Freedom

Welcome to The Dish where Drew DeMaree & guests serve up a healthy dose of reality each week. This blog is about keeping it real ~ real challenges, real distractions, real-life getting in the way of, well…virtually everything. How we view our realities depends on individual mindset, and we want to discuss WHY MINDSET MATTERS.

 

Today I want to talk about FREEDOM – what it means and how to attain it.

 

Rooted in the core fabric of US culture and history; wars have been fought and blood has been shed in the name of FREEDOM. Yet, I maintain freedom is also a mindset.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began an active pursuit of racial equality (a form of freedom) in 1951.  He spent 17 years doggedly pursuing that dream. The often quoted “two steps forward and one step back” comes to mind when reflecting on his progress; however, his focus remained constant buoyed by his FREEDOM MINDSET.  This movement started with ONE PERSON…then another…then a group…then a community…then states…then an entire nation.

 

What does it take to feel so convicted about something that we want to share it with others until it becomes infectious, and how do we begin to feel free? While freedom is a mindset, it is intertwined with words and actions.  Let’s reflect on the words in YOUR mind – are your thoughts freeing, or are they words of constraint?  Does your mind settle on these words – I’M STUCK, I’M NOT HAPPY, I’M NOT WORTH IT, I’M NOT IMPORTANT, I’M NOT ENOUGH? Remember in your youth when you believed everything was possible?  What happened to that mindset, and how do you get it back? To fully experience the freedom you desire, you must build an internal freedom mindset from scratch, brick by brick.

 

Whether you own dogs, love them or hate them, each and every one of us has seen a dog travelling in a car, head out the window, doggie smile, face of pure joy, reveling in the feel of the breeze in their fur.  This is my image of true freedom!  I named my company The Freedom Companies because the word FREEDOM encompasses what many of us desire but don’t know how to achieve.  The idea began to resonate with me two years ago when I asked a client why he wanted to own a company rather than work for a corporation.  His response was, “I want to have the freedom to do whatever I want.”  I started contemplating what I really wanted, what I liked about my job and what I didn’t.  It really came down to one thing that made me opt for a fresh start…MY SCHEDULE.  My operations manager used to joke that my calendar gave her anxiety. The truth is, it also gave me anxiety because it was preventing me from having the freedom I craved.  Soon after this revelation, I was having lunch with a friend and noticed a wrist tattoo that said “Freedom”.  He and I interact frequently, yet, I had never noticed his tattoo until the idea of professional freedom and its meaning was fresh in my mind.

 

I have an exercise I would like you to try this week that will help you evaluate the existence of freedoms within your life…  Do Feel Free In:

  1. Your environment
  2. Your personal health and habits
  3. Your relationships
  4. Your thoughts

If your answer to all 4 is a resounding YES – congratulations! You have mastered an individual freedom mindset. I am honestly still not there, but I have made progress.  If you are like me and want to continue to build your freedom mindset, think of ONE THING you can do this week to move forward.  Maybe you need a self- care day, more exercise, to enjoy your hobbies or time with family and friends. Whatever it is, make time for it, and see how it makes you feel.

 

Let’s bring it full circle, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” Give yourself permission feel the wind in your hair, experience pure joy, and allow yourself to do whatever it takes to find the freedom you desire. Then, and only then, will you understand why a freedom MINDSET MATTERS.