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Freedom

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Independence Requires Letting Go Of Dependency

   The Freedom to Be Tree

The Freedom to Be Tree

Dependency is a basic violation of Universal law. The Universe operates on independence. The Universe operates on individuality. It operates on separation in every shape and form. … The minute you become dependent upon anyone in any way you no longer have any power to move forward in your own pattern, in your own blueprint, and on your own behalf. You come to a halt. Gregge Tiffen (Finding Freedom: The Meaning of Independence, July, 2007)

… we and we alone are the authors of our own freedom.

Reflect on Gregge’s quote for a few moments. You may discover a key to why you sometimes feel stuck, frustrated, or impotent. You may discover a deeper source of the pervasive angst in society. If you dig deep enough, you may discover as I have that breaking the bonds of dependence requires vigilance, courage, and commitment. Freedom isn’t a free ride. It’s not for the faint-hearted. Yet, it is your divine birthright.

Another Independence Day is approaching here in the United States, the 242th since a small band of visionary revolutionaries, some of whom had deep mystical understanding, declared independence and set a course for a new nation.  As we make plans to celebrate once again, I wonder if we/I really know what freedom is. Do we/I know the importance of exercising our independence? Do we/I even know how?

As I observe the political landscape, I see and hear demands for freedom. Fear that someone who is ‘different from me’ will take our freedom away is rampant.  It seems we’ve lost our understanding that the source of freedom and independence is not man or government. Rather, freedom is our gift from the Universe. Independence is Universal law.  Dependence is a violation of that law.

And yet we’ve created and continue to support dependence in our systems of government, education, business, as well as in our personal relationships. We give life to these systems and to other people when we depend on them as our source. We’ve become dependent on jobs, clients, government agencies and circumstances for our happiness and our well-being. We expect others to ‘be there’ for us, and we may be dependent on them needing us as well.  In doing so, we abdicate our freedom, our power to choose, and to express our authentic selves.

It’s no wonder that the level of frustration, angst, and fear has reached revolutionary proportions. We aren’t being true to our nature. We desperately want to find our way back. So we revolt. Many lash out at the ‘powers that be’ as if they are the source. Others wisely recognize that change starts within and that individual responsibility is key to the exercise of freedom.

A first step in taking responsibility is recognition that the tyranny of dependence is in part self-imposed. From that awareness we are in a position to declare our own, personal independence and begin to ‘unlearn’ dependence. This unlearning requires courage, awareness, commitment, self-honesty, and trust. It is not a project, but rather a life-long process.

We restore our independence by identifying dependencies we’ve allowed to creep in: awareness by awareness, step by step, choice by choice. We learn from experience and commitment that our independence is mostly an inside job, made more challenging in a culture that fosters dependence as a means to control.  Yet, in the final analysis we and we alone are the authors of our own freedom.

NOTE – this post was originally written and posted on 7-7-2016.  With a bit of refreshing, it still seems apropos today as I reflect on the sad state of governance and on our misunderstanding of the true source of our independence. http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/breaking-the-chains-of-dependence

   Thanks for Letting Me Roam Free on Our Walks Mom.

Thanks for Letting Me Roam Free on Our Walks Mom.

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The Grace of the Universe

   Shadows Fall at Day's End in the Sangres

Shadows Fall at Day's End in the Sangres

You live by the grace of the Universe interacting with you. You do not live by yourself alone. … The Universe always magnifies your action. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Change – May, 2009)

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness. Dalai Lama

The grace of the Universe presents the challenge of our times. May we rise to meet it in kind.

Whether we are aware of it or not, the Universe is interacting with us 24/7, magnifying each and every action we take in its own way.

Think about that. Let it sink in for just a moment. Everything you do is magnified. EVERY THING!

Say a kind word, offer a smile to someone experiencing challenging times, listen deeply to another view, share an uplifting post on social media. MAGNIFIED!  Take action on a project; choose to eat healthy, nourishing food; call or write your elected representatives. MAGNIFIED!

The Universe is benevolent (at least that’s my belief), but it is not selective in what it magnifies (everything – remember?). We humans were given the gift of free will, the power of choice that the Universe did not keep for itself in this grand design called Life. Make a snarky remark. MAGNIFIED!  Engage in an act of violence. MAGNIFIED!  Protest in anger toward others. MAGNIFIED!  Shut down in fear. MAGNIFIED! 

