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July 4th is a time when this country and those in it take a moment to reflect on freedom. A long time student of the Nature Awareness School did just this. She looked at the difference between earthly freedoms and ones more spiritual in nature and found it is when we transition from the “condensing” effects of fear, to the boundless state of Soul that we can experience freedom – true freedom.  Enjoy!

These inspiring resources can help you on your way to spiritual freedom.



As I was making plans to celebrate Independence Day this July 4th, I began to reflect on freedom and what it means to be free…truly free. The individual rights and freedoms we enjoy in this country (and maybe sometimes take for granted) are gifts from God. As an American, I can also more broadly exercise another gift from God, my free will. A person living here can pretty much live whatever kind of life he or she wishes to live, so long as they follow the law. If someone is willing to work for it, he could start a business, obtain a skill or get an education; buy a house and cars; have as many children as he wishes; travel the world, and take advantage of all the luxuries technology and modern society has to offer. These can all be positive things and help make life easier, but is this all there is to freedom?

In my twenties I discovered backpacking and took a real liking to the simplicity of carrying everything you needed on your back, but I was afraid of the dark and being alone in the woods. I kept thinking a wild animal was lurking behind every tree. My mind played tricks on me and falling asleep was often difficult. I heard every rustle of the trees and sound of the night. This kept me on guard most of the time, and even though I continued to go on these trips, I wasn’t free to fully relax into the peace and stillness of nature until I got over these fears.

Fear, guilt, worry, feeling unworthy, greed, anger, lust, vanity; these are jailers of Soul – the Real You. There may be an appearance of freedom in our outer life or we may think we are free, but if caught in one of these negative states or “passions of the mind” it is like being in a prison of our own making. Most often we are blind to it. These things sap goodness from life and steal joy from experiences. They prevent us from being able to express what’s in our hearts to those we love the most, or make it difficult to ask for and accept help. They make us feel we are not good enough or have to prove ourselves. They hold us back from pursuing our innermost dreams and from being the best we can be. True freedom is being free of these balls and chains we’ve been dragging around with us forever.

It wasn’t until I began attending spiritual retreats at the Nature Awareness School that I recognized how fear was impacting me. It took the light shed by Divine Spirit to help me see what I could not see on my own. It was not just the fears surrounding backpacking either, fear had bled into other areas of my life as well. I also realized I had a lot of insecurity that was hurting my relationships and influencing my choices and decisions in a negative way. Through these retreats I received help from my spiritual teacher Del in letting go of all this and finding true freedom. Freedom to take responsibility, to make conscious choices and to create a life that brings me happiness (I mean deep-in-the-bones happiness), independent of the mainstream trends and popular opinion. This has inspired me to pursue the dearest dreams in my heart.

It was during these retreats that I learned about Gratitude. Gratitude is the secret of love and love opens your heart! When your heart is open, and if you allow it, God’s love will work miracles in your life and release you from all that holds you back. It’s really true. This Divine love can heal, uplift, give comfort and solace, bring peace and clarity, find balance and harmony, re-kindle the joy and zest for living, develop confidence, and activate Soul’s creative spark that helps find solutions to any problem life may present. God has transformed my life in these ways and has woven his blessings into my daily life in such a way that everywhere I look, I see evidence of His love and how he wants me (and all his children) not just happy, but Truly Free.

Written by Lorraine Fortier

To learn more about the retreats we offer please visit our website. They are a golden opportunity to strengthen your connection with God.