Last month as I was meditating on 2022 and my intentions for the year, the word, “unfettered,” popped into my consciousness. It felt like a gift from the gods, not just something clever I chose. I was definitely NOT looking for a word for the year. 

Immediately, I began to explore the word and what “unfettered” would mean to my soul and my future.

Fetters constrain, restrict, and hamper. Classically, fetters are manacles chaining your soul’s ankles together so that you cannot move easily or gracefully in any direction. Freedom, love, and wisdom may be so close but the fetters make the distance impossible.

To be unfettered, I knew I had to begin focussing on my fetters. MY fetters! I had to own them! Rudolf Steiner wrote ”You can only sacrifice that which you fully possess.” 

Most of my fetters I am identified with. We do not possess our identities, they possess us. Our identities keep us manacled to our stories, our temperaments, our hungers, our wounds, and all our habits. Identities do not allow freedom. They orient us in one direction and living in very small worlds. They offer no chance of becoming unfettered. We need to step outside our identities and wonder at ourselves to notice our fetters with compassion. Self-compassion is the key to breaking our fetters.

Most of my conversations with my clients are about fetters, the aspects of their lives that lack movement, ease, and grace. The intention of these sacred conversations is to see, define, possess willingly, and unlock courageously the fetters holding them back from the life, the inner and outer life they feel is theirs.

If I look at my soul, what fetters do I see? What are my limiting identities? Let me share my primary identity, my main way of staying alive without really living. 

I am a thinker. I am good at thinking. But I have a habit of hiding in my thoughts. In my abusive and traumatic childhood, I took flight in thinking fantasies. In my thoughts I could live in another kinder reality. Most of my trauma-fleeing thoughts, no matter how creative, never moved into my will. To bring my thinking into my will, I would need to embody my soul, face my traumas, and move into a new aliveness. I survived by playing dead in my body. Movement, breathing, doing, showing up was dangerous, lacked comfort, felt weird. But I could think freely and imagine a different life while playing dead. 

A number of my clients did the opposite to survive. They were busy, busy, busy. They were caregivers soothing the abusers, calming the threats, keeping up appearances.  They fought the reality of their suffering by willfully and instinctively taking control of circumstances. When you are busy being in your body doing things, you don’t have the time to think about the truth of your life.

Whether your way of surviving was thinking or doing, without judging yourself, notice. My posts this year will help you notice. Noticing the fetters is the essential step to being unfettered.

Have I unfettered my thinking? Yes, I have. My thinking is alive, full of grace, moving forward in creative ways. I’ve learned the art of unfettering. I celebrate with big joy the manifesting of my thinking that lives in all the courses I have created to help others imagine their unique selves. I write these blogs and send them to you. I observe my clients slowly heal and evolve, claiming and revealing their unique destiny, making sense of and resolving their karma. 

If I look at the steps that I have taken to unfetter myself, I am thrilled.

But sometimes, actually several times a day! I think I am still fettered because I slip back into to the old storied self. I catch myself diminishing (even avoiding) my will and look at all I have manifested as if they are little tiny baby steps staying in place! I can spend hours contemplating all that I haven’t done, rather than celebrating what I have done. I overlook, even negate my beautiful leaps of courage and creativity. I feel the heavy chains, even though they are no longer there! So I am often fettered by a chaotic mess of old memories, crippling identities, will-deadening doubts. 

Then… a month ago, my angel whispered “unfettered” into my soul. I have learned to trust my angel.  (Do you trust yours?) To switch to the sense of sight (It’s always productive to switch senses and get another perspective.) It is like a have been taking a long hot shower and I am now standing in front of a very fogged mirror and my angel has just wiped away the fog and I can see my I, not my fettering identities. 

What are your fettering identities?