Written by JoAnna

Free Yourself

What does freedom mean to you? What makes you feel free? Is the outdoors? Is it music? Is it dance? What keeps your heart at peace and wild? Have you taken the time to figure it all out? If not, that’s the first step. You can’t expect yourself to enjoy yourself and the life you’re living if you don’t know yourself. I’ve spoken about it before, taking time for yourself is especially important, even in the middle of a global pandemic and with the ever lingering uncertainty around us.

Today, we may feel like we’re frozen, unable to move forward, and act from a place of fear. THIS IS PERFECTLY NORMAL. Each of us has a defense mechanism which causes us to either to freeze, fight, or run away. In some cases, it may cause us to do all three. It is in these to times that we need to dig deep within ourselves and fight the fear and choose to be free from it. Fear does not control you. You have the power to control it. “But Jo, how do I do that?”

Grab a piece of paper. Fold it in half. On one side write “FEAR”. On the other side write “JOY”. Then, under “FEAR” write all your fears, from spiders to being fearful in relationships or what people say or think of you. On the other side under “JOY” write everything that brings you joy, from the way your favorite pasta tastes to how it feels when your little one tells you “I love you.” Write it all down. Release it all. Here’s an example:

Once you’ve done all that, then make sure you actively make time to do the things that bring you joy.

You’ll notice that over time, by doing something that brings you joy and being grateful for that time you will not only start enjoying your life more, but you will begin to let go of the things that invoke fear within you. Overcoming fear isn’t meant to be easy. It is, however, meant to help you grow and become the person you want to become. Try and think about to when you were younger. In our early childhood years, we try new things, create adventures in our own backyard, and fear is nothing, but a word grownups use from time to time. It is through our life experiences that we become cautious, sometimes a little too much, and abrasive towards life. Our chemistry changes and our nervous system starts assisting in our decision making. And just like that, without realizing it, we are full-fledged adults that have lost touch with our fearless spirit and “take on the world” attitude.

So what now right? Anything. You. Want. This is the time to unlearn everything you’ve learned with fear as the base. This is the time to reinvent yourself into the person you want be. This is your chance to live a little or a lot. To learn new things. To fall in love. To make mistakes and allow them to help you grow and not tear you down. To practice gratitude. To choose joy. To become the very best version of you. It’s a whole lot easier to add things into your life than it is to take things away. Just like you would when replacing bad habits with good ones, slowly start replacing things that make you feel fearful with things that bring you joy and COMMIT to them. Which means, if yoga brings you joy then commit yourself to practicing yoga every day. Even when you’re tired. Even when you much rather be doing something else. Even when others give you a hard time. Do it anyway. Taking responsibility for our decisions, our actions and the way we allow them to affect us is what will help us to continue growing in the individuals we wish to become. I believe in every single one of you.

- Jo