Everyone wants to be free but only a few people ask, “What is free will?”
Sadly, this question often sparks a pointless debate about terms, what is the free will definition?
Or more specifically, the free will versus determinism debate…
To much chagrin, I’ve concluded that these debates will never be solved …
People simply can argue definitions for eternity!
So today we talk about three techniques you can use today to become more free!
I bring up some doubts about actually being free, like dealing with the responsibility of choice …
Paul and I sit down and explore the different ways you can see yourself and change your perspective.
One of these techniques involves imagining yourself as a big redwood tree, so go ahead and listen!
The full video transcript, lightly edited, is below …
The picture in this post contains a quote I found on GoodReads Quotes. If you want to browse more freedom quotes go use that link!
If you’d like to check out our previous podcast or video episode, use this link here! You can also search on major podcasting providers “Hack Your Emotional Intelligence” and you’ll see us up there!
Paul – We’re going to talk about freedom and the independence. It kind of a dialogue between Jared and I said, “Jared, what’s freedom mean to you buddy?”
Jared – Well, I know freedom is this like good sounding word, but when I first heard you say freedom, I thought, wow, with great freedom comes great responsibility and a lot of choice. The weight of the decision. So I actually kind of what came up for me was holding my breath. Kind of, oh my God, I’m free now. What?!
Paul – Yeah. I think it’s very useful for us to come to terms that we do have freewill and we do have choice. We could talk philosophically if we have free will or if everything is determined, but that debate doesn’t lead anywhere productive. So let’s assume we have freewill, then the question is how much freewill do we have?
Paul – You know, when we started out as little tiny infants we are not very free at all and we’re certainly not independent at all. You know, we as a human species, it’s tough to think about kids surviving on their own until they get like a 10, 12 years old. I can’t imagine dropping the toddler off in the forest and expecting them to survive very long at all, you know, until they get a little strength behind them and a little bit of cleverness and you know, we’re very dependent upon our families, upon our parents for giving us food and shelter, for teaching us the skills that we need to survive.”
Paul – So over time we’ve all been on this journey of the journey from total dependence into hopefully a journey into total independence of other people and having the freedom to make a lot of choices in our life.
Paul – So I focus a lot on the independence. I think it is a great, great personal mindset to believe that I am free to make choices on my own and believe to believe that I am free to make changes in my life and my perspective to change one belief for a better belief. For example, one the things that I focus on a lot is, is independence. Independence on two different levels.
Paul – One of them is independence. In terms of being independent from other people, we start out being totally dependent on other people and gradually over time we claim more and more and more independence and I think the ideal way to live life is that we’re carrying around our own sunshine with us.
Paul – You know, that we have a portal into our souls, open to love and light and power and joy and all kinds of wisdom that can come through us. And that portal is always open. That we are independent of the energy that we see, that other people have. If it’s toxic energy, if it’s harmful energy in some way, somebody is putting us down, telling us we ought to be serious, telling us we ought to be angry, telling us we ought to be sad. We ought to be frightened that we can live our life. Totally independent of those outside influences. You know, a lot of gurus and masters, you know, we’ll say that we want to develop ourselves to where we’re independent of our bodies. That cold and hunger and thirst become things that are just, you know, mildly interesting. But really our disposition, our state of mind and our mindset is totally independent of anybody else. And anything else.
But truthfully, well, I find that kind of hard to do!
Paul – And as I get stronger, as this journey continues, I become more and more and more independent, but I still am very susceptible to the toxic energy, the emotional influence of other people when I’m around somebody who’s angry, you know, I get this little buzz when I’m around somebody who was upset. I have a tendency to get angry. But over time, you know, I’ve become largely independent of outside situations and other people. So how about you, Jared? Do you find yourself independent of what’s going on? Do you find yourself always in this incredible state of love and light and joy? No matter who the heck is going on?
