What is freedom?

15 Apr 2021

Freedom is personal. What is freedom for you? What does it look like? Feel like? Sound like? I think by writing out what freedom looks like to ourselves gives us a freedom in and of itself. It gives us the freedom to start working towards our own freedom. Whatever that might look like. 

Here’s what I hope my freedom will look like:

Freedom is not procrastinating because of fear.

Freedom is getting up early.


Freedom is asking questions without worrying if I sound silly.

Freedom is walking around my flat naked without worrying if the neighbours can see.  

Freedom is not needing net curtains because no neighbours live close enough to see in.

Freedom is being able to tread barefoot from kitchen to herb and vegetable garden within a few steps.  

Freedom is having a creative idea and the confidence to follow it through; seeing where it may lead.

Freedom is being able to pant, moan and scream out in pleasure without worrying if the neighbour upstairs can hear.

Freedom is not having neighbours upstairs.

Freedom is going with one’s own rhythms.

Freedom is pouring out one’s heart without weighing words or measuring thoughts, allowing it all to flow out, wheat and chaff together.

Freedom is feeling anything and not being overwhelmed by those feelings. Even when the feeling is anger.

Freedom is sitting with family or acquaintances, no longer sharing their beliefs or religion and not feeling a disappointment, a black sheep or an ungrateful soul.

Freedom is loving intensely and fiercely from the heart and yet not entrapping anyone; including oneself.

Freedom is travel.

Freedom is having money aside.

Freedom is to be as self sufficient from the land and from power companies as much as is possible.

Freedom is giving more to the earth than I take.

Freedom is not needing anyone and yet freedom is also not fearing asking for support or help.

Freedom is still loving people when they disagree with you or even actively dislike you.

Freedom is learning, reading, assimilating.

Freedom is showing unbridled excitement and passion for something without fear of being thought of as giddy, embarrassing or overly dramatic.

Freedom is riding my bicycle.

Freedom is singing and not worrying how I sound. Freedom is dancing without worrying how I look.

Freedom is not berating myself if I get something wrong or mess up.

Freedom is apologising unreservedly and still keeping a sense of self worth.

Freedom is not apologising all day every day.

Freedom is swimming naked in the sea or ocean.

Freedom is loving one’s own body.

Freedom is living intensely in the moment.

Freedom is knowing it’s ok to not always know. Because freedom comes from experience.

Freedom is embracing criticism or direction and not feeling defensive or threatened. Freedom accepts constructive criticism without feeling “Oh I’m hopeless!”

Freedom is looking people in the eye and smiling deeply from the heart even on a bad hair and no makeup day.

Freedom is not fearing signs of ageing.

Freedom is feeling only grateful for my journey thus far.

Freedom is to be non-judgemental.

Freedom is always, always, always speaking truth.

What does your freedom look like?


A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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April 16, 2021, 5:39 a.m.

Dear Florence, I love and endorse every word you speak. More power to your elbow! All my love Sally (ANANDINI)



April 16, 2021, 9:31 a.m.

:o) Thank you dear Sally. All my love right back to you. x


April 16, 2021, 6:04 a.m.

What a great list! What an absolutely brilliant list. So many of those things were really problems in my life. They're not any more; it's so nice to remember what I'd forgotten. The first thing -- just for me -- is that I guess I sussed that I changed and have to change the words "freedom is..." for the idea "The skill to be able to do..." Then it makes sense in Oli-world; then it answers my need to know how to do life without feeling like there's something missing. For so long I wanted the freedom to be able to drink again because I realised that drinking was no longer an option. It eventually dawned on me that I had freedom precisely because it's an option. And nearly all the other items on our lists are the same. It's been a funny ol' week because this came up in Mary's blog on Wednesday and actually I felt it did yesterday too. The chains and restrictions which bind us are a mixture of the difficult to modify (like biology, like genetics, like society), and the easier to modify like behaviour (including verbal behaviour/ thinking). They're all chains but the ones in our head can be lengthened. Well, that's where I come at it from. Great blog Florence, thank you.



April 16, 2021, 9:38 a.m.

Thank you so much Oli. It’s a funny thing with Wednesday Mary blog posts because for years I’ve been in and out of Moodscope and very often I’ll read a post of Mary’s and think: ‘I’ve had that exact same thought or been thinking about this very topic this very week!’ And so when I read her post on Weds, once again I was thinking how very serendipitous. I think Mary and I must be psychically aligned somewhere. Loved your thoughts. That’s the goal hey? To get to a point where we are living like there is nothing missing. That’s true bliss. It will take a lifetime’s work but totally worth the effort. Loved your thoughts on drink/choice too. Agreed.


April 16, 2021, 6:28 a.m.

Hi Florence, thanks for your blog in which you have innumerate a very extensive list of what you would consider as feeling free. I will need to reread it so as to pick those relevant to me. When I was working I used to say I enjoy my ‘free range status’. Now I have retired, the dynamic has shifted.



April 16, 2021, 9:46 a.m.

Interesting, OB. Yes, I guess freedom means different things to us at different stages in our life. I think cataclysmic changes or loss etc can change our trajectory or path too. Sometimes at breakneck speed. I bet you have some insightful thoughts on this in relation to retirement. x


April 16, 2021, 6:40 a.m.

This is super powerful. I am going to do my own list. I loved yours... real and so full of gratitude and positive intensions.



April 16, 2021, 6:49 a.m.

Absolutely love this - I am going to print this off and ponder . . .. . . Thank you.



April 16, 2021, 1:50 p.m.

Hi Julie, Bless you for that. I do love a good ponder. :o)


April 16, 2021, 7 a.m.

