How to feel free.


That’s what I discovered when I was a 9 year old boy. I have this clear memory. My cousins were visiting us for the summer holidays. We were all at in my grandparents home playing in the garden in the sand pit that my grandfather had set up for us. They all seemed to be having so much fun. But, I felt alone. It had nothing to do with them. They were just being themselves and having fun. I just felt left out.

Then, I remember doing something pretty cool. I found some sticks, some dry flowers and a bucket of water. I sat nearby and started inventing a game of my own. I dug one stick in the ground and arranged some flowers around it. I set up another four of five sticks to balance around that one stick. I had my own make believe space station (or something like that happening).

Then, something remarkable took place. One of my cousins came over and asked me what I was up to. I promptly made up a story about a space station and my control centre from where I was managing the docking of the spacecraft. That certainly lit up her eyes. I invited her to take charge of the make believe joystick. And lo and behold, before I knew it all of them were hovering around me. I was back in the game!

When I was kept away I felt alone.
When I chose to make a game of my own I felt free!

A few days back as I was speaking to a few students, a beautiful insight hit me. When someone else asks me to do something, e.g. wake up early, it feels like bondage. I feel like rebelling. I feel suffocated. But, and here is the beauty, when I CHOOSE to wake up early of my own volition, it feels like freedom. It feels like discovery! When some else asks me to work hard or study hard, it feels like a nuisance. But when I decide to do it on my own, I feel empowered!

Even if I have only one option, I can still CHOOSE it rather than grudgingly accept it!

Its smart to make choices before someone, a situation or just life itself forces me to make a choice.

I choose to be fit.
I choose to make work like play.
I choose to focus on the work at hand.
I choose to drop ego in close relationships.
I choose to keep my mind clear of negative thoughts.

I feel free!