Jared – I don’t know. There is some mixture of freedom in there. There’s some dependence as well. I wish wasn’t there, but if I’m being honest that I have, that is, there is probably a lot less independence than I’d like to admit. But yeah, no, for sure there’s a lot of dependence in me. I’m actually not sure like how much freedom I do have, which is kind of interesting.
Paul – That is interesting. So here’s a very young man, especially compared to me, but you know, over a period of time what we see as our baseline anxiety lessens our personal power grows and our ability to withstand the onslaught of circumstances, you know, the slings and Arrows of outrageous fortune, you know, becomes better and better and better. We become stronger and stronger and more independent.
Paul I want to give the people who are listening here, three different techniques that they may be able to use to really kind of increase their own sense of personal independence, ways of dealing with crap that comes your way. You know, somebody that says something that is hurtful. Somebody who, who for whatever reason, once you to feel bad, you know, once you to be angry, once you to be frightened, once you to feel worthless in some way. These are three ways that can help you with those situations. The first one is putting up a barrier or putting up a shield.
Paul – Some people, it’s like I imagined myself to be inside this bubble, this huge plexiglass bubble that is bulletproof and impervious and no matter what you’re feeling or thinking, that does not get inside my personal space because I have put up my shield and it’s just going to bounce off completely and it’s not going to bother me. A twit. I’ll just be inside my little cocoon here inside the my force field, inside my bubble, and whatever you do is your business. I’ll observe it and watch it and respond to it, but I’m not going to feel frightened by it at all because I am shielded and you can. There’s a lot of different ways to envision that, but with practice you can put up your shields very quickly. You can just kind of go like this, put up. You’ll do whatever you can to put up your shields and step back and realize that you have the power to step back away from that negative influence. That technique number one.
Paul – Technique number two says that that’s coming into me, but it’s bouncing off to me. You know, whatever it is, there’s an old phrase, I can’t remember it… Whatever you do to me, bounce bounces off of me and it goes back to you. I think there’s rhyme on that, but I can’t remember.
Jared – Hey I know that quote! Sticks and stones may break my bones but words only bounce off me and stick to you.
Paul – Yeah. Yeah. That one, that one. So let’s talk about ‘bouncing’. There is an emotional response, you know, you pushed on me a little bit… It was like it poked me in the chest or you punched me in the shoulder or something like that. Hey, I felt it, but hey, it just bounced off me, you know, there was no permanent damage there at all. It bounces off of me and it goes back and Yep, I feel them, but you know, sticks and stones will break my bones.
Paul – But words will never hurt me. But I do feel, there’s an acknowledgement of that, hey, I felt that, hey, that kind of bugs me but, but hey, it’s bouncing right off of me, my emotional body here is very, very elastic and it’s just going to bounce off and not hurting me. So that can be a useful way of dealing with that toxic energy that comes our way to. And maybe a little more realistic for some people or some people who say it’s not realistic for me to think I got a shield up or a forcefield because man, I felt bad.
Paul – Now, the third way. And which is one way. That’s my favorite one is imagine that I am any theory will being more. My favorite is I am a huge redwood tree, 200 feet tall.
Paul – I have roots that go down dozens of feet and I’ve been here for 2000 years and nothing you can say or do is going to blow me over. That’s powerful. I feel your energy coming to me. Like the wind is rustling the leaves on my tree. And every once in a while you know, a branch breaks off or a leaf breaks off, but there is nothing you can do or say that’s going to uproot me, that’s going to take me away from this foundation that I have in my own self worth and this foundation that I have this root system that is tied to this earth. So what you will feel it, you might cause me just a little bit of damage. But you know, I am this huge, huge, monstrous tree with a trunk that’s 14 feet or 15 feet or 30 feet in diameter.
Paul And there’s nothing that you say or do that’s really going to disturb my foundation. So that I think are three different techniques that I invite people to try on for size to try it on for size and see whether or not, hey, I’m walking into a situation to where I’m just going to put up my shields and let everything totally bounce off the shield and I’m never even going to feel it. Or I’m going to walk into a situation and. Or I just experienced something by surprise. And it’s bouncing off me or wow, I felt that come at me, but you know, that rustled my leaves a little bit, but I’m focusing on my foundation and my foundation is incredibly strong. The foundation of this sense of self worth and this sense of self confidence and the certainty about the power that I have to survive and thrive and bring value to other people.
