I regularly refer to myself as a tightly wound woman. I like things to go a certain way. I like order and schedules and timeliness. Over the years I’ve relaxed significantly, starting with giving myself a break from my perfectionist expectations and then relaxing in other areas of my life as well. It’s not the end of the world if my home isn’t perfectly tidy. The friend I’m meeting for coffee won’t hate me if I’m 5 minutes late. I’m allowed to rest even if my task list isn’t complete.
I used to think that I was working toward something – freedom, for lack of a better word. Freedom was even one of my Core Desired Feelings. (If you’re not familiar with Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map – it rocks!) It was a way I wanted to feel, a place I wanted to reach.
What I didn’t realize was that the little things I’d been doing, the little gifts of self-kindness I’d been giving myself – those were all parts of freedom. It was never a destination, it was a path I’d been walking.
Having this realization gave me the power to choose more freedom. Every time I forgive myself or someone else, that’s freedom. Every time I choose my health (physical, mental, spiritual), that’s freedom. Every time I speak kindly to myself, that’s freedom.
These little ways of choosing how I want to feel have made a big difference. They’ve lead to bigger shifts, more clarity and more courage. Instead of constantly trying to achieve freedom (or whatever the equivalent desire is for you), I’ve found it in small, everyday ways.
Give this a try this week. Maybe you identify with the desire for freedom. Maybe your destination is confidence or clarity or calm. Whatever it is, look for ways you’re already there. Find them. Own them. Let yourself feel empowered to choose more of them and watch what happens.