Fri, 24 February 2017
For the longest time I’ve been obsessed with freedom. Freedom is my main mission in life, or has been for the greater part of the 7 years.
But recently, I have been realizing that my hunt for understanding, defining and having freedom may be completely off track.
And that is a huge revelation to have when you have named your new podcast Quest for Freedom, and you think you have all the freedom in the world right?
Several weeks ago I saw my friend Conni Biesalski post an update on Facebook about attending Tony Robbin's Date with Destiny.
Conni is the Founder of Planetbackpack, has written a book, is a bit of a YouTube star and believes in…
So on her Facebook update she wrote:
Life will never be the same again. 6 days with Tony Robbins in Florida and I feel like the greatest transformation of my life just happened. So powerful, so deep, so incredibly healing. I have finally let go of my story and am starting a new one. Amazing miracles happened in these days, things I never thought possible. Everything feels wide open, just like in this photo that I took on the beach on the last morning. Infinite gratitude and love in my heart. This is Life 2.0.
Now incidentally, at the start of this year I decided to invest in myself for the first time in a loooongg time and take up a Mastery Program through the Tony Robbins Institute.
I am heading to Unleash the Power event in London at the end of April. If you want to join me there are still tickets. Head to nataliesisson.com/tony and grab one.
If you don’t know who he is, in a nutshell he is the Worlds No #1 Personal Development Master who has worked with presidents, Oprah Winfrey. His documentary: I am not your Guru, is a great insight into how he works.
I first read his book Awaken the Giant Within back in 2004 when I was training for body-sculpting competition, and that year, in big part thanks to reading his books and listening to his audio series, I had one of the most amazing years of my life.
I felt like I could achieve anything I put my mind to. And that year in particular I did - I won the Regional North Island Body Sculpting Championships, I got a kick ass job, and I completed my Certificate in Fitness Management Diploma extramurally through Otago University.
I was unstoppable, and aside from neglecting my personal relationship with my then boyfriend...ooops, everything else in life was going amazing.
So back to my Facebook chat with Conni mid December, which went like this:
Natalie Sisson Well that answers my question to what did you get out of it. Sending a big virtual hug of Freedom your way to go with your transformation
Conni Biesalski You know what’s funny.. freedom was always so high on my values list.. in the process of Date with Destiny I kicked freedom off my list. After having questioned it and looked at what it costs me, I realised this intense strive for it has out-served me. I now feel freer than ever not having freedom as my main driver anymore. Crazy!!
And so we did. And here it is.
Yup, it was this epiphany during “Date with Destiny” with Tony Robbins in December and he was talking about freedom and how he one day started to question his quest for freedom that he was following his whole life and he was telling this long story.
In the end it was…..he said that once he questioned his search for freedom, it was that he realized that he can stop looking for freedom and feel a lot freer.
I thought about this for days and weeks after that and then eventually it hit me.
I was like, WOW. I have been looking for freedom, I've been searching for freedom my entire life. It's been my main mission with whatever I do, wherever I go.
It is always like how much freedom will this give me? How much freedom will I have? It dictated the way I do business. It dictated my travels. It dictated my personal life and my relationships.
It was always about freedom, freedom, freedom.
And then I realized actually by constantly being on this path to freedom, it’s like judging everything by how much freedom it would give me and them I’m actually free.
I kind of trapped myself into thinking that by constantly striving for freedom, that that would make me free and so then I had this epiphany and I realized, Wow I can let it go.
Now when Connie said this I was nodding my head in fervent agreement. I realized I’d come to exactly the same conclusion. If I am constantly pursuing freedom, in some ways I am a slave to it….how is that for a mindbending thought?
What she said next though blew me away.
I can actually, because with Date with Destiny, what you do is you come up with a list of values in your life that are really important to you and then you kind of revise them and go through the whole six day process so then at the end you come up with a new list of values.
And it's kind of like a new blueprint. You can upgrade your entire inner system.
Freedom was obviously number one, next to love, and all these things on my first value list. And then at the end, freedom was not on my list anymore!