Paul – What do you think about that? What do you think about those three techniques there?
Jared – You know, I was actually imagining negative self talk. There’s not a lot of like negative self talk in my head sometimes about like failure, thoughts of failure, things like that. These thoughts of failure are like a little, a little mosquito contrasted to a redwood tree and that’s useful. I think the hard part is like, oh, so now I have to like think about being a redwood tree after I imagined myself. It’s like, Dang, I wish I didn’t have to think about being a redwood tree.
Jared – I wish I just did not have these thoughts bother me and things like that. But that’s the lazy side of me thinking, I don’t want to do any work at all, but that’s the ideal, right?
Paul – We want to get to the point to where, sort of, yes. There are no mosquitoes that we never see. Anything that we used to think was a mosquito is a mosquito. I oftentimes say that it is the fear that we experienced that causes us to have that kind of negative reaction that causes us to feel a little shadow energy.
Paul – If a little one and a half year old or two year old toddler came up and said, you’re a bad man, you know, how would that bother you? Would you feel like you were threatened in some way? Or it’s like now there’s just a little kid. I mean, it’s like kind of a joke. What are you kidding? I admire your spunk little kid, but you know, but uh, you know, you can’t hurt me. When we imagine ourselves to be a 200 foot tall redwood tree with a 15 foot diameter trunk then everybody becomes that little two year old toddler that really can’t bother us and they might do a little bit of something. By the way, I really liked what you said about sometimes that toxic energy doesn’t come from the outside.
Paul – Sometimes it comes from the inside. Sometimes it comes from a train of thought that we went down or oh, it, here’s a moment of fear and discouragement and doubt. And here’s a moment of shame, embarrassment, and guilt. You know, there are some other things that I’m feeling that don’t seem to be triggered by outside influences, but just rather a place that I went and your thoughts that I was thinking for a few minutes. So we treat those the same way. We treat those as I am myself at my core. I’m independent of the thoughts. There’s really at least two me’s. You know, there’s the physical self, there’s the emotional self, there’s a mental self, and there’s the spiritual self and this spiritual self that’s the redwood tree. That’s the part that’s totally independent of and totally kind of impervious of anything that happens in my mind, in the outside world, in my emotional body.
Paul – That’s where my awareness lies. That’s where my strength lies. So you know that those thoughts, those emotions, they’re not really who you are at your essence, who you are to your essence is this spiritual self, this incredibly powerful open to love and light and guidance and strength, spiritual self that is independent of these, of the fearful self of the emotional self, of the physical self.
Jared – You know sometimes I think I’ve heard that stuff lot and I believe it. But then sometimes I’m like, it sounds. What’s it called like? Like it sounds like kind of like an old worn shoe. Like Oh, this shoe was like so cool in the beginning and then I hear all these teachings and I’m like, okay, yes, yes. And then as I get into a kind of used to these teachings, I think … well I’ve heard that a thousand times before.
Jared – But like here I am still basically the same, a little better. We talked about this in previous episodes, but that’s my experience of life.
Paul – You know you have these ups and downs and your progression towards conscious awakened being is like filling up a swimming pool with an eyedropper. Every time you choose to shift your energy, you add a little bit to the well, you know, to the, to the swimming pool, to where it’d be gradually over time it begins to be filled up and your average vibration raises significantly over a period of time. I’ve seen you do that over the last year. I know personally mine’s done it a lot over the last 10 years. Even over the last year. I’m a better, stronger, wiser, kinder, happier person today than I was a year ago, and I, when I look forward into the future, I know the same will be true for the future, Paul, but the future self that I will be stronger, happier, wiser, kinder, more loving, more peaceful person a year from now than I am today.
