What has been your prison?

Yesterday, my dear friend and marketing mentor Duff Gardner asked “what motivates me” in my work as a spiritual mentor.

There are many things that fuel me but I chose one metaphor and sent this photo to him:

It’s an image of me rifling through my suitcase, just outside of a prison. 

The prison door is open so it looks like I’ve just left the prison OR I’m about to enter.

It’s purposefully ambiguous – to show how we are often facing such a choice in life.

Do we enter the prison, do we stay or do we leave?  Do we even have a choice?

Originally, I made this image for a very personal story about the human need to live for yourself.

But the post was also about breaking free from metaphorical prisons – the ones imposed by family, friends, partners, society or authority figures. (Whether they are well-meaning or not)

AND this includes releasing yourself from self-imposed prisons – the ones created by our guilt, obligation, self-doubt, self-judgment or fear!

Here is the 2014 article with examples from my life:  http://littlewoo.org/i-will-live-for-you/

(If you have ever felt like a prisoner or trapped in some area of your life before, please write me an email at treasures@littlewoo.org as I’d love to know your story!)

You see, the metaphor of PRISON was a big part of my early journey.

My childhood felt like a real prison. My early health issues felt like a pain prison.  I felt trapped in certain relationship patterns and once, I felt trapped in a job. I also felt caged by my own rage and cynicism for many years.

Thankfully, the craving for true freedom motivated me to transform those shackles into teachings, and turn pain into meaningful beauty.

To find true freedom, we must learn to free ourselves from many types of prisons and limitations!

Whether it is a job, relationship, habit or belief, there is an empowering way to free yourself from the sensation of being imprisoned or trapped.

An internal type of freedom can be found even within very restrictive conditions!  In fact, a higher consciousness can actually arise from being confined for a period of time.

As Victor Frankl stated so poignantly after being a prisoner in a concentration camp:

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” 
~ Viktor E. Frankl, from “Man’s Search for Meaning”

So ONE of the motivations for the work I do, is to help more humans free themselves from whatever prison they’re in.  And the key is to free yourself from the inside out.

If there is some part of you that feels trapped or suppressed – whether it is your creative ideas, your talents, your joy or your truth, I want to acknowledge your right to choose your heart, your values and your authentic self.

As a child, you may have had guardians who restricted your freedom for benevolent or survival reasons.  Depending on their ancestry and personal journey, they may not have had the ability to support your inner world and outer expressions.

Your schools and institutions may have failed to help you gain the skills and confidence needed to navigate this “brave new world”.

However, now that you are an adult and you are reading these words, I share this invocation and transmission for your soul:

YOU are a self-sovereign being.  Whatever traumas you’ve faced, you have the ability to find your own sense of freedom in this lifetime and transform any prison into a place of learning.

Your prison time is in fact, a spiritual incubator.  It is a powerful time to understand how fear confines you and how courage frees you.

This freedom is first an internal consciousness that you can find even when your body is limited by illness, injury, emotional stress, physical incarceration or financial challenge.

Internal freedom means that we stop blaming the world (our family, peers, authority figures) and begin to look at all the ways in which we can make different choices around our work, relationships and health.

You did not come as a blank slate or blank canvas – there is the whole of human history contained inside your soul and body.

Your canvas was further shaped by your family’s ancestry, your body’s specific incarnation and your intentions YET you still have freedom to create a new vision with your life!!

One day, the naysayers will become yaysayers and your loving truth will free others.

Listen to your heart and honor the courageous voice inside that is guiding you to new heights of love, creativity and joy!!!

Whatever prison you have experienced, is linked to the freedom that you seek to embody in this lifetime.

With Love Eternal,

PS Original color photo of me with suitcase by Lung Liu.

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