I think it might be a rather deep philosophical topic to dive into:
What is freedom.
What I came to understand is that freedom is just a word and we give it its meaning.
Some people tend to call something freedom that they have not yet achieved and want to achieve- a sort of dream that they can dwell upon and use to escape the daily routines for a while. Spreading their wings, feeling free while envisioning something that makes their soul soar and heart race.
Other people call it freedom when they have some time to themselves.
No one around that needs them or wants something from them.
Or the opposite: People who think of freedom when they can dance the day or night away in a collective, loosing themselves in the setting of a concert with music and simultaneously retreating into your own realms of being but also staying connected to the people surrounding you, the place that holds you.
Or all of it.
Freedom for me always meant letting all the keys go. And with keys I mean the literal keys to a home, to a car, to an office, to a bicycle, to a store room. Whatever keys are dangling from your chain. Back in January 2021 when I let go off all the keys in my life, I thought this was the only freedom that would ever authentically feel like freedom to me.
I was wrong.
After this summer, I realised, freedom is just a word and we give it its meaning.
Not only is it for everyone something different, it changes in the same way that we ourselves change. It changes even in the small scale of hours: Waking up it might feel like freedom to have the smell and taste of an energising cup of coffee, a few hours later it changes into a craving for wholesome food for lunch, during the afternoon, maybe after some tense situation in the office, freedom transforms into the spontaneous jump into the car and driving off towards the horizon away from it all. Or the touch of your loved one breathing by your side, the rise and fall, the tranquility of the body.
My understanding of freedom, I come to realise now, was always rather static: No keys, maybe equaling zero responsibility, space to let go of everything.
You might ask yourself now: But Nadine, how is it that your understanding changed?
I gladly answer that for you; it is exactly what this blog post is about.
Let me get back to a short summary from June to the end of August 2022.
I lived with friends of mine, found a studio apartment and spend my whole summer here in Aarau, Switzerland. I have lived here before and spend the majority of the 9 years that I spent in Switzerland in and around this town. Coming back felt like coming home. In part it marked me taking a break form travelling. I decided to stay instead of going to Iceland, which was the original plan for this summer, back in May.
Sometimes in life things fall into place and they seem so much like signs of alignment that I would not want to interfere with them: A job was offered to me, I found this charming studio apartment and was invited to rent it right away, friends all around me encouraged me to stay because they would feel so happy having me around more often.
So I did, skipped Iceland and put it back onto the bucket list for next year.
And this is where the fairytale starts.
A tale about the sharing and shifting of a new understanding of freedom.
The moment I got the keys for the studio apartment, although I did not realise it back then, I felt so safe and secure and exactly where I was supposed to be, so in alignment. Exactly the same feeling I had 1.5 years earlier when I gave back my keys to my rented apartment.
The total opposite happened and yet I felt the exact same emotions.
Over the time I spent in this town, every time I came ‘home’, this was exactly what I felt, and more: I felt relief when I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep; I felt grateful when I was sick or incapacitated and could just follow the needs of my body to simply rest for a whole day while the world outside kept on turning; I felt exhilarated coming home after a bike tour or enjoying the summer heat near by the river or meeting up with friends; I felt enriched by the safe space energy that enabled conversations about the big and small topics of life itself; I still feel stoked about the time I spend within this space and all the change and growth that happened within its walls.
And without realising it the term freedom wasn’t at all contradictory to the possession of keys anymore.
On the contrary.
The possession of keys might enable me to experience a new form of freedom.
So, in a full flow state, I came to realise that my plans to buy and transform a vehicle in the next year, was born out of a deeper change that happened subconsciously.
I liked keys again, their symbolism had changed.
Because I was fortunate enough to experience my earlier belief that true freedom consisted of no place for my own, now I am able to formulate a new belief about true freedom. This being a home that follows you around, four not-really-walls-but-still-walls out of metal on four wheels with more than one door: A car.
At this stage my mind starts wondering if I will end up full circle to crave the possession of land and a house for my own at some point. Not that it matters since I am where I am right now, I do not need to make further plans or muse on how my life will turn out. But still part of me marvels at the intensity of perception and the truths I fully accepted as core beliefs, when all they really are a assumptions that can but need not be verified.
I verified my understanding of freedom with making the experience, thus if it is what I made it out to be. For a while, yes, it genuinely was.
September 2022, not so much anymore.
I changed, my perception changed, my experience grew.
Now my perception of freedom is the option to go wherever I want, whenever I want.
All with the comfort of a sleeping place at the ready and at my disposal whenever and the convenience to cook anything at any time. Living my innate rhythm.
And now the keys to my future car symbolise the ultimate freedom that I set out to find some time ago by giving all keys up.
I wonder what your perception on freedom is, I wonder what freedom consists of for you.
Freedom - bottom line, I promise - could just be us.
Freedom is diverse, it changes, it vibrates, it twists and curls, it is balanced or extreme, it is energy.
It is, in short, like us.
Freedom is like every facet of us.
What a nice thought to have…
Love and Light from my Heart to Yours