≡ Menu

The Myth Of Freedom

“Time freedom.”

“Money freedom.”

“Financial freedom.”

“I want more freedom in my life.”

“Freedom of speech.”

I could go on. But you and I both have heard many phrases hinting at the ideas that we either deserve freedom, or can attain it. And if you’re like me, you’ve bought into those ideas.

The day I read the following quote in the novel Blue Castle by Lucy Maude Montgomery (of Anne of Green Gables fame), my idea of freedom began to change.

“There’s no such thing as freedom on earth,” [the main male character, Barney] said. “Only different kinds of bondages. And comparative bondages. You think you’re free now because you’ve escaped from a particularly unbearable kind of bondage. But are you? You love me – that’s a bondage.”

Twisting the constitutional amendments

People insult, threaten and slander others in the name of “free speech.” But the United States constitutional amendment that they are referring to isn’t about being able to say whatever you want, whenever you want, to whomever you want. It’s about the citizens’ right to verbally and openly disagree with the government, if they believe the government is making wrong choices and decisions.

With rights come responsibilities. And these responsibilities make us less free, not more.

We don’t have the freedom to murder. We don’t have the freedom to threaten. We don’t have the freedom to stalk. We don’t have the freedom to insult.

Sure, you may get away with the last one more easily than the others I mentioned, but there is risk involved when you insult someone. They might insult you back, or worse. Besides which, when you release negativity into the world, that negativity also surrounds you and imprisons you.

The “radical” unschooling lie

Parents who supposedly give their children the freedom not to brush their teeth or to eat junk food are actually leading them into bondage – the bondage of ill health and high dental bills. When they give them the supposed freedom of not learning the basic academic skills and knowledge they need to pursue their interests or grow their talents to the fullest extent possible, they are leading their children into a bondage of a mediocre life. Perhaps even worse.

A fair trade?

When we moved out to our rural property, I thought life would be freer. No more being forced to keep our weeds and grass down under a foot in height. Much more space to garden. Fewer neighbors, and less risk of being a victim of crime.

Now we have discovered what a tight bondage homesteading brings. When you have a huge garden and a bunch of thirsty fruit trees, you can’t just up and travel whenever you want. Because we live in the chigger-ridden South, we have to keep the grass in front of our house short in the summer – and there is more to mow than we had at our suburban home.

We are in bondage to taking a five-hour round trip every month to get organic groceries, as opposed to the thirty-minute round trip I used to take once a week. And always be able to have fresh produce on hand.

We traded neighbors with whom we were friendly – even though we didn’t always see eye-to-eye on how our front lawn should look – for neighbors who are surly, bitter, and vengeful. Not all of them, but given there are only four other couples here besides us and I’m talking about the husbands of two of them, that’s half who have taken a disliking to us.

I’m not going to deny that I have my complaints about our life here. But I had complaints when we were living in the suburbs. Perhaps more. We traded one set of bondages for another, a set that made us feel like we were gaining more freedom. But in truth, we haven’t.

I suppose you could say we made a fair trade.

Then, there are the MLM “freedoms”

If you’ve ever joined a multi-level marketing company, you probably heard the phrases “time freedom” and “money freedom” thrown around like spitballs in an unsupervised school room. You may have even thrown them out yourself, at the friends and family you were trying to get to join your business.

But the fact is, having more free time does not equate to “time freedom.” Even the hunter-gathering tribes of South American, Africa, and isolated islands have to craft their days around the day-night cycle. And in the Western world, having more free time usually equates to wasted potential. Most modern people simply aren’t disciplined enough to use their free time in productive ways. Understand that I believe recreational activities to be productive. But I’m talking about activities where you are actually engaged either mentally or physically, not staring numbly at a screen.

My point: if you are wasting time, you are wasting your potential and your life. How does this make you more free?

Besides which, if you’ve ever tried to build an MLM business (which I don’t recommend, by the way) you know that your time is not your own. You have to constantly use it to try to talk to other people about your business opportunity. And when you’re not doing that, you’re either feeling guilty for not doing it or thinking about the next step to take.

