Over the last couple of weeks, multiple people have approached me with the same dream: to leave everything they know behind and live on a mountain.
This doesn’t come as a surprise to me. I have had similar dreams myself—to get away, to shed myself from the burdens of modern society.
But it isn’t a mountain that we are looking for. It’s freedom. The freedom to escape from everything around us, to live simply, and feel liberated.
This is a common belief. We think that if we let go of the modern world, get rid of the things that we feel are holding us, that we will be free.
But what I have found is that freedom isn’t simply letting go. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a big city or a cabin in the woods. If you think freedom simply means letting go, you are going to find yourself trapped no matter what. That is because that feeling of being trapped, of being held down and burdened, is something that we create ourselves. It isn’t the things in your life that are taking away your freedom, it is your mindset.
One of the greatest lessons I have ever been taught was extremely simple: find the freedom in your current life without trying to run away.
It may be easier than it sounds but trust me when I say it is entirely possible.
May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right. - Peter Marshall
In fact, you can start finding your freedom right now. Without dropping your entire life, packing up, and running off to the mountains, you can find freedom. You can feel that sense of relief and relaxation—that feeling of having your burdens lifted—from where you are reading this.
It just takes a moment. One moment throughout your day, start relaxing your mind. Mentally allow yourself to let go and feel a sense of joy and freedom. Here’s how:
- No matter what you are doing, always take one moment out of your day to mentally relax while doing something ordinary. This may be when you are cleaning the house, responding to a message, driving home, or talking to someone on the phone.
- As you start, focus on that trapped feeling, and realize that it is something you created and something you have control over.
- Let your mind relax and shift those feelings of closedness to ones of openness and freedom.
- Every time you do this, recognize the subtle changes in how you feel, and enjoy them.
- Repeat this process throughout the day, as often as possible.
Eventually, you will come to realize that you can feel free without running away. You can control the internal without trying to escape from the external. There may be times that external change is necessary, but you will come to realize that they aren’t necessary for you to finally feel free.