What Is This Thing Called Freedom?

After I wrote my last post about my next book (which still makes me quite queasy to think about), I realized that there may be some question regarding what I mean when I talk about freedom.

So I thought it might help if I got a bit more specific.

The road to freedom I’ll write about isn’t for everyone.  It can be a difficult path to travel.  It requires giving up the bonds and beliefs and security blankets we’ve clung to our whole lives.  The expectations and obligations that keep us in from being free.

Oftentimes it can feel like flying without a safety net, which can be totally exhilarating or bring up mortal fear.  It is life on the razor’s edge.

The rewards are immense.

Finding freedom can happen as simply as taking your next breath with complete awareness, focus or presence.  Or it may require you to fight your way through massive resistance, drama and suffering.  Or both.

The road itself will appear differently for each of us.

Imagine being totally present in each moment.  Not worried about the future or obsessing about the past.  Not thinking incessantly about whether you should or shouldn’t do something.  Or about what other people think or feel about what you are doing.

Imagine being grounded in the reality that exactly what you are doing in every moment IS the exactly right thing.  Without question.

That’s freedom.

You may not have all the money you’d like to have, but it doesn’t matter because you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

You may not look as hot as you’d like to look, but you are perfectly satisfied and content exactly where you are.

And guess what?  As soon as you are, you’ll find yourself wealthier and better looking than you ever have before.  It’s like magic.

Freedom via acceptance of exactly where you are doesn’t mean settling or that you aren’t interested in improving or taking action toward improvement.

But, you are no longer driven toward that improvement by fear, pain or suffering.  You’ve evolved to another state of being.

Your motivation is intrinsic.  Once free, you are pulled by love and desire instead of being constantly pushed by impatience, internal whippings and the terror that you are missing out.

Your mind is no longer harassing you constantly about what you could have or should have done.  It rests in the knowing that everything is exactly as it should be.

That’s freedom.  Are you ready?


  1. lauraroederTuesday, April 6, 2010 at 4:43 pm 

    “Once free, you are pulled by love and desire instead of being constantly pushed by impatience, internal whippings and the terror that you are missing out.”

    BEAUTIFUL way to sum up a very complex topic. Great post Alexis.

  2. lizpalmTuesday, April 6, 2010 at 6:06 pm 

    Thank you! I'm new to your blog and I have to say this post was very insightful. My current status is “unemployed”. Funny, I was trying to figure out why I don't exactly hate my situation, but I find it interesting. I wondered why I'm not as stressed, and then as if I just asked the question, your blog answered it; I'm on the road to freedom. I think I'll have some fun with it! Thanks again, I look forward to future posts and your next book; have fun with it!

  3. ccgriffinTuesday, April 6, 2010 at 7:36 pm 

    Beautifully put.

  4. brittmichaelianWednesday, April 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm 

    Yup. Ready 🙂 Bring it!

  5. alexisneelyThursday, April 8, 2010 at 4:31 am 

    Thanks for the great comments gals. I'm so grateful you are all on the road to freedom with me.

  6. jonathanfieldsThursday, April 8, 2010 at 12:04 pm 

    Like Keirkegaard said, “anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” Much as we fight it, they go hand in hand.

  7. jhaubeinThursday, April 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm 

    This post helps me get what you are talking about so much more. I would love to get to a place where I'm truly free especially from what others think. I've always been trying to please my parents and others sometimes it's hard to find what exactly I want. This was my goal for this year and I look forward to the journey with you!

  8. naomicolbFriday, April 9, 2010 at 7:31 pm 

    My friends and colleagues place a high value on freedom and presence. I love this writer's observations. I don't remember where I first heard this…but my practice is, “What others think of me (without telling me) is none of my business.” with the caveat that if I relate with them, I require direct, openhearted and self-referential feedback.

  9. GetMikeFriday, April 9, 2010 at 11:04 pm 

    Common. Pa-leeeeeeese. Same dribble made popular by Eckart Tolle, before him D. Chopra and Wayne Dyer and 1,000's of others who take Eastern philosophies and distill them down to Zen lite for Western consumption and yet another book deal. Sure, presence is a great goal and release from the chains of constant remorse about the past or worry about the future is quintessential, but this bulls-t that as soon as you come to this realization you are “pulled” by love and bliss and some magic happens immediately to transform you is fairytale – again – promo for the next book. Buddha never said the enlightenment was easy. Jesus never proclaimed that coming into a mindset of change, one in line with “the Kingdom of Heaven” is automatic, like walking into a theatre and putting on 3 D glasses. Being “saved”, being “enlightened” or being “present” are all processes. They take time, and they take some commitment. There's no dime store sugar rush as soon as you first have a brush with these truths. Find anyone you promises you that who's NOT selling a book.
    Your Friend Mike

  10. GildaGLAREThursday, April 15, 2010 at 5:31 pm 

    Great post! I recently quit my job to pursue my own business and even without making a dime, it is the best decision I've ever made. This is the happiest I've ever been. And you're right – if you can be in the moment each step of the way, you can appreciate your life being your own again.

    Thank you for your insights – loving your blog, as a non-practicing attorney turned entrepreneur, I think I found my new inspiration. 😉

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