I’ve been reflecting on this law of magnification in terms of what I want more of in my life as well as the kind of world that I’d prefer to live in.  That reflection brought me right back to where I live, the simple choices I make each day. If I want to be a writer, WRITE. Give the Universe words strung together into ideas and step back to allow the magnification. Know that magnification is happening even when I don’t see it. I’m making adjustments in how I create each day to do just that.

If the world I envision is one of peace, kindness, compassion then my responsibility is to choose thoughts, words, and deeds that are peaceful, kind, and compassionate. Give the Universe THAT to magnify.

Of course, the Universe does not magnify alone.  We are its agents, little magnifiers one and all. My words each week are a magnification of something I read, experienced (usually both!), or am in the midst of considering. You read those words and are inspired to make a change in your life, or to share the post with others, or to delete. Whatever your choice, your action magnifies mine and it offers your own to be magnified.  

The meadowlark sings its cheerful song each morning in the meadow where we walk. The president tweets. Both are magnified by a Universe that magnifies everything. But we, you and I, have the freedom and the power to choose what we magnify. Imagine a world where the meadowlark’s song or the Dalai Lama’s quote is the ‘breaking news’ of the day, and the president’s tweets go mostly ignored. Do the words peaceful, kind, compassionate come to your mind’s eye?

That world is possible if we have the will to choose to put our attention on peace over conflict, kindness over anger, and compassion over judgement. It’s already emerging daily in the thousands (perhaps millions) of thoughts, words and deeds that are peace-filled, kind, and caring. May we choose that path – moment to moment, when the choice is easy and, especially when it’s not.  The grace of the Universe presents the challenge of our times. May we rise to meet it in kind.

   Old Tree Greets Another Day

Old Tree Greets Another Day

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The Political IS Personal

  The Dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park on our Welcome Spring hike to the Zigurat

The Dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park on our Welcome Spring hike to the Zigurat

We are in a constant battle by trying to stay alive as a mental individual who is capable of thinking, while our society is basically trying to keep us from thinking by overloading our circuits. This keeps us from identifying our target areas and computing the information that is important to us individually. That is dangerous and that is what is going on. Whatever causes us to shut down is our enemy. Gregge Tiffen (The Collected Works of Gregge Tiffen: Earth and Second Earth)

I’m taking a turn toward politics in this post, something that I rarely do directly. Yet politics as a force in our culture is never far from my thinking. Political decisions at every level of government create policies that impact every area of our daily lives. These policies either empower us or not. Sadly, mostly they do not.  

This morning I woke with chilling clarity about the current blatant attacks on education, on people who are educated, in short on those who dare think for themselves. Perhaps triggered by yesterday’s story about the University of Wisconsin proposing to end degree programs in several liberal arts/humanities areas of study in order to teach things that lead to a “clear career path”, I saw a tapestry of current attacks piling on to long running ones on teachers, public schools, so-called ‘intellectuals’ (I call them people who think!), and more.

I saw clearly the weaving together of dark, dense threads to smother the independent thinking and acting that, I believe, was envisioned by our nation’s founders (both fathers AND mothers!). Some threads scream ‘fake’ news in one direction. while manufacturing such news in another. Threads that tear down from within federal departments charged with education, diplomacy, environmental protection, and justice. These are the areas with the potential to empower (and, yes, it’s debatable how good a job they’ve done up to now) individuals and build a free and just society.  Other threads build up departments that aim for ‘power over’ – homeland security, military, and police as examples.

These attacks (and I use words of war intentionally – especially after last week’s post http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/bucking-the-culture-aint-easy) are not new, nor is my awareness of and concern about them.  Yet today, I’m taking them personally. These actions attack the freedom of individuals to think, learn and grow as we each choose (and as we are designed to do in the grand scheme of things universal). They are aimed at numbing, shutting down, and directing our minds to do someone else’s bidding. And, they are right there with all the other noise screaming for our attention.

Political decisions ARE personal in their impact. And, no impact is greater than distracting our mind from its most important task: learning what it/what we each came here to learn.

Yes, we need to pay attention and be involved in those matters that we most care about. But even more, we need to be vigilant, alert, and discerning in directing our attention, our minds to what is important to each of us on our unique learning sojourn. Focus. Discover. Focus again.

   Cool Hand Luke takes a look at the landscape from the Zigurat

Cool Hand Luke takes a look at the landscape from the Zigurat

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Will

   The Sangres from the valley floor

The Sangres from the valley floor

There can be no exercise of will when there is fear. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Awareness – July, 2009)

When fear is used to control us, love is how we rebel. Rivera Sun (The Dandelion Insurrection – love and revolution)

As the month that we in the U.S. celebrate ‘independence’ comes to a close and as I observe the chaos of our current public discourse, I’ve been thinking about the source of freedom and about what stands in the way of creating new systems that are true to that source.

