“She decided to trust what she felt, to know what she knew, and to dare to imagine an unseen order where she might be free.” Glennon Doyle
Like so many others, I recently enjoyed Glennon Doyle’s latest book, “Untamed”. This was the first book of hers that I’ve read, and the promise of women’s empowerment drew me in.
Part memoir and part personal growth book, she offers honest highlights from her recent life and helps readers share in her lessons learned. I was hooked from her prologue, ‘Cheetah’, which also cued her anecdotal and metaphorical writing style. This opening also introduced the powerful message of her book – the importance of accessing and trusting ourselves.
I cannot emulate her words, which I encourage you to read for yourself. Instead, I’ll share just a small part of her work to give you a sneak peek of her wisdom and inspire you to apply her advice to your own life, as I have done to mine with great success.
4 Keys to Freedom
My favourite is ‘part 2’ of her book, where she shares her 4 keys to freedom. It especially rang true for me because it’s a similar approach to how I help women make, trust and follow through on decisions.
Here’s a brief summary of how your emotions, intuition, imagination and courage – that you may have learned to hide to keep others comfortable – will help you return to who you are.
1) Feel It All – “Feelings are for Feeling”.
Feel everything, especially the painful emotions, rather than distracting or numbing from them. You can be free from the fear of feeling pain, if not from the pain itself. You can become the woman you’re meant to be next by venturing into the feelings you have now.
2) Be Still and Know – “If you just stop doing, you’ll start knowing.”
Instead of looking to everyone and everything else for answers, look within yourself. Ask yourself the big questions in life, go within to where your Self, wisdom, intuition or God lives and await the subtle nudge toward your next right action. The more consistently, bravely and precisely you follow your ‘Knowing’, the more beautiful your life becomes.
3) Dare to Imagine – “Perhaps imagination is not where we go to escape reality, but where we go to remember it.”
You must first imagine on the inside what you wish to create on the outside. If you feel discontent, it’s your imagination trying to get your attention by whispering ‘not this but that instead’. To honour your dreams, write them out for yourself answering: What is the truest, most beautiful story about my life that I could imagine?
4) Let It Burn – “We must be committed to holding on to nothing but the truth.”
If you want to create something new for yourself, you must be willing to release what is no longer true for you. It may feel ‘safer’ or ‘good enough’ to stay as you are, but you would lose everything that was meant to be and you are worth more than that. In doing so, you will be full of what is true for you in this moment – neither right nor wrong – and you can revise that with what’s more beautiful for you until infinity.
Which of these 4 keys will you practice to move closer to your most free and authentic life?
Freedom in Relationships
So what could this look like when practically applied? Yes, you can use these steps in all areas of your life. Let’s use the example of a challenging personal relationship that you’re not sure how to handle.
- Allow yourself to feel (express and release) your emotions about the relationship, whether you’re feeling sad, worried, guilty, angry or even loving.
- Be still with yourself, go inward to that place within you where your true Self resides and await the nudge about your next step.
- Imagine or write out your story about what the truest, most beautiful (not necessarily easiest or happiest) version of this relationship would be. Use this to inform your actions.
- Begin to release what is no longer helpful to you in the relationship. Let go of the ‘could have beens’ to make space for the healthier version of the relationship.
This works beyond relationships too. I’ve practiced all four keys to successfully navigate a stressful decision about where to live, and can assure you it works. It was a bonus to learn that I could follow this process myself, and my husband (the other person involved in the decision) could follow his own process, and together we came to a great resolution.
So until you have a chance to read ‘Untamed’ if I’ve inspired you to do so, keep Glennon’s words at hand to help you be brave enough to set yourself free . . .
“Breathe. Don’t panic and flee. Sink. Feel it all. Be still. Imagine. Let it Burn.”