How to Be Free

Yesterday was Independence Day. Happy Fourth to all!

What it got me thinking about, though, was freedom. Because it’s so easy to take freedom for granted, I feel like Independence Day is a good day to reflect on freedom, just like Thanksgiving is a good day to reflect on what we’re thankful for.

This summer has been busier than any summer I can recall. It feels difficult to make time for the things I want to do. And even when I do have time, it seems even harder to slow time down enough to breathe and enjoy it all.

One of the themes of my coaching this past week has been about harnessing life and living the life we’re all capable of living. And the connection to freedom doesn’t escape me. How can we breathe into our bigness if we don’t allow ourselves to be free—free from the voices that tell us we can’t, free to believe we can manifest our own biggest dreams, free to live as large as we can possibly imagine.

I thought I’d leave my readers with a summer poem for July, and ask you all to reflect on what you’ll do with your one wild and precious life.

“The Summer Day”

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
The one who flung herself out of the grass,
The one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
Who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
Who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
Into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
How to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
Which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

Until next month,


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