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Freedom

How Everyday Miracles Unfold When We Let Go and See Our True Freedom

May 16, 2019 | 2 Comments

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.”

~ Thich Nhat Hahn

 

For so long I’ve tried to be in control. I’ve tried to make sure that my life goes according to plan; that all my ducks are in a row. Until six months ago, I had a home in the UK, I was married, I had a totally different business, and it looked like my life was sorted. I had a nice life – but, at times, this mapped-out life felt so trapping. It seemed like my soul longed for more; for a life that was less known – one so different to my own. I wanted freedom.

That’s not to say that I needed all of that external stuff to change in order to be happy – I had seen something different, and I know now that, even in my mapped-out life, I was still absolutely ok because happiness comes from within. But I knew my soul needed to explore the world more, moving away from everything it knew and stepping a brave foot in the direction of freedom.
There was a time when I would have been scared of that. My over-planning, future-predicting self would have had a fit and tried to make sure everything was just as it ‘should’ be. In fact, I had always worried about things like leaving my family behind, leaving my relationship, making enough money, and being alone. I’ve been to Bali before, you see, and I worried about all of this then; though, this time, my trip is very different. Why? Well, I have seen something that transformed my life – and in that awakening, I found true freedom – and now I know, it is already within us.

Last time I was here in Bali, I was trying to very hard to fix myself. True to my felt need to have everything being perfect, I was here to mend my brokenness. So I thought, anyway. What I realised, along the way was something magical. Something which is so simple and yet so profound at the same time; almost so that it seems like this special little secret that we seem to know but we forget, over and over again. But, I don’t want it to be a secret; I want to share this wisdom that I awakened to so that I can help others, and this is what I do now – so please do hear me as I share what I like to call my Transformational Truth.

 

What I Saw that Helped Me Transform

Along my journey, I awakened to how life really works, and in doing so, it helped me reconnect to the truth of who we really are. I began to see that we experience life entirely through our thinking, moment to moment, and that our feelings come from our thoughts. Anything that we think, creates our reality – and yet, our thoughts aren’t always true. Just because we have a thought, it doesn’t mean it is real. I saw that we are not our thoughts – and, therefore, our feelings aren’t always necessarily responding to the truth.

 

 

As well as this, I heard that we have everything we desire already within us. Anything we long to be connected to – whether that is freedom, love, peace, joy, creativity (or anything else) – is actually our natural, innate state. Until we think it’s not! So, I realised, as I sunk deeper into this wisdom, that we aren’t our thoughts, we aren’t even our feelings – and, our truthful, natural state actually sits just underneath all of this strange energy that moves through us. Deep within us – in our ‘deep down’ knowing – there is a wisdom that simply guides us through life, without us needing to think about anything at all. Life happens for us.

What this meant for me, is that life is simply being lived, and its energy moves through us: ever changing, ever flowing. There is something greater that lives us; that we have no control over at all! Wow! What might the implications of this be for an over-planner?!

 

How I Unravelled by Doing Nothing

Well, when I saw all of this, I somehow began to settle – without doing anything at all. And, as I just began to explore this deeper, I realised, there is absolutely nothing to do, but to see how life works in this way. As we do, magically, all of our illusionary thinking begins to drop away – all by itself.
You see, if our thinking is illusion, and we really have no control because that, too, is an illusion – what more can we do to get our ducks lined up? There is nothing. I began to question, do we even need them lined up, as I had thought? As I saw this, there was an unleashing of my freedom. I suddenly had access to a totally different experience of life, which we are always just one thought away from. I realised: freedom is always available to us, no matter what! It is in our thinking.

I had been toying, for a while, with letting everything go. With the recent breakdown of my relationship – again, something that I hadn’t planned for – I was learning a new, unconditioned, way of navigating life. One with new choices. One in which I could follow the dream that felt truer to myself. Instead of being in my controlled life, I felt moved back towards what lit me up. You know that magical feeling, that butterflies-in-your-tummy, sparkly sensation that reminds you of the truth that we are alive? I wanted to follow that. In that, I saw I had a choice: to stay as I was, or to move with life’s constant evolution.
For months, I toyed with it, dancing between options, and over-thinking it, again. And then, deeper insight emerged from my wisdom in the space of unlearning all my conditioning. I realised; there is nothing to decide, but decisions will be made. I let go. I remembered, again: there was nothing to do, but that somehow, there would be some movement – because there couldn’t not be in a world that is always evolving.