It wasn't needed anymore, and that was for me so huge because I could kind of let that go and realize I am so free, like the life that I have it's already so free.
Like I can do whatever I want, I’ve achieved so many things and so on the outside, I’ve completely achieved freedom.
And then obviously there’s this other level of freedom and that was another tough process and integration process and it was the comparison between outer freedom and inner freedom.
And so I realized, Wow, I have got all this outer freedom, there's no need to keep on striving for that, no one can take that away from me.
But how free am I on the inside?
And this is a great question. In fact this is at the core of The Quest for Freedom Podcast, and Season 1 as I come to grips with what IS personal freedom really?
Let me know what you think about this. What your version of freedom is? Whether you think real freedom is all about inner freedom.
What Connie goes on to say next may resonate with you too. Especially if you’ve ever been in a place like her. I know I have and I speak to that too.
So this has become my message with what I do really, what is the essence of freedom and how can we go beyond the outer freedom of lifestyle design, doing what we want, and having passive income?
And then going to the next level of, 'Okay, maybe I have a lot of shadow work to do to kind of free myself.'
And then to actually be able to enjoy the outer freedom in the first place because I realized after like a year ago, even I was at a very depressed place in my life.
I was doing really bad, like emotionally in all levels. It was one of those times where you kind of question everything. And you don't see a purpose for yourself in life, like I didn't have a mission anymore and everything was going well on the outside but on the inside I was super unhappy.
I was depressed. I couldn't appreciate anything I had.
I was sitting in Bali in this amazing villa with pool and you know, life could not have been better on the outside but on the inside it was a trainwreck. So yes that was the next level and then for me to now realize -Okay, wow!; So there is this whole freedom thing, it's way more than we might initially think it is.
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So what Conni said next I could absolutely resonate with as it is something I've been recognizing in myself.
In all these years of traveling the world and wanting to be free, I’ve shied away from locking in full on plans, or committing too far out, or saying I'll definitely turn up to a place, or even to interviews and appointments.
Now, if there’s one person who knows me well, I would like to think it is myself, and that behaviour, that's just not really me.
Don't get me wrong I fully commit to the projects I take on and and my peeps - for example the Write the Damn Book Freedom Lab I'm running, I turn up to every single live session we do multiple times a week to write our damn books and deliver on my promise of the expert interviews and lessons.
But anything that is not driven or led by me I've been shying away from over the years.
In part I know that's because I've had to take a step back and reserve my time and energy to make sure I can give it to the right people - my family, friends and community.
But some of this lack of desire to commit has definitely affected how I live, and my approach to relationships. Here is what Conni had to say:
Yeah, it's funny so I can commit to things now a lot more. I feel like I can make plans better. I don’t feel pressured, because usually before I would really shy away from making plans, people putting me down in a certain date to do something even if it was only a few weeks away and that was a real issue.
And I realized that if I don't commit to things in life, then how can I attract people like that..
Because that's been my issue. I would attract people that also can't commit and that would make my life very difficult in relationships, in friendships and you know, all these areas.
And so I realized if I can't commit how am I ever going to attract more reliable people into my life. So anyway, I just realized that I can actually, I can commit to plans and I feel comfortable doing so.
It’s kind of nice. It also like, right now, I am in a place for three months and I feel awesome. I really don’t feel like moving around much right now.
I have a daily routine. I have a wonderful life in California. I am just really enjoying being creative and being in one place.
I don't have this urge to keep moving and keep moving, I feel like I'm such a inner peaceful place with myself at the moment that there's no need to change that or to distract myself or to kind of not feel something.
Because a lot of times I would travel or I would do all these crazy things because I would then want to feel something and so I went out and I don’t know, bought the next plane ticket or I went out, whatever you do, or you look for love maybe in the wrong places and so because you know, there is something we don’t want to feel.
So I am in a point where I really have much better access to my own feelings, into what is going on inside of me.
I have a very regular meditation practice now, way more now especially since Tony Robbins just because I realized how important it is to check in with my feelings everyday and to gauge where I am at.
PS I covered off on meditation and even included a mini one in this Season's second episode called Mind Your Mindfulness.
