Welcome back to Tuff Love, with Rob Kandell. Tuff Love is an opportunity to see more, have more and be more. It’s also an opportunity to talk about the shit that matters. The topic today is around the concept of freedom. We all want freedom.
Rob did some Google research around freedom and found some great quotes on BrainyQuotes.com
- There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. ~ Nelson Mandela
- Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought. ~ John Paul II
- Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. ~ George Orwell
- I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free so other people would also be free. ~ Rosa Parks
- Expose yourself to your deepest fear. After that, fear has no power. And the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free. ~ Jim Morrison
- What is it in our human psyche that stops us from being free?
- The George Orwell quote is the basis of Rob’s life on some level. There are certain people he feels totally free to say what’s on his mind., whatever he wants. However, with a lot of people he doesn’t feel that freedom. He feels the straight jacket of appropriateness, of relation, of the rules and regulations. In those he feels totally unfree.
- So look at the people around you. How free do you feel in terms of your honesty?
- Rosa Parks reminds Rob that your freedom and your ability to be free and true inspires other people to be free. How many of us look at other people and gather our strength from their ability to go against the status quo?
Rob’s personal story around freedom has involved business and choices. He started an organization from 2004 til 2014, and co-created a culture he didn’t feel free in. He takes full responsibility for this. There was a solid prison he created around his life. In that prison, he felt comfortable because of the containment around him, but also totally miserable, especially towards the end.
So Rob did his work and made an equitable exit. In July 2014, Rob was in Venice Beach, California, totally free with no constraints in his life whatsoever. There was so much possibility, total freedom in who he was and what was available.
Rob chose to go down the road of trying to create a life where he didn’t have freedom. He enjoyed the containment. So he found himself a nice house in Venice Beach, built a business around consulting, and was successful in both. However, he found himself bored, spiritually. So in January he built a business relationship, and by March he had signed a lease for $11,500 per month space in Hollywood. Rob thought this was the next thing. But by the 2nd or 3rd month, the responsibility started to happen. By December he had realized he’d put himself into another prison.
A year later, the two businesses Rob had started are no more and he has a business debt that he’s handling. He wants to be responsible for it, so he’s paying the debt, and it’s a weight that affects him 24 hours a day. He had freedom, and a year and a half later he’s angry at himself for co-creating a prison again. He thought he wanted freedom, but what he really wanted was that containment.
Rob has more research and thoughts on freedom:
- The US Department of Justice has done studies and found that there is a high rate of going back to jail among released prisoners. One study tracked 404,000 prisoners in 30 states and within 3 years of release, 67.8% were rearrested. Within 5 years, 76.6% were rearrested.
- Prison doesn’t sound like a fun place to Rob at all, and yet there’s a reoccurring thing of people doing the crime, doing the time and then doing another crime to do more time. What is it inside of us that says we want to be free but we get? Freedom is daunting.
- Stephen Codler in his book Flow says, “The wealth of options we face today has extended personal freedom to an extent that would have been inconceivable even 100 years ago. But the consequence of equally attractive choices is uncertainty. Uncertainty of purpose, uncertainty in terms saps resolution, and a lack of results end up devaluing choice. Therefore freedom does not necessarily help develop meaning in life. On the contrary.”
- Where we are in the world today in terms of all the choices we have has restricted our freedom. For example, there are so many options of TV these days that it can be overwhelmed by the possibilities. There are so many choices about where to put our attention, and in that we feel less free.
- Martin Luther King did his I Have a Dream speech in 1963 and Rob recommends listening to the whole thing, especially the details of it.
- 100 years earlier, on January 1st 1863, Abraham Lincoln did the exective order for the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s been 140 years since that happened and we’re still on some level in the same boat where people aren’t free.
- This shit is still happening today, this lack of freedom. E.g. Black Lives Matter
- Bring it back to yourself. Where are you not living in freedom, in the total expansion possible? Where do you limit yourself? Look at your life and circumstances. Where do you enclose your own freedom? What steps do you need to take to not do that anymore?
- Freedom is so important because in freedom, there’s growth.
- Freedom to Rob is a place where he has choice and doesn’t do things to make himself smaller or enclose his life but instead makes the choices to expand it.
Rob coaches Ben around freedom. He recently co-founded a non-profit with his ex. They dated 4 years and split up earlier this year. The concept of co-creation of a prison resonated for Ben with regards to the way their relationship ended, which he’s still holding resentment for.
- Rob asks, “What’s warm, engaging, pleasurable about the resentment?” Ben gets to be right and righteous.
- Rob explains that there’s something inside of him that wants to expand and grow around this. This is a match for Ben. There’s some part of him that wants to stay connected to this woman, or he wouldn’t have started this with her around it. Rob recommends Ben do the inner work needed to get in agreement with his life.
- Ben in unclear on what his purpose-driven career is. Open Source Wellness is a thing Ben cares about and sees it doing good, but it is really Liz’s purpose-driven career. Energetically that makes it not an equal partnership.
- The business is some idea that’s been growing in Liz for the last 5 – 10 years. Rob calls that a time hex. It’s a validation of self-doubt. Your ability to confront your self-doubt is your enlightenment.
- Ben could fall in love with this project in a second. It feels like the power isn’t there because Liz has been thinking about it for years (that’s the hex) but she could fall out of love with it in a second. Time is only as relevant as you make it.
- Another reason it’s not an energetically equal partnership is that Ben is there because he cares about her more than the project. Rob says that on some level that means her attention is on the project while Ben’s attention is on her. One way to shift that piece is to take Ben’s attention off her and onto the project.
- Self-esteem is built upon esteem-able acts. There’s always a simple choice to move from the approval from others to where you’re giving yourself approval, which is built on actions.
- The ability to say, ‘I’m not going to look to her/sugar/gambling/shopping to feel good about myself and to fill me up. I’m going to do something I know will fill me up.’ is the key. It’s not rocket science, and it’s not easy.
- Ben has created a situation where he is doing work he feels good about and making a difference in the world, and is doing what most people would consider purpose-driven work. However, he feels there’s another level and he doesn’t know what that is yet. So for right now it gives him some things he wants.
- Rob hears that Ben is using this to fill time to find his purpose. That’s great if you feel fully authentic and are communicating that. However, it means he’s hovering around from truly falling in love with the project.
- There is a goal for the project but Ben doesn’t have a goal for himself. He will have to clear his relationship to (not with!) Liz in order to clear the block and feel right with the project.
- The first step is to do the internal work to find Ben’s own desires and come to the table completely clear and self-possessed in order to find the next step in his purpose.