Freedom, justice, equality – key principles and qualities upon which the United States was founded – cannot be sustained where fear is present. And, today we live in a culture of fear – overt and covert. I see fear in the reactionary systems aimed at controlling ‘the other’. And, I see these systems breaking down. These breakdowns can feed fear as well where we have not made peace with the idea of not knowing. The tighter we grasp to save them, the faster systems move to their breaking points. Many are fearful of what lies beyond. We see this throughout our culture, not only in the U.S. but around the globe.

When fear is present we lose our ability to think clearly and to recognize the reality of the conditions that are present. We defer to the will of others. Yet, one by one, step by step (with some stumbles along the way) we are waking to realize that free will is not granted (and, thus cannot be taken away) by government (or any person or system). Free will and the will to use it are gifts from the Universe. These gifts are our opportunity to discover the unique ‘I’ that each of us is as an individual cell of the infinite Universal whole.

And, from our individual journeys of discovery, collectively we hold the opportunity, the potential to advance freedom, justice, equality for all.  Free will is a gift that grows when exercised and nurtured with love. Not gushy, ‘roses are red’ romantic love (though that is one form of expression) but love without conditions; love that is curious, thoughtful, and pure.

We make countless choices daily, each an opportunity to choose whether to exercise our will or to submit to the will of some other. Fear is what stands in the way of consistently exercising our will.

When I reflect on the chaotic conditions throughout the world, I see a world that has lost the moral compass of free will and uses fear in an effort to control. That approach doesn’t seem to be working so well. History teaches us that revolution based on fear may change conditions on the surface, but that any change will be temporary.

Lasting change in our systems will come – indeed IS coming – from those with the courage and grit to move beyond their fear and to act from a deep knowing that the source of free will is not any government or system or person. They recognize that free will is entrusted equally in each and every one by an infinite Universe.

Up close and personal, perhaps it’s time for each of us to take a look at our own exercise of will. In that spirit, I’m asking myself these questions:

Where is my will lacking?

What fear(s) have me (knowingly or not) defer to the will of others?

What is possible when I surrender my fear, remembering my source is not the world but the infinite Universe of which this world is just a tiny part?

   A Chorus of Morning Clouds

A Chorus of Morning Clouds

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Resistance With LOVE!

  As the snow melts, the gentle flow of Cottonwood Creek comes to the surface.

As the snow melts, the gentle flow of Cottonwood Creek comes to the surface.

Love is long suffering and kind. Suffering does not mean endurance but rather the willingness to permit and allow the kind of person someone is. Love recognizes individuality and respects individual freedom. If I love who I am, then my love for you will include the tolerance to let you be yourself without censure or critique.  Gregge Tiffen (The Numerology of Love – February, 2007)

When fear is used to control us, love is how we rebel. Rivera Sun (The Dandelion Insurrection - http://www.riverasun.com/)

Love is the most potent, powerful force on the planet. It is a characteristic of the Universe. Love’s power can guide us to create a world of peace and plenty. And, as history shows us, love misplaced or misunderstood, begets fear, fighting and scarcity.

In forgetting that we are each created as unique individuals with our own characteristics, strengths, foibles and lessons to learn, what have we lost in terms of awareness of the individual contribution we are each here to make? Have we forgotten that EVERY ONE has THEIR story? That we are all different and we are all the same?  Even, especially perhaps, those with whom we disagree.

Across the ages, right up to this very moment our ignorance has led us to fear the ‘other’ and to engage in cruelties beyond my comprehension. And yet, in quiet, reflective moments I wonder ‘is there a line, some circumstance or event that would provoke me to physical violence?’ I pray that the answer is ‘no’, but I know that I am capable of thinking and speaking harsh words and that I can suddenly find myself in a stream of consciousness that is far afield from recognizing and respecting the individuality of those with whom I disagree. That is especially so when their decisions appear to have the ability to impact my choices, my lifestyle. I noticed that a sort of ‘how dare they …’ attitude is often what spurs me to act. 

Recognizing that this attitude is grounded, not in love, but in fear, led me to begin to explore how to pour love into the acts of resistance I choose to take. After all, why pour gasoline – acting out of fear – on a fire that is already raging? 

