Committing to Freedom Day by Day
I still remember the day I left my corporate job as an international marketer for a large company. As I held a box containing my personal items, I said my last goodbyes to my friends and co-workers, to my office of five years, and even to the job title I worked so hard to earn. I remember driving back home and all of these birds dancing together in front of my car, as if the Universe was singing a song of freedom with me. I felt so free, so light, like I had left behind the weight of the responsibility of working for a large corporation, the weight of the title and the layers of business suit. Right then, I thought: “I am finally free!!!!” There were so many emotions: a sense of nostalgia, a sense of peace, a sense of excitement for the unknown. It was a big step for me, a step that took 15 years to happen, that came after many experiences of working for large corporations. Many countries were traveled, cultures experienced, teams built and friends made. And, there were also so many challenges.
Suddenly, it was just me; my name was no longer associated with a company, title or routine. I told my husband I wasn’t going to work for couple of weeks, and I didn’t. I played until playing actually became boring. Freedom almost became a job, and after a few weeks, I asked myself, “What do I do with this freedom?” Inner-guilt began to set in, and it led me to create a vision for my company, a mission, a website and a product.
Years have passed, and I have learned that freedom is actually a state of being, a humbleness to the vastness of the Universe, a joy for the simple yet most profound of human experiences, like a smile, a hug, a sensual touch.
Freedom is a choice; for me; it’s learning that just as I left that day my corporate job and became free of that job responsibility, I can make that choice every day. The choice is mine to have the universe sing a song with me. I can choose to be authentic, to love myself unconditionally in areas in my life where I don’t have all of it together, to be open new doors to life’s opportunities, and even to constantly reinvent myself.
Freedom is an evolutionary process. For me, it’s been an evolution that’s meant to be shared with others. Living my life in a constant state of freedom is far more complex than putting in a resignation letter, and its complexity exists in the simplicity of the little choices and big choices that require courage to keep moving into a state of freedom.
I knew others who left their corporate jobs, too. They told me that my actions inspired them and I was very surprised. I really didn’t expect that at all; I honestly didn’t realize that my choice for freedom could inspire others to do the same. Now I aspire to live a life of meaningful freedom because I know that with freedom comes the responsibility of choice. Every day, I ask myself why am I doing what am I doing. What drives me? And I have to evolve from a singular freedom to a freedom for the village, for the world. Yes, it starts with me, with you, with us.
I am living in a state of meaningful freedom. I am constantly evolving to use my freedom purposefully as my GIFT to the world—a creative GIFT that’s meant to be shared with and inspire others. I thank God for the GIFT of freedom I have been given as my birth right.
A lot of what was behind my reason for staying at my corporate job so long was outside approval. That was the “why no” side of the argument. But what about my own inner approval? I wanted a family, I wanted flexibility, I wanted freedom of self-expression and all of these really mattered to me. I only moved to “why yes” when I stopped listening to the voices of others, after realizing why it mattered to me.
When I stopped listening to the invisible voices of the “others,” my own voice started to become more clear and I was finally ready to listen. Just one change of perspective, literally moving from one chair to the next, from a place of “why no” to one of “why yes,” I had an immediate transformation. And you know what? It still happens to me every day in some aspects of my life, from the small choices like where am I going to invest my time in this week, to with whom I am going to partner?
Sure, there are days when I think, “I should just go back to corporate, it will be easier. I’d have a paycheck and insurance plan.” So what’s the reason I continue working on what I am building? In my freedom journey, the reason I still say yes to it all is because the “it” really matters: sharing stories, doing what we were born to do, honoring the work we love, and living in a constant state of flow and joy. Self-expression matters.
Where can you start to experience meaningful freedom? By getting in touch with the essence of who you really are: What is so natural to you that you hardly notice? Is there something you’ve wanted to do for many years and haven’t done yet? Create your own path forward, and I will meet you on that path.
Begin your own evolution.
Photo credit: Erich McVey