• Barbara Newman

What is Freedom?

I was recently asked this question and sat down to write some thoughts. Freedom comes from deep within the soul and is the opportunity to make choices. With it comes peace, joy, and happiness. Freedom is the slow deep breath filled with spirit. It is knowing what you want and living it. Freedom is being alive and content with well-being. It is equality and justice. Freedom is love of self, children, parents, siblings, animals, nature, and the planet. With freedom, life can be lived to the fullest with happiness and joy.

One may not be outwardly free but have an intense desire for freedom residing in the heart and soul. People risk their lives for freedom to leave a country and find freedom in a new one. People leave relationships to find freedom in a new one, perhaps just with the self. People survive holocausts, hoping freedom will eventually ring for them. People risk all to find freedom, often so their children can be free. When the time is right, and the person emerges from bondage, freedom will ring. “Let freedom ring” in the song “America” describes freedom ringing “from every mountainside.” That’s freedom!

Living in a free country doesn’t mean you are free emotionally. You must know yourself, connect with yourself, and ultimately find the freedom you seek. Freedom is a state of mind with the chance to make choices. Doing what is right and just for oneself and the collective is freedom. It is a precious gift and should never be taken for granted.

Practicing yoga can bring freedom to the body, mind, and soul. The more we breathe, the more the chatter in the mind becomes quiet, and the body experiences peace. The breath delivers freedom to each and every cell. What you do with that freedom is up to you. It’s your choice.

Barbara Newman


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