Back to Conni:
I was doing surfing all day, going to yoga and reading, and hanging out with people and literally just like doing the 4 hour thing and barely sitting at my laptop, barely doing anything, not being creative, not creating anything really.
It was all, business was automated and so after awhile I just realized and I was getting depressed and I also realized eventually,
It was like this spiral downwards and I realized just how important it is to really have something in life where you feel like you are contributing and changing the world, I think that's kind of what I need maybe.
And so now everyday I wake up in the morning, I can't wait to get out of bed and start creating or learn stuff. There's so much enthusiasm and ambition there and mostly because I found things and ways to contribute again and to help other people and inspire other people and that in its health is a well of fulfillment.
Thanks Conni, for providing such a beautiful segway into exactly how I've been feeling lately too.
And by lately, if I'm really honest about it, I mean for the last 18 months.
I was reading a blog post I'd written called;Why my 9 day digital sabbatical in Samoa transformed my life’. I did this trip with my Dad in October 2014 and it was magical.
Yet as I read back over this post, for research for my upcoming book, I took note that I talk about falling a little out of love with my business, and not feeling as if the work I'm doing is as meaningful as it could be.
I was frankly surprised I wrote this back then. And that I’ve been talking about it since then. And that in September 2016 I finally said “That’s it. I'm going to take a break from my business. And that that is finally happening this April 2017.
I mean, that's a lot of talking about it and not doing right? Which is kind of my jam. I'm an action taker. Normally I just DO.
So clearly this has been a long-time coming decision to make and act upon.
And I guess giving up on everything you've worked so hard for, to take a short break, isn’t a decision to be taken so lightly.
But for the last two weeks my decision has been well and truly validated by two amazing events I attended.
New Frontiers and the Enspiral Summerfest where I met some of the smartest, most innovative, world changing changemakers from around the world.
My mind was expanded upon belief. My heart was filled with passion and joy for which of these areas I could throw myself into and how I could help to be part of the change and the solution.
Thu, 16 February 2017
So this April marks a pretty significant moment in my life.
I am turning 40 years young. For my birthday, I have decided to gift myself something special.
I want to be in the best shape of my life - physically and mentally. Where am I at on that?? Actually pretty close!
Which excites me. And it has all come about in the last month or so. I quit telling myself stories that were unhelpful and put myself into the direct spotlight to get serious about committing to this goal.
These were stories like:
Yeah those right there were all big fat lies, told to myself in an attempt to make me feel less guilty about the fact that I was not making any changes in my life.
I kept buying chorizo and cheese and cheap but delicious Portugese wine thinking that because I was going surfing several days a week that I was going to be just fine, it would not affect me.
And it’s not like I gained weight. I was getting fit. But my energy levels weren not great, I did not feel good about the food I was putting in my body. I was sluggish, less excited.
So let me ask you, what stories are you telling yourself about your health? Is it;
The purpose of this exercise is to become aware of the stories you have told yourself around
health. When we repeatedly think or say something, we start to hold this as part of our identity.
When willpower starts to fade, our habits start to reflect the identity and beliefs we have about ourselves.
Let’s be frank, the way you tend to do one thing, is the way you tend do everything.
Think about it.
The way you care for yourself will directly impact the way you present yourself as an entrepreneur.
Take a moment and think of three people you look up to in your field. Who you aspire to be like and who are successful in their businesses and their lives.
What do you think their mornings look like? What type of food do you think they choose to eat? How about exercise and mindfulness? Do you think that they have daily and/or weekly practice?
Your personal health and wellness is the health and wealth of your business as an entrepreneur. This is a mind-shift one needs to make to succeed.
Want freedom from the 9-5, want location independence? Well, you need to find freedom in your body and mind first and foremost.
What you eat impacts how you think and perform. How you move impacts your creativity and productivity. How you manage and harness your stress impacts how you communicate and present yourself.
You are your business and if you want your business to thrive, you need to thrive.
Ask yourself and get clear with what tools you use in your business to stay on track and motivated? Do you try to do it all alone? Are you a part of master-mind groups, have accountability partners and/or networking meetings?
