When it comes to living your dream life, I believe, number one attribute is freedom. Freedom of choice, freedom to be who you are, freedom to do what you love, and freedom to be able to stay in the now and enjoy the present moment, not fretting about the obscure future.
The topic of freedom, to my mind, is best illuminated in Richard Bach’s book Jonathan Livingston Seagull, where the author through the eyes of the main character Jonathan, shows his journey of finding his purpose and a higher level of understanding of life and its meaning, which ultimately leads him to freedom.
Jonathan Livingston is no ordinary bird. Unlike other seagulls, who live to eat, he feels there is more to life than a tedious fight for the scarps of fish off the fishing boats.
He sets his life on a mission to master the art of flying. Livingston relentlessly practices flying techniques with loops, upstrokes and dives, developing his speed and gliding. There is a lot of room for faltering, stalling, and tumbling in his flying routine… Many times, he sacrifices his efforts of fighting for food for the sake of practising. His peers meet his endless flying practice with judgement, disapproval, and contempt, making him question at times the soundness of his dream for flying. However, his quest for freedom prevails, and his dream mutes the annoying sound of naysayers.
Eventually, Jonathan is expelled from the flock for his outrageous behaviour of breaking the flock’s code.
Being on his own, he devotes all his time to flying. Jonathan becomes the fastest seagull alive, embracing the glory of life and freedom full on. He discovers that his streamlined high-speed dives give him access to a better and tastier fish, so he doesn’t need stale bread and fish heads for survival.
Isn’t it amazing what life gives to you, if you are willing to pursue your dreams despite the challenges? His initial sacrifice of food for practise becomes so abundantly rewarded.
It is a great lesson for those who are on the road of pursuing their aspirations and facing disappointments. You need to trust the process and keep practicing, believing in yourself and in your dreams. Life brings to you what you bring to life.
Jonathan spent his life in solitude. His only sorrow was the ignorance of his flock who refused to see the promise of joy and glory of the flight that awaited them…
How many people are there who live their entire life in ignorance and constraint because they never dare to fly. They prefer to live by the principle “Better the devil you know” rather than stepping into something promising but unknown.
It concerns all spheres of life. There are so many people who stay in stifling conditions and circumstances in their life: at the jobs they hate or in toxic relationships out of fear of stepping into the unknown and uncomfortable.
How sad is that?
You are not a tree. You don’t have to stay at the same place your entire life. You can change your life at any time. It takes stepping outside of your comfort zone.
“You can never discover the new oceans unless you have the courage to loose the sight of the shore,” wisely said Andre Gide.
Jonathan discovered that boredom, fear, and anger are the reason why seagulls’ life is so short.
Freedom was his highest aspiration. Freedom to be, to live, to enjoy, to fly… That was the meaning of life for him. He never regretted the price he had to pay for being an outcast, because the rewards were galvanising.
He managed to elevate his level of consciousness during his lifetime to a higher level of understanding and finding a more inspiring meaning of life wallowing in its splendour, unlike other gulls whose sole purpose of life was fighting for food.
Eventually, Jonathan Livingston transcends into a different realm meeting other birds just like him: gulls who have mastered the art of flying and obtained freedom. However, they had to go through many lifetimes in order to gain that higher level of self-consciousness and become free. So, they look at Jonathan as a one in a million example, who dared to be, do and become more breaking the chains of limitations of the flock.
Now, does it have to be a “one in a million example” to break free from the constrains of a tedious, dull, and meaningless life? Or do we all have the chance for a better, more conscious, more aware, and with more freedom life? I choose to believe we all have this possibility, and I must say, this belief helps me to live my life with more meaning.
Jonathan then decides to go back to earth and become the teacher to those hungry and searching birds, whose inner spirit is seeking a higher expression and is longing for freedom. He helps them to be different, unique and remarkable.
There comes a time, when you’ve mastered something, you have to give back by helping others go through their journey of transformation and helping them to ascend to higher levels of consciousness.
Jonathan Livingston’s highly inspirational story is almost like a guide for a high-soaring life, self-help manual for personal growth, and an inspiration to gain freedom to live life at a full span.
Think about your life and how having more freedom would enhance it?
Would you love to be able to make better life style choices: better restaurants, better cars, more vacations in beautiful destinations in the world, better quality of family time, or more shopping?
Would you love to be able to do what you love and getting paid for it? Would you love financial freedom?
Would you love to have freedom to do the work that fulfils your soul and adds value to others?
Would you love your life to have more meaning?
If the answer is yes, then you need to go through the journey of transformation and personal growth.
You need to have courage to pursue your dreams.
You need to have determination and keep practising until you master something. And then when you think you have mastered something, keep growing.
You need to have resilience to help you overcome the frustration of faltering, stalling and tumbling.
You need to set an intention to develop your gifts and talents (which each and everyone of us has in abundance) to become the best version of yourself.
You need to believe in yourself so you could take risks and act in spite of fears.
You need to be willing to expand your self-awareness and learn how you could be, do, and have more.
You need to be curious and ask more self-searching questions.
You need to expand your mind, your thinking and your potential.
You need to be able to challenge your negative inner voice, which whispers to you, you cannot do it. You wouldn’t be able to come up with an idea if you were not fully equipped to bring it to life.
You need to be able to mute the annoying voice of naysayers.
You need to be able to say “no” to things that don’t serve you in order to clear room for saying “yes” to the things that do serve you.
It seems like a lot, but trust me, this journey of transformation is highly rewarding. There is nothing more exciting than learning and discovering yourself and expanding your self-awareness.
The key to a great life is inside you. All the answers and solutions are within you. And it all begins you with your ability to give yourself a permission to be free.