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Yesterday was my birthday (yay!), so after drawing the Celebration card in the morning – I knew that one was gonna come up! 😀 – I took the day off and enjoyed some family time.

But back to routine today! 😉 Let’s talk about Freedom. I love this card and its message! So often we feel trapped and victimized and like we don’t have any control over our lives, when really we always have a choice: Things may not always happen exactly the way we wanted them to, but we we can always choose how we react to them. We can always choose our thoughts, our attitude and our perspective. We can choose to wallow in self-pity and lethargy, our we can choose to seek the lesson in every experience and grow from it. We can choose to stay passive or take action. To quote the Canadian rock band Rush: “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice!”

Of course it’s not always easy to stay optimistic and in good spirits – we all have bad days and it’s only human to experience disappointment, sadness, anger, tiredness and frustration. There’s nothing wrong with that! It all comes down to mindfulness: If we acknowledge a negative feeling or thought, it gets easier to handle. There’s no point in pretending to be all cheerful and happy when something really upsetting happens! But we can acknowledge our feelings, accept what is, allow ourselves time to process what’s going on – and then choose to learn from it and move on. But if we let our ego take over with all its fears, complaints and negativity, we lose our power – and our freedom.

Spirit is always free – it’s the ego with its material limitations that keeps us stuck.

That’s part one of today’s article. Here’s a more personal story about the Freedom card: It shows a female angel dancing freely with just a sheet wrapped around her waist, and little naked cherubs dancing with her. Yesterday, my husband and I went to the Orr Hot Springs in Ukiah. It’s a beautiful little retreat in the woods with several hot mineral water pools, lodging and a community kitchen. All very natural and unpretentious – including “clothing optional”. Very much like the scene on the Freedom card! 😉

At first, we wore our bathing shorts/bikini, but since everybody else was naked, is was more awkward being the only people dressed than going “au naturale” as well! And I have to say, it was a very interesting experience: Everyone was very respectful and didn’t make a big deal out of the lack of clothing. There was no comparing stylish bathing suits with sporty bikinis, no thought about if that color was “wearable” or not, no brand names. Just beautiful, unique bodies like God created them – no judgements, no masquerades, no fuss!

Clothing plays a huge role in how we perceive others – when underneath it, we are all the same. It’s easy to forget, but really, we all have two arms and two legs, a nice butt, a torso, hands and feet, fingers and toes. There’s more similar than is different! And I think this is an important point, especially in times like these: So often, we focus on all the things that are DIFFERENT in others – when it can be so much more fulfilling to try and find similarities and make a CONNECTION. Differences and variety are beautiful and necessary – but it’s connection that we need more of, and once we have established a connection it gets easier to appreciate the differences. Instead of meeting them with fear, hate and judgement, we can then celebrate the uniqueness of every human being.

Coming from a place of oneness creates self-acceptance, tolerance, openness, curiosity and confidence. I noticed myself feeling more accepting of myself and more free to express myself after the visit at the Hot Springs – a wonderful, unexpected side effect 😉

I want to invite you to start seeking parallels and similarities BEFORE focusing on the differences – it makes life a lot more peaceful, joyful and fulfilling! 😃

Much love!

Paula