The True Price (and Power) of Freedom


As part of a recent solo journey, I witnessed myself oscillating back and forth between the encompassing and utterly blissful state of Oneness with Source (aka god, the cosmos, the All) and the stark and absolute loneliness of disconnection.

In this trance-like state, there were only extremes.

In the warmth, light, goodness and love of Oneness, I recall opening myself up to feel bathed in the totality of connection. Even in trance, I knew it wouldn’t last, that it was an ephemeral state of Being as One with God. But it was permanently altering, the relief of every cell of my Being filled with love. I was my sacred Self again.

I’d known this state before, having happened spontaneously a few years ago and which lasted for a whole day. As then, I now wanted so desperately to feel this way permanently.

Alas. Sometime later in the journey, I watched myself being dropped into the converse- a total disconnection. The abject horror of Being without that love, light and goodness. My heart ached so much that I thought it would crack. I watched myself responding to this state as well, wishing for it to be done.

I asked what was the purpose of showing me this place? To be subject to this terror of isolation? Was it a mirror of what I was feeling in real life?

They (the voices) said, “So you will know how a whale feels, who travels the oceans looking for others like it, to seek connection and belonging.”

Indeed, I began hearing whale songs and saw something that looked like a great white. I watched the enormous whales swim the ocean, clinging to the belief that they’d find others who knew their story. Occasionally a mother would have a baby beside it, but even that wasn’t an assurance for connection, as the babies are often captured or die.

Even though some whale species travel in pods (like Orcas,) generally they are isolated creatures.

I watched the grief of the whales. Their awareness of their isolation and inability to save their aquatic home.

Yes, that is how we feel, I heard my own voice. We are traveling through life — or lifetimes — alone, disconnected, seeking solace and comfort in connection with others and feeling at a loss to influence how things go here on the planet.

I heard, “yes, you can now feel the torment of lost souls.” Oh my god, did I. The loneliness was devastating.

Still in the throes of the journey, I sobbed deeply with cavernous despair for all of us, knowing with certainty the truth of this experience.

I ultimately ended the journey with this feeling still intact, the anguish of our disconnection from Self and Other. Realizing that we each generate this experience because we don’t yet have the capacity to navigate this vast territory ahead of us.

And so many don’t yet have the skills to navigate the territory within.

The feeling persisted for 36 hours, when I did a breath work practice to see if I could alter the experience. Upon encountering myself in an expanded state again, and allowing a wave of grief and forgiveness to wash over me, I felt a literal “click” inside.

The longing cleared. My heart expanded, and again I felt full. Connected. Sacred.

What I heard was that I don’t need to LIVE in that state of isolation, that it was just an experience to teach me about compassion for the longing in us all.

To process that level of grief is a profound healing for myself and for the collective.

And so I gained another level of freedom.

Just When You Imagine Calm Waters


The last six months of my life have been some of the most unexpectedly profound and liberating times of my life.

I didn’t see it coming.

I’d been out of the muck and mire of the most traumatic parts of my life, or so I thought, and hoped that there might be some respite, or at least stabilization, as I entered a new phase in a new place with some reasonable expectations.

It’s my turn, I recall thinking. Ready for smooth sailing.

And, Instead…


Life shows up exactly as we need it to, regardless if we imagined it in another form.

What I imagined would be an easy graceful entry into the next phase became a rapid sequence of shifts, turns and leaps around the evolutionary spiral.

And because I had the skills to hang on for the ride, each loop-de-loop has created initial mayhem in my conceptual construction of identity and meaning, yet yielded even more clarity, awareness and resolve.

Unexpected Liberation


I didn’t know a year ago when I moved back to Colorado that I’d be entering the greatest Freedom Ride of my lifetime. I probably wouldn’t have registered for a seat if I had.

And so glad to have gotten on the bus.

The result of this last 6–12 months has been a greater release of old belief structures, karmic knots, lifetime patterns, sabotaging behaviors and general constructions of reality than I’d even imagined possible.

Including the belief that healing and clearing and evolving has to hurt to be liberating.

It doesn’t.

The Conception of Pain


As I came out of the trance described above, with the deepest agony of my lifetime, if I’d imagined that it would be permanent or that I was truly lost, it would’ve lasted days or weeks or months longer.

I’ve been there, in a depression so profound and unalterable that I didn’t know how to stay alive. Sheer will kept me in human form, knowing I had to figure out how to beat the odds and survive.

But each new experience of initial pain or despair or discomfort is actually a reconstruction of my awareness. I’m made to see things that I couldn’t see before. Which wakes me up to a new level of awaremess, absolution, and freedom.

As each of these profound experiences penetrate my understanding and requires me to allow some new construction or reality… I can become free. Or freer. There doesn’t seem to be an end to the unleashing of constraints and liberation of life force.

I’ve just decided to stay on the bus for good now.

What’s Required for True Freedom


Navigating the current polycrisis state of the world, and to an even more uncertain future, will be anything but simple or predictable.

We must learn to experience life as it shows up, rather than turning away from it.

Some of it may be uncomfortable, challenging, painful or dreadful. But the sooner we turn toward it, rather than away, the more swiftly it too will morph into something more beautiful.

The shifts and changes will come in fits and starts. Over steep hills and learning curves and through valleys of personal (and collective) muck and mire.

Each person’s sense of freedom will vary with their own definition of what’s constraining them, and what they’ll allow themselves to have in this moment. And this one. And the next.

There are a myriad forms of life transition that each generate some lifting of perceived restrictions.

Nothing Left to Lose


Fifty-plus years ago, Janis Jopliin so aptly sang “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.” We just didn’t know how immortal those words would be.

When we’ve deconstructed and let go of our former notions of reality and are ready to yield to an evolved understanding, as Zach Bush, famous endocrinologist, gut biome and regenerative soil regeneration expert so aptly describes here, we will become a new form of human as we allow the newly-discovered proteins in our DNA to digest the energy that’s now present on the planet.

This is science, not woo.

And as we stop grieving what we’ve lost (which has to come after we’ve begun to truly grieve, not dismissing that what we knew is now complete,) we can begin to explore and be curious and find our way into the new form of humanity.

Of a new interconnected life on the planet.

The Price of Freedom


So the price of freedom is both about recognizing that we are the sole arbiters of our destiny, and diving into the willingness and the wildness of becoming something else.

We can truly live past the point of suffering and pain, if we’re willing to extinguish our disconnectedness from each other, the planet, and ourselves.

Diving into our wildness requires us to gain an Inner Mastery over the fears, doubts, restraints, beliefs and limited conceptions of ourselves, so that we can navigate our way into the future and reclaim our wild soulful selves and become the unlimited Beings that we truly are.

The True Power of Freedom


And thus, the true power of freedom organically unfolds as we release the constraints and reclaim our true Selves, yielding the very life force that brought us here to begin with.

In this form of power, there is no distinction between the life force that moves within us, the impulse of the cosmos, and the love we feel in our human hearts, transducing all that moves within us.

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About The Author

I’m the Author of the bestseller, The Golden Thread: Where to Find Purpose in the Stages of Your Life. Download this free audio course to learn about your own Golden Thread of purpose. I’ve spent my life imagining a world where we could all become who we’re meant to be, awake and alive in a way that allows us to express our most innate, natural and purposeful gifts. I believe the bridge to our future exists in becoming rooted in our purpose, and more prepared for the unknown. Download the Navigate Our Wild Future Playbook to gain tools to help you prepare. And we’re unleashing a magical living portal, the Wild Beyonder, through which a different future is possible. Stay tuned or contact me to learn more.

Emergence Institute

Holly Woods, PhD

ⓒ 2020 Emergence Institute