In 2017, I wish you freedom, love and oneness.
Recent experiences have reminded me that these joyful qualities of life are still available to us, even during challenging times.
To mark some personal milestones, I recently spent a few weeks on the lush island of Bali. It was an incredible opportunity to press ‘reset’ on my life.
I had wrapped up a year of separation negotiations and entrepreneurial expansion. Both were challenging but necessary for my personal growth. After all that struggle, I needed some perspective. I travelled away from my home, my family, and my responsibilities in order to sink into myself and listen to what my heart wanted to do.
I savoured delicious fresh food, explored the markets, and rolled out my yoga mat each morning to a symphony of nature. I soaked in the richness of the culture, the Balinese ritual of offerings, and the incredible Hindu temples. Mind, body and spirit bucket lists – check, check and check!
Through these adventures I learned a few powerful lessons about freedom, love and oneness.
While I was in this beautiful setting, I still felt an undercurrent of residual stress. I had moved through difficult challenges, but now what? The future was wide open and I felt ungrounded, unsure, uncertain.
In this state of mind, I stumbled upon a book of spiritual teachings by Osho, in which he discussed the ideas of “freedom from” and “freedom for.”
“Freedom from is ordinary, mundane. Man has always tried to be free from things. It is not creative. It is the negative aspect of freedom,” said Osho.
“Freedom for is creativity,” he went on. “You have a certain vision that you would like to materialize and you want freedom for it.”
And, from his book “Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously” I found this quote: “Don’t call it uncertainty, call it wonder. Don’t call it insecurity – call it freedom.”
Osho’s message was exactly what I needed in that moment. Instead of ruminating on my past, I saw clearly that it’s more important for me to focus on the “for” part of my freedom. I had created “freedom for” joy, authenticity and fulfilling experiences, and now those things were fully available to me.
As I moved through the glory of Balinese nature and culture, the word “love” came to me frequently, in signs, in books, through kind words and chance encounters. And the message was to approach everything with love, not fear.
Like the gorgeous love sign I captured in the photo I’ve shared in the blog post, the message of love was clear. On the courage to love deeply, Osho also wrote “Fear is nothing but the absence of love. Do something with love, forget about fear. If you love well, fear disappears.”
When I opened my door each morning onto a beautiful terrace, the world was rich and full of life. It was loud and I was part of it. It was centring and vast at the same time. I closed my eyes and breathed it in.
There is a beautiful oneness. We are all connected. And, if we go forward into freedom from a place of love, the whole benefits.
Osho reminded me that self-love is not selfish. The love we cultivate for ourselves ripples outward into the world. “Love makes you rebellious, revolutionary. Love gives you wings to soar high. Love gives you insight into things, so that nobody can deceive you, exploit you, or oppress you.”
I aspire to bring this wisdom into my life each day. And from this place, I wish you a year of “freedom for” I wish you deep love of yourself, love in your purpose and love to the world around you.
I invite you to embrace the concept of oneness, too. Remember that by choosing joy in your own life, you will be empowered to bring joy to your family and friends. Your love will ripple outwards. Your “freedom for” will be a flag that guides the way.