, meeting after freakin’ meeting. 

Freedom from the commute, smushed up against all the other stressed out, anxious people caught in this cycle of corporate London life. Freedom to book a dentist appointment, or whatever other appointment I so pleased, without having to ask permission, fill out forms and check with the rest of the team. 

I wanted out. 

But freedom wasn’t only an escape. Not only a running away from. It was also a towards.

Towards expressing myself and being the person I knew I was somewhere inside. Towards travel and the world and adventure and fresh air. Towards setting my own schedule and creating a life completely on my own terms. Towards doing work that actually mattered to me. Towards waking up and wanting to be awake, wanting to be in the world.

I take it for granted now. 

I take it for granted that I wake up every single morning and want to be awake. I take it for granted that even now, in the midst of winter with the dark mornings, dark afternoons and the pelting rain (currently battering my skylight), I have no problem (really none whatsoever) getting out of bed at 5:30am and getting going with my day. 

I take it for granted that I don’t have a commute. I take it for granted I don’t have anyone else to answer to. I take it for granted that I can create my day as I wish. I take it for granted that work doesn’t feel like work - not at all like something I have to do because it’s my job and I just have to suck it up and do it - but that it feels like a natural part of my life. 

I take it for granted that I get to spend most of my time speaking and engaging with like-minded people who are awake to what’s possible and firmly committed to truth and growth.

I take it for granted that I walk in circles of positive, uplifting, motivated, committed people who are constantly upping their game and pushing their boundaries.

I guess today I woke up feeling like I don't want to take this for granted. I woke up feeling like I want to breathe in every second of it. Sitting here in my bedroom, laptop on my knees, the sky slowly brightening and the rain coming down. I don’t want to take it for granted that my work in the morning is to sit down and write whatever is in my heart.

I don’t know your journey. I don’t know where you’re coming from or where you’re going to.

But I do know this:

You can radically change your life.

So you know what? Define what freedom means for you. And then commit to making it happen. 

Because your crazy dreams that feel so far away right now?

They’re not so crazy. And actually, they’re closer than you think.

Love and courage,

Leah


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