“I started to be free when I discovered that the cage was made of thoughts.” ~Unknown

This article was first published in the Otis Observer. 2 min 48 sec reading time.

Countless seamless thoughts are rushing into the human mind, one after another. They could be judgments of oneself and others, expectations of how and why things should or shouldn’t be—thoughts charged with emotions, formed under stress, often making us feel small.

Holding the image in my mind that this article will be published in the April issue is not an easy task. The deadline is breathing down my neck. Time is ticking as a part of me wants to throw in the towel. “Perhaps, I just skip this month,” I hear a loud echo of a thought in my head. “You can’t do that! You promised to write!” another one yells back. Then a still, small voice breaks the fight, vibrating through the battlefield of all the other thoughts. “Just let it go. Just let it go.” So convincing, so reassuring. I can’t help but trust it as I continue the work.

Let It Go

I believe that true freedom begins when we are free of fear, free of anxiety, free of judgments, expectations, shame, blame, control, you name it. We have the opportunity to recognize and let go of our depleting thoughts and emotions and free ourselves from them. We can change our attitude, how we feel, how we look at things, and how we look at ourselves, including our lives on this planet. To succeed in this endeavor, we have to realize the power and practice the art of letting go.

It can be pretty challenging to get out of a fear-based mentality. Many of us have lived our entire lives in anxiety, worry, and doubt. We are constantly concerned about the kids, grandkids, loved ones, money, health, time, and if that isn’t enough, we worry more about what’s going on in the world. Or if there is nothing to worry about, let’s worry about that. Most of humanity lives in a state of fear, and it runs deep. We got so used to it that it feels normal. But is it?

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Acknowledge and Create

To experience true freedom, we must begin to open up. That’s a delicate process, and no one can rush it. When we let go of something, it is essential to bring in what we want instead. For example, if I want to get rid of fear, I first notice the fear but then shift the focus on love. I take my attention off what I don’t want anymore and place it on what I do want. It might seem counter-intuitive. But where attention goes is what grows. Love and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. So if you’re going to rid yourself of fear, anxiety, and expectations, begin to concentrate on love, peace, compassion, kindness, and joy.

You may ask yourself, “How can I allow more joy and happiness into my life?” or make a statement like “I am ready to experience more love and joy.” Begin where you are. It can be something as simple as smiling more. When you wake up tomorrow morning, look in the mirror and greet yourself with a smile. Say, “You are beautiful. I love you!”

We’ve got to start somewhere. If this makes you feel like you are lying to yourself, well, isn’t it a lie when you tell yourselves the story that you are not good enough, or how much of a failure you are?! Reminding yourself that you are loved is one of the most profound truths, and it has to be expressed.

Step by step, thought by thought, experience by experience, we let go of what weighs us down. We are always free to choose whether to hold onto the negative or create the positive. You may say, “Today is the day when I set myself free. I choose to generate love, kindness, compassion, and trust. I let go of what doesn’t serve me any longer. I am free.”

Q: What is one step you can take now to create a freer and fuller life experience for yourself and others?

Please share your insights with us in the comments below.

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