"Freedom is a condition of your heart. You can be captive amidst great wealth and free behind bars. Do your fears, insecurities, beliefs and programs still control the way you choose to spend your days? The true freedom in life is feeling free to think, act and speak according to the dictates of your heart. So liberate your spirit from self-censure, self-judgment and anything other than appreciation of self. Take a few minutes to appreciate the beautiful and courageous soul that you truly are. ... And then if you want to liberate your soul even further ... take a few minutes to think of someone you'd rather not and find a way to appreciate them. This freedom to find loving allowance for all is truly the greatest liberty of all." — Ann Albers

We need more risk takers and eccentrics in this world. From Picasso to Mother Theresa, society thrives because of people who will stand out, or stand alone if necessary, for their dreams and their visions.

"Our concern must be to live while we're alive ... to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are." — Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Our thoughts keep racing around in the future ... where we spend too much time creating confusing games with countless options, decisions, and what if’s. Worry is unproductive, unnecessary and totally useless. Statistically, most things that we worry about do not EVER happen, so worry is a needless waste of our creative energy.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength." — Corrie Ten Boom FREEDOM FROM CONFUSION People who live with integrity, who focus on their values and on developing their personal character, are rarely confused. They avoid intellectual clutter, know who they are, what they stand for, and have clarity about where they are going in life. "Because clarity and enlightenment are within your own nature, they are regained without moving an inch." — Lao Tzu

This vital element of character revolves around integrity, genuineness and sincerity. Webster defines it as "being credible" and "worthy of trust." To improve our personal, local and global relationships we must fully embrace our AUTHENTIC SELVES ... and release all need for pretense.

"A bizarre sensation pervades a relationship of pretense. No truth seems true. A simple morning's greeting and response appear loaded with innuendo and fraught with implications. Each nicety becomes more sterile and each withdrawal more permanent." — Maya Angelou

We exist in a world that asks us to live complicated, stressful and complex lives ... and if we are not careful, we can lose ourselves, our values and our joy by falling prey to the ever-increasing demands on our time. SIMPLICITY requires us to slow down to consider how our lives reflect who we are and, most important, what we value.

"Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves." — Edwin Way Teale

It's vital to remember that freedom from fear can exist only in the PRESENT tense. To overcome fear’s seduction, we must stop being trapped between the past and future and move to where freedom lives: squarely in the "Now." For only here are we free to want what we have, do what we can and be who we are ... so that our life can have meaning in the world.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." — Ambrose Redmoon

Other folks can have any opinion, make any remark, or be as "critical" as they wish. That's their right. But, we also have the right to IGNORE them! Declare independence from those who regularly criticize, but fail to offer constructive assistance.

"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain ... and most fools do." — Dale Carnegie

To experience the freedom that comes from the warmth and companionship of sharing our innermost thoughts and feelings with another human being, we must step out of isolation and allow others to get close.

"Today, I will get to know the real me by first taking a personal inventory, then I will practice being completely honest with another person." "Despair and isolation are my greatest internal enemies; I need to remember I am not alone, even when it feels that way." — Audre Lorde

To some degree we are all compulsive — over-working, over-spending, over-worrying and over-consuming in a variety of forms. We have believed that the only solution is CONTROL, but in trying to control our compulsions, they inevitably control us. SLOWING DOWN creates a space and freedom from driven-ness, giving us increased sensitivity and time for more positive thought and action.

"A person is rich in proportion to the things he or she can afford to let alone." — Henry David Thoreau

Declare YOUR independence from old patterns, habits, 'shoulds' AND relationships or addictions that have limited you. Determine to live your life to the fullest — to explore your potential and live according to your own conscience and highest aspirations. Want what you have — Do what you can — Be who you are!

BY CHELLE THOMPSON: Created from My Own Personal Life Experiences and Philosophy, along with Quotes and Bits on the Internet

Author's Bio: 

Chelle Thompson, Editor-Publisher of Inspiration Line, has an extensive background in recovery programs, motivational counseling, psychology, theology and human relations. In 1991, she left a successful advertising career in Southern California and followed her Inner Voice to New Mexico, where she knew no one. In Santa Fe, she established a nonprofit personal growth center called Lightship of Santa Fe which was dedicated to advancing human potential through self-empowerment. Currently, Chelle produces the InspirationLine.com meaningful life website and global weekly e-magazine which reaches more than 229 countries worldwide with 75,000 monthly readers.