I hit the ‘pause’ button on taking action and realized that before joining the crowd in reacting to the latest outrage (of which there are plenty), I need to tend to my heart. It’s important to connect with what I am FOR even as I speak out against those things with which I disagree. What I am FOR is, I believe, grounded in love – justice, human rights, free speech (indeed freedom in all its forms!).  I’m aiming to engage from love.

Whether I’m signing a petition, writing a letter or email, or making a call I’m aiming to take time to infuse it with love. Love that “recognizes individuality and respects individual freedom”. Love that speaks what is true for me in the moment and, hopefully, opens the door for the other to consider. Love that opens me to other points of view – deeply, honestly.

I don’t know all the ways to make this shift, but I’m up for the learning. Whether you’re actively engaged in either ‘side’ of the current political divide or simply observing, I invite you to join me in exploring and experimenting how to pour love into your action.

One by one, let us deepen our love of self so that we can pour love into all that we do.

Give yourself a little treat and enjoy “All You Need Is Love” The Beatles:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsxtImDVMig

   Sunrise lights up the San Juan Mountains across the valley.

Sunrise lights up the San Juan Mountains across the valley.

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Jungle Rules

   Early morning haze ... smoke from a large fire nearby

Early morning haze ... smoke from a large fire nearby

We believe we can get control, but we do not believe we have control so the jungle rules take over. Gregge Tiffen (To Know Another, Know Thyself – July, 2008)

As I gaze out at the world beyond my door, it seems to me that the jungle rules aren’t serving us very well. I think about the concept that we are in this world, but not of it as it relates to how I experience daily life. The man we know as Jesus taught that we are not of this world and it seems that he lived his life from that belief.

What, I wonder, might life lived from being in but not of the world look like – individually and collectively?  Would we feel the powerlessness that seems rampant in our world? Would the boiling anger we witness daily (and perhaps even feel ourselves) cool down?  Is the angst and anger in our world rooted in our separation from knowing and using the personal power that we have each been given as individual units in a vast, indeed infinite, Universe? 

Perhaps ‘taking back’ our power is not about grabbing it from outside of us, but rather a series of ongoing opportunities that each of us has to individually learn to use the power we’ve been given. Perhaps this is what Gandhi had in mind when he encouraged his followers to be ‘being the change’ they wished to see in the world.

As I bring my idealism down to ground level where my own opportunities to engage in this learning live, I find myself humbled, challenged and inspired. I’m humbled when I catch myself judging others and engaging my thoughts in how to control. I’m humbled by how subtle ‘control over’ appears, sometimes masked as ‘understanding and collaboration with’. I’m challenged to be aware before I step on that path, and I’m inspired to find another way.

Although I don’t need to look much beyond my own nose (there is plenty of opportunity right here!) I see this struggle played out on the world stage. We’ve come to believe that things (money, weapons, water, fuel, relationships, and more) have power and we look beyond ourselves to others and to ‘the systems’ for answers, for protection, and to provide what we need. We are angry when we discover that the price we’ve paid seems to be our freedom.

All around us systems are failing.  Perhaps their crumbling is because we have given them so much of our power. To our peril, we’ve come to believe that they are life. We see the rules of the jungle playing out in an effort to continue the illusion that ‘control over’ is the path to freedom. At the same time many understand that such control is mutable, fleeting and that (s)he who has control today will be the oppressed of tomorrow.

What kind of world will we create when we slay the bounds of the jungle rules and understand that true control is the power within?

   Luke says 'Don't forget the power of play!'

Luke says 'Don't forget the power of play!'

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Breaking the Chains of Dependence

   Gentle greeting in the woods this morning.

Gentle greeting in the woods this morning.

The minute you become dependent upon anyone in any way you no longer have any power to move forward in your own pattern, in your own blueprint, and on your own behalf. You come to a halt. Gregge Tiffen (Finding Freedom: The Meaning of Independence, July, 2007)

Reflect on this quote for a few moments and you may come to discover a key to why we so often feel stuck and experience the frustration that accompanies that ‘stuck-ness’.

Another Independence Day has come and gone here in the USA, the 240th since a small band of visionary revolutionaries, some of whom had deep mystical understanding, declared independence and set a course for a new nation.  We’ve celebrated our freedom once again. But I’ve come to wonder if we/I really know what freedom is. Do we/I know the importance of exercising our independence? Do we/I even know how?