The number 1 reason people fail as entrepreneurs (and with their own personal health) is trying to do it all on their own. We need accountability and support to succeed.
That is why I am so thankful I joined the 30 Day Clean Living Challenge in January.
I personally went through this program and had a true transformation with my health and well-being and watched it impact my work.
I shot a very excited Vlog about it.
Hey, it is Natalie Sisson and I am feeling fit. I knew that I would now.
I am feeling fit, I am feeling energetic, I am feeling freaking amazing if I am really honest about it.
Because for the last three and a half, almost four weeks I’ve been on a 30 Day Clean Living Challenge, which ultimately means I am eating foods in the most natural state possible, where possible organic foods.
I am cooking like a mofo and this girl, never really cooks. I am loving what I am eating. I am creative in my kitchen which is over there. I
In addition to that, I am making smart food choices, I am sleeping better and I’ve taken up crossfit as opposed to ultimate frisbee, and tennis and gym workouts and it’s kicking my butt. And I am loving it.
And the point of this blog today, is that I just really wanted to talk about why do we not invest in our health, the way we invest in our teams, in businesses, in travel, in holidays and everything else that we do, like why?
I just do not understand like this thing here, this body is the most important thing in the world that we have.
And so now when I see people drinking coffee, like crazy by the way, one cup a day is okay. Eating fries, jumping out on burgers, filling themselves with alcohol.
I mean do not worry, I have done all these before myself but always always in moderation. And going on in this clean living challenge I think was just the perfect kick up my booty, was the kick up the booty that I needed to finally focus on how awesome I could feel on everyday basis just by making better choices.
Now, let me take you back on a little story, so I think this has been coming for a long time for me because this year I am turning the right but young age of 40.
And my quest for turning 40 is to be in the best shape of my life at this upcoming age. And I feel like I am really really close to that and so I had that in the back of my mind for probably the last 6 or 8 months.
I mean don’t get me wrong, I play ultimate frisbee, I love going to the gym, I eat pretty well but you know when I was in Portugal there was chorizo, there was cheese coming out of everywhere which was amazing.
The wine is like 2 or 3 Euros for a fantastic bottle and I was just living life and enjoying. I was surfing, for sure. I was doing yoga, yes. I was working hard, yes.
But I wasn’t really looking after me. I was being very very overindulgent in many ways.
So I arrived at Christmas time and I was like, “You know you’ve got to make some pretty serious changes here”, because as an entrepreneur I don’t want to be tired part way through the day which I was starting to feel.
I don’t want to be, have that brain fog that we all talk about, I don’t want to turn to coffee to get my energy. I don’t want to do any of that.
And then this lady came into my life. How did I not ever know about Libby Weaver, Dr. Libby Weaver. This book Womens Wellness Wisdom changed my life, thanks to a lovely lady, Karen who was away on this holiday, where she said - Oh you should just read my copy. I just got stuck in and I loved it so much I went and bought my own copy.
I can’t remember the last time that I bought a book about health and fitness, and that I bought a book that was not telling me what to do. It’s informing me of what I am doing to myself.
So much so that I was reading stuff in here and going...Holy crap, why am I doing that to myself? News flash: I should not be.
I just want to give you this, oh my God, that is so freaky, I am not kidding. I just opened to the page that I want to come to, so it might be called Womens Wellness Wisdom but guys this one is for you as well. Okay so don't worry.
But in this book, she goes over all sorts of things, around your skin conditions that you may have, sleep, about alcohol, about what caffeine does but she does it in a way like, "Here's what is going on in your body when you do these things", so that you step back and go, "Man, why am I doing those things?"
So basically here's how it goes, you have coffee consumption in the morning, like one, two even three cups.
By the time it is afternoon, you have a sugar crash because you have been carbo-loading and eating rice, pasta or bread at lunch perhaps.
So you basically have more coffee again around that time, or you have more sugar like donuts, and all those things just give you a bit of a rush.
And then by the evening, you have too much alcohol so then you have a shitty sleep and then you wake up in the morning feeling like crap so you go back to, yes, more coffee.
