YOU?! YOU biked across China ALONE?!" I couldn't believe it. That's what I said to Noa, a fellow student I met at Tel Aviv University. She was a little older than me, in her mid 20s. She had told me that prior to attending the University, she dedicated a few years to working and saving money and then traveling extensively, and even rode a bike, alone, through a large portion of China over a period of several months.
My socks were blown off. She seemed pretty "normal", not like the super-tough woman I would imagine doing such a thing. She was average weight and height, had black hair down to her shoulders, kind green eyes, and a soft voice. It was at the moment that I understood what an admirable quality independence was in my eyes. I saw her as powerful. She could do anything she felt like doing- all on her own. She didn't need anyone's company or support. She wanted to see China, and she saw it! Alone. On a bike. And no, she didn't speak any Chinese.
To be honest, I felt a little jealous of her independence. I was protected and coddled growing up, and I later realized that independence was something I had to learn as an adult. And I learned it- the hard way. But that's a whole other story. Now that the US independence day is here, I find myself thinking again about what it means to be independent. Are people in the USA independent, in the sense that they have the right to live their lives on their own terms? No. Or more specifically, one race does, members of one religion do, heterosexual people do, and some women do- depending on which state they live in. So in actuality- MANY people are not independent in the US in the year 2022, and that is both sad and infuriating at the same time.
Independence, in terms of the mind-set, is about not needing the permission/ approval of others, and about following your inner guidance towards what you want in life. For example, my kids are both very independent. They know what they want, and they don't care if others see things differently than they do. I love that about them. Sure, many people consider being "strong willed" a bad thing. But is it really? Or is it inconvenient to those who want to impose their will on the "strong willed"? Hmmm....
Many of my clients tell me how they lost their connection to their inner guidance because they had a parent who was overbearing and who didn't appreciate their sense of independence. Often those people end up having relationships in which they don't feel heard/seen or free to follow their own dreams. They often can't even tell me what THEY want, since they are used to others telling them what they SHOULD want. Living in a country in which you do not have the rights that all humans should have, definitely doesn't help. And that's the case in most countries, not just this one.
So does that mean that white, Christian, heterosexual men in the US, who did not have an overbearing parent- are free? Not necessarily. There are many other obstacles to freedom, and those are a lot more subtle. Ask yourself, whoever you are- are YOU freefrom the negative effects of your past? Are you free from hurt, resentment, anger- and all their "friends"? Are you motivated by your alignment with your higher self, or by thoughts and ideas that don't really serve you?
Those who are truly free are few. But more and more people strive to be free- and to find true happiness; the kind of happiness that does not come from a "satisfied" ego, but comes from Alignment with our true nature. I suggest that those who strive to be free, do their "inner work", and at the same time, help others achieve their freedom- by voting, educating, supporting, and more. What's my favorite modality for doing that inner-work? You already know it's Hypnosis ;0)
Here's to TRUE freedom!
Transformational Leader, Hypnotherapist,