Free on the InsideWritten by ian
I have ugly feet.
But I’m free on the inside.
When you love what you do…….and you do it every day, at least for a little while, you’re free on the inside.
I was watching a show a few weeks ago on women who committed violent crimes.
Murder. Mayhem. And Madness.
One woman had spent her life on the streets.
Dancing with Danger.
And decades of Desperation.
She sold her body for money.
So she could get her next fix.
She was beaten, battered and spiritually scattered.
One day……she killed her pimp.
Not in a fit of rage. Or in self defense.
But rather….in a methodical, matter of fact way that made sympathy for her plight hard to hold.
In a throwaway world where most don’t notice and the nameless become numbers, she now lives in a paradox box of concrete and contribution.
Yet connected to a community who cares more than the wired world from which she came.
And yet, she looked in the camera…..describing the work she does with abused and drug addled women who will get the second chance she probably won’t – and said – “for the first time in my life, I’m truly free. I’m free on the inside.”
So I wrote that down on a little notepad and thought about it for a while then……and again.
Because when we all do what we truly love and feel connected to some sense of something that is bigger, better and bolder than ourselves…….we are free.
On the inside.
It’s rare. It eludes most forever.
It requires a little bit of bravery.
But it’s always there.
I have some strange fascination with synchronicity these days.
That weird way the nutty laws of nature, or the universe, or whatever it is that holds all of this together by the slenderest of shreds occasionally tickles our feet to remind us who is in charge.
That there is a plan and a purpose and that as cynical and skeptical and dubious as it may sometimes seem, the signposts, and syncronicities are singing…..and smiling for attention.
I’m reading this book yesterday – on the 4th of July – Explorers of the Infinite – about extreme athletes and adventurers- hikers, and mountaineers and big wave surfers and deep sea divers……..and their extraordinary experiences and death defying pursuit of something that I can’t quite understand until the end when one world class mountaineer…..in trying to describe the rush of ascending some of the highest peaks in the world without a net, or harness or help……describes it as the only time he ever truly feels “free on the inside”
I opened my notebook leafed through 50 pages of scribble…….and smiled.
And this blog post wrote itself.
The truth is, I’d make a horrible hiking companion.
I’m a creature of comfort.
And not really fond of heights.
But I’m a huge fan of freedom.
And in doing work that I love.
And in doing that work, helping others express their identity…… and their art and their IMPRINT, inspiration and ambition……… through the fabric of focus and the pursuit of PASSION.
The truth is, so too can you.
I know it sounds trite.
And tired. And sugary sweet.
And of course, I don’t really know you.
But I know this.
There is SOMETHING that makes you free on the inside.
And you’re probably not doing it nearly enough.
It may be prayer.
Maybe it’s looking at the smiling, happy faces of your children on a sunny day, lost in a frozen moment of fun.
Or spending lazy days with people that you love.
Or the basking in the beauty of nature.
It may be sharing your gifts.
Or doing work that you love.
Or expressing yourself in ways that motivate, excite or inspire others to action.
I know there are many things I love to do.
All of the above…and much more.
But what makes me feel free is doing exactly this.
I would even do it for free. (and quite often, actually do..:-)
Once in a while, I read some of the emails and promises and promotions that some of my peers in this business put out into the world…..and it makes me mad.
Not sad. But mad.
Even some of the select few people that I know and like personally, I’ll read their stuff and sometimes……silently, I seethe.
But you know what?
Those people are never free.
Not where it counts.
They are tied and tethered.
Bound, bolted and buried.
Always thinking about that avalanche of cold, cruel karma that’s coming down the mountain.
If you believe in anything bigger, better and bolder than yourself……… you know that already.
I do have ugly feet.
And I still can’t draw a good smiley face, even though I’ve been trying for a decade.
But I’m free on the inside.
At least for the rest of tonight.
Tomorrow, I’ll get up and do it again.