“Freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved” - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Two hundred and forty years ago the United States was declared a new nation. A group of spirited rebels fought to establish independent colonies so they would have the freedom to live the way they wanted and live out their beliefs loud and proud.
Despite the fact that we live in a free country, many of us still don’t feel free on a daily basis. We end up feeling stuck creatively, tangled up in self-imposed rules and beaten down with our own expectations that we can’t meet. We create our own cages and restrict our own freedoms.
Freedom must be achieved. It takes effort.
It’s a fight for our own rebel spirit to pick up. But at the end of the day many of us are too tired to fight for anything so we sit on the couch, eyes glued on our phones while the television plays on the screen. We eat food that is convenient and leaves us lethargic and reaching for antacid.
We dream of spending our summer evenings with freshly prepared food, cold drinks, summer evening walks, fireflies, live music, exploring our city. We pine for deeper conversations, practicing creativity, watching documentaries that feed our souls.
Freedom is enjoying and cultivating what we want and who we are our our core. And our country is built on the opportunity to have that. But we still have to work to achieve it.
Floating isn’t the answer to this. And it’s not the only way to get closer to achieving this kind of freedom. But for me, it’s been a tool to getting closer to getting me out of my own way.
It stops the outside noise
Distractions are gone. We stop plugging into the social media feeds on my phone that fuels comparisons and distorts expectations of self, and leaves us frustrated and sometimes depressed.
In the tank I am alone, with me. No one else. My thoughts, my emotions. Sometimes I explore. Sometimes I just watch the thoughts and emotions scroll by, letting them work themselves out. And sometimes I drift into theta state and it all stops and I’m left in a blissful present state.
At the end of the float, the overwhelm is gone and all that’s left is peace and sometimes some sweet clarity.
Floating provides rest
I can go for days when I feel exhausted. My brain doesn’t shut off in bed. My body is sluggish and there’s no days off in sight for extra sleep. Being tired robs us of choice.
When we’re tired, easy wins out. Television over evening walks. Mindless scrolling through social media instead of engaging conversation we crave.
Stepping out of the tank, I feel refreshed and rested.
The tank isn’t the only way to put yourself on the way to achieving your freedom. You have your own rebel soul that can guide you out of the entanglements that keep you from personal freedom If you just listen.
It can be as simple as creating little spaces of time in your day, creating a music list that can drag you out of your daily zombie state, it can be a talisman that reminds you of who you really are.
Whatever it is, I hope you celebrate your own independence day with the same pomp, circumstance and vigor we are celebrating the spirit of the rebels that made our country’s independence possible.