 

Letting Go & Sinking into True Freedom

And so, somehow, earlier this year, I ended up back in Bali. I remember booking the one way ticket, and I remember thinking I wouldn’t go. I remember not wanting to go. I remember being excited about going. I remember all the thinking about going – and all the thinking about staying. I also remember all of the thinking about what leaving meant. And, I see in this example, all of the different energies moving through our minds; the joy and expansion in one moment, to fear, uncertainty and sadness the next – back and forth. In this, I see how life is just happening, and my experience of it comes entirely from me.
And I see so much more, too. I see how in following my soul’s wisdom – that little spark of joy underneath all of the thinking we have that often tells us not to – I have aligned entirely with the truth of who I am. Unashamedly stepping out into who I really was all along, I see myself, and my infinite potential. I see my true freedom. I see what was inside, all along, hiding underneath so much of my mind.

This trip has been so different from the last time I was in Bali. This time, I know that there is nothing to fix, because we aren’t broken – and, even if we feel it, it comes from our thinking and it isn’t reality.
I have been living out of a suitcase for 6 months, my old life completely shattered, my bank account uncertain; but I have never felt truer to myself than before. I have never felt so alive and free. As I arrived here, I just let everything go. There are moments when I feel sadness about what I’ve let go, but knowing what I know now means I can be with these feelings, when they visit, in that moment. Radically accepting them, exactly as they are, but knowing that the truth of who I really am sits right underneath all of it. And then, true to life, I get moved again, and I remember that I am always free – it’s only one thought away – and I am innately joyful and always connected.

Now I’m here, in my favourite space in the world, there’s a profound resonance in my alignment with who I am. In the beautiful jungle of Ubud, surrounded by proof of this divine inexplicable intelligence, I find myself right where my heart is. I find myself living in the beauty of the ever-changing flux of sensational sunrises and sunsets, of beautiful food, of yummy yoga and all the things I adore, and of connection with a like-minded tribe. It’s a difficult place not to feel in love with liberation, and I’ve allowed myself to remember my connection to myself. However, I know that my freedom doesn’t come from the external things anymore, but from how I view life.

But most importantly, since I have been here in blissful Bali, I have found miracles unravelling for me, right before my eyes, that I never could have planned for. In the space where I would normally have been thinking and controlling, I have made connections with beautiful people. In that same space, I have found plans to host global events and Reconnect to Your Truth retreats here in Bali to share this wisdom, just unfolding in front of me. I have begun to write my book of Truth, which I had longed to do, for years, and clients have just appeared. In my truth, allowing life to flow, it appears that it works out way better than having any kind of plan. Everyday miracles just suddenly appear – or, rather, we just see the miracles that are already there underneath our thinking!

Where once I would have ‘needed to know,’ I see that there is no real ‘knowing’ of what lies before us. And in the ‘not knowing’ is where the magic is. Now, I realise – the ducks I imagined don’t even exist! They were an illusion. And, what’s more – I’m glad they don’t. Because life truly is an absolute miracle, and once we step into our truth, remember our freedom and let go, we really can see it.

Nicole Barton

Life Mentor, Nicole Barton, is something of a unicorn within the self-help industry for her candid notion that nobody needs self-help. She is a breath of fresh air in her admission that while anything that leads us into soul-led expression is useful to shift us from our heads and into our hearts, none of these practices are prerequisites to peace, as long as people reconnect to the simple truth of who they are. Nicole supports people in finding freedom from suffering through workshops, global retreats and one-to-ones, and is working on her first book. Visit her at www.nicolebarton.co.uk and www.wellbeingwriter.co.uk.

2 Comments

  1. Raj on August 1, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Nicole, thanks for sharing this beautiful journey. Truly inspiring and motivating.
    “Where once I would have ‘needed to know,’ I see that there is no real ‘knowing’ of what lies before us. And in the ‘not knowing’ is where the magic is. ” True Freedom!!!

    • Nicole Barton on August 1, 2019 at 1:11 pm

      Thank you Raj, I’m so pleased you enjoyed it and heard something in the words. Sending love

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