Basically, when we do this, we are just adding tons of toxins into our liver. And our liver is an incredible organ but there's only so much it can do when you are throwing this crap at it.
So this is really interesting, liver loaders, that's what she calls them; alcohol, caffeine, trans fats, refined sugars, synthetic substances like pesticides which are all over our food and actually also infections, for example, viruses such as glandular fever.
I actually had glandular when I was a kid, well, a teenager. I caught it off my friend. She was just exhausted for three months and then I got it and wondered why I felt exhausted. I picked it up in my bloodstream later, just a shocker.
So imagine being on caffeine, withdraws something all the time, being that lethargic that's what glandular fever does to you. Not fun.
So anyway, I highly recommend this book. Here is where you can get it.
There's just so many, so many good things in here. So this started getting me informed in a big way about my body, my health, my mindset.
And what I love is in the first chapter she basically says this beautiful thing which is, "I am hopeful that this book will offer you simple tools that foster and even healthier and happier life, helping you to appreciate even more deeply how miraculous your body truly is and the gift that you are to the world." That just sets the tone for the rest of this book which is awesome.
So after reading that I then started in on the lovely Karen and Sarah's 30 day clean living challenge. Now Karen has been a member of my community, she has been a coaching client, she's come to my retreats but I've seen her on this path of growing more and more and more. She's just super passionate about real health and real energy.
And I ran this clean living challenge last year. They've run it several times and I didn't partake, like I sign up and I did nothing. There was a daily email coming in and I pretty much ignored all of them. Sorry Karen and Sarah!
I was too busy, I was working too hard, I was travelling to much and frankly I didn't even have access to a kitchen, I didn't have access to groceries, it was just not good timing. And that was legitimate, it wasn't an excuse. I feel that was legitimate.
This time, however, I was like, "Screw that, I am signing up". So I signed up and started night at the jam at the time of this recording, it is the second of February. So I am into week 4.
Every week you get this really cool meal plan, you get like an idea of what you can eat each day, you get recipes that are just freaking awesome. And I took myself off to Moore Wilson's which is a really great organic grocery store here.
It's not all organic but they've got incredible quality food and I got the shopping list and I was like, "Yup, thanks Karen and Sarah." And I took thirty minutes to buy a complete new pantry.
And I went to my pantry which is usually barren and to my fridge which is frankly usually barren because I am the digital nomad who travels and eats out and spends all her money on that. And I stocked it up, might even show you a bit of my pantry.
And everytime I open it now I am proud, I am like, "Ooh! What's in there?" and it's incredible and I started cooking. And I started reading the recipes, I started enjoying it and I started feeling it was quite cathartic experience and I started surprising myself quite frankly.
Because for those of you who know me well, you know I don't cook, I purposely side out of the kitchen from when I was a kid so that I wouldn't end up in the kitchen.
I don't know, it's a weird way of thinking but that is what I thought. I am actually quite a good cook, I just never really enjoyed it the way other things I do, there was work, there was business, there was frisbee, there was hanging out with friends.
And now, I get, I am no chef by the way but I get and understand why people actually love the act of it and putting love into your food and the taste, the sensation so that was Step 1: new pantry, new grocery list.
Step 2, become a cook. And some of these things are so super simple to do and cook and prepare and then you have it like two or three more meals out of it.
The third thing I notice was step 3 is heck, budget conscious. Like I've added up my because I am geeky like this. I've added up what I've spent on groceries and first shop was about a $150-$200 and I've added up what I've had on meals out since doing this challenge.
I've only eaten out about 6 or 7 times over the last three weeks and that combined has been more than triple what I've spent on groceries. So in the first week, I got 21 meals and I swear they cost me about $5 or $6 each and they were all super super healthy. And I just felt like I was filling myself with good stuff so that's been an enlightenment for me.
Then the next step to that was going, "Oh organic!" because back to Dr. Libby Weaver, she talks about if you can, always buy organic. And it's not just that the animals are being better bred, it's the soil.
There is so much shit that goes into the soil that we are then consuming. So every single thing comes down to the soil and once in it and how plants grow and how foods grow.