Not only is your time not free, neither is your mind!

As for money freedom? Even if the sorry statistics that reveal the tiny number of people who actually make a profit – let alone enough money to enable them to quit their job – were reversed, how does MLM bring you money freedom when you are required to purchase a certain amount of product and/or pay for a service every month in order to be able to get paid for the work you do for the company? When you are being told how to spend your money, that is not freedom.

The only real freedom

Jesus (Yeshua, if you prefer) said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” That truth is that He is the Son of God, Himself being one with the Creator, and that He sacrificed His life and received it back in order to break the bondage of sin off of humanity. Whoever accepts (knows) that truth is set free from the consequences of sin – separation from their heavenly Father.

The only true freedom you will ever find on earth is spiritual freedom, and I just told you how to get it.

Pick your bondage

At the beginning of this post, I quoted Barney from the classic novel, Blue Castle. Valancy, the woman who loved him, responded to his statement with an old quote: “The prison unto which we doom ourselves no prison is.” She’s telling Barney that the bondage we choose doesn’t feel like a bondage.

But, it still is. Whenever we make a choice, we become bonded to the consequences of that choice. Choosing to be single often leads to the bondage of loneliness. Choosing to marry leads to the bondage of having to compromise on the major decisions of life: where to live, how you will spend your free time, and so on.

When my family chose to move to a rural area, we faced different bondages than those which we faced in the suburbs. But I would make the choice all over again, because for me the benefits of living here far outweigh the bondages.

Still, it would be a lie for me to say that we have greater freedom now.

Spiritual freedom through Christ aside, freedom on earth is a myth. The sooner you stop searching for it, the sooner you will find joy, peace, and fulfillment.

Abundance to you,

Emily

{ 0 comments }

Toward A More Abundant Life

It’s been a while since I posted. And the last time I did, I had decided I would stick to posting humorous life stories. Why? As a creative and expressive outlet.

But a lot has changed since I last published a post. A lot of internal change inside me, I mean. It’s changed the direction of my YouTube channel. It’s changing our family life – in good ways. It’s made me change my mind about this blog.

I’m going back to its original purpose, with a tweak. As you can see by my new header image at the top of the page, my focus is going to be helping people live an abundant life.

How is that different from a life of “freedom” and “success” I promoted with the previous header? Why didn’t I just go back to that?

Let me answer the second question first. I didn’t go back to my “freedom and success” header because the one word is deceptive, the other highly subjective. I’ll talk more about the deception of the word freedom in the next post, but for now let’s leave it at this: nobody ever has a life of complete freedom. And it would be a bad thing if they did!

Which leads us to the answer to the first question, what’s the difference? An abundant life – a life of prosperity in every area of life – is not a life of freedom. Not the way most people think of the word, anyway. And a description of an abundant life is so much more concrete than that of success, to the extent that many people living an abundant life wouldn’t be considered successful in other people’s eyes, and many people considered to be successful are not living abundant lives.

So, what does an abundant life look like, anyway?

If you want to live an abundant life, you intentionally work toward these eight things:

  1. An intimate relationship with your Creator. Ignore His existence, and ignore the greatest source of wisdom for helping you on your path. I’m not talking about joining the religion of Christianity. I’m talking about asking for and accepting the love that our heavenly Father is yearning to give you. And then building a relationship with Him by daily communing with Him. Just the joy and peace that come from this relationship make you feel as though you are living in abundance.
  2. Having a sense of purpose.
  3. Having no debt, and more than enough money coming into your life to pay the bills.
  4. Being truly healthy. Health is not the absence of disease. I’ve talked about it at length in my blog and video series, “How To Prevent Anything.” The first post is here.
  5. Engaging in work that is fulfilling because you use your God-given talents in creative ways most of the day.
  6. Having time to play.
  7. Having close relationships with other people.
  8. Giving with a generous heart.

My own renewed sense of purpose

If you don’t feel that you are living an abundant life right now, you are missing one or more of the above elements. Thus, the change in my blog. I want to help. I want to coach whoever is willing to receive my coaching to make the necessary changes to live an abundant life.