Paul You know, that’s the journey of awakening. That’s the journey of growing and personal consciousness. There’s another aspect to the independence that I want to cover here as we, and that is making sure we understand that one moment is independent of the other, the moments that I might’ve felt bad a few moments ago, I might be feeling bad right now, but that moment, this moment is independent of future moments that I can step back away from that experience that I just had and experience life in a much different way. You know, within the next few seconds, within the next few minutes or seconds, we can always shift our vibration. Sometimes it takes us just a few seconds. Sometimes it takes a few minutes. You know, sometimes if we’re really caught up in the grips of some nasty thoughts, it might take us an hour or two, but we will always return to a more blessed and state, you know, and I really love that independence of the moment when I found that, when I find that I’ve been triggered, when I have that little buzz about, oh man, I can’t believe that person.
Paul – Oh, that pissed me off. That guy cut me off. You know, I can’t believe this, this, uh, news, you know, this channel that I’m watching in this guy and what they’re saying, whatever bugs me, bothers me, triggers my fear in some way. You know, I pretty much immediately these days, remember that, wait a minute, well, I felt that, but five seconds from now is independent from five seconds ago and I can make this moment independent of all the other moments in my life. Do you see those two different ways of being? One way is we’re independent of the stuff that’s happening externally and internally and other way we are independent and free to live life the way that we want to in this next moment is more time oriented. The other one is internal and external goal. So I’m a big fan of freedom and independence, especially that independence that we all have to make great choices, you know, to transform ourselves to form new habits, to change our limiting beliefs, to let go of our fears and our desires and our attachments and our addictions, you know, and transform ourselves to be a person of greater love and light, to enjoy life with greater health and greater happiness.
Paul There’s personal reminder, just it’s always good to be reminded of our inner power potential. Yeah. Yeah. Every day, every day, do something, meditate, pray, eat. Well, you know, do, do something empowering. I have know simple things like we get up in the morning and we make our bed and it gives us a sense of personal power and accomplishment from the very beginning. You know, we get up in the morning, we do a little chore, we do the dishes or carry out the trash. We tidy up, we make the bed, you know, it gives us a subconscious, subconscious feeling and mindset of personal empowerment from the very beginning. And let that carry on throughout the day with the choices that we make and being independent of others and you know, choosing to focus on what we want to focus on and understanding that we are people in this evolutionary journey and that we are making progress on that journey and that we have a lot to offer other people regardless of where we are in our journey of it.
Paul – Any other thoughts on personal freedom and independence?
Jared – I think I’m good. I’m curious about how you celebrated July fourth.
Paul – Oh, me personally, you know, I cooked out, I fired up the grill. We made a few hamburgers and brought lots, some potato salad, you know, had a really good dinner, bought some ice cream, you know, and I find that when you eat a couple of. And with Sauerkraut and baked beans and corn and potato chips and ice cream in a couple of pounds, I was wondering about that piece of pizza and you go one pound. I know, I know. I found for a piece of pizza and one pounds per brought. So that’s just the way it is. But I do enjoy my Broughton sauerkrauts, you know, a couple of times a year, maybe two or three times a year, that’s for sure. So for those of you who are listening to this little zoom cast, as I like to call them, a thanks for listening in.
Paul – Thanks for watching the recording. We really do appreciate it. Jared and I have this little company called Pro Star performance. We provide emotional intelligence training company culture development, Business Ethics Training, personal coaching and business coaching to people you know, nationwide face to face here in the bay area of California. And otherwise, you know on video calls, we’d love to work with you to help you step into greater personal freedom and greater independence to help you become the person that you want to be using the tools and techniques that we’ve developed over time. So give us a call, come see us. We’d love to help you. We believe in you. We believe in the greatness and the awesomeness of every person out there, and we believe that sometimes it takes a little helping hand to remind us and help us discover that person. Thanks. We appreciate it. I’m going to stop. CSA. We done. Yeah, we’re done.