So I've been switching to organic and stuff has been tasting great. It's not that much more expensive, it's much better prepared, there is no chemicals. You feel ethically more responsible on the whole. It's just like this beautiful effect of everything feels better.
So then I found common sense organic, from my lovely friend Lizzy, who use to go to all the time like 8 years ago when she used to live in New Zealand and now I'm like waking up to it.
Then I had this epiphany and I shot a Facebook live video going, "What have I been doing all my life? Why haven't I had more organic things? Why haven't I actually been preparing beautiful, wholesome, healthy, yummy foods that give me energy and make me feel amazing.
Then the next thing that I noticed was, "Okay, fun going organic in food. I want to go organic in skincare". So I went out and I research and I bought the beautiful "Antipodes range". It's gorgeous. It's really lovely and that is awesome.
All organic, like Manuka honey, oh so good. Black fern bulgarian rose and Waiwerra artesian water, kiwifruit and Manuka honey, Vicenza Performance.
It's so yum and It smells freaking amazing and just today, my lovely mom came by and she said, "Your skin is looking great". I was like, "Yup". I actually feel like younger from the inside.
So that was step 4 or 5 I can't remember and then people on Facebook said are posting, skincare recipes make at home, you know, do it yourself which I've known about for a long time but I can't actually do because I am in one place for a month.
Even our local supermarket New World's gives out skincare recipes here - body scrubs for healthy skin.
So granted I will say doing any kind of challenge to get yourself back on track it is lovely to have a base and be able to have a kitchen and access to groceries and stores but I still feel you can do this pretty much from anywhere.
And then the next thing that’s come out of it is changing my exercise so about this time right across from where I'm shopping at Moore Wilson's there's this cool place called Urban Fitness.
Shout out to Mike. Mike, Michael and Dan actually. And it's this awesome kind of like, just hipster urban workout space, has a big roll the door and inside there's boxing bags and rowing machines and dumbells and kettle bells and bars and olympic rings.
I don't know why I am doing all this stuff. And there I was finding myself at 6am in the morning or 6:45 or at 12:10pm,doing these crazy cool workouts that fully functionally stretch my body so much.
I thought it was pretty strong and fit. I had abs here like I was sore in my intercostal muscles for weeks. Everything was sore, I was walking up the stairs going "Oh God! I feel..." but it only lasted for like 2 or 3 days and this is me in week 2 and a half.
I just want to kind of like bounce around all the time.
So I don't know what’s happened in the last three and a half weeks, I have literally transformed my world from the inside out and it all started with getting educated about why my body is amazing, why everything that I do and feed into here, feeds my mind, which then feeds into everything else.
So additional things that have come out of this, which I kind of thought might happen but not in so many ways, massive massive positivity shift.
I am a pretty positive person but now I am now in gratitude mode all the time. I am excited about things as a result of being in gratitude mode and being excited and being positive and being happy.
I've got this abundance coming into my business, I've got sponsors from my podcast, in addition to that I've been like killing it with Airbnb recently, meeting all these awesome lovely guests, making more money through real estate, transforming my finances, just getting a grip on everything.
So all I can say is if you start here, with this beautiful body that you live in, and you treat it like the queen or the kind that it is, then it starts here which shifts the mindset into gratitude, into abundance, into positivity, stuff starts coming out of the woodworks to make your life awesome and things just get better and better.
So that is all I want to say to you, invest in yourself. I now fully understand what that means. And this is just being this whole set of transformation and I am still learning, I am learning so much and I love it.
I would love you to leave a comment below and tell me what you want to do to invest in yourself.
How good you will feel.
How amazing you would feel when you finally start treating your body with respect and having that evolved and spill over into every aspect of your life, relationships, sex?
Sex gets really good when you are feeling fit and great about yourself. General all day energy, no brain fog, just massive clarity around everything.
It's freaking amazing.
Want to see what this challenge is all about?
You're in luck. I have convinced Karen and Sarah to run another 30 Day Challenge starting February 20th.
Head to nataliesisson.com/clean for deets. And if you miss this one they will do more this year. I’m joining another, for me it’s a no brainer.