As I observe the political landscape, I see and hear demands for freedom. Fear that someone who is ‘different from me’ will take our freedom away is rampant.  It seems we have lost our understanding that the source of freedom and independence is not man or government. Rather, free will is our gift from the Universe. Independence is Universal law.  Dependence is a violation of that law.

And yet we have created and continue to support dependence in our systems of government, education, business. We give life to these systems when we depend on them as our source. We’ve become dependent on bosses, clients, government agencies and circumstances for our happiness and well-being.  And, in doing so, we give away our freedom, our power to choose.

When I’m deeply honest with myself, I can see dependence imbedded in personal relationships and friendships as well.  We expect others to ‘be there’ for us and we may even be dependent on them needing us as well.

It’s no wonder that the level of frustration, angst, and fear has reached revolutionary proportions. We aren’t being true to our nature. We desperately want to find our way back. So we revolt. Many lash out at the ‘powers that be’ as if they are the source. Others wisely recognize that change starts within and that responsibility is key to the exercise of freedom.

A first step in taking responsibility is the recognition that the tyranny of dependence is in part self-imposed. From that awareness we are in a position to declare our own, personal independence. I’ve discovered that ‘unlearning dependence’ requires the willingness and self-honesty to look inside to what motivates my action. When I help out a neighbor am I simply using the opportunity as expression of my best self or do I have a hidden (mostly to me) agenda to fill an unmet need?

We restore our independence our willingness to look honestly step by step and choice by choice. We learn from experience and commitment that our independence is mostly an inside job. That job is made more challenging in a culture that fosters dependence as a means to control.  Yet, in the final analysis we and we alone are the authors of our own freedom.

   Freedom of expression in our July 4th parade!

Freedom of expression in our July 4th parade!

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No Insignificant Thing

   The nights are getting colder and slowly ice grows on Cottonwood Creek

The nights are getting colder and slowly ice grows on Cottonwood Creek

Believe in the importance of everything you do.  Gregge Tiffen [The Journey Continues: The Legacy for Generations]

Many voices in our culture (most of them well-meaning, I assume) urge us to ‘be, do, and have’ more. “Do big things in the world” and “Make your life matter” we’re told. It’s as though we aren’t enough. 

I lived a lot of my life on that path, striving for goals I thought I should have and placing my security in the material world. Now though, I’ve come to understand life and living differently.  After years (decades?) of angst wondering if what I was up to met the standard of ‘big enough’ and not feeling as though my work in the world was meaningful (of course, I was comparing it others), I’ve come to a new understanding of what ‘important’ and ‘matters’ mean.

Being off of that treadmill is a breath of freedom and fresh air.  I see what I couldn’t see then: my worry was for naught. Nothing that I do is unimportant. And, that’s true for you too.  WooHoo!

In previous posts, I’ve written that every thought we think and every syllable we utter lives forever.  In a Universe that is energy, those thoughts and utterances matter. Whether I smile tenderly or snap impatiently in response to something in nature or Luke or another human being, it matters.  Whether I’m speaking passionately about what I care about, attending to business, or walking in the woods, it matters.

I am a part of and contributing to consciousness with every step I take.  The attitude that I engage from is more important than what I engage in. When I engage with that clarity, I’m at choice and aware of the worth in what I’m doing.

I’m not talking about drum-beating, banner-waving importance to satisfy the ego. Rather, this is the importance of self-satisfaction, self-belief, of discovery, learning and growth. It is a deepening knowing that we are each important parts of a greater whole. Yes, both YOU and me.  

It is recognizing that the opportunity to adopt a shelter dog five years ago and to engage in the journey of giving love and care and receiving unconditional love holds as much importance as other personal and professional accomplishments in life from step-parenting, marriage, and being a charter member of the ICF.  It is taking time to be patient with myself and a postal worker who had difficulty figuring out how to get my international, military package on its way. It is trusting that I’m always in the right place at the right time and not allowing the unexpected extra time required to complete a task  to be a waste or a burden.

   Patiently waiting for Mom ...

Patiently waiting for Mom ...

Importance is not a quality that comes from comparison or competition. It emerges from honest self-assessment, self-acknowledgement, and practicing the belief that there are no small things. What important things have your attention today?

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The Challenge of Independence

   A Road Less Traveled  ...

A Road Less Traveled ...

It is a crucial requirement that each of us become an independent thinker an independent person as an aware consciousness. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of A Mystic: Innovation - October, 2009)

Those who know me, would likely agree that I’m fiercely independent.  A leader in the coaching community once labelled me a ‘contrarian’ (I would wear the badge proudly). And, some of you might be smiling or shaking your head in agreement about now.

