It’s the 4th of July long weekend, and I’ve been thinking a lot about all the different types of freedom I have in my life. I spent the weekend doing exactly what I wanted, which meant time alone to relax, meditate, and catch up on some DVR’d shows, time with family to connect and enjoy great food and fireworks, time in nature to enjoy this absolutely perfect weather by hiking and (unfortunately) swatting away dive-bombing bugs who were playing a rousing game of who-can-get-closest-to-Katie’s-left-ear-without-going-in.
I’m so grateful I had the freedom to do all that and more over the last three days. And I was able to enjoy it because I had freedom from my thoughts, which, in the past might have told me things like “I should be cleaning, not meditating.” “I need to be working on my business, not watching an old episode of ‘Castle,’ even if I haven’t seen yet.” “I have to go to give my dog a bath, not lounge by the pool with my cousins.”
“Should be.” “Need to be.” “Have to.” The more I notice those thoughts, the more I can become free from them and do the stuff I feel compelled to do. And you know what happened by doing all those things that made me feel happy and recharged? I did all the other stuff, too, but without all the resistance I so often feel. I quickly and easily crossed off every item on my to-do list this weekend because I took the time to do so many things on my want-to-do list, too.
It’s weird how relaxing and having fun can help you get more done in the long run. I can’t explain why, only that over and over, I’ve found it to be true. So go ahead—give yourself the freedom to do what brings you joy.
After all, thanks to our forefathers, you have certain unalienable rights—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So go ahead—pursue the hell out of them all; you’ll be amazed at what happens.
Katie Baron: life coach, freelance writer, animal and nature lover, musician, relentless optimist