If I choose to be free today, what would I do?
Am I living in a bondage, a prison?
Bondage can come in various forms. I need not be imprisoned physically in a cell or room. My imprisonment, or lack of freedom, which I guess to be true of most people, is a mental state. Most of us have shackled ourselves to certain beliefs, certain ideas, habits that become so much a part of us that we are unable to shake it off. Mostly, we are even unaware of the state in which find ourselves. Let me give you an example. I love coffee and I drink it every morning. Previously, I would be irritated if I did not have my cup, and as a result the whole day would feel wasted. I had become so attached to coffee that I let that dictate my day. That is not freedom, that is a result of an “unfree” life. Freedom would be to love coffee, yes, to drink coffee, yes, but if it is not there, then to drink something else, and still be content. Easier said than done, I know.
I believe that binding ourselves to certain patterns and habits and refusing to accept anything else results in our constriction of mind and thus blinding us to the magic of life. I was stuck on coffee and my eyes were blind to existence unfolding around me. The same was true with my daily yoga asana practice. I practiced every day without fail until my body said it is okay to take a break now and then. So, today, although I practice almost every day, there are times when just stretching is fine. I choose what works best for me and what doesn’t. Rituals, and habits are all great and necessary in life for stability, but can we ease just a bit? Can we let a certain flexibility happen even within the routines we have established in our lives?
Life is happening around us in most wonderful ways. If we constrain our minds and hearts, then how will we see the most beautiful dawns and dusks. If we are stuck on loving only our families, how can we see the beauty in a stranger’s eyes. If we insist on watching the 8 o’clock news, how can we see the sunset happening right outside our window. And maybe sometimes, it is wonderful to break the pattern, to be truly free. Give ourselves room in our minds and hearts to breath.
Especially, this time of Easter and beginning of spring when families should get together to celebrate, many of us are apart. All the rituals surrounding our families won’t happen. Perhaps, this is our chance to experience a freedom from the habits that have formed. What if we saw this as an opportunity, not hindrance? As a chance not a handicap? As a new way of thinking instead of regretting what is not?
Wishing you all a time full of new hope, freedom, joy and awareness.
We are alive.