This week though I’ve begun exploring independence from its opposite: dependence. The exploration comes forth from this musing in my journal in a couple days ago:

If the truth of lack is abundance, how can truth be applied to the budget of the local water district where I serve on the board? How can I apply this truth more powerfully to my own finances?

   The vast San Luis Valley reminds me that abundance is the truth.

The vast San Luis Valley reminds me that abundance is the truth.

Warning: you won’t find the answers in this post.  I’m still in the exploration.  I have more questions than answers (and, that’s a good thing!).  What I’ve come to see (in a BFO – blinding flash of the obvious) is that independent thinking leading to innovation requires experimentation.  In our culture, we’ve erected numerous barriers … dependencies, if you will … to truly independent thinking and the action that follows. 

These dependencies create a complex web that is often ignored. Take for example being dependent on a job (or having enough clients) for money to meet the needs of self and family. Or, in the case of public agencies like the water district, being dependent on generating sufficient revenue to pay the costs to keep each tap flowing. The complexity encompasses not just the issues on the surface, but a dependency that values knowing, order, and getting things right over curiosity, experimentation, and possibly needing to make course corrections.

Dependencies are embedded deep in our culture from systems and life experience. In school, we learned that good grades come giving ‘right’ answers. We carry this forward to careers, jobs, businesses, institutions – praising what’s ‘right’, condemning what isn’t – our dependency on being accepted and approved trumping our willingness to experiment, learn, grow, change and, yes, be alone in taking our stand.

Now that I see the challenge more clearly, what new possibilities will emerge? What would an innovative approach to public finance and a budget shortfall look like from the perspective of knowing that abundance (not lack and its associated fears) is a universal truth – that there is always enough?  What conversation can open that door?  What dependencies and pre-conceived ideas must I let go of to invite and engage the conversation?  How will I tap into the courage to do just that?

Yep, more questions than answers. I’ll let you know what emerges in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile, what are you dependent upon that is in the way of living the independent life you were designed to live?

   Morning light and the Zigguraut never fail to offer just what I need ... calm, inspiration, beauty (and the list goes on).

Morning light and the Zigguraut never fail to offer just what I need ... calm, inspiration, beauty (and the list goes on).


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Independence From the Inside Out

   We have the freedom to flow as freely as this stream ...

We have the freedom to flow as freely as this stream ...

The minute you become dependent on anyone in any way, you no longer have any power to move forward in your own pattern, in your own blueprint and on your own behalf. You come to a halt. Gregge Tiffen (Feeding Freedom: The Meaning of Independence Day July, 2007)

I believe that our founding fathers and the mothers who worked as diligently in support of independence understood independence in a way that is lost in our current culture. Today we live in a society and systems that rely on dependence and the control that dependence brings forth.  We are poorer in terms of our overall well-being and consciousness as a result.

Who among us has not felt a deep sense to make a particular decision or take a particular action, then held back from that choice?  My own list of not following the path that I knew inside was most true to me and my blueprint includes staying in jobs, keeping clients, maintaining relationships well beyond the time that they provided me the ability to express my unique self. 

From where I live now in life, I see the patterns of dependence: on money, on approval, on security, on being cared for (or so I rationalized), on what others think, even on having others depend on me.  You can probably enrich these with your own life experiences.  And, lest you think that I’ve become a saint, I still experience living independently as challenging.

Just as those who created the United States faced enormous challenges and threats in declaring independence, it takes courage to declare personal independence in today’s world. And, just as the United States has experienced many bumps along the road to living fully into our 1776 declaration, it takes courage – the strength of our convictions, if you will – to live into the largeness of the personal independence that is truly ours. That independence is the law of the Universe and we ignore it at our peril.

Courage is required to look honestly at how we live life and to recognize and be willing to name the web of dependence that we’ve created, individually and collectively.  And yet, perhaps only when we’ve done so may we be truly free.  Just as the signers of the Declaration of Independence articulated their grievances against the King, we too need to look to what we’ve allowed to impinge upon our personal, individual independence and freedom to think, make decisions, and act in the ways that are unique to each of us.

As you make choices this week, notice those that are true, authentic expressions of you. Celebrate yourself!  Notice as well those that are not and ask:  From what dependency would a declaration of my personal independence serve me?

   ... And, to fly joyfully through life. The choice is ours and ours alone.

... And, to fly joyfully through life. The choice is ours and ours alone.


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