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personal engagement personal engagement social change society violence

Freedom Is Within Grasp

The world is not done to you; instead, you draw the world to you. Personal engagement and community engagement show us how our sustained connections to the worlds within and around us happen through intention. That is why what Christopher Moore wrote is true: “Any freedom that can be given can be taken away.”

If you want to live more freely, develop conscious intentions to sustainably connect with the world around you. Own the world you live in, and strengthen Heartspace in order to stop being a slave to the life you live. Nelson Mandela once wrote, “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.” Heartspace is not an easy walk, but can lead to the mountaintop.

There are many deceptive routes in our lives. Some roads lead towards consumption, while other roads lead to chasteness and deprivation. These extremes teach us deception because they value living one way over all others. Heartspace does not insist that we bend or meld our beliefs, that we become something we are not, or sacrifice anything. Heartspace affirms your life, right now and how it has always been. If your life has seemed unsatisfactory, be grateful for what it has taught you and then release it. If you must release it over and over, then do that. But release it. Or not. That is freedom, expressed intuitively, richly, and meaningfully in your own life, by you. Nobody else can free you or make you free; freedom is something you are right now, and you are free right now. If it doesn’t feel like that, then let yourself feel more free; if it doesn’t look like that, then set yourself more free; you are the prison and the prisoner.

Heartspace is there regardless. These connections we have, they have anchors deep within us.

If you have spent years writing letters to politicians on behalf of Amnesty International, there is an anchor within you where that engagement is tethered. It may have been the abuse in your childhood home, bullying at school, or awe at the formation of the United Nations when you were a child. Perhaps you believe strongly in following the teachings of the Buddha. For years you have sat in audience with visiting Rinpoches, reading diligently, and attending your local temple’s ceremonies and classes. Within you there is an anchor where that engagement is tethered. It may have been your mother’s devout Catholicism, the attraction you had to the Dalai Lama’s teachings, or the strangely complete peace you felt staring at an ancient Buddhist symbol on a friend’s wall. Personal engagement can happen with people, places, events, ideas, knowledge, and all kinds of different things. Each engagement within you and to the world around you has an anchor within you.

Deep within you, these anchors are sources that are calling you deeper within yourself all the time. Heartspace does not question whether the relationship to these anchors is “healthy” or “hurtful”, because Heartspace is indifferent to your judgments of right and wrong. Instead, it simply powers the sustained connections you have throughout your life.

Life is about freedom, and not an anarchistic, rebellious freedom, either. Instead, it is about the freedom to be exactly who we are in relationship to the world around us. That is why freedom is accessible to each one of us right now, because it is not about the world around us―it is about the world within us. That is why Heartspace is a pathway there.

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”― Nelson Mandela

Come and walk with me. I will support you, if you support me. We can exchange our knowledge, ideas, abilities, and dreams, sharing responsibilities as we travel along. Dr. King saw the place we’re headed in his strangely prescient dream shortly before he was assassinated. He told his followers, “I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land.”

That is still true, and as Dr. King and President Mandela have shown us, there are pathways there. Heartspace is one of them for you individually, and for us as a people. Thank you for walking this road with me.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

By Adam F.C. Fletcher

I'm a speaker, writer, trainer, researcher and advocate who researches, writes and shares about education, youth, and history.

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