Defining What Binds You and Frees You


I can't sit still today. My nerves won't stop bubbling up from my stomach to my esophagus, getting caught at my throat, creating immense pressure around my head like a champagne cork about to go off. Except there doesn't seem to be too much celebratory about this... particular emotion. Last night I sat at the hospital for 6 hours trying to figure out what's wrong with my vision, which has been steadily declining for the past six months. And, though perhaps "no news is good news," today now seems to be inherently hindered by a perspective shift I experienced last night as thoughts of glaucoma, a detached retina or a brain tumour ran through my list of possibilities, albeit hypochondria. The question remains: Are we all completely fucked?

Live like you're dying...

We all know the saying but it doesn't seem all that real, all the essential, until we're delivered with some kind of diagnosis. It's not until life isn't promised that life becomes more gratifying, more real, and more appreciated. It's not until we're unsure we're going to make it that we really try to make the most of it.

Defining what binds you...

If you have a job, or a child, or a family, they most often that not become what binds you. They bind you to certain agreements, a physical location, and a particular routine which you stick with because you love them. At times you may resent them binding you, but the truth is: we all need to be bound by something.

I myself do not have a traditional "job," a child, or a family, and so I must look elsewhere to define what binds me. My relationship ensures I have a more structured routine, my reward being that I get to spend time with Scott when he's home, instead of working weird, sporadic hours throughout the day and into the night as I used to when there was nobody to be expecting home.

But I hit points in my day when I just can't. When the pressure of running my own business and satisfying clients becomes too much. When my ever-intense emotions overwhelm me, and the task at hand just can't be performed. When my wandering mind takes over, urging me to do it all and paralyzing me all at once because that's impossible. 

I suddenly realize how tired I am of worrying – worrying about not making it, because there is no guarantee in the lifestyle I've chosen, which I'm reminded of each and every day.

Defining what frees you...

What's freedom? I suppose the physical image of freedom is a beach. It's tropical enough to know you're on vacation, away from schedules, meetings, and deadlines, but it's welcoming enough to know you're still safe and not too far from familiarity.

But from my years of travelling and living what most would define as a life of freedom, I can't help but share with you: freedom is so much more than a beach. Freedom isn't a place, a vacation, or even a lifestyle. Freedom is a mindset.

I've caught glimpses of this mindset, I truly have. And though they are fleeting, they are so incredibly... peaceful. There's no bubbling of anxiety, day dreaming, or giving up. Why? Because in this freedom mindset, you've freed yourself from all worries and concerns. Nothing really matters. You realize that the trivialities of life are just that, and they can never harm you. You realize that life isn't certain, so you make the most of not just every day, but every passing moment.

Grasping that balance...

I will work towards this mindset of freedom, I really will try. I will wake every day and have thanks for the day ahead. I will remind myself that life isn't certain.

But I will still need to be bound by something. We're complex creatures and endless freedom isn't what we crave. Endless freedom is a trap in and of itself, because in it, there's no sense of accomplishment. Freedom becomes depressing if we're given too much.

What I will be bound by:

  • My business. I will build a strong business owner and a I will grow a successful team. My business will be wealthy in clients, creativity, progress, success, and finances.
  • My relationship. I will be a good partner to Scott. I will give him my undivided attention whenever I am able. I will be communicative, loving, and kind.
  • My friends and family. I will stay true to my word. I will be loving, kind, and supportive. I will recognize when I'm needed, and I will be there.

How I will maintain a mindset of freedom:

  • I will remind myself daily that life isn't certain.
  • I will know that trivial matters aren't worth my concern.
  • I will stay calm, and remind myself that everything always works out.
  • When I'm not working, I will feel completely free and unbound by my business.

Now it's your turn: how will you start defining what binds you and frees you? The truth is, we all need a balance of both.

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