What does it mean to you to be Closer to Free?
This is one of those songs that you remember you loved, but haven’t heard in forever. When we think of freedom, we first may think of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans that are part of our daily lives. I am deeply grateful for those as well, but digging deeper, what else is preventing you from feeling free?
Think about other constraints that hold us back from personal freedom: are they related to your job? I have to work at this one job that sucks the life out of my soul to support my family. Relationships? I can’t leave this person because we’ve been together for so long. I haven’t dated in a long time, so I won’t be able to do it. Expectations you or others have of you? I am always the one who does/goes _______, so I don’t have a choice.
What’s stopping you from being or feeling free—other people’s rules? Your own set of rules from years ago that are no longer serving you? A set of beliefs that keep you living small, trapped, and decisively un-free?
When you don’t feel free, it can lead to feeling trapped. When you feel trapped, it can lead to feelings of anxiety and/or depression. Often, these can be traps of our own making, and we’re afraid to take a step out of it towards the freedom we crave.
Steps to claiming your freedom
1. Give yourself permission. Permission to break a rule that is no longer necessary, serving you, a rule that no longer exists.
2. Allow yourself to envision yourself Closer to Free: What does it look like? Who is around you? What are you doing? Is there any way you can start to move these dreams into reality by taking one small step forward? Vision boards are used a lot for this exercise. If you can dream it, put it in front of you to remind yourself where you WANT to go.
3. Try something new, out of your comfort zone. When we try something new that we’re not good at, it engages a different part of our brain, and allows us to participate in the vulnerability, excitement, and experience of learning. When we show ourselves that we have the capacity to try new things such as a Zumba class, painting pottery, going to a trampoline park, trying a book club with a bunch of strangers, we increase our capacity for change and gain trust in ourselves. This can lead to your taking other bold steps to make changes to feel Closer to Free.
4. Remember what you loved doing as a child, and go do it. Did you love to paint? Perhaps gather some friends and go do Painting with a Twist. Did you love gymnastics? Did you love to read? There are endless adult activities that our childhood selves can revel in without embarrassment. These parts of ourselves are still there and are feeling stifled. You may get Closer to Free if you indulge their wishes and let them play.