Freedom To Fly? Permission Granted.
In the midst of a deep de-cluttering process late last year, I uncovered two index cards amongst some pictures and high school memorabilia.
Scrawled in faded blue ink on the first, I made out the words permission slip. The second read Hall Pass. Each card had the almost illegible signature of one of my high school teachers, Mr. Walters.
Suddenly I was back at my hometown high school, roaming the halls while everyone else was in class, confident that my permission slip would enable me to pass by any teachers I would encounter along the way.
When I reached an empty hall, I’d sneak out of a side door and into my car, leaving the rest of my school day in the dust as I drove off. To where, I can’t for the life of me remember. Probably home to read a book. Yeah, I was pretty badass.
What I do remember so clearly was, feeling desperate to be free and enjoy life outside the confines of my high school halls. The real world. Freedom. I couldn’t wait for it.
So I always stole the passes that would give me a glimpse of that freedom I so desired.
But why did I choose to keep those slips of paper granting me permission for over two decades? I was out in the real world, free, and no longer needing a permission slip. Good question.
As I wondered why, the realization washed over me. The people-pleaser in me wanted permission to live her life freely. She wanted approval for chasing her dreams. She wanted acceptance for her decisions.
Turns out, I have been carrying an invisible permission slip around with me for the last 20 years. Always ready to prove myself for decisions I made along the way, whatever hallway of life I happened to be in at the time.
Here’s the truth:
Permission to follow your dreams and live your life freely is not required. But so many of us are unconsciously (or consciously) waiting for permission to proceed in life.
We are waiting for the right time, the perfect circumstances, the necessary resources, the perfect partner, child, family or body. We seek the approval and acceptance of others before pushing down on the pedal of progress.
Our lives come to a standstill while we wait for permission… and wait…
And time marches on, our dreams turning to dust and our souls imprisoned in a cell of our own making.
When I passed those old permission slips through my shredder, it felt like graduating all over again. I could even hear a friend’s voice echo in my ears, “Let the adventure begin!”
The wait is over. You are free. The time is now to follow where your heart wants to lead you.
If you are feeling a little apprehensive, have some fun and make your own permission slip.
Take out a brightly colored index card and write the following on it:
(Your Name) has permission to do the following:
- Follow my bliss
- Act from my heart
- Live My life
- Spend time doing what lights me up and brings me Joy.
Signed (Your Signature)
Keep this with you at all times as a reminder. Put it next to your computer while you begin writing that book you’ve been waiting to finish (or start) for years. Place it next to the canvas as you begin painting.
Put it in your purse when you go out on a date with that dreamy guy (or girl) you’ve been drooling over. Put it in your pocket when you are running that marathon you keep saying you want to complete.
Keep it on your bedside table before going to sleep. Wake up to this beautiful reminder every day to help you keep going.
You’ve now graduated from needing permission from others:
Let the adventure begin!
Aimee DuFresne is a Joy Catalyst and soul-shifting creator, coach, traveler, and latte-lover. She offers online guided JOYrides for women ready to shed the sh*t and shine their soul fully and brightly. She gently guides women to declutter mind, body and soul and embrace their true power. Also the proud author of Keep Going: From Grief to Growth, Aimee and her husband packed up their Prius in 2014 and have been traveling the country speaking, housesitting and petsitting ever since, continuing to spread JOY wherever they go. You could contact her via her website.