The past 5 weeks I’ve spend in a small village in Bavaria. As with many of my journeys before I went there with great expectations*… I believed I’d be having so much time and space to put all this energy in the projects I was working on. I had even made promises to work on certain things, usually with something like “No problem, I’ll have so much time and space…”
Here is my feeble attempt to summarise what happened instead.
Before I even went, I got scared and even considered not going at all. I made up excuses, why it wasn’t right. And the world around me gave me plenty of “proof”. Isn’t it interesting how we make our own world through the way we interpret the things that happen in the way we choose?
Often, when faced with opportunities for growth and transformation, we come to a crossroad. We are the ones that decide whether or not we go down the path that seems familiar and safe or take the scary, unknown one.
I ended up going. I AM so grateful that I did.
I thought I knew what Freedom meant to me. I thought I knew what learning on your own terms means to me. I thought I knew what living in tune with nature means to me.
Arriving in this new environment shook these and other beliefs of mine to the core. I experienced new ways of Freedom. New ways of Free Learning. New ways to live in harmony with natural rhythms and the world around us. I experienced new ways to take responsibility for my own life and allow each being their own responsibility.
A little side note for the lingo lovers: Consider the phrase “We are in charge of our own life”. Isn’t it cool how this encompasses both the responsibility and at the same time the energy that comes from being the “charge” in your life.
This was the case for the kids, who grow up with the awareness that they alone are responsible for what they put in their bodies. Yes, Mum provides healthy food, but it is their choice whether or not they care for their body. Mum might remind them and inspire them by leading by example and yet, she is also free to be human and make choices that are not inline with her beliefs. That again is communicated openly.
Another example were the pets. They too were free to choose where they wanted to be. The whole time I was there (3 weeks of housesitting + 2 weeks with the family), these dogs wore a leash for only one day and even then we only had them on the leash on the main street in a bigger town. Other than that the dogs were free to roam as they liked. Search for mice on the fields, go to the river for some fresh water, lay outside in the warm sun – their own choice. The beautiful other side of the coin. Me, as the caretaker was free to make my own choices too. There was a basic commitment to provide food (as dogs obviously don’t have exposable thumbs and opening cans might be difficult) as well as opening doors, but if I felt like I didn’t want to walk the whole round with them or not wait for them to be finished with their mouse hunt, I was free to go home. I could trust in them, that they find their way back.
This wasn’t easy for me to actually accept. Most of the time I felt like I HAD to do things, or be there. But slowly I let go of this belief and I embraced the Freedom and Joy that comes from doing things I CHOOSE. At first I was afraid I might be a bad caregiver if I didn’t do the things that I HAD to do. But in truth, I started enjoying these tasks much more once I knew I did it because I WANTED to do them. The relationship I formed to the cats and dogs is a gift that I will carry on my heart for a long time, possibly forever.
Another fun experience was just stepping off the paths. At first I’d follow the paths around the fields. Often walking the same round with the dogs. Eventually, I wondered how it would feel like to just walk through the fields. Go where the dogs where digging for mice. Laying down on the grass, watching the clouds. Smelling the grass. The blooming wild flowers.
In the end I hardly ever walked on the paths and choose to walk just where my feet would take me that day. I discovered beautiful meadows. I started to approach these walks with a new childlike wonder again. One day I was skipping across the grass in my pink rubber boots just enjoying the wild flowers that were growing up to my knees. The last day there, the weather was going a bit crazy and we got a few inches of snow. Again, I just enjoyed wading through the snow covered grass in my colorful boots.
In these wonderful weeks of transformation, that were so hard for me to verbalize while I was living them, have brought be to a new level of presence, a new level of feeling my body, my emotions and my heart’s voice. I have found a new level of trust and a new level of Freedom.
Now, since I want you to not only read about it, but also EXPERIENCE this for yourself, I put together the Freedom Compass Challenge**.
Consider this a BETA version. We’ll experiment. We’ll laugh a lot. We’ll take responsibility for our own Freedom, our own Life.
Intrigued? You can find more info here >>
* I usually try not to go with too many expectations, but hey, I am human…
** In full transparency: I had the idea for the challenge about 2 months ago, but then didn’t feel like I was ready to help anybody yet. Now, that I know it’s not MY responsibility to make you do anything, but my wish to provide a space where YOU are empowered to take responsibility for your own LIFE. Now, with this realization and the new level of clarity I am excited to share games, ideas and strategies that have helped me and leave you FREE to choose your own path.