FREEDOM, CHOICE, AND MENTAL WELL-BEING
Freedom is a state of mind. This can be seen when we consider that some people (like Socrates for example) in prison are more free than many people who struggle with mental anguish in the form of anxiety, paranoia, panic, depression, internal patterning, or a host of other issues of the mind on a daily basis.
What does it mean to be free? Freedom means choice. It means that 1.) we have choices available to us and 2.) we can exercise that choice. This gives us the feeling of having agency; the ability to steer the course of our own lives, which brings us satisfaction and happiness.
How is it that Socrates in prison was able to feel agency? Freedom is about choice. Being free to choose means we can choose the reality we are in rather than merely enduring it. I suspect this was evident to Socrates. When you cannot change something, another way to go is, you can choose it.
Freedom means we can disengage from the opinions and expectations of others and come to clarity about our direction inside of our own being. This takes self-knowledge and self reflection. It means we take responsibility for our choices and our lives and free ourselves from making others responsible for us. We work to free ourselves from reacting automatically to stimuli. Instead, we respond moment to moment from who we are.
Our mental health is a product of understanding what causes us distress and educating ourselves on our personal best practices for our own peace of mind and then making the choices day by day to cultivate our wellbeing. What kind of environment can we create around ourselves that promotes our wellbeing? Growing the environment around us day by day that contributes to our health is a worthy project.
Some strategies for peace of mind are:
Meditation and breathwork. Meditation leads to deeper self-knowledge. Sometimes deep self-understanding and compassion can heal mental stress by correcting unhealthy habits or points of view, resulting in spontaneous healing that is often permanent. Breathwork can calm the mind and bring us into the moment.
Self-study is a natural healing technique that has been used for centuries. It has varying degrees of success, depending on a wide variety of factors. Self-study is particularly effective when problems arise from a fixed perspective that is out of harmony with the way things really are.
Clarifying reality or what is and what is not and coming into harmony and acceptance of it creates peace of mind. We may not always like the way things are, but some things are not up to us. Letting go of other people’s expectations and societal pressures allows us to become clear inside ourselves.
Private consultation can help to clarify what fixed states or patterns are keeping us stressed out. Then, with assistance, we can free ourselves and uncover our own best practices, contributing to our overall mental well-being.
Practicing self-love by being compassionate to ourselves and doing things we enjoy with people we want to spend time with. Managing our relationships and disengaging from the dramatics of life promotes peace.
Colleen Santini has been trained and practicing as a Clearer and Master Dyad Retreat Facilitator since 1991. Consultations are available by appointment. For a free first-time interview email Colleen at firstname.lastname@example.org