Freedom

The secret to happiness is freedom, the secret to freedom is courage
— Thucydides
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Andrea Butt claims, “Freedom is about being so truly, madly and deeply attached to your own soul that you can’t bear - if only for a moment - a life that doesn’t honor it.”

There is much truth in those words. It takes true courage to honor yourself, to honor your soul.  

Think back, is there a moment you wanted to stand up for an injustice but refrained from doing so? Or perhaps a time you sincerely wanted something more but didn't go after it? 

Had more courage been present, what might have occurred? How much freer might you have felt in that — or perhaps, as a result, this — moment? 

We often think that courage indicates doing something colossal…making a massive move or taking substantial stance, but we forget that courage is evident in the smaller, everyday choices: the choices we tell ourselves don’t really matter, the ones which seem insignificant.  

When added up, when pushed aside time and again, those decisions create debilitating patterns and a stark neglect of values. 

The beauty, however, resides in the flip side.   When the courageous choice is made, especially in the smaller “inconsequential” moments, it re-enforces our values and strengthens the muscle which liberates.

What does courage mean, or look like, to you?

What would your life look like if you were just a bit more courageous?

The invitation this week, isn’t necessarily to take a huge leap. OR, maybe for you, it is. The invitation is to show courage in those seemingly minor moments, and feel the freedom it creates, the freedom you create. 

 

With love and light,

Rachel     -Working with change-makers to brighten the world, one soul at a time  xx

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No es Facil... It's not Easy

Gratitude transforms lack into abundance, weakness into strength and mere minutes into precious, beautiful time.
 A standard street in Old Habana

A standard street in Old Habana

I recently returned from Cuba. To say the conditions there are dire, would be an understatement. 

Down most streets in old Havana (or Habana) buildings are crumbling and rubble piles up. Earthquakes over the last decade have shattered the structural foundations, and many of the places are frameworks, at best, without roofs.

It’s these moments, these exposures and these experiences which bring me back to the critical value of gratitude. Gratitude for everything I do have in my life.*  Gratitude for the ability to create my own life. Gratitude for the power of choice.

Last week’s blog shed light on the fact that we can either be bound or liberated by our circumstances. Gratitude, in many ways expands upon that. Bondage, liberation, gratitude, they are each a state of being, or rather, “a context we generate.”

Brene Brown says, “sufficiency isn't two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance. It isn't a measure of barely enough or more than enough. Sufficiency isn't an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.” 

I’d posture the same. Gratitude is an experience, it is truly a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that the moment is enough…that we are enough.

Gratitude transforms lack into abundance, weakness into strength and mere minutes into precious, beautiful time. It can turn a simple embrace into love that lasts a lifetime and a brief conversation into an unparalleled connection. 

This week I ask, I implore, what DO you have in your life? What would your hour, day or even week (!!) look like if was experienced from a place of gratitude? Gratitude for you body that enables you to move, to feel, to experience. Gratitude for the time spent on those (things) you love.  

**** P.S.  Roots of Hope (Races de Esperanza) is an incredible non profit, non-partisan group that sponsors academic and cultural initiatives focused on empowering youth to become the authors of their own future.

*As a life coach, its my role to empower my clients to be the author of their future.  Therefore, I am SO excited to share that I'll be donating  7% of my fee for all new clients for the next six months to Roots of Hope. www.rootsofhope.org. 

Curious about coaching or know someone that would benefit from, and looking to transform what's possible and/or rock foundational limiting beliefs? Contact me for a sample session!

Allow me to support and further empower you, and together we'll support and empower the globe...beginning with the youth of Cuba.

With so much love and gratitude,

Rachel

Bondage or Liberation?

“As the mind, so the person. Bondage or liberation are in the mind” is an old Sanskrit saying. 

If you feel bound, you are bound. If you feel liberated you are liberated.

Nelson Mandela arrived at a parallel perspective, which serves as a perfect paradigm. For years he was incarcerated and beaten daily. He realized that in order to survive, not just physically but spiritually and mentally, he had to make a choice. He could choose to remain in a state of victimhood to his captors, ORhe could “choose” to be incarcerated. 

He “choose” to be incarcerated and “choose” to be beaten. 

Crazy, right? Hard to imagine that is a choice

This last week at the studio, we too were faced, quite unexpectedly, with a choice.

In the midst of a hot, humid, Summer day, the power went out.  Without a doubt, the heat and humidity was palpable upon entrance. Many could have left the studio. Some did. However, for the majority, they choose, amidst the otherwise undesirable circumstances, to stay. 

They choose their practice and they choose the heat.  

For those that stayed (and there were many) they could have been bound by, and thus made themselves victims of, the heat.  In the middle of class, all of us drenched in sweat, I invited everyone to pause and to feel their bodies, wholly in that moment.  Then, I asked that they envision a freezer, and then suggested that they slowly open that freezer and allow their faces to bask in the cool, refreshing air.

A tactic of the mind, perhaps, but then again…

Bondage or liberation are in your mind. 

Where are you bound? Where do you find yourself as a victim to your circumstances? If you were to adopt a perspective of freedom, what might change?  How might you change?

The second sutra of the second book of Patanjali states that it is “the restraints of the modifications of the mind (the agitation, the consistent, otherwise unstoppable thought-circles and trails) which is yoga.”

This week I invite you to practice yoga — of the body and/or mind. If a negative thought or sensation arises, play with acknowledging those feelings … that’s the first step.

By not resisting, just acknowledging…you may be able to more easily [choose to] change your regular neural pathway. 

 

With love and light,

Rachel