5 steps to embracing freedom.
Recently, a friend gave up on her motherhood. She walked out on her life, her two children and her husband. She told me she knew she was made for something else, something more fulfilling to her personal desires and to her spiritual path, something which would lead her to a partner who shared her love for festivals, naked yoga and experimentation.
I called her as she was sitting on a train to Boom Festival in Portugal with her new lover, and listened intensely, while she exclaimed it was the best thing for her and her family - because now she finally had the freedom to do what was right for her spiritual development and the kids could be free of a mother who was never truly present.
As I put down the phone, hands shaking from shock. I sat for a few minutes replying the whole conversation in my mind to see if I had understood every word correctly and rummaged through my memories with her to see if I could have sensed what she was about to do.
I have had many-a-chat with friends who fantasise about 'other lives' - those past relationships that could have taken them on another path. It is a conversation I have contributed to many times because I have traveled extensively as an adult, and been given the opportunity to experience many different kinds of lives, loves and experiences, if I had committed to them - and them to me.
These conversations are important to mothers because it is something everyone thinks about, especially when life feels especially monotonous, dull or particularly routined - and when you are a mother, the paradox of freedom and responsibility is felt, overwhelmingly. But there comes a guilt and shame when we voice these thoughts with others, because our lives are supposed to be fulfilled by the love and contentment we have for our spouse, our career and our children.
But perhaps if we talked a bit more about our dreams, voiced our challenges and desires a little more often with others - we might not land up taking drastic discussions, based purely on internally-validated emotions that land up irrevocably hurting others.
In the end, I lost a friendship with someone I once admired for being a free-spirit, for moving to the middle of Portugal and creating a life she loved by hosting spiritual retreats, living in nature and raising a family in an alternative way. But what I came to see was that, although escapism is a natural emotion in motherhood - those who act destructively on it, are in need of help.
For those of us who love the idea of being alone for a weekend (or even a few hours!), who miss the excitement of a new relationship and who believe there is more to life than routine and mediocre - I am an advocate of a new kind of escapism, one that is the ultimate act of self care in motherhood - and here's how you do it.
1. Know that it is ok to feel like you want to escape sometimes
Whatever life you had before family life is in the past. Trusting the path you are on now means embracing the ideas that the Universe has brought you to this place, this person and this lifestyle that will help you learn most about yourself. You are where you need to be in order to learn how to live your best life, even when you find your current life unsatisfactory. When you are discontented, it is a nudge that you need to come into alignment with yourself and your core desires again.
2. Being bound to those you love is not a restriction
If your life is good enough - then you have an excellent life. Everything can be worked on to make it more exciting without running away. Your husband? Talk to him more about your dreams and how bringing them into fruition will benefit the whole family. The kids? Talk to them about their own dreams and notice how simple and present their answers always are. When you love your children and you love your husband, you are not bound by restriction - but tethered to the most meaningful expression the universe has to offer; Love. When there is love, everything else can be worked out.
3. Transmute your energy into creativity
Escape can be healthy and allow for creativity to enter your life in a productive way. When you find yourself dreaming all the time of a different life, it's time to start acting on it - in an equally expressive way. I have a friend who writes erotica, another who decorates her Scandinavian home in tropicana and a third is learning Spanish because she knows she wants to live in South America one day. Emotional energy spent on wanting to be somewhere else can be put into manifesting your dreams. Align with what it is you want more of in your life (because escapism is often a sign of discontentment or old habit) and put your energy into doing more that makes you feel that emotion of freedom. When you do more of what you love, you become more present to your life and are able to gain perspective on what matters.
4. Escape together
Everyone loves a little contrast in life, a reason to get a little perspective and a way of breaking old comfort zones. Find out what it is like to take an act of escapism with the family. Get in the car and take a drive to a new area you have never been to before. Plan a last minute mini-weekend away. Go camping or trekking in nature without expectation of how it will be. A lot of escapism is created from the need to be uncertain, so create little moments of excitement in every day life.
5. Travel alone
If you feel like you need perspective or spiritual development in your life; take a trip away alone. Join a retreat, or simply a place away from what you know so you can spend time realising the benefits of spending time alone - as well as return home with a fresh look on what needs to be changed. I am an advocate of using plant medicine, ayahuasca and dmt in a conscious environment to connect you to the greater powers in life, so if you feel especially lost in life, find a reputable place where you can experience a safe place of escapism which will provide invaluable insight to how precious life is.
Occasionally I will glance in the direction of my old friend's deleted facebook page. I pray she has found a good life, that perhaps she has reached out to her children and that the dramatic exit was just a cry for help that she then received. I will never know the undercurrent that lead her to make that drastic decision, only be a witness to those who are left to raise and love themselves in her absence.
How do you escape and what tips do you have for creating a healthy relationship with your dreams?
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