"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Having lived so many years in the crowded Bangkok and New York City, the sprawling Silicon Valley felt disorienting when I first arrived. Slowly this place nursed me back to the vitality and creativity I had as a child. It took me awhile to recognize that the healing power was the endless sky. As a kid I used to regularly lay on a tree or a grass field to look straight up to the sky and watched the stories of clouds. I've come to know that the natural elements affect my choices--thoughts and actions. The amount of earth, water, fire, wind, and space in an immediate environment has real consequences on my wellbeing. A couple years after my relocation here, I started the lifelong study and practice of elemental medicine & nutrition and yoga. I cannot expand without limited physical and perceptual shortcomings. Freedom cannot be freed without limitation.
I've lived in the Bay Area now longer than anywhere else. Regaining my personal range of freedom had an impact on the things that held me back. In order to expand my thinking and nurture the body and soul I need a great amount of open space. Freedom is the most important aspect of my life. Living freedom is living the awareness of relationships -- how things and people as well as their absence influence you and how you and your absence impact them. Freedom is living within the limited range of the physical motion and the capacity to contract and expand within your personal range. Too little space causes too much tension and friction. Too much space leads to indifference and disconnection. True freedom is the holistic balance of personal and public space within yourself and between you and others. Some of us need more space than others. To keep my airy nature focus and grounded I've cultivated the kind of social connection that leads to emotional expansion and physical stability.
For a long time I had no desire to visit crowded cities. Yet, nature has its way of balancing. The feeling of spaciousness and freedom culminated to my taking a trip in 2015 back to NYC where I lived during college and early career. I also traveled to Paris as an art excursion last year. More than ever, I come to appreciate human designs and cultures--architectures, literatures, arts, governing policies, and social justices. Without a decade of hiatus from them I would perhaps still need to visit only remote beaches and forests. You can't contract without eventually expand. Water dries up and become air and space where friction and condensation take place and become water and earth. I practice yoga and elemental medicines to cultivate a greater range of movement in the body. I reflect and meditate to liberate the mind from judgements and find greater freedom in the heart. At the end of the day, I know that I am what my nature is -- the evolving consciousness in time and space -- the freedom in limitation.