Prioritise your health habits over the next month and watch your productivity, creativity and business thrive.
Mon, 6 February 2017
For the last 7 years I’ve been running my business The Suitcase Entrepreneur from all over the world, while living out of the suitcase and going on adventures. This year, in 2017, I’ve decided to fire myself. Yup, that’s right. I am quitting. I am taking a business sabbatical from my own business and instead I am taking YOU on a Quest for Freedom. Your freedom. I'm so freakin excited to do this. To understand why the heck I am, here's a bit of backstory into me. This is actually taken from my TEDx talk last year called ‘The Surprising Truth About Freedom’ (feel free to just watch from 12:12-15:44).
Why tune into this podcast?
After watching, I hope you can understand why I’ve named this podcast Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom, because as I mentioned, I’m on a hunt to understand what freedom really is. This podcast is part audio journal, part narrative and part ‘choose your own adventure’. It will be divided into Seasons (just like on TV) and each season will be a different quest around freedom. I’m starting with Personal freedom, and I’ll break that down more in Episode 2.
What is the definition of Freedom?
First off let’s attempt to better understand freedom (or maybe expose why this is no ordinary quest I’m going on). Over the years I’ve asked a LOT of people what their definition of personal freedom is and I am starting to see a pattern in their answers. A couple of Friday's ago I was having dinner with friends and new acquaintances, listening to music and discussing all sorts of topics. So I decided to whip out my new Zoom H6 recorder and ask them a question for my new podcast. They all agreed, so without any background I just launched into my question which I posed to them which was: "What's your definition of freedom?" Here’s what they had to say:
“Deciding when you want to wake up in the morning, where you want to be and deciding what you want to do for the day.”
“Freedom for me is abundance but it’s conditional on the freedom of others. I am not free if other people aren’t free.”
“There are a lot of different types of freedom, but the most important freedom is the freedom from our own minds, and that if freedom is dependent on external factors then it’s not truly free.”
“I believe that the only thing that we are actually in control of is how we react in the moment and having an internal sense of freedom to be able to react as we choose is the ultimate freedom.”
“Choice. You just get to choose freely whether it’d be a monetary thing or just your thoughts or your reactions.”
“Free is something that doesn’t cost anything”
Do any of those resonate with you? I go on to say in my podcast: "There’s also a price to pay for too much freedom. I feel like I experienced that a few weeks ago when I was trying to make a big decision in my life, and I realized I was so free in choosing either one, that I almost felt paralyzed for the first time. There was too much freedom. You have to have some boundaries and some limits within which to feel free." So as you can see from this discussion…..I’m really no closer to uncovering a definition for freedom. And perhaps it’s un-defineable. Perhaps this whole quest is going to impossible, but I can’t wait either way because this is a year like no other. I’m firing myself and taking a business sabbatical to become a student of life, and go on a quest to find freedom.
What is a Quest?
Now that we've established the challenge in defining freedom, I thought understanding what a quest is would be a logical next move. So back to my friends for their ideas around this:
“It’s like bigger than yourself. There will be obstacles, there will be doubt, there will be naysayers, there will be almost insurmountable odds but your values and what’s inside of you pull you forward beyond what you think is possible and achieving your quest will be one of the greatest memories for a parts of your life.”
“A quest is fundamentally a search for meaning. It’s about trying to find and discover meaning.”
“Is quest the root of question?”
