Here are five ways to begin to realize your freedoms and pursue happiness, starting right where we are:
1. Honor Your Story
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” ― Rumi
The vital thing in life is to make our own choices (and mistakes!) – such as where to live, who to love, and what to create. Remember that each choice, no matter the outcome, will be a unique thread in the inimitable tapestry of your life.
2. Meditate and Discover
“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” — Ralph Ellison
Self-discovery is a radical process. We can and we must make the effort to explore our thoughts, our passions, and even our fears – for the unknown is bountiful, and in it we find our true selves. Loved ones can guide us, but they cannot make the discoveries on our behalf. That joy is ours alone.
3. Declare Yourself
“Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.” — Voltaire
Each person has a destiny to claim. We must speak up! Let us declare intentions and pursue passions with fearless hearts. Those who love us will understand when we are lost in the call. They will rejoice anew when we return from the journey.
4. Believe in Your Strength
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” — Charlotte Brontë
Independence is a word that calls to mind concepts such as great civilizations, philosophers, and revolutionaries. Let us remember, however, that the most revolutionary thing of all is to become truly self-reliant – turning within to attain bodily nourishment, mental peace, and spiritual fulfillment.
5. Encourage Others
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” — Nelson Mandela
Lastly, freedom is not something that can be kept hidden away. If we are successful in our goals, we will certainly desire to share this light with others, through guidance, storytelling and personal interaction. As always in human history, the individual path to independence lights the way for many.