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How to Achieve Freedom in Your Mind and Roles: A Self-Assessment Tool

Joy sets goals for continuous achievement, and loves connecting with others by helping them reach their own ideals and aspirations.

Let Yourself Blossom

Seeds of beauty and holiness have been planted within you. The Creator would love to bring these through blossoming into fruition.

Seeds of beauty and holiness have been planted within you. The Creator would love to bring these through blossoming into fruition.

What Is Holding You Back?

It is easy to get stuck while attempting to create a vision for your life. In previous articles, we have explored ways that fear can hold us back, and how to begin overcoming by visualizing ideal outcomes.

Now we're going to pause in our vision board planning, and talk about how to check how free you really feel. Below is a checklist of areas in your life, or roles you may play. Use the lists to check intuitively which areas need work. That is, in which areas do you not feel free?

For More Information

Please see the end of this article for information on previous parts in this series, our qualifications, and an explanation of our approach to vision boarding.

What Is Truly in Your Heart?

Do you know what you were created for? What desires have you let wither for want of attention? It's not too late to unlock your life and let it out.

Do you know what you were created for? What desires have you let wither for want of attention? It's not too late to unlock your life and let it out.

overcoming-fear-through-vision-board-development-full-freedom-concept

Assess Yourself

Vicious Cycles

Lack of freedom in various areas can contribute to poor health, poor choices, and depression. Conversely, unhealthy actions can contribute to feelings of inadequacy and a further lack of freedom. But there are ways to end this cycle.

Rating Yourself

If you feel sufficient clarity, write down on a scale of 1 to 5 exactly how free you feel in each area or role in your life, with 1 being No Freedom and 5 being Extremely free.

These lists can be used periodically to see in which areas you've grown, and which still need intensive work.

Keep Your Results

Once you know which areas are the worst, plan on using them in your vision board "fear" sections. We'll have more on these sections another time. For now, just keep them in mind. You are preparing to deal with each area in an orderly way, which will ensure better success.

Format

I am unable at this time to provide an easily printable version of the lists, with proper checkboxes. So while I get such a version developed, you can print the article or screenshot the lists. These tables can then be marked in any way you choose. If you choose to use a "Free" and "Not Free" rating only, we suggest using a highlighter to mark applicable selections, or use a photo processing app to "doodle" circles around the "Not Free" choices.

Spiritual (Basic Ideas)

Spirit

Soul

Heart

Mind/Mental, Psyche

Emotions, Feelings

Forgiveness (Giving/Receiving)

Spiritual Destiny or Purpose

God or Deity, Higher Power

Spiritual Practice

Spiritual (Biblical Viewpoint)

Jesus Christ (Personhood)

Jesus Christ (Divinity)

Jesus Christ (Character)

Jesus Christ (Being His Bride)

Being Abba's Son or Daughter

Interceding for others through prayer

Scripture Reading

Scripture Memorization

Church (Attendence)

Church (Involvement)

Bible Study (Personal)

Sunday School

Praying for National Leaders

Praying for Self

Praying for Family

Praying for Specific Ministries

Praying for the Persecuted/Martyred

Ministry (Involvement)

Relationships--Male

Relationships, general--ability to form and maintain

Relationship With Self

Friendships (Specific)

Manhood

Husbandhood

Fatherhood

Example to Sons of Manhood

Sonship

Pets (Specific)

Place in Society

Reputation

Relationships--Female

Relationships, general--ability to form and maintain

Relationship With Self

Friendships (Specific)

Womanhood

Wifehood

Motherhood

Example to Daughters of Womanhood

Daughterhood

Pets (Specific)

Place in Society

Reputation

 

Children, Parenting

Schooling/Homeschooling/Unschooling

Teaching children spiritual awareness and health

Teaching children wisdom and holiness

Teaching children responsibility, life skills

Teaching children financial stewardship

Teaching children healthy relationship skills

Personal/Time

Schedule and Organization

Use of Time (redeeming and investing time)

Job or Job Opportunities

Business, Entrepreneurship

Money (General)

Money (Stewardship)

Debt Repayment (General)

Debt Repayment (Specific Debts)

Taxes (Paying)

Education (Formal)

Self Education

Goal Achievement (General)

Goal Achievement (Specific Current Aims)

Child Care

Meal Planning

Housekeeping and Maintenance

Yard/Property Maintenance

Cooking, Baking

Physical Health and Fitness (General)

Physical Health and Fitness (Specific Aspects or Sports)

The Arts (specific to your situation--drawing, music, drama, other)

Nature (Time in)

Social Commitments or Engagements

Family Time

Hobby #1

Hobby #2

Hobby #3

Personal Example--Social Anxiety vs. Anger

When you do get things done without noticeable anxiety, what motivates you?

I recently realized that for me to face up to responsibilities that involve social interaction, without feeling crippling angst, I need to be angry. Anger helps me push through fear.

This is not a healthy response--it's only a coping mechanism filling the gap until I can learn a better way. So this needs to be my next transformation project, as it applies to nearly all social interactions at all times, under all circumstances.

