My peeps chase freedom like nobody’s business, but holy crap can it be hard to make that abstract concept tangible and clear. For some it looks like a boho fantasy that culminate in Burning Man, while for others it looks like tens of thousands in a 401(k) and a meeting with a financial planner. No matter which way you go, though…freedom has tenets and relies on basic actions in the world.
Here are ten ways I’ve collected that will help you get freer pretty much instantly.
All the time. This morning, this afternoon, tomorrow. To that client, to that request, to that offer for ‘exposure’ or ‘credit’ or good feels. Here are 20 perfectly nice ways to say “no” if you need help in this department.
Say “yes” to the unexpected.
Surprise yourself. Work three hours longer than you intended. Take the whole day off. Drive to the beach. Buy yourself a laptop. Sell your laptop and work from your iPad. Whatever. The point is to surprise yourself.
Ease up on yourself.
I know you don’t want to, because it feels like dismissing your bad behavior. I’ve gained SO MUCH weight in the last few months because I’m happy. Where happy = an excuse to eat whatever the fuck I want. Easing up on myself means I can admit that I’m overweight and that I’ll do more yoga without berating myself for being a fat fuck, a sorry fuck, a miserable fuck, a loser fuck, or a terrible fuck.
Extra weight is just extra weight. Extra debt is just extra debt. You are not a terrible human because you owe someone 10 grand or you weigh 10 extra pounds.
You’re simply HUMAN.
Anything at all. Quit working indoors. Quit sitting down all day at work. Quit the gym, quit avoiding the gym, quit blasting through Pixie Sticks or Diet Coke at 3pm every day. Quit being mean to your kids, quit avoiding your kids, quit resenting your commitments. Whatever you choose, quit it for good. (And if you wanna get all Bob Goff on this, quit something new every Thursday.)
Let your truest self out to play.
Say what you want to say. You can’t stand one more [insert trend here], or you want to throw your [insert article of clothing] here, or you can’t believe everyone loves [insert name of artist] here?
Say it. I guarantee there are people who agree with you out there.
I guarantee there are people who don’t want to hear the words “next level,” “success,” “manifesting,” “goddess,” “sisterhood,” or any variation on those themes with relation to business EVER AGAIN EVER. AGAIN.
There are people who don’t want to make vision boards but who are very, very much right-brained. There are people who are sickened by the copy-cats in your industry, but who don’t know what to do about it. There are people who are dismayed by the number of selfies in that guru’s Instagram account. (You’re not alone, you’re not alone, you’re not alone.) Say the thing that’s on the tip of your tongue.
Let someone see you.
Really see you. Let them see what you’re working on before you’re 100% sure it’s 110% perfect. Let them offer feedback on an idea you’ve been considering for the past few weeks. Ask them to be gentle — gentler than gentle — ask them to say nothing but to let you talk. (You can set the parameters, but let them see you.)
My asking for help is always an act of letting someone see me, whether I need help bagging leaves in the yard or cooking dinner, editing a blog post or planning a new class. Letting yourself be vulnerable enough to need help is an easy way to let people see the real you. (Also: The Art of Asking. Get it. Read it. Love it.)
Take a nap.
Sometimes, it’s the most productive thing you can do. Really.
Figure out how you want to feel.
If you’re chasing money and “success,” but you really want to feel ease and enthusiasm, well — you can have ease and enthusiasm right now. Defining the feelings you’re seeking makes it 95% easier to know when you’ve gotten where you want to go. The Desire Map can help, if you wanna try this whole “decide how you want to feel” thing out in a more formal way.
I want to feel magic, ease, enthusiasm, and joy on a daily basis. None of those are contingent upon the size of my bank account, my thighs, or my ability to write a blog post in 12 minutes or less. Feelings play out in daily life, which is where concepts like ‘success’ fall short. Because how do you know when you’re there, and what’s the measuring stick you’re playing against?
Stop playing “busy.”
Sometimes, you’ve hit the place where there’s nothing else to be done. The stores are closed. The clients won’t respond until tomorrow. You’re exhausted. You’re out of cash or energy or time or both. Let yourself breathe, then. Let yourself breathe.
It took me YEARS to stop working eight hours a day because that’s what society teaches us to do. Sure, I spent the last 2 or so hours of each day playing on social media because my brain was fried. Sure, I hated sitting in a chair for that long every day. But old habits die hard. Giving up busy looks like working for as long as I need to work. That’s three hours a day sometimes. Others, six or seven or eight. Sometimes, weekends. Sometimes, weekdays. But I never, ever feel more busy than I want to be.
Letting go of busy allows you to be freer than ever before.
Give up comparing yourself to that person. You know the one.
The person who lives in your head as your mortal/jealous enemy-slash-height-of-success-human and against whom you are constantly, vigilantly, comparing yourself. Let that shit GO. Mentor or colleague..let. Go.
You be you. It’s enough.
P.S. On having your shit together.