In the United States today we are celebrating Independence Day, which honors the official birth of our nation and signing of the Declaration of Independence. If you asked Americans what the 4th of July means to them, the overwhelming majority would say: “We are celebrating our freedom.”
While many Americans may struggle with poverty and limited choices, we still have the freedom to pursue individual dreams and desires. We also enjoy freedom from tyranny, oppression or undue government intervention. While that point may be debated in some political circles, most Americans believe freedom from tyranny is a fundamental feature of our culture.
There is another freedom that is often overlooked which may be the most important quality of them all—freedom from our own limiting thoughts. TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)™ is ultimately about freedom. If we feel free to choose how we react to whatever circumstances arise, we enjoy personal freedom. This is not what happens, though, when we are triggered and slip into drama-filled, reactive responses to what we don’t like and don’t want.
Our reactive self is attached to being right or getting what it wants in the moment. It is attached to old stories about what it needs in order to feel secure and loved. This “old story” is reoccurring in our subconscious and if we are not aware of its power upon our thoughts and actions, we are never free.
One definition of freedom is “not being enslaved” — but when past habits, addictions, opinions or cravings grip us so tightly that we are unable to see or feel any other possibility, we are enslaved. We become victims to our mind if we are not aware of our habits or thoughts that have an unconscious hold on our view of ourselves or others.
In the TED* work, we practice becoming more aware in the moment by pausing, centering ourselves, and learning to be mindful so we can observe our obsessions and cravings in the moment. Once aware of the attachments we can choose to let go of limiting stories that keep us from the personal freedom we all want.
This allows us to set our compass toward the outcomes we want to create without being held hostage by limiting beliefs. We have opened ourselves to the mystery of how life will unfold. Being fully present to the moment, then, becomes a central principle of the TED* work. The freedom to choose how we respond to whatever life offers is now available. In this paradox we discover true freedom.