Freedom. It’s a core value, one that dictates so much of our lives here on the farm and why we chose this simpler life in the first place. So when my spring issue of Magnolia Journal (the Freedom issue) arrived, I drew in my breath, dropped everything, and opened it right away. This photo might look idyllic, but it was actually taken during a short, desperate need for a break from the mayhem of preparing for our spring farm dinner. I probably hadn’t showered in days, there was definitely dirt caked in my neck, and my nerves were a wreck as we were realizing a big storm was most likely coming at the exact day and time of the outdoor dinner we were planning for 150 people. Oh, I needed this small moment to put up my feet, take in the view from the front porch, and be reminded of the power and authority I have to choose to be free everyday.
I don’t know about you, but as an enneagram 9, I struggle with taking authority over my own life. One of the biggest truths I’m learning over the last year is that I am the boss of me. I’ve been on a journey of learning agency, using my God-given knowledge and intelligence and gifts, and knowing it’s okay to have a voice.
Another tool that’s helped are the EnneaThought For the Day emails which arrive in my inbox. I subscribed here, and they give little tips that I can put into practice to be healthier within my type. Today’s said: “The antidote to your tendency to be complacent is to be fully engaged with life and growth itself. “
All of this prompted me to make a list. Because I love lists. Maybe mine will prompt one of your own. Here you go…
I AM FREE TO…
Be a farmer, writer, and homeschool mom, even though I got a degree in Music Business. I’m free to evolve and change.
Take an active interest in my own life, without it being selfishness.
Love myself and my body as it is today, with all its beautiful stretch marks, wrinkles and scars that show traces of the abundant life lived.
Open the sunroof and reach my arms through it and sing loudly to Switchfoot or Colony House or the Mary Poppins Returns Soundtrack, even though other drivers are staring at me strangely. I used to be them; I understand.
Be engaged in problems or moments of conflict without taking them on as emotionally defining my self-worth.
Dance - even though I’m not good at it.
Embrace all the quirky and diverse parts of me. I’m simultaneously a girl who doesn’t mind throwing her clothes on her bedroom floor and I’m obsessive about having my kitchen cleaned perfectly before going to bed each night. I love being in my dirty farm boots as much as I love putting on big, funky earrings and curling my hair and going out for a nice dinner with my husband. All of these things are true.
Choose and decide what sunglasses or shirt or whatever I want without asking another’s opinion.
Not be at peace all the time (so hard for “The Peacemaker”!). Sometimes it’s necessary to stir things up for the sake of justice, to defend what’s right, and to lay healthy boundaries.
Call the shots. Use my voice and know that my opinions and desires matter just as much as everyone else’s.
Be truly spontaneous - leaving the comfort of my routine for a bit won’t make everything fall apart! And if it does, go with it - sometimes that leads down a better path.
Be a leader and a significant contributor to the world. Let my past of shying away from leadership positions be in the past - there’s a new freedom and joy in it now as I embrace leadership on my own terms.
Prioritize what actually needs to be done today, and only do those things. Let the other things wait for tomorrow, without worry.
Be fully alive, present, alert, and awake. I don’t need to hit the snooze button on life in order to cope with difficulties. I can wholeheartedly participate in my life and family today.
Move forward even if I’m afraid. I love this quote from Morgan Harper Nichols on Instagram: “Do not think less of yourself if you do not feel fearless. Doing it afraid is just as brave.”
LET IT GO. I don’t have to absorb challenges into my very being, even allowing physical symptoms to appear in my body. I can freely release things out of my control by literally exhaling or stretching or raising my arms to the big, blue sky. I was never fully in control anyway.
Now, your turn. Does any of this resonate? What are you free to be or do? I’d love to hear. Post a comment below or email me to share your thoughts, and let’s pursue greater freedom, together.
P.S. The farm dinner ended up being more amazing that we ever could have imagined, in our greenhouse, which was a reluctant plan B. I learned so much from this experience - more to share on that soon…