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Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

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No more debating.

No more doubting.

No more asking for permission to be yourself.

No more allowing invisible barriers to keep you boxed in.

No more holding back.

Just be.

Just be yourself.

Just be courageous.

Just be free.

That thing you’ve been wondering if you’d ever have what it takes to give it a shot?

Get out there and take the first steps.

It’s time.

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I love holidays. I especially love holidays that help me experience especially joyous times for children.

Today, I got to fill plastic eggs with candy and stickers and toys and hide them in the yard for my toddler. I then got to help him find them, particularly one little keychain toy of a character he’s wanted to play with for many months, but I had only just recently found for him. He loves egg hunts, and he especially loved finding this toy.

Today’s holiday is always one of renewal and openness to fresh beginnings. It was especially enlightening to have the pleasure of enjoying it with a child who was ecstatically happy because of one simple, tiny little gift.

Here’s to welcoming the brightness and joy of the little things life brings us, helping us better prepare to receive the big things.

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I’ve been thinking again about the addictive nature of certainty, and how tough a habit it is to break. Our Commander Brain tends to require certainty in order to feel it knows who “I am” and has the control “I need” to keep structure and predictability in our lives. That’s why it’s so important to first learn how to break the addiction to certainty, so we may be able to learn HOW to learn more about what we don’t yet know.

To break this addiction, I once spent possibly a whole year practicing being uncertain. Each time I felt I had a solid ground to stand on, to start building a new “what I know” foundation, I deliberately went searching out alternate ways to think and feel, pulling the rug back from underneath my feet. I wanted to stop allowing the habit of trying to find one solid place to stand firm forevermore. I wanted to get used to walking a path of personal growth and lifetime discovery. There will always be core values that will guide and comfort me, but these are gifts I carry in my heart, not anchors that hold me down.

Allowing myself to be trapped in the comfortable chains of certainty endangers that freedom to learn and grow.  I have to thank an article I read today for describing these dangers:

Certainty is the most dangerous emotion a human being can feel in politics and religion. Certainty stops all outside thought or reason. It closes the door and is a metaphorical spit in the face of anyone who disagrees. Changing one’s mind is the essence of critical thinking. As Thomas Jefferson himself said, “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.”

Fox News tried to tear my family apart: How they failed to incite my father, by Edwin Lyngar on Salon.com

We are blessed with a bright and beautiful world, and equally bright and beautiful minds with which to enjoy it. Let us practice freedom and skill in our minds, that we may live our lives with skillful freedom.

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Today I want to share something from Theravada Buddhism, the branch that’s oldest and most similar to early Buddhism. It teaches that everyone is responsible for their own thoughts, words and deeds, and that only through their own mindfulness can they reach an enlightened state. While there are those who are wiser and more enlightened who can guide and help, they can’t do it for you.

Like much of Buddhism, they have teachings for people to meditate on to help people reach that better state. The intent is that by repeating these phrases over and over out loud or in the mind, it’ll stick and come into practice. Here’s one of them:

Loving Kindness Meditation

If anyone has hurt me or harmed me knowingly or unknowingly in thought, word, or deed, I freely forgive them.

And I too ask forgiveness if I have hurt anyone or harmed anyone knowingly or unknowingly in thought, word, or deed.

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