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A Free Woman

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you”.

Maya Angelou

What a wise, wise woman. A woman who lived her life unapologetically. A woman who lived her own truth. A woman who had the power to stand alone and in turn, impact the world.

A strong woman, whose soul had a purpose far greater than she could have ever imagined.

Whether fighting for civil rights or women’s rights; facing her demons, and sharing her triumphs with the world was her power.

Her divine feminine power.

I have always been inspired by her daring nature. A nature which dared her to share for her, in a world who didn’t always love her back.

I question whether this is the challenge I have to face in my own life.

As a creative, my urge for self-expression is as strong as my urge to eat. Any of my work whether through film, audio or written is a piece of me. It comes from within, it has a life of its own.

My work is an extension of myself, laying there like a slab of raw meat awaiting the heat of your gaze. I live for it. The anxiety after every post, every publish, every piece.

This truth has always existed in me. Quietly hidden away within my womb space waiting to be birthed. Through living my life by my own rules, I have been lucky enough to stand within this truth and address this creative entity. I have followed the flow of life, never questioning the why and how of my urge within to move, change or express.

It eventually lead me to my true calling. I fought tirelessly with every teacher, every boss, every bully, to express myself freely. No to be controlled or coerced. I fought tirelessly for my opinions, to not be minimised by any man or any member of authority completely invested within this illusion of physical life.

When you are living your soul purpose, you realise, there is no physical life, there is just purpose, presence, expression and emotion.

This is now my new reality.

Beating to the beat of my own drum. I am a happy, optimist. Some may say fairly naïve, but I am also free.

As a highly sensitive being who feels everything, living this life can be difficult. I fight with the urge to fly away and escape my problems, trying not to stay present in the pain and hurt. The weeping of my inner child pulls at me from the inside to do what has always felt natural…….run.

But now I realize, like Maya Angelou, every experience is a teacher, every emotion helps to fully immerse you and be present in the moment and within every pain is an untold story, an entity bigger than you that once you birth it, you to could be a free woman.

The Freedom Package

If I offered you a freedom package which would require you to sacrifice your happiness and livelihood, would you take it?

What about a 10 year marriage, with endless financial stability, but no emotional fulfilment?

Or a jet setting career which would cost you your marriage and the love of your children?

Would you take freedom if it came at the cost of the people you love or your livelihood?

Think about it, why do the freedoms offered by this modern world come at the cost of something truly important.

Truly think about what is on offer from the modern world we live in right now as freedom.

It’s all tangible.

How can a person ever truly be free when their freedom is linked to external symbols of freedom.

True freedom starts in the mind, and I would even go as far as to argue that true freedom is purely mental. It’s the unlocking of your mental limitations, or your bounds of ignorance. The ability to find out who you are and be who you are, without the imposition of modern day conditioning, or the need to comply.

It’s a process of self-exploration, which requires a journey of failures and successes. These are the only true keys to freedom, building our own set of values, morals and boundaries as we grow. True freedom is the space which allows this growth to take place.

Freedom is not limitation, condition or anything tangible. True freedom therefore cannot be politicised or monopolized.

The modern day concept of freedom has been built upon the condition of external ownership. Yet, ownership, in a world full of brokenness is never truly what it means on paper. Ownership in this world comes at the cost of a third party, a middle man, a broker or entity in the middle, reaping the benefit off your yearning to be free. Its completely abstract from the true meaning of sovereignty.

You see, the concept of freedom has been sold to us as a way of life that is only accessible through financial wealth or tangible assets. Yet, when you look around at those who ‘have it all’, who have followed the systematic ‘yellow brick road’ – you see that these roads never lead to freedom.

They lead to a world full of problems, stresses and limited time.

At some point, the penny drops that the hard work for this ‘freedom package’ comes at the cost of something else, something truly important.

What, you ask?

Well, what about meaningful relationships, family, physical health or an inability to ever truly know who you are?

