A few years back, I hated the word “commitment.” It felt heavy and ugly. In fact, to me, it seemed like a dirtier word than many that start with an “F.” These days, I see the same tendency in many of my life coach clients, and my most spiritually-inclined friends. So I think it’s time to give commitment a little positive PR in the hopes of making it more attractive and user-friendly.
First of all, many people talk about commitment as if it is one thing, but commitment is many things, depending on what you’re committing to. For instance, if I commit to doing yoga every day, that’s (generally) a good commitment. But if, on the other hand, I commit to eating three hot fudge sundaes every day, that’s (generally) not a good commitment. The former will probably lead to more freedom of body and spirit, and the latter will probably cause a lot of weight gain and a sundry of ailments from diabetes to clogged arteries.
Since commitment-phobes tend to think of all commitment as bad, for this discussion, I’m going to separate the “good” from the “bad” and only talk about commitment to something that is good for your mind, body and/or soul. These kinds of commitments lead to true freedom.
What is true freedom?
It’s not always easy to define, but I can definitely tell you what it is not.
True freedom is not the process of running away from anything. Many people spend their lives avoiding commitment and responsibility in the name of what they call “freedom.” But it’s not freedom they’re tapping into, as much as a fear of whatever it is they are willing to commit to. Anytime you are running away from something, that running is based at least partially in fear.
True freedom – both inside and out – is based on a solid foundation. From that strong place, you can move anywhere; not as a reaction, but as a pro-active choice.
I totally understand why many people feel that making commitments – even good ones — limits their freedom, because it can, and sometimes does. But what’s more important and what most people don’t understand is that commitment can actually lead to freedom. That’s right. The most authentic kind of freedom comes from commitment. It is birthed out of commitment.
The best way I can describe this is with a visual analogy. Think of a big, strong, resplendent tree. It has a lot of freedom at the top where it’s branches blow and move in the breeze. But that freedom and those dancing branches grew out of the tree’s roots, burrowed deep in the earth, fully committed.
The trees roots are actually the source of the freedom. In fact, the more roots and grounding a tree has, the taller — and more free — it can be.
In the best case scenario, I believe that this is the way we humans can use commitment – to find our most authentic and widest reach. And I don’t know if there is any freedom that is more expansive than our ability to be our full, magnificent selves.
When it comes to our energy systems, we humans are actually a lot like trees. We need roots and grounding. Without them, we feel lost, alone and/or lacking purpose. With them, we can spread our wings – that is, develop our authentic freedom — and still know we have a safe place to land.
Both commitment and freedom are important. They actually represent the full expanse of our chakras. Commitment is based in our (lowest) root chakra and freedom is based in our (highest) crown chakra. When we experience both, and stop seeing them as a trade off for one another, then we get to live in our full energetic field and personal power.
If you’re a recovering commitment-phobe, do a little exercise this week. Make a few little commitments and keep them. Making and keeping some small, positive commitments, will give you a sense of accomplishment and self-mastery that will make you more and more enthusiastic about committing to commitment. That’s how I grew into a commitment-lover and a first chakra gal.
Well, that, and getting a real first chakra tattoo.
If you know my personal story, then you know that I actually grew my commitment enough to get a permanent first chakra tattoo on my tailbone area. So much freedom and authenticity have grown out of me making that one big commitment. But getting a real tattoo is a really, really big (hard to reverse) commitment, so if you want to experience wearing a root chakra tattoo, perhaps you should start with my temporary Root Chakra Booster Healing Tattoo™. Ironically, although it’s temporary, it will boost your ability to commit to other things in your life.
Keep your mind open, your heart full, and your feet firmly on the ground!
Lots of love and oodles of well wishes,