If that’s what they want.

The first step? Click the image for the book, Take Back Your Life, over in the right sidebar. Download it, and read it. It’s free. And it will get you started in the right direction.

Abundance to you,

Emily

{ 0 comments }

I Am Twice Gifted

*I originally published this post to another blog in the middle of November, 2017.

I can sing. I can write. I can act. I can dance. I can grow lots and lots of sweet potatoes.

I can even whip together a pretty good smoothie.

But none of those can compare to the incredibly glamorous, heart-stopping talents that have changed my and my family’s lives.

Time flies

The first talent is my great sense of time. I read last year that right-brain dominant people have no sense of time. This is my husband.

ME: “Do you know you were gone for two whole hours?!

HIM: “Oh. I thought it had only been about thirty minutes.”

I am what they call “whole-brain” dominant, with neither side of my brain vying for special attention, so I can actually tell how much time has passed.

It comes in handy in the middle of the night when I wake up and can’t get back to sleep. Hmm, I think it’s been about fifteen minutes since I went to the bathroom. Let me see the watch. Yep. Fourteen minutes and thirty-five seconds.

“What time is it?” J will ask when he wakes up to go to the bathroom.

I figure I’ve been awake for about half an hour, so without looking at the time I tell him. And I am accurate within five minutes.

This gift serves me well when I look at the clock in the kitchen before going outside. “I want to be back in fifteen or twenty minutes,” I’ll say to myself.

Then I’ll go outside, do whatever I’m doing, and when I return to the house, what da ya know? It’s no more than twenty minutes later.

I’m a wannabe thermometer

I don’t know what it is. I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with brain dominance. I think it has to do with having grown up in Minnesota with parents who were constantly obsessed about the outside temperature, especially in the winter.

But I can go outside, and within five minutes – often within thirty seconds – I can tell you what the temperature is within four degrees.

No, I’m serious. I can. Isn’t that awesome? Shouldn’t I be nominated for a Nobel prize or something?

Case in point: this morning I went out, and after a minute I thought to myself, “Okay, it did not hit the predicted low of forty-one. It’s more like in the upper forties, maybe fifty?”

I then looked at the thermometer, and lo and behold, it read forty-six degrees!

Imagine. You could hire me to announce the temperature at ball games or other outdoor events so that people know whether it’s getting dangerously hot or if they need to put a coat on. I could annoy people with my everlasting, “It’s not that hot. It’s just humid” comment.

Oh, wait. I already do that.

Anyway.

I have a great sense of time, as well as temperature. Gee, I could sign up to be one of those people you call to get the time and temperature!

{ 0 comments }

Gut-Wrenching Diet Tweaks

“Gut-wrenching.”

“Her stomach twisted.”

Phrases I’ve both read and written. I never understood what either felt like until the other day, when I experienced yet another not-explicitly-recorded symptom of perimenopause.

My gut-wrenching story

When I woke up around four in the morning, the middle of my belly hurt. And I couldn’t force the pain away by burping. That coupled with my having been bloated the afternoon and evening should have clued me in to the fact that it was not going to be a good digestion day.

To say the least.

I thought maybe the pain was camouflaged hunger. So I got out of bed, ate two dates, and went back to bed.

Mistake. Eating made it worse.

By the time I got up for the day, my gut was cramping like nobody’s business. If you’re a woman who’s had a baby, it was like uterine contractions up in the small intestine and confined to the front of your torso. If you’re not, well, imagine you’re trying to dry a soaking wet towel by twisting it as hard as you can.

That’s what it felt like someone was doing to my gut every five to ten seconds.

All. Day. Long.

Actually, not quite all day – although it felt like several days. The torment finally ended at around three in the afternoon. The only things I had been able to consume up until then were my morning smoothie and about a half cup of water. Because even a sip of water would, twenty minutes later, send my gut into such spasms that I thought I might end up in the emergency room.

The only reason I didn’t was that the several times that I muscle-tested, my body told me that it was just a hormonal issue, nothing life-threatening or requiring medical attention.

