Emotional Freedom

For 2012, my intention is to explore the question: Is emotional freedom from cultural conditioning possible? My plan is to investigate this not only theoretically. I want to really push up against my own edges and boundaries and see what is possible. I already found that my pilgrimage plans were scaring me so much that i decided to slow down the pace. Maybe this pilgrimage will take two years instead of one. Maybe i will keep a place for rent, though it’ll be smaller than where i live now. That’s one of the forms of cultural imprinting that i’ll look at: How important is it to have a physical place we might call “home”? Can i live without one and be at home wherever i go? This ties in directly with another cultural message: You are what you own. Consumerism is rampant, not only during “the holidays.” Can i free myself from stuff? How much stuff is enough? Right now, as i am downsizing again, i am noticing an ambivalent attachment to my things: On the one hand, i enjoy letting go of things, celebrate the increased space. And on the other hand, there are some things i cannot imagine living without. At least not in a place i call “home.” So, maybe the two are related… Both of these are connected with yet another cultural message: Our rewards are externally visible. Our worth seems to depend on the size of our investment account(s). Instead, i want to continue to nurture my sense of self-worth through self-appreciation and building a meaningful life with a purpose.

I have been working quite a bit on the last two cultural boxes i want to continue to examine in 2012. Both are related to how we view relationships. Culture tells us that we are only a mature adult if we’re in a coupled relationship, preferably one that is sanctioned by culture as marriage. I want to continue to empower myself and others to define our relationships in ways that nurture us, that meet our needs in ways that are life-affirming. Connected to that is an exploration into the sex-negative messages in our culture that tightly weave together intimacy, sensuality, and sexuality – often equating all three. I am in the process of untangling that, which sometimes is a bit confusing because i have learned, for example, that cuddling with a man i am not in a coupled relationship with isn’t okay (because it will lead to sex – that cuddling can just be cuddling seems to be impossible).

While i am pushing my own boundaries, i will be developing my right livelihood, which will teach us – yes, me included – how we can rewire our brains to affirm our choices that go against the dominant culture’s grain. Based on my research – i love that i can write this now – i can say that we cannot live in new ways simply by making that choice. Dominant culture is way too ingrained in us, in fact, it’s wired into our brains! So, instead of chastising ourselves for not “being the change,” we can learn to untangle ourselves from the cultural messages and in the process literally rewire our brains. I’ll share more about this as i develop my ideas!

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Emotional Freedom — 2 Comments

    • Yes, i have checked them out… I haven’t gone for several reasons, the most recent one: I discovered that the suggested donation structure is singlist. You get a (large) discount if you show up as a couple… Plus, i find it troubling to pay for meeting a basic human need… Although we also pay for food & water, so i guess that’s just part of the dominant cultural paradigm…

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