In the last two articles I have attempted to tackle the concept of freedom. In the first article, I discussed the many ways in which, the society we live in, tires to usurp our freedom from a very young age. In the second article I introduced the first step to becoming free which is cultivating awareness of how the greater society and culture is designed to destroy our freedom.In this article, I would like to discuss the next step to achieving freedom, which is creating space.
Before I get into this idea, you must understand that freedom is not a destination or an endpoint. It is a process that we must be engaged in at all times if we are to have any hope of experiencing it in our lifetime. Part of this process is the notion of creating space. What do I mean by this?
If you look at your life you will find that it is full of clutter which impedes your ability to be truly free. There is mind clutter, the clutter of daily activities and material clutter which fills our homes and lives. The accumulation of clutter is a natural part of daily living and progressing through our lives, however, it impedes our freedom. We need to take stock of this clutter and remove as much of it as possible on a regular basis. Here is how to begin to do this:
1) We must remove all of our mind clutter. The average human being has more than 50000 thoughts per day, much of which are negative and self-defeating. We need to become fully aware of how our thinking self-sabotages us and learn about the workings of our mind and how to clear our negative thinking and limiting beliefs. I will be having a free webinar soon about this, which you can register for at the end of this article.
2) I recommend streamlining all of your daily activities so they don’t take up most of your time. I realize that on any given day, there are countless chores that we have to do from picking up our children from school, shuttling them to and from their activities, doing groceries, car maintenance, maintaining our homes, cooking meals and many others. These activities are a part of our daily routine, however, it is important not to let them overtake our day. What I suggest is consolidating them so that you do them all together on a single day of the week. Now, I realize that some of them, such as picking up your children from school, are going to be daily, however, these can also be dealt with. Perhaps you can share the children responsibilities with your spouse, extended family or one of your child’s friend’s parents? There are ways to fulfill these responsibilities in a more efficient manner and it is up to you to explore these.
3) Get rid of all the clutter in your home that serves no purpose. Over the course of our lives we accumulate so many things that we eventually have no use for including clothes, old furniture, small appliances and other household items. We get so busy that we do not take stock of all the material things that occupy the physical space we occupy. This can be a daunting exercise but I suggest that you approach it systematically. I usually recommend that most people start with their garage and their basement and go through everything that is stored there and see if they truly need those things. If not, either sell or donate them or throw them away. Next, I recommend going through your wardrobe and picking out any clothes that you have not worn in the last three months and give those away. Now, this does not apply to any formal clothes that you would wear for a special occasion but I’m just talking about the daily clothes you would wear to work or when you socialize. Next, I recommend going through small household items, including small appliances, room by room, and see if you have any use for them. If you don’t then you know what to do.
The three steps, I have outlined above, are a start to getting rid of all the clutter in your life and creating the space for freedom to enter your life. Once you start taking these steps, you will be amazed at how unburdened your life becomes and the space you are able to create in your life both mentally and physically. This exercise alone will give you a greater sense of freedom than you had previously experienced. Now, these exercises can be daunting, however, all you have to do is to start with one of the above recommendations and just take it one step at a time. Like I mentioned earlier, achieving freedom is not a destination but a process which must be continually engaged in.
I will be continuing my series on finding freedom in my next article. In the meantime, start to remove the clutter in your life and you will be amazed at what you experience!
Dr. Nauman Naeem