I have to change my diet AGAIN??!

Ironically, a day or two before I’d watched a video which didn’t have a whole lot of views, and one comment. The comment was about a raw vegan who’d had a stroke. It might help you to know that I am a vegan whose diet is about 80% raw.

Long story short, I ended up having a conversation with this person which resulted in me discovering that I’ve been feeding my family a diet that is overwhelmingly high in the omega 6 fatty acids. I knew that seeds were highly imbalanced as far as the omega 6 and omega 3 fats, but I thought that soaking them would reduce the fats enough.

And I had no idea that my favorite nut of all – and one touted as a health food, the almond – is the worst offender, with an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of almost 2,000 to 1! (You’re supposed to aim for a diet with a ratio of no more than 3 or 4 to 1, otherwise the omega 6 EFA’s can cause inflammation – which can cause any number of problems in the body, including hormone imbalances.) Even when soaked for twelve hours – soaking reducing the fat content of nuts and seeds somewhat – almonds still have an omega 6:3 ratio of around 1500:1.

Interestingly enough, during the past few weeks I’d begun to feel an internal red flag whenever I would sit down to eat my usual almonds-with-vegetables lunch. Backing up even further, sometime during the past couple of years I saw a video where a fifty-something woman said that going on a high-carb, low-fat, raw vegan diet (otherwise known as 80-10-10) made her hot flashes and hormonally-induced joint pain go away. When she cheated and went back to cooked food, the symptoms would come back. Was it the macronutrient ratio (80-10-10) that was important, or just eating raw?

It also bugged me knowing that in places where people consumed traditional foods, P.M.S. and perimenopause symptoms are practically non-existent. Someone eating as healthy as I, therefore, shouldn’t be experiencing painful – both physically and mentally – symptoms due to hormone imbalance.

Should I?

There are ratios, and there are actual measurements

As I was freaking out about the omega 6:3 ratio in nuts and seeds, thinking we needed to forgo almonds, reduce cashew consumption, and eat walnuts and pecans instead, J pointed out something. He pointed out that the ratio didn’t mean you were getting that much omega 6 in a food.

I whipped out my trusty nutrition manual, The World’s Healthiest Foods, which breaks down the nutritional data for 100 different kinds of foods – including how many grams each of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids in each one.

Turns out that almonds, with their extremely skewed 6:3 ratio, have almost half the omega 6 fat than pumpkin seeds. And walnuts, though touted for the omega 3 they contain, contain more grams of omega 6 than almonds! Close to that which pumpkin seeds contain. Similar story with pecans. Pecans and walnuts are more fatty than almonds, so when you look at how many grams of omega 6 fats they have, you end up with more.

Oh.

Add that to the fact that at least seeds – maybe nuts, too – when they’re soaked to the point that they start to sprout, some of the omega 6 goes away.

BUT…

Once again, I had to learn the hard way

Up until the other day, I had poo-poo’ed Douglas Graham’s 80-10-10 diet. Some people just need more than ten percent of their diet to be fat and/or protein. But between that incessant, tortuous stomach-twisting and my revelation about how much omega-6 EFA’s I’d been consuming drove me to do more muscle-testing.

Despite the grams-vs.-ratio issue discussed above, my body told me that yes, J, B, and I have all been eating more omega 6 than is good for us. Yes, we would all be healthier if we reduced our fat intake – especially of the highest omega 6-containing nuts.

And, yes, an 80-10-10 (80% carbs in the form of mostly fruit, 10% each protein and fat) diet would keep my hormones much more in balance. No essential oils or bio-identical progesterone needed.

I’m happy to say that I’d already recently figured out that my diet was around 70% carbs. So ramping it up to 80% wasn’t the big deal I thought it might be.

Will the extra expense of a couple more servings of fruit per day be worth it? Only time will tell.

If I never have severe acid reflux, severe gut-cramping, psychotic episodes, or shortness of breath that goes on for hours again, I will become an 80-10-10 evangelist.

 

 

{ 0 comments }

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)