This is super powerful. I am going to do my own list. I loved yours... real and so full of gratitude and positive intensions.



April 16, 2021, 9:47 a.m.

Your comment warmed my heart so very much (gratitude emoji).


April 16, 2021, 7:18 a.m.

Pretty much the same as yours, Florence. You have covered a wide range. Freedom is not always a good thing for me: freedom to overindulge in food, for instance. Makes me sluggish. Balance is better.


The Gardener

April 16, 2021, 8:24 a.m.

Sally - Devil's Advocate - you have the freedom to live as you wish - you have a choice between grated carrot and chocolate cake!


April 16, 2021, 9:53 a.m.

Hi Sally, Funny, I’ve just read a beautiful book by Shannon Lee called Be Water, My Friend. She takes a her father’s excellence in martial arts then turns that art form/sport into winsome life lessons. She delves into balance a lot. Such an excellent book.

The Gardener

April 16, 2021, 8:17 a.m.

Great list, Florence. But Covid has made me appreciate Freedom more than ever. I put myself in the place of those who were in concentration camps, those who still, through colour, creed or culture are unwelcome in many places. I was 10 when the war ended, but realise how different my upbringing was to my friends here of my age who were in occupied France. From the 1960's our family travelled a lot. From the 1990's we were privileged to visit 'non tourist' parts of India and the Far East.



April 16, 2021, 10:14 a.m.

Hi there TG. Yes, the shackles of COVID and the effects of must surely be utterly incalculable hey? Utterly incalculable. What’s quite interesting is that I’ve just realised in reading your comments that covid hadn’t even entered my head when writing this list and yet this pandemic has curtailed oh so much freedom, hasn’t it? The fallout from that on society and individuals is too great to even contemplate sometimes isn’t it? I hope you can soon enjoy having a full house once more and that you soon have plenty to “go out and be silly about”. Sending love dear TG. Sending love.

The Gardener

April 16, 2021, 8:23 a.m.

I am feeling like a tragedy queen - no crowd drinking coffee round my kitchen table, needed printed permission to go and get vaccinated, no chance of seeing my family. So, we are all in similar situations in that our 'wings are clipped'. Tragedy Queen? Thinking of J J Rousseau, the Social Contract 'Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains'. I think I am 'living intensely in the moment' but very seriously, back to blue-stocking student. There is nothing to go out and be silly about!



April 16, 2021, 9:36 a.m.

Florence, great list. I wonder about those people who have little freedom or choice due to no money, living in a dictatorship or with a controlling abusive person and many other conditions that may restrict freedom. Someone with a chronic physical or mental illness may have restricted choices and limited freedom. I see freedom as not a choice for many but a privilege for some. Thanks again.



April 16, 2021, 11:22 a.m.

This is quite a revelation and I truly hope you celebrate and enjoy all the freedom/s that you now can. Best wishes to you x


April 16, 2021, 11:34 a.m.

Absolutely no need for an apology dear lady. Not a bit of it. I really felt what you felt hey. Your feeling the pain of so many- I really felt that. And yet I know there’s so much love out there too. Wishing you a beautiful and peaceful day my friend. (Peace I’m fast coming to learn is arguably more important than happiness). Sending love x


April 16, 2021, 11:38 a.m.

What a beautiful poem Florence, If only we could all feel free to be ourselves, with due respect to others, life would be wonderful and of course different Sheena


Patricia E

April 16, 2021, 1:03 p.m.

Dear Florence. Thank you so much for bringing your wonderful, joyous, challenging, courageous and optimistic list into my life today. I'm going to make use of it to focus my heart and mind on how I want to go forward, now that we're emerging back into some sort of 'normal' life. I wish you joy and peace in your heart as you move on into your new life. Px



April 17, 2021, 2:02 a.m.

I think the Freedom list was YOUR freedom list and I find that quite a lot, that when others are talking about their own personal experiences (I do see you you said they were personal for you) but I think the reader can think “well hold on, I can’t do/feel that”. Is that fair to say? I hope it is. My freedom is very limited but I’ve not experienced as bad as you. I can be empathetic about another persons journey but I guess we all have our own journeys which don’t always give freedom. I wish you every freedom possible, I really do. You seem to have got this! Good luck xx


Mary Wednesday

April 17, 2021, 6:48 a.m.

Wow! Late to the party, here but I was really struck by your blog. Yes, yes and yes! Especially swimming naked in the sea! It is the opinions of others that so often constrain us. Perhaps freedom means total acceptance by everyone of everyone else. (Well, apart from those who kick puppies and talk with their mouth full. I mean, one has to have some standards!)



April 17, 2021, 8:27 a.m.

I was nodding along to all the freedoms on your list, Florence. I would add, 'freedom from intrusive negative thoughts about those who have caused me considerable irreparable pain over 40yrs' to my own list.


Salt Water Mum

April 17, 2021, 3:33 p.m.

Sorry so late to this Florence but my goodness, I love it! Dancing, swimming, singing and loving oneself. Fabulous. And I really like 'Freedom is apologising unreservedly and still keeping a sense of self worth' - wise words. And as for... 'Freedom is always, always, always speaking truth' - this one, I am working on. More truth, more openness. Less secrets, less lies. Thank you Florence x Happy Saturday Moodscopers x



April 18, 2021, 6:32 a.m.

Hi Florence, as usual late to the party but I love this list and am going to copy and paste it into a document. Freedoms that I had forgotten about are here so thank you for the reminder. I shall add freedom to be fabulously flawed to mine as perfection is over-rated but something I have hankered after and wasted precious time attempting so much over the years! x


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