In a world which has become continuously restricted by state policy, psychological warfare and capitalism, freedom is now a commodity which can be bought and sold on the stock market for the highest bidder.

Its become valuable and with value, comes exploitation. Our quest for modern day freedom has been used to control our decision making, our job choices and even whether we choose to have a family or not.

We spend so much of our lives within a system that is not built to lead us to true freedom that our definition of freedom is completely distorted. It really has nothing to do with anything external.

External freedoms lead us to be co-dependant on ‘things’, ‘people’ and ‘infrastructure’. But once all of this is taken away, once ‘things’ lose their value, infrastructure starts to break down and people lose trust in one another, are you still free?

Think about it, when all has been stripped away and you are left with yourself, are you truly free or has something tangible become an extension of your freedom?

‘Where’s my freedom package REFUND!’ shouts the disillusioned middle class in aisle one!! Ha.

But in all seriousness, this world is in dyer need of innovation. We cant continue to fall into the traps of a system which has us repeating the cycle of generations past.

Ideas are the new currency, and new ideas come from the freedom to create. Spending time in dead end jobs, wrapped up in debt and worried about money doesn’t lead to innovation.

But not all hope is lost, because believe it or not, despite what the government may want you to think, COVID has created a true freedom era, where anything is truly possible and true freedom is at your grasp. But are you ready for that?

Fear and stagnation is the enemy of our freedom and over the past few years, wars, pandemics, and overall brutality has kept many of us in this state. It’s a pit you fall into when you have given up on chasing that burning desire and ambition to keep going. Fear will make you fall in line, rush out of competition or even convince you to work against your own interest.

You see, freedom releases you of all attachment to things, people and places. Its monk living, allowing rather than controlling. True freedom starts in the mind before it manifests in life. What you can see in your minds eye, can be in your reality.

You can have it all. You don’t have to sacrifice. Fulfilment is at your whim if you allow yourself to think for yourself and unlearn the teachings of the past which thrust you into commitments which work against your inner ability to innovate.

Your intuition is your life compass which will lead you away from those decisions which aren’t meant for you and your heart will lead you to what’s for you. But your mind must be truly clear to feel the direction. And yes, I said feel it, not see it.

In this time, allow yourself to witness your attachments and your addictions as the illusions of the last era come tumbling down. People are still bidding for their freedom package as we speak which is making it such a hot commodity, but you don’t have to be one of them because the truth is, attachment is a dying market and I expect it to come crashing down in the near future.

THE STUDENT CON GAME

The deftly tones of the grand organ drown the theatre in a tribunal concerto. The atmosphere is palpable. A sense of nobility fills your body and you are proud that this momentous occasion is a result of your hard work.

Graduates are seated in the centre of the action; bodies covered down to their feet in their signature Hogwarts gowns – colour coded in ranking of their degrees importance of course. Teamed with an inexcusably immoderate oxford hat, like a student ready to be initiated into Gryffindor, you get the sense that Mr Potter may appear at any moment.

Yet the only magic taking place here is deception, the magical illusion of ceremony and reward, that will make the worries of a £50,000 debt and a high risk of unemployment, miraculously disappear.

Throughout your time in high school and college you’ve been fed the same line, “The more educated you are, the more successful you will be”.

This same line has now become a deep embedded ideology institutions have been repeating for decades, which has dramatically changed the peoples general behaviour towards education. Now, education has been deemed the only way to create access, opportunity and career success.

The reason why?

Well, it’s our societies obsession with meritocracy and its adept association with education and class. To be educated can only be proven by merit i.e GCSE’s, degrees, PhD’s, NVQ’s………..and the list goes on. You are taught that by obtaining such merit, doors into higher paying careers and specialist industries will open.

A UK Bachelor’s degree:

Average Cost: £50,000

Result: Certificate

Pro: Education

Con: No guarantees of employment in your chosen field of study or preparation for the working environment.