And yes is the answer to that question. I looked it up on the interwebs to find it is from late Middle English: from Old French queste (noun), based on Latin quaerere ‘ask, seek’. According to the dictionary, because all intrepid people going on a quest would of course refer to a dictionary first right….. a quest is both a noun and a verb. noun
That sounds really freaking fun doesn’t it… long and arduous? Ah no thanks. The verb came up with much better results in my opinion
That all sounds much better. But if you ever hear me saying “My eyes quested to the left and right” I’ve either lost the plot or I’m exploring a medieval festival and getting in character. According to Wikipedia a quest serves as a plot device in mythology and fiction: a difficult journey towards a goal, often symbolic or allegorical. Tales of quests figure prominently in the folklore of every nation and ethnic culture.... The moral of a quest tale often centers on the changed character of the hero. So I guess for the purposes of Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom podcast…. I’m the hero? Which also means I’m the one who has to go through the good, the bad and the ugly. I am a walking, talking human experiment, so that you can sit back in your armchair at home, or on your drive to the city, or while you’re enjoying a relaxing pedicure, and listen to me do all the hard stuff, the grueling, intense, exciting, thrilling, daring and at times, prob mundane things I need to do to achieve on this Quest for Freedom. And I’m ok with that. You know. I’ll take it on the chin. Partly because it’s my idea and all so I have no excuse to complain. And partly cos I kind of like the idea of being the guinea pig. First things first I feel like you guys need to give me an appropriate mythological made up Hero’s name.
My favourite definition of a quest, because I found it so fitting, was from Vocabulary.com A quest is all about seeking something important, and it often involves a journey. You would travel the world in a quest for gold. You would not travel to the front of the lunchroom in a quest for tater tots. Ha. That’s one heck of a definition. They go on to say: Knights in the Middle Ages were forever taking on quests––most famously to find the Holy Grail. In modern times, you can quest without ever leaving home, thanks to the Internet. A scientist might embark on a quest to find the cure for cancer. A detective might quest for the truth. It’s worthwhile noting here that quest is also a verb that means bark with prolonged noises, of dogs. Perhaps something I can incorporate into the show? Unintentionally I chose this word because it sounds grandiose, but in a good ol down to earth way. And probably because as a kid I loved Greek Mythology and read books like Odysseus, or Ulysses, depending on which side you gun for more. Same hero. Same quest. Different name. Unbeknownst to me however is the Quest is one of 7 Types of Story Plots you can use when writing, or making a movie! According to Liz Bureman over at The Write Practice: “The Quest is a search for a place, item, or person that requires the hero to leave home in order to find it. Sometimes the item is just a MacGuffin to drive the plot along. I’m going to pause to explain here, as I had no idea what a MacGuffin was, but if you’re a fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark, it’s the thing the hero needs to find on their journey to get to the real important thing. So in this case the golden monkey head Harrison Ford finds in the tomb, not the actual ark. Back to Liz: “Other times the thing driving the quest is specific to the story’s circumstances. Either way, the hero is leaving home to find whatever the heck the story demands, and we get to come along for the ride.” Sounds fair to me. You game to come on this ride with me? You’re not going to leave me all alone out here are you? To show you’re serious if you’re not subscribed to my show on iTunes and you want to follow along on Season One then head to nataliesisson.com/itunes and it will take you straight there! You can do the same by heading to nataliesisson.com/stitcher too. Ok here’s where Liz got me thinking. She went on to describe the characters in a quest and I realized I’m going to need a crew. You see a quest is the plot type most likely to have a group of main characters rather than one protagonist in the main eye of the story. Shiiiiittt and here I was thinking this was ALL about me! Nope apparently not. According to Liz I should have:
So I guess before the next episode I need to find some of these characters to make this more enticing right? Ok I’ll be back in the next episode with some characters, I can’t guarantee they’ll fit the bill but heck, this is my quest so I get to choose them. It may even be you if you play your cards right! Whereever you’re tuning in or reading this from around the world, I’m sending you a BIG virtual hug of thanks and gratitude for tuning into to the very first Season and Episode of Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom. If you want to make my day leave a comment below to:
Tune in to the next episode where I let an Oracle tell me what I can expect in 2017….
Yep I consulted an Oracle...or more over the Suburban Psychic approached me to do a session with me. And here's just a snippet of what she had to say: "There’s a part of you that doesn’t want to know stuff, and there’s that little part of you that is giving permission to you to dive in deeper, to explore further, because you got this amazing watch dog in the ego. If a wave is crashing, coming towards you you don’t try to get over the top and scoot your way around it. You got to dive into that sucker and that’s the only way you are going to come out the other side without being thrown on your head and getting sand in places that you don’t want to even talk about " Intrigued? Make sure you jump in and sign up to updates via email so I can share with you when each episode goes live.