In exploring this anger, I realized it needn't be directed at any one person--it merely needs to be present. In general, I wind up feeling miffed about a circumstance. The anger serves to keep me calm and focused on the job at hand, making the social aspects less important. Without this anger, social situations (including seeing extended family members), results in butterflies in my stomach, which worsen to severe nausea the closer I get to my destination. I develop an inability to think or speak clearly; muscle cramps occur all over my body; headaches worsen; sensory problems intensify. If anger doesn't take over, I have a full-blown panic attack and feel like I'm going to pass out.

Lack of Practice Making Decisions

Other reasons for not dealing well with fears or problems may be depression, or not knowing what you want. If your needs were suppressed by caretakers, or you have lived in circumstances where you lacked choices, defining what you want may be difficult and feel foreign.

Childhood Perspective

One way of defining what you want and need is to think back to how you felt in childhood. What did you daydream of doing or having? These are likely to be the ideals of your heart.

I wanted a family that was happy with each other, not contentious. I expressed this by arranging my dollhouse to reflect maximum family peace and togetherness. The home of my imagination was bright and cheerful, with pleasant corners, and a smiling family who cooked together, read together, played together, and looked after each other. There was plenty of music and games. The home circle was rich with pets and livestock, and there was a big yard with pink flowering trees and tulips. In interacting with my dreams, I even changed out the decorations in the dollhouse at holidays, and tucked lilac sprigs in cut-glass perfume bottles into corners of both living room and bedrooms. The mood of the home was contentment. Whether gardening, cooking, horseback riding, mechanicing, or anything else, this family was at peace.

I imagined that it was going to be possible to make this life as an adult with my own husband and children. It took a while to see how my own residual anger and unbending idealism was contributing to the tensions that developed in our home. I learned that when you take two hurt, conflicted people and mash their lives together, you have the potential for extreme anger and misery.

I have spent all my adult life learning about myself and what is holding me back. I have spent countless hours learning to yield to change--reconditioning my mind, and allowing the Creator to reformulate my heart, as only He can.

overcoming-fear-through-vision-board-development-full-freedom-concept

What Is Holding You Back? What If…?

What if:

  • you were married
  • single
  • living alone
  • had a baby
  • had a steady passive income
  • had a [you name it]

Explore whatever possibilities you have never dared to explore before, and intentionally reconnect with old dreams.

Example: What if I lived and could travel alone? What would that look like?

What if my relationships were stable and trusting? How would that feel and look? How would I feel and look?

Exercise: If I...

In order to complete this exercise, you need to decide which circumstance to imagine differently, which you believe would give you the most freedom in the greatest number of areas in your life.

You may choose from the choices above, or make up your own scenario.

For myself, I chose, "If I Lived Alone," as that is the most foreign but restful-sounding. I never have lived alone, except for a three-month stint during Bible college. At the time, I was newly married, but living for most of the week in a separate State from my husband, and I hated the arrangement. The long evenings alone with my CD player (no TV) were especially depressing. A pregnancy accompanied by debilitating illness put an end to the experiment.

Yet, 18+ years, two homeschooled children, and a lifetime of noise behind me, I'm ready for a break. So whenever I am unsure of how I ought to invest my energy, I simply ask, "What would I do if I lived alone? Is this how I would treat my house? My time? My resources? My mind?" Of course, I don't live alone, and certain things must be done for and with my family. But this question truly helps me keep my desires in perspective.

What question have you chosen to help you reformat your own perspective?

If I Lived Alone Brainstorming List

Here is a list I brainstormed one evening in a drowsy state. I still like it. Sleepiness can provide very candid conditions in which to tell ourselves stories.

Here is a list I brainstormed one evening in a drowsy state. I still like it. Sleepiness can provide very candid conditions in which to tell ourselves stories.

Poem--If I Lived Alone

This is a poem I wrote next day based on the emotions stirred up by the preceding list. A poem is a handy way of distilling desires and emotions into words which have the power to heal and transform.

This is a poem I wrote next day based on the emotions stirred up by the preceding list. A poem is a handy way of distilling desires and emotions into words which have the power to heal and transform.

overcoming-fear-through-vision-board-development-full-freedom-concept

Always and Never

If you still aren't sure what you want, pay extra attention to the "Why do you always...?" thoughts that pop into your head whenever you are frustrated or angry. These can be self-talk thoughts, or thoughts about others.

For example: "Why do you always spend money we don't have?" "Why do you always ignore me when I try to talk to you?" "Why are you always thinking about that project?" "Why do you always yell?" "Why do you always leave your messes for someone else?" "Why do you never hug me?"

These always/nevers can reveal ways in which your core needs are not being met. For example, "Why do you always spend money we don't have?" doesn't really have anything to do with money. It can mean:

  • I'm scared you don't care about our family.
  • I was hoping to buy______________, and now you've ruined my chance.
  • Now we can't take a vacation.
  • The car needs work, and I forgot to tell you.
  • I had a date night planned, and now we have to stay in.
  • The kids need shoes and uniforms.
  • You don't treat me like a person.

