What if your only obligation is this?
I heard him say just loudly enough for me to hear, "The only thing I owe you is my freedom."
I cringed when I first heard his words, believing them to be selfish and cruel, unconcerned about others.
"Oh, that's not selfish." I blurted out, realizing what he'd actually meant. "If all I owe others is my freedom, what I'm really saying is that my every action comes from within me and has no hidden agenda, demands no reciprocation, and carries no expectations. Whatever I do, then, can only be freeing for me and the other person. I am not pulling on them emotionally, "That's it, isn't it?"
~ Being Real, an ongoing decision, by Bruce Scott
(post audio version below)
I took this picture of my son years ago during a rare few seconds of stillness in an Oregon forest. We were at the family graduation day of a Trackers Earth program where he had spent many Saturdays over several months forest bathing, learning, and playing with other kids and adults.
We were supposed to be sitting over in the clearing with the other families listening to everyone's shares about the experience. Instead, the moment we arrived Quetzal kicked off his shoes and made a beeline to the forest. A few other kids joined while most folks were shepherded over to the circles of logs in the clearing. I entered the forest with the wild ones.
Whooping and laughing they ran, danced, jumped, and chased throughout the extensive trail system. Keeping my eye on my young one through the trees I followed behind. Every once in a while he swung around to find me. Sometimes pausing a moment to caution me to stay on the trail, pull me back from stepping on flowers, or demonstrate the editability of one plant or another.
Although I didn't get a chance to express my gratitude in the clearing I was deeply thankful for my son's experience over the course of the program. Specifically the experience of knowing himself within the knowing of the forest. He was at home, free and in joy, unapologetic about what he was there to experience on this last day. I got the impression that running wild through the trails for a few hours hadn't exactly been on the agenda most Saturdays -- though maybe a bit.
On this day these kids were expressing the exuberance and joy of being let off the leash all the way. Free of any external agenda or expectation. Liberated to follow their own guidance in joyful relationship with all the elements of the forest.
I'm sure there was a voice in my head that said we should be over at the clearing, sitting quietly on logs, listening, and sharing with everyone else. I don't remember how long I gave mind space to its message. I do know I overrode it and spent the majority of my time there playing, and laughing among the trees with the wild ones, following in the bare footsteps of my young teacher. From an expanded view that's exactly what I needed then and even more so now.
As old systems come unleashed in the micro and the macro I'm curious what's seeking fuller freedom within you? What truth is desiring to unfurl and guide your way forward? What voice in your head is needing to be dissolved to make room for something more real and glorious and wild to emerge?
What if the only thing you owe the world regardless of the roles you've taken on is your freedom?
AND what if this freedom journey is the seed of your most impactful contribution to the whole?
Deep sigh & big love,