We are totally free to do, think, feel or be whatever we want. And with that freedom comes taking 100% responsibility for ourselves, our choices, and our actions (positive and negative).
- We are free to eat a whole pint of ice cream in one sitting.
- We are free to finish our latest project.
- We are free to be indecisive.
- We are free to be on time for meetings.
- We are free to skip a loan payment.
- We are free to be happy with ourselves.
- We are free to break the law.
- We are free to love our family and friends.
- We are free to spend beyond our budget.
- We are free to be true to ourselves.
- We are free to play it safe.
- We are free to risk it all.
- We are free to believe negative thoughts about ourselves.
- We are free to believe positive thoughts about ourselves.
Freedom is neutral – without judgement, without blame. The question comes down to: are we willing to accept full responsibility for the consequences of our free will actions?
Our struggle occurs when we allow ourselves to become victims of our apparent lack of freedom. “I gotta go to work. I gotta pay the bills. I gotta take care of this. I gotta take care of that. If I don’t do it who will?”
This month’s mandala reminds us that we are powerful beings, neither the victim nor the victimizers. We always have a choice.
For example, if going to work feels like a “gotta do thing”…try this process:
- what do I want to do today? answer truthfully …go to the beach instead of work
- am I willing to take responsibility for following through …it would mean missing an important meeting or I do have some vacation days left or this would be the fourth day this month I’ve taken off-I could lose my job or I need to find a new job
- now the most important part: consciously choose what it is I want to do …I’m going to take a vacation day today and while doing so I plan to review my work options and figure out how best to make work a better experience for me until I can find something better OR I’m going into work today knowing that I chose to be there…I can also choose HOW I want to be there–begrudgingly, happy, content, miserable, etc.
For another example, if we struggle to be around certain people who, for whatever reason, have to be in our lives right now we can apply the same process:
- how do I want to feel about this person? answer truthfully …I want to feel annoyed, angry, frustrated, disappointed
- am I willing to take responsibility for following through …it would mean raising my blood pressure or me feeling miserable, agitated or me missing out on anything else going on because I’m so focused on my feelings towards that person
- now the most important part: consciously choose how I want to feel …I’m going to remain neutral with this person (I find repeating the mantra “I choose power” silently to myself, helps) OR I’m going to knowingly choose to be angry with this person and avoid her/him at all costs OR I’m going to do some inner work to determine what my reaction to this person is all about (people mirror for us that which we fail to see within ourselves).
When we come from this place of choice, we gain our freedom. Rather than remaining victims, we empower ourselves. We may happen to be in a very oppressive situation and yet we are still free to choose how we feel about it and how we want to react to it.
Ponder this as we color this month’s mandala.
The Mandala Lady
Be sure to download/color the April section of the 2016 Mandala of the Year.