"I Wish"

Another approach is to own your "I wish…" thoughts. What do you wish? In random moments when you are less guarded, how do you wish things were? What do you wish in your:

  • Family (immediate, extended, or family of origin)
  • Home
  • Work life
  • Relationships
  • Leisure time
  • Health
  • Eating habits
  • Spending

Regrets

Finally, what are your regrets? What do you wish you had done differently? How might things be if someone else had done something differently? Toward what did you make a good effort, but still want different results? What about your job choices or education? Locations you have lived, or houses you have lived in? Choices regarding a partner?

Anything at all that comes to mind is worth exploring. Either it is important in itself, or it will lead to important thoughts and realizations, if followed closely enough.

Clear Your Ancestral Genetic Code--Remove Genetic Blocks and Beliefs, by Elke Neher

Time Frames

This exploration process may take weeks or months per topic to do properly. Because our minds are not linear, it is important to allow ourselves ample time to explore thoughts and trails of thoughts. Keep notes or a journal, and collect images which remind you of the topics you are exploring, even the unbeautiful ones.

If you have a trauma history, or suspect trauma, snippets of memories may surface. Be prepared to deal with some confusion, and perhaps even devastation. We will explore ways of working with these memories as we go along in this series.

Another time we will discuss how to use these collected images directly in your healing process. For now, just keep them available.

Nightmares

Besides the image topic headings we have mentioned in this and other articles in this series, consider keeping a file for nightmarish stuff. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, and the fact that many images which are appropriate to it are not family friendly and are against the policies of most picture collection sites, you may need to develop this file offline. Unsettling or violent images have their uses, but must not be treated carelessly.

Pinpointing Emotions

Next time we will discuss a technique for further exploring emotions which may be related to circumstances, atmospheres, or other triggers. This technique will help you pinpoint the feelings that may be holding you back from feeling free.

It's Your Turn to Tell a Story

If you suddenly found yourself in a twilit summer dream, what would you want to do first? And second? And thereafter?

If you suddenly found yourself in a twilit summer dream, what would you want to do first? And second? And thereafter?

Write down your ideas, with as much detail as you can muster.

Write down your ideas, with as much detail as you can muster.

Catch lighting bug fantasies in jars of thought, and take them home with your pen.

Catch lighting bug fantasies in jars of thought, and take them home with your pen.

You can decide what to do with your ideas before long.

You can decide what to do with your ideas before long.

Two Books to Make Your Journey More Clear

Dream Seeds, by Mike Murdoch

In Dream Seeds, Mike Murdoch discusses how our childhood daydreams are seeds planted in our souls to point us to the paths suited to us. Each of us was created for something complex and helpful. When we ignore our paths, we feel frustrated and empty. Deliberately walking our paths will bring fulfillment and a sense of purpose.

https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Seeds-Mike-Murdock/dp/156394149X

The Dream Giver, by Bruce Wilkinson

In The Dream Giver, Bruce Wilkinson teaches how the Creator endows each of us with a specific dream to fulfill. We are each given opportunities to live this dream, or reject it in favor of an "easier" path.

The dream may take different shapes during various stages of our lives, and living it will always be challenging. Hope stealers will challenge us. Circumstances will make it difficult at times to see our dreams clearly. Other hardships and events can try to knock us away from our dreams. But the Creator who designed each dream will help us hold on, and keep going forward to its fulfillment, bringing vast blessings to ourselves and others.

https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Giver-Bruce-Wilkinson/dp/159052201X

Topics Previously Covered in This Series

In Part 1, we explore why fear inhibits our ability to know what we really want, and act on it. Our thought loops often hold the key to realizing our deepest desires. Focusing on and owning these thought loops can allow us to move forward, first making the decision that fear will no longer own us.

In Part 2, we cover the basics of how to develop a vision board, whether in an electronic or physical format. We offer prompts and resources to help you decide what you truly want out of life.

In Part 3, we discuss the role of bio rhythms in setting intentions which yield pleasant fruit. When you pair your firm and detailed expectations with careful timing, cooperation from others and the Universe often results.

In Part 4, we pinpoint how to choose the perfect visuals and images for your needs, decode your personal color associations, and use past regrets and misunderstandings to help you go forward more wisely.

In part 5, we explore the decisions to be made while setting up an Intentions-by-the-Month system, using a Pinterest Board or other format of your choice. This system allows you to form a habit of setting intentions daily, or on whatever schedule you choose.

In Part 6, we walk through how to set up a long term life plan of 5 to 10 years, using either a vision board format, a mind map, or a combination of these two systems.

Our Conditions and Qualifications

In case you missed our intro before, we are an autistic DID System who have spent years exploring how trauma affects our ability to live our best life and act on our deepest needs. We have no official diagnosis, and no legal qualifications to offer advice or training on mental health conditions. Conversely, we have a decade of experience managing our Dissociative Identity Disorder, as well as about four years working to understand our autism.

Our Approach to Vision Boarding

Because fear is such a huge roadblock to stability and satisfaction, we have chosen to approach the topic of vision board development by exploring how it can be used to assist in healing and changing trauma patterns. We specifically use it to overcome fear and other trauma responses.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Joilene Rasmussen

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