I used to dream about feeling free. When I was stuck in the drudgery of my corporate desk job, stressed and unfulfilled. Every day looked much like the next. My life was punctuated by work project deadlines, working extra time coming up to peak periods and telling myself I’d have time off when it was more quiet (note: it was never more quiet). I was stuck in a rut and feeling free became my biggest daily driver, I just had to have it.
Of course, technically, logically I knew that I was free, I mean, I’m not enslaved or incarcerated or anything like that.
I’d heard people say that every day when we wake up we have a choice as to whether to go to work or not….. it’s just that I’d got into the habit of every day life and somehow the idea that these habits were choices just didn’t resonate with me. I’d long since stopped assessing all the alternatives to my daily routine, except of course for the recurring fantasy of staying in bed and never going to work!
Am I alone here people?
So, if we KNOW that we’re free people, why don’t we FEEL free? Why’s the head is telling us one thing but our hearts just aren’t buying it.
So, how did I reclaim my freedom?
I started small. I went on a war against the autopilot that was guiding my daily actions. I decided to become conscious of my patterns and habits.
Here’s 9 ideas for you to try out that I used on my own path to freedom….
Declutter your life
One of the many things that happens when you’re comfortable with your life, but not quite fulfilled is that you look for easy ways to fill the void, often by buying things that actually, you don’t really need. How is this manifesting in your life? Are you buying food that only ends up rotting away in your fridge? Do you have more pairs of shoes than you could wear in a month? Is your email box piling up with junk mail? Is your coffee table full of magazines?
Decluttering is and cutting out the excess is a powerful way to start your journey to personal development because it forces you to look objectively at the things that come in to your sphere of consciousness. Feeling free requires less things weighing you down!
Switching up the daily commute
I was super guilty of having assigned myself a rigid morning routine. I had timed all the different routes to work down to a fine art and just did the same one every day out of habit. Most people do the same – they take the same route to the bus stop/train station/drive to work every day, eliminating the need to make that decision or feel their way through it.
To find yourself some freedom try travelling to work a different way, walk a different street, get off the bus a stop early, park your car in a different spot, ride your bike, take a different set of stairs into your building, walk down a different hallway. Mix it up!
Pro-tip: Try asking your gut feeling which way to go and start developing your connection to your intuition, why not?!
Here’s a challenge for you: consciously find something to compliment someone on today with absolutely no expectation of a response or a returned favour. Don’t explain yourself, just drop that happiness bomb on someone and carry on. That’s the compliment hit-and-run.
How does this help you in feeling free? Well, to compliment someone requires you to look outside of yourself and actually take notice of the people around you. You’re shifting your focus from drudgery and consciously looking for great things around you. You’re raising your vibration, and when you share that with another person that raised vibration starts to spread around.
You can compliment someone you know, or some random walking down the street…. It doesn’t matter who you choose a heartfelt, genuine compliment is always welcomed.
Feeling into your diet
There’s so much focus that goes in to your diet these days. Don’t eat this, do eat that, here’s a superfood, that’s full of fat…. the list goes on. Creating freedom in your life involves questioning the things that you do automatically and making a mindful choice instead. Are you in the habit of eating the same lunch every day? Boring! Why is that? Is it the convenience of buying your lunch from the same café every day?
The key here is to re-evaluate the options. Are you making your diet choices mindlessly or are you stressing out about how many calories you’re ingesting, or how many food groups you’ve hit today?
Nothing loses the joy of freedom quicker than having to eat boring stuff.
Your body has a habit of craving the very things your body is deficient in, but it also gets addicted to things it only needs because of it’s addiction (think: salt, fat & sugar).
Feel in to what you’re choosing to eat. Then feel in to why your body wants to eat that. No judgement if you’re craving cheese and crackers but you know you should be dairy and gluten free. It’s a journey of understanding your body, rather than being ruled by habit or what the fitness influencers on social media are telling us is right.
Turn off the TV
How much time do you spend in front of a screen in an average day? Are you in a constant cycle of screen time? Do you really need to spend your down time watching television?
The average Australian watches 18 hours of TV every week. That’s basically two seasons of Game of Thrones every week, for your whole life! Scary
If you’re in the habit of switching on the TV as soon as you walk in the house, maybe you’re succumbing to that old autopilot again.
The feeling of freedom needs room to grow, so do something creative with your evening – when was the last time you indulged your inner artist/musician/dancer?
Give the box a break and find some extra free time.
Here’s the big kahuna, if you’re serious about finding a way to connect to your sense of freedom, you need to really blow apart your routine and habits. And what better way to do this then getting away from your schedule.
Throwing yourself into an adventure where you need to rely solely on yourself and what you ‘feel’ like doing that day is the most powerful way to fast track the dissolution of your autopilot and start feeling free.
I recommend you take at least two weeks, to really get out of the habits and every day routines you have at home. Book a flight and your first night’s accommodation and then take it from there. You can start in your home country or get out in to the world to push yourself to rely on your own ideas, your own strengths and learn what are the things that you do that you would continue to do, even if you didn’t have to work or schedule it in to your day
Have you tried any of these tips? Are there any others you recommend?
I work with women to develop their sense of freedom, finding their life purpose and connecting to their happiness.