To be or not to be – Free?

  • Autonomy
  • Independence
  • Emancipation
  • Self-government
  • Liberty
  • Release


  • Dependence
  • Captivity
  • Subjugation
  • Enslavement
  • Imprisonment


  • Peaceful vs Suffering

On the world’s political stage, these are words denoting the state of play for nations and large bodies of people.

Closer to home, on my intimate and domestic frontier, these words describe my relationships with a broader spectrum of potential jailers and oppressors.

Here are some more common categories we often find ourselves enslaved to.

  • Substances (Cigarettes, drugs and alcohol)
  • Activities (Sex, gambling, sport)
  • Fears and worries.
  • Fashion and other personal presentation
  • Culture
  • Religion
  • Self-loathing and insecurities
  • Relationships at home and work
  • Duties
  • Pain and suffering
  • Ambitions
  • Pleasures (Food, holidays, shopping)
  • Self-harming

If only there was one key which unlocked all these cells.

Better than that!

We don’t need a key because no locks, bars, or cell walls exist.

We are held captive by the illusion created by our minds.

If we believe we are chained, we will act accordingly.

Good news. We are naturally empowered.

We can dispel illusions to change our perceptions and, thereby, our circumstances.

Here are some stepping stones to freedom:

  • The belief that we can’t escape is a thought.
  • Thoughts are not real and only exist in our brains.
  • It is the thought that holds itself captive.
  • We are not our thoughts.
  • We are much more than just our thinking.
  • Disidentify from thought.
  • Be the quiet awareness that resides behind thinking.
  • Our awareness cannot be caged, only obscured.
  • As our awareness/consciousness steps forward, the cages vanish.

Tad! Dah!

And for my next trick!

The practice of Mindfulness is the place to start because it builds awareness.

Sometimes, the illusionary prison is concealed and needs unveiling before dispelling.

I have found that thought patterns can be automated and buried in time.

Years can go by, and I will skip straight to the emotional reaction and look to an outside source for the cause.

“Something made me anxious, scared or angry.”


I was on autopilot.

I made those reactions and believed the ‘something’ to be the origin.

I am developing the habit of seizing the emotional reaction as a tangible clue to get hold of and ask, “WHY?”

Why this reaction?

When the answer comes, I repeatedly ask ” Why ” and follow the responses until I reach the root.

It isn’t easy, but it is worthwhile.

There is always a hidden thought (jailer) nesting behind my emotional reactions. 

Like Hansel & Gretel’s breadcrumb trail, I can follow the “Whys” to find a way out.

To reveal and revisit a buried thought pattern.

The truth.

This is my opportunity to review and unlock a virtual prison.

I read an account of a rescue dog that would run around in the park but only in an area the size of the cage it had been confined in for so long, despite there being acres and acres to enjoy.

The dog’s mind retained the boundaries set by its encarceration.

It played within invisible walls.

I do not want to be like that dog.

I don’t need to be.

I have the tools to make the changes.


Be intentional

Find a book, an app or an online resource and begin the practice of Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a practice; it is something to do regularly each day.

It unlocks much.

Follow the breadcrumbs.

Seek the truth.

The truth will set me free.