I wrote a paper in the third grade titled, “What Freedom Means To Me”. I won first place. I wish I had a copy of that paper today. I would love to compare my response to that same question today at 59 years old from my 10 year old self. I do remember writing one thing that represented freedom to me as a child and it is so simple and satisfying. It was jumping into puddles with bare feet. I would definitely write that today as well. There is freedom in jumping into puddles and feeling the earth with your bare feet...it is called earthing. Getting wet, muddy, messy, stomping and splashing in the water, giggling and being in the moment and feeling alive.
I am speaking of the freedom to be oneself. Allowing the child within to remind you of the joy of being in the present moment. The present moment is where we find peace, experience freedom, and maybe remember who we are at the core of us with our whole self. Puddles are alluring and invite us to see and feel things with childlike wonder. Children don’t stop to think of all of the reasons they should not jump in the puddle. They just jump in.
Have you ever walked down a sidewalk after or during the rain with a child? I have 4 sons. If there was a puddle, they were in it. I remember after a heavy rain the street down the hill from our house flooded. My boys were in it! Running, splashing, laughing, enjoying life. It is the same with my grandchildren. If there is a puddle, they are going to be in it. Children, if allowed to, would stomp, slosh, splash or jump into that puddle with pure joy over and over and over again. They would splash all of the water out of it or happily wait to watch it refill itself. They delight in the freedom of jumping into puddles. Kids live in the present.
The writing of that paper on freedom and winning first place in the third grade was a pivotal moment in my young life. My teacher invited us to enter the contest. The older students were required to write a paper. I had a brother in 6th grade, a sister in 5th grade and a sister in 1st grade. When I won, I was brought to the local radio station and asked to read my paper over the radio and the school played it over the p.a. system. Let’s just say, my older siblings were less than impressed...they were downright embarrassed that their younger sister had won and now they had to endure listening to this paper read aloud for all of their classmates to hear.
I was an extremely shy and sensitive child. It was quite challenging for me to read that paper over the radio. I can still feel my small voice trembling and my body shaking all these years later. This coupled with the criticism from my siblings, was possibly the beginning of my shutting down the desire to express myself through writing. When we feel criticised or something we love to do is not nurtured we start to close off that part of our hearts. Writing this blog has been a healing tool, a priming of the pump so to speak, a way to gently assist me in peeling back my layers of protection and sharing what lives in my heart.
Meditation is another tool I use. I had a vision during meditation that I was knocking on the door of my heart. The “little Angie” inside of me opened the door and all of the words that I have longed to share flew out of my heart on wings. I am stepping into the deep puddles of freedom within my heart to see what needs to be set free. Freedom is our birthright. What is ready to fly out and emerge from your heart to share with the world?