Freedom at Google Maps Street Level

The recent (and ongoing)events around the world have me thinking a great deal about freedom. Freedom is something I’ve always cherished (anyone who knows me knows I prefer to be outside, tend toward claustrophobia, and am at times anxious to create a reputation for being a rebel (although I’m sometimes a Rebel Without a Clue, I’m OK with that, too).

Freedom is something that,if not carefully fed and watered, can wither and die. It is a dynamic force, not just an abstract concept. We are witnessing people giving their all for freedoms that we tend to take for granted, and I know I certainly appreciate the freedoms afforded to me by being (at a rough guess) somewhere in the top 5% of the fortunate of this planet.

All of this world-wide focus on freedom has encouraged me to consider my own personal freedom more seriously of late as well (similar to moving the slider on Google Maps closer to the little person icon for a really close up look). For, despite my claim to have a dear wish for freedom in my life, what I profess and what my reptilian brain clings to are two very different states.

My reptilian brain,Spike, is about as far from being a likable gecko with a British accent as a reptile can be. He’s more of a Komodo Dragon who slithered from the primordial soup and into the nether reaches of my skull. A somewhat frightening and otherworldly creature who would be quite happy to take me down in a heartbeat if I threaten his territory.

Threatening Spike’s territory can consist of anything from deciding I need to loose 20 pounds to thinking about making changes in my career. Spike is a sucker for security – which can be a real drag when my more evolved brain (who I like to think of as a cross between Tinkerbell and Gandhi – an irrepressible rebel with a highly conscious side), is encouraging me to shoot for the stars.

I’ve been considering a few changes in my life which would enable me to pursue what I feel is my “higher purpose” (definitely more Gandhi, but with generous sprinklings of Pixie Dust); and yet the actions I need to take to start to give birth to these these changes remain unchecked items on my Remember the Milk to-do list. (For those of you who may be compulsive list makers like me and unfamiliar with Remember the Milk – check it out – great free program for your computer, and for a small fee, for your phone).

I have read a bit about my friend Spike – for he really is my friend – he’s trying to keep my from being consumed by a saber tooth tiger, or having the guy in the next cave drag me off by the hair, kicking and screaming (I’d like to see him try…). Spike’s intentions are good, just a little behind the times. He is not a fan of progress, for progress involves change – and change is a very frightening thing, to be defended against at all costs (lately, it seems, even including my sanity).

So, Tink and Gandhi and I are learning to work with Spike (since we haven’t yet found a way to get around him). We’re honoring his fears, thanking him for his concerns and then, when his little lizard eyes have closed in contentment, we take a baby step toward the stars…. oh so quietly, so as not to awaken the sleeping giant and have him rush to “protect” us from ourselves.

So, like Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman and Cowardly Lion, our little rag-tag bunch is making its way along a magical journey, but we’re going to bypass Oz, our life is meant to be lived among the stars and we already know that there’s no place like home.