Introducing: THE STUDENT CON GAME.

After basking in the afterglow of your graduation; its the moment you discover your new reality of unemployment. You solidify your place in an overcrowded job market and realise there are more graduates than there is jobs.

But don’t expect this suprise to reveal itself until you receive your degree.

With a lack of opportunities in your specialism, you discover you’ve been conned. All of a sudden your degree isn’t enough. At this stage, you recognise the value of hands on experience is held to a higher standard, than your shiny certificate.

This is when you contemplate whether your £50k loan was worth the paperwork?

Not only are you competing with graduates, and the general public, but internal employees are applying for the same positions. They may not have the education, but good companies will invest in educating their current staff to degree level.

But don’t expect to be forewarned of these formalities whilst in university, because who knows…………..you might just end up leaving.

Just imagine the disappointment of the 50% of students who don’t even end up working in their field of study? (Independent UK, 2014)

Unless you have paid for your degree outright or have financial support, debt is a result of why you may probably fall into a different industry. As higher education comes with a cost that you now have an obligation to at least try to clear before you die.

How are students to know that despite their dedication to receiving this degree, they may end up choosing between their career and a job?

Years later, you yourself will go on to find truth in the latter. Fashion graduates in the insurance industry, biomedical graduates working in property management firms, law graduates working full time in restaurants, I mean the list goes on. University is nothing but a blurry memory to these individuals who discovered a passion in different industries.

At this point, university just seems like an expensive investment you make to justify that time in your twenties where you get to answer the question:

‘What the heck do I really want to do with my life?’

But my question is, is that answer worth £50,000?

London: The fight for a piece of the pie

We all know that in the capital, life is bigger, louder and schedules, are tighter. That being said, there is a majorly naive presumption that there is more opportunity.

There is no wonder that there are so many people flocking here to get a piece of that heavily carbed capitalist pie – that is London in its essence. The naive presumption comes in when you think there is so much opportunity, that you are as entitled to a piece of the pie as anyone else.

Why? Well because you have worked hard enough to be at the table. The education, the experience, the burning ambition to win!

You see the competition here starts way before you have the job, or even during the interview stage.

The moment you come across that first job description, know one thing, there is more than meets the eye and you have literally signed up to the hunger games!

What they don’t tell you Is that this city is full of over qualified dreamers and scarily competitive employees. Once they sniff out competition, the hunger games are on and you have to fight a good fight in order to sit at the table.

By working here, you will notice there is alot of smoke and mirrors, and dont think that behind the scenes there is someone cheering you on. If you are good, you have to be brilliant!

Picture a calm office on the surface. Very quiet, people sit silently and focused. Laser beamed on the task ahead.

Your lucky to hear a pin drop. It’s silent and you can almost taste the stress and anxiety. Behind every banging drum beat of people slamming their fingers into keyboard oblivian, is a floor trembling undercurrent of hatred, jealousy and greed. Nobody says a word. There’s no small talk, just focus and straight faces. Every conversation is calculated

An email too far, a “fuck off” under the breathe and mix of oversized egos are a normal part of office life here.

Everyone is gunning for that position, that title and that intoxicating piece of that pie that smells so good on this boiling melting pot of concrete.

I can see why, as everyone wants to be that somebody, the somebody that makes the decisions, gets picked up by their driver and avoids the overcrowded traffic of savage commuters and sits comfortably upon a pedestal of wealth.

I’ve yet to experience the uplifting northern atmosphere of office banter. I’ve actually been truly spoiled in Manchester, because during my past office experience there; the employees are real people, humans. Not relentless working machines with no soul. When your bored, get up and walk over to another desk, for nothing other than a chat. It is normal for the girls to be chinwagging about boyfriends and big brother in Manchester.

But here in London, where the crown is so heavy and the power is so close that it’s almost as if you have it, here, everyone has this imaginary piece of the pie.

Well, until they really don’t.