“I want to help people get free” is the number one mission statement of starry-eyed life coaches everywhere.
And it constitutes an existential crisis for marketers, copywriters, and business coaches worldwide.
Ask any of these professional hustlers hired to package freedom and they’ll tell you that you can’t. No one wants that shit.
No one lies awake in bed at two in the morning, riding the fading buzz of three too many glasses of wine, fretting about if only I were more free….
Except that they do.
Proof positive? During a questionnaire experiment that I opened up recently on my website where I asked people what they were struggling with and how they most desired to feel in their lives, 100% of respondents listed “free.”
100%. All of them. Every last one.
We can conclude one thing: everyone wants freedom, but no one exactly knows what it looks like.
Will money set you free?
Will this designer handbag?
A different job? No job? Moving to the south of France to run a bed and breakfast?
Getting married? Getting divorced?
Will you be free when you write your new York Times best selling novel, or when you lose the thirty pounds?
When you appear on the cover of Vogue?
When you’ve saved a million dollars in your retirement fund? Two million? Seven?
This is why marketers don’t want to sell you freedom. They want to sell you a thing, and tell you that it will make you free.
Much easier to control your buying behavior that way, and to steer your impulses.
But since everyone wants freedom and nobody knows how to define it, it’s imperative that we explore it and discover its shape and texture for ourselves.
For me, freedom started within my own body. I was lucky — or maybe just stubborn and frustrated and angry and afraid — enough to stumble my way into a bodywork modality that allowed me to relax my jaw, to breathe a little easier, to get comfortable inside my own skin.
And, funny, when the constraints inside my body released, I didn’t have a lot of tolerance left for those inside my life.
I don’t think I ever would have left the corporate world if it hadn’t been for this experience.
Maybe I would have tried in fits and spurts to start my own business, to do my own thing. But I know for DAMN sure, I wouldn’t have stuck with it like I have, through the lows and then the lows that were even lower than those, and then the deepest darkest pits of despair and self doubt and fear and uncertainty.
It was the personal, physical experience, the actual felt sense of freedom inside my own body that fortified my capacity to push onward, to design my own guns and then stick to them with tenacity.
When times were tough and I wondered if I could ever actually have a realistic business on my own that would support my life, there were always the voices of reason whispering — or, more often, full on shouting — that I could get a “real” job.
(P.S. When can we stop referring to traditionally white collar corporate work as “real” jobs thereby inferring that all other manner of earning an income is, what, a “fake” job? Now, please? )
I don’t care how much positive thinking or how many mantras or how much number crunching happened around my circumstances. No amount of rah-rah personal development nor sheer practicality could do what an experience of freedom could: keep me relentless committed to my goals. No backsies.
This is why I created The Space Lab. Very nearly everything I come across spanning the realms of psychology, personal growth, health and fitness are prescriptive.
They tell you what to do.
Some of it is helpful. Much of it is confusing. All of it is a system, or systems within systems.
The Space Lab is not structured in such a way. The Space Lab is a video series that creates the framework for you to explore how you move within your own skin.
Not to tell you how you SHOULD move, but to ask questions of your biology:
Can you move like this?
If not, why not?
What would it be like if you could?
How does it feel when your neck moves freely, when your breath flows into your lungs like water filling a glass, when the constrictions fade away?
What do you have to let go of to be in this state, and is it worth it?
How do you move in your body, and how do you want to move?
Because how you move your body is how you move through life. I’m not talking literal translation here. I’m talking about the quality of your movement, which is something rarely, or never, talked about in classes on stretching or fitness.
I’m talking about the pliability of your tissue, the level of relaxation in your spine (yes, your poor spine, so burdened by the mental construct of being a “column” when its true function is more like that of a spring or a slinky).
Do you walk lightly across a room, full of softness and wonder? Or are your steps heavy and stiff, weighed down by obligation?
It has been my experience that changing how you move your body has profound implications on stripping away the layers of shoulds, the commitments that don’t serve, the social contracts that burden.
It reveals the truth of you in glaring, fluorescent light — undeniable and raw.
It’ll give you more direction in life than a thousand Google searches for advice on following your passion ever could.
It’s not for the faint of soul.
But if it’s for you, if you’ve tried all the other ways, if you still find yourself flailing your fists against the walls of a too-small life…
I offer up The